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How large is the Internet?


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2012-08-16 00:20:14
2012-08-16 00:20:14

That is sort of like asking how big is the Universe. There are many different ways to measure the size of the Internet for starters. Do you mean large as in file size, number of web pages, or other methods. If you mean web pages that is probably a mostly calculable number. However file size becomes nearly impossible to figure out because there are many different ways to measure the size of what is on the internet. Do you count multiple hostings of the same file, do you count provate data that is internet accessible but not public. In fact that last point cuts to the heart of the universe analogy. There is quite a bit of the internet ( I have read estimates that over 50%) that is completely "hidden" from the public. It is not on Google or any other search engine and is used privately between businesses or even between individuals or an individual. In other words there is a HUGE amount of size of the internet that, like the univere is hidden to us in all but the most obscure ways. I would assume ( I am not an IT professional) that there are round-about ways of measuring some of this private data.

One estimate puts the internet easily at a exabyte or 1024 petabytes or 1024^2 Terabytes. To think of it easier; if you filled a room that was 8' X 10' X 8' (celing) you could fit about 450 or so hard drives in there. Assuming you used even 2 TB hard drives you would still need over 1000 of those rooms filed to " download the internet". 1024 petabytes or 1024^2 Terabytes is obviously over 500,000 2 tb hard drives. In my above example you can only fit 450,000 2 TB hard drives in 1,000 of those rooms. I will say that I only estimated the size of a hard drive to be 3.5'' X 5" X 1'' which gives you 17.5'' of Volume per hard drive.

Other estimates put the file size of the World Wide Web as an entire internet at almost a Yottabyte (Which is 1024 Zettabytes, which is 1024 Exabytes mentioned in the above example). To put this in a more simpiler term; it would take nearly 11 trillion years for you to download a Yottabyte using the fastest residential internet connection known today.

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