In less than four years, global Internet traffic will reach nearly 1.3 zettabytes as more and more devices interconnect in the World-Wide-Web. According to a report by networking solutions provider Cisco, the amount of data exchanged across the internet will be larger than all the data exchanged in history up to 2012.
A zettabyte (or one billion billion terabytes) is the equivalent of 38 million DVDs of data per hour. The rise of traffic will be fueled not only by the increasingly large number of terminals that exchange information on the web, but also by the wide adoption of high-definition video streaming, the rampant use of social media as well as by the increased prevalence of voice-over-IP services.
According to Ciscoâ€™s estimations, by 2016, more than 19 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. “Even your dog can now be connected to the Internet, allowing you to track whether Rover is running after the collie or the postman,” said Doug Webster, senior director for service provider marketing at Cisco.
The sheer number of devices will call not only for newer technologies at the transport layer, but will also call for replacing IPv4 (able to address maximum 4.3 billion devices) with the long-anticipated IPv6.Â Also, the fixed broadband speed will rise from the current 9 Mbps to 34 Mbps, making data transfer a breeze.
However, the increased number of interconnected devices will likely pose a challenge to the security of users. Countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa â€“known as cybercrime hotspots â€“ will witness a compounded rate of more than 50 percent a year between 2011 and 2016: thatâ€™s enough bandwidth to launch DDoS attacks, upload and download malware or even syphon big chunks of data from infected computers in a fraction of time.