When it comes to figuring out the size of the internet, it’s very difficult to work out. There is no universal indexing tool that has read and stored all of the information available to someone online, however Cisco puts their estimates at online browsers sifting through roughly 90 exabytes per month in the year 2011. To put things into perspective, there are roughly 1000 gigabytes in a terabyte, and approximately 1000 terabytes in a petabyte, and 1000 petabtyes in an exabyte. In short, that is a LOT of information.
The even more impressive thing is the predicted size in 2015. The predicted global IP traffic is placed somewhere near 4.8 zettabytes annually! This is 400 exabytes per month. I tried to devise a method to visually compare this amount of information browsed by the internet community to that of the amount of data stored on DVD; however I can’t think of one unless I involve comparing the height of a water bottle to the distance to the moon. All you need to know is that the 2 billion or so people who use the internet chew through a lot of data each month.
The following infographic from Cisco is a great way to visualise the scope of internet users around the globe. http://blogs.cisco.com/news/the-internet-of-things-infographic/
As with everything technology based, things change rapidly. It will be interesting to see in 2015 what the actual statistics will be on this topic. We will write it down somewhere and hopefully check back in a few years to see if the predictions are accurate.