We owe much of the infoquake through which we are living to the flow of the data on the internet and the growing consumption of the web. If you think of how much download does just one end user do, of the webpages he visits, of how much data he swings and distributes, and of how many internet users there are, then you are thinking internet traffic.

Specialized tools, such as the Internet Traffic Report, monitor this flow of data on the Internet around the world. The index numbers are added to each region, spanning from zero to 100, and the higher value means that the connection is more reliable and more faster, and thus, the traffic is less jammed. The tool can tell if any of the Internet regions is currently slowed down, and in real time, the information being refreshed every 5 minutes.

Internet Traffic Report

How can you measure Internet Traffic?

Basically, you can’t, since there is no one single point of measurement for total internet traffic. However, you can aggregate traffic information from multiple measuring sources. You can place servers in different areas around the globe that will perform a “ping” test which compares the current responses from the server with the past responses, the speed scores of which range from zero to 100, and are then averaged in an index number, e.g. numbers displayed on  the Internet Traffic Report tool.

But, how much data is there?

Cisco Systems (California based network industry) has published a report in 2011, with the Internet traffic figures for the year, and it said that monthly 20,000+ petabytes of data traveled through fixed internet traffic only, not counting the mobile traffic which exceeded 500 petabytes of data. One petabyte equals to 1024 terabytes, and one terabyte equals to 1024 gigabytes. Just one petabyte could, for example, cover for 13 years of HD-TV video files. Or, if you imagine the year 2011 in numbers:

  • 20,000+ petabytes of data travel through Internet traffic monthly
  • 500+ petabytes of data travel through mobile traffic monthly
  • There are more than 2 billion Internet users worldwide
  • There are more than 3 billion e-mail accounts
  • 500+ million websites
  • 1+ billion users of Facebook
  • 2.5+ billion IM accounts
  • 1+ billion of mobile subscriptions to the internet
  • 60 pictures per second uploaded to Instagram

With data being read and written in almost incomprehensible volumes each day, it becomes harder for the web giants to store it on the network, and to scale the storage up in order to keep up with the ever-growing need of the end users for this data.