There is no specific way to measure the Net, so educated guesses are about as close as you are going to get as there is no one entity responsible for overseeing it. There are roughly one and a half billion people that use the Internet each day as of the last estimate in January of 2009 worldwide. Those people send an average of 210 billion e-mails a day of which seventy percent is spam.
In 2008 53.8 trillion spam messages were sent out, add thirty percent to that figure and you find that nearly seventy trillion e-mails perused this planet last year.
The Internet is comprised of approximately 78 million servers that span the globe (That number is quite possibly very low.) Information on the Internet is being measured in Terabytes, and a Terabyte is 1,000 Gigabytes. One estimate in 2005 by Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, puts the estimate at near five million Terabytes of information on the Web, four years ago.
Google’s search engines managed to index about 200 Terabytes in seven years (as of 2005) as a comparison of how large that really is; 200 Terabytes is only .004% of five million Terabytes!
700,000 new pages of information per minute are added to that tally. If the internet stopped all forward progress it would take another 300 years for Google to index it all. Another comparison would be the Library of Congress which has a mere 10 Terabytes of stored information on its shelves.
As of December, 2008 there were 186,727,854 Websites, and of those 31.5 million had been added in 2008. This number fluctuates constantly and is at best a guesstimate.
Asia is the largest user of the Internet, followed by Europe, and then the North American Continent.
There were a million viruses in 2008, a figure that rose by 468% from 2007.
There is even some speculation going on about when the Internet will become self aware, didn’t they already do that in a Terminator movie? The first signs will be the Net trying to improve itself; maybe it will banish Internet Explorer when the time comes….
China and Russia have begun to use characters in web addresses which will further confound efforts to estimate the size of the Internet, and unless you are fluent with the characters you would be highly unlikely to find the sites behind them.
All of these figures presented here may be off by quite a sizable sum, considering the Internet is a world wide phenomenon. However, from these numbers it is possible to get some idea of how immense it really is.