CyberQuestions: #1 – How big is the Internet?

Auch! It’s a simple question, but it’s almost like asking how big the Universe is! Nobody knows anymore for sure.

The world wide web today includes more than 1.3 billion websites, according to Internet Live Stats, a website of the international Real Time Statistics Project. The tricky part is that the number increases every second. That means that, by the time you finish reading the answer to this question, there will be more websites than when you started.

One thing is for sure: the Internet is a busy place. Every second, at least 7,000 Tweets are sent, 1,140 Tumblr posts posted online, 733 photos posted on Instagram, 2,207 Skype calls, 55,364 Google searches, 127, 354 YouTube videos viewed and over 2 million emails sent.

On top of this (better said beneath) lies the “Deep Web,” which includes websites, groups and things Google and other search engines don’t index. It is the ”dark side” of the Internet, where a lot of illegal activities happen, and people are anonymous and sometimes dangerous.

The internet contains a lot of data, and it doubles about every two years. For the beginning of 2016, the Counter expected around 7.7 zettabytes of data distributed worldwide. In the year 2020, the amount of data is expected to grow to 40 zettabytes. By then, an estimated 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet.

In case you’re wondering, 1 zettabyte is about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or characters. Printed on paper it would result in one measuring a billion km2, enough to wrap twice the entire surface of our Earth, writes, a website that tries to explain unimaginable numbers to people.

The Internet is a universe unto itself, populated with good guys and bad guys, a lot of things to explore, discover and learn, and dangerous places and individuals you should keep away from.

It has become a part of our daily lives, which is why it’s smart for all of us to learn how to navigate it safely.

One comment

  • By Brian Niemi - Reply

    You got your zeroes wrong. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes is an exabyte. A zettabyte is 10^21 bytes

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