Byte Order in Computers

The byte is the smallest addressable unit in computer memory. When computers represent larger objects, they use multiple bytes. When storing these bytes in memory, the computer must decide in what order to store the data. Similarly, when transmitting large objects over a network, the order of transmission of multiple bytes is crucial. Connected computer systems must establish a unified way of transmitting multi-byte data to collaborate effectively.

This predetermined order for storing and transmitting multi-byte data is called byte order, also known as “endianess.” Understanding byte order is helpful for building lower-level programs and gaining a deeper understanding of computer systems.