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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 February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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