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What is Devouring the World’s Bandwidth?

What is Devouring the World’s Bandwidth?

From the streaming television to the conference room, bandwidth has become a major concern for just about everyone online. With more than 2.4 billion people using the Internet for everything from surfing the Internet and checking email, to venturing into an online class, bandwidth is becoming a precious commodity for modern business, education, and entertainment.

If you are not familiar with it, bandwidth is the total amount of information that can flow through the various channels of the Internet; it’s not a measure of speed, so much, but of the capacity. When the Internet was in its infancy, it was primarily dedicated to research and educational ventures, mainly because not much else required Internet access. However, when the Internet, as we know it, came to fruition around 1995, bandwidth limitations became a critical issue. As more and more of the public wanted to jump on the Internet bandwagon, the Internet began to experience “traffic jams.”  And soon the problem was exacerbated by application development in the areas of communication and entertainment.

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The Internet has serves as a gateway to an endless supply of information. It is a much easier, and significantly more time-efficient, to access information via the Internet rather than searching through a card catalog at the library. Now, we simply flick on the computer and type our query into a search engine and we are instantly presented with a seemingly endless supply of results. You can search for anything; from recipes to long-lost relatives, there is nothing that you cannot find on the Internet. Many people are active participants in blogging and social media, which is another great way to stay connected, however, all of these activities require bandwidth.

Let’s look at a few of the statistics: according to TeleGeography, international bandwidth availability has soared over the years from 1.4 terabytes per second in 2002, to an astonishing 92.1 terabytes per second in 2012. They project these numbers will reach 607 terabytes per second by 2020. This is largely due to the fact that technology is becoming more affordable, as well as, more readily available to a larger portion of communities. Research has also shown that peak Internet usage is between the hours of 9 p.m. to midnight, and during this time, traffic is at its highest on streaming services, social media, and other data sharing sites. The amount of traffic is expected to increase threefold by 2017, amounting to the equivalent of 720 million people streaming a high-definition video continuously.

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Perhaps the most interesting statistic: Netflix accounts for 33% of all streaming traffic during peak hours in North America. Meanwhile, Facebook accounts for 37% of all social networking traffic. This is a bit surprising, considering it’s down from 54% in November 2011. An astounding 35% of all Internet downloads are pornographic in nature. One of the most popular sites hosts over 100TB of content and serves more than 100 million page views per day, which equates to an average of 950 terabytes of data transferred per day!

Take a look at this infographic from WhoIsHostingThis? to see how bandwidth use has evolved:

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    Another element that has effected the demand on bandwidth is our increased usage of mobile devices. As of 2013, nearly one in three website visits were made from mobile devices. Taking online classes, staying connected, and shopping online can all be done from tablets and smartphone; however, they all demand their share of the Internet traffic. This is not taking into consideration the  thousands of Internet-enabled games, apps, and stores accessed and utilized by millions of people daily. From our gaming consoles to streaming boxes, the Internet is a very prevalent part of our lives.

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    How does this compare to the way you spend your time on the Internet? Have you noticed any decrease in Internet speed during peak hours?

    Featured photo credit: World Map/Flickr via nationsonline.org

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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