Where the internet sleeps

The richer a country, the less the Internet usage fluctuates during the day

In some countries, the internet also sleeps at night - at least almost © freeimages
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The internet never sleeps: in Europe and also in the USA the internet is used almost 24 hours a day. The network activity hardly fluctuates. But in other regions of the world this is different, as a study by US researchers shows. How strong the day-night fluctuations are, reveals a lot about the living standard of a country.

Actually, it's a juggernaut that never sleeps: there are always people around the world moving around the world in the world, uploading data or looking at websites. When most of us sleep, the day begins on the US West Coast. When we get up, people in Southeast Asia have already been halfway through the day. The internet as a whole is therefore always active.

How big are the day-night fluctuations?

But does the use of the Internet in the various regions of the world vary widely between day and night? John Heidemann of the University of Southern California and his colleagues have now examined this question in more detail - with some surprising results. For their study, the researchers pinged 3.7 million address blocks, which corresponds to about 950 million IP addresses every eleven minutes for two months - around the clock, day and night.

When researchers analyzed their data, they came up with interesting differences: in the areas with broadband connections and good network infrastructure, such as in the US and most of Europe, network activity does not stop even at night. The differences between day and night are relatively small, as Heidemann and his colleagues noted.

How much does Internet use in different countries fluctuate between day and night? © University of Southern California

Internet usage reveals wealth

In contrast, this looks different for the greater part of Asia, South America and Eastern Europe: Here, the onset of the night, the use of the Internet sharply. The day-night fluctuations are particularly clear in parts of South America, India and Russia. At least one connection, the researchers found that the higher the gross domestic product of a country, the more likely it is that the Internet use 24 hours and seven days a week continues. In countries with a low per-capita income, the Internet also "sleeps" at night. display

"These data help us identify a kind of ground state of the Internet, " explains Heidemann. "Because the Internet is important for our everyday lives and our economy regardless of whether it's about streaming videos or shopping online." If you understand how the network as a whole works, then let it go to better assess how resilient it is and also possible problems can be identified faster. The researchers therefore want to expand their inventory of the Internet even further. In the next step, they will increase their activity to one million addresses, as reported.

(University of Southern California, 21.10.2014 - NPO)