A staggering 33 percent of the world’s population now has access to the Internet, a substantial jump over the 9.1 percent that were connected in 2002. Furthermore, these net users are now online for an average of four hours per day, up from just 46 minutes a decade ago.
Usage and habits have changed substantially over the years as well. In 2002, 95 percent of users relied on Internet Explorer. Today that figure is much lower as browser usage has diversified significantly. According to the infographic, IE usage is down to just 39 percent. Chrome and Firefox round out the top three at 28 percent and 25 percent, respectively, while Opera accounts for just six percent.
Average Internet speeds have also dramatically increased over the years. It used to take nearly 13 minutes to download a song using a 56k modem. Now that same tune can be transferred in just 18 seconds. Average page load times dropped from 16 seconds to just six seconds – impressive considering that most websites today contain large graphics and more complex designs.
As outlined in our recent Facebook article, social networks have taken the world by storm with Facebook’s more than 900 million users leading the way. In 2002, Friendster launched with a user base of only 3 million.
The infographic we have embedded below from Best Education Sites takes a look at the history and growth of the Internet over the past decade. It goes without saying that a lot has changed in the past 10 years – probably more than most realize so join us as we take a now-and-then look at one of the most important creations of all time.