The average 1995 Internet user spent ~30 minutes per month online, compared to ~25 hours per month today. The vast majority of that time was spent waaaaaiiitting for web pages to load, rather than conversing with friends, consuming content, or making purchases.
Only 14% of the world’s population used the Internet in 1995. 41% of Internet traffic went to America Online (aol.com). Amazon, eBay (then AuctionWeb) and AltaVista all launched in 1995 with text-only web pages. Google didn’t launch until 1998 (effectively killing AltaVista in the process, although that search engine would continue under various brand names until 2013).
The world’s first standalone web-based email client, Hotmail, didn’t launch until 1996.
The top four most popular websites in the world today—Google (1998), Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005), Baidu (2000)—didn’t even have business plans in 1995. Their aspirational founders had other jobs or were still in school.
China and India weren’t even ranked in the top five for Internet usage by Country. Now they are both the largest or fastest growing. China alone has nearly 20% of the worldwide Internet users, while India has the most mobile Internet users.
Oh, did I mention that these are just human-being metrics? There are nearly ~5B Internet-connected devices in 2015, according to Gartner, with an estimate of ~25B by 2020. You read that right. Over 25 billion machines.
The craziest stat to me is that there were 23,500 websites TOTAL in 1995 on the ENTIRE Internet. Today, Dyn’s client with the largest amount of domain names has nearly that amount on our Managed DNS network—just by themselves. Singular companies have more domain names than the entire Internet of 1995. There are currently ~980M websites on the planet today. Half a million of them are running on Dyn technology, so needless to say, our total addressable market is large and expanding rapidly.
I recently did an interview with WMUR TV, New Hampshire’s largest television station (air date October 8th), to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of WMUR.com’s launch. Imagine a TV station’s website in 1995 with no online video?
This throwback interview lead to my closing keynote at our recent TechToberFest, Dyn Connect event held on October 1st, at our Manchester, NH Headquarters. Once we landed AOL Founder, Steve Case, as the morning keynote, the idea for my talk crystallized and I knew that a look back on “The Internet in 1995” would be a highly relevant, light-hearted, informative, and impactful closing after a day where we had serious topics ranging from Net Neutrality and Cybersecurity through Internet governance and Internet protocols.
In 1995, brands weren’t thinking about how to harden their online infrastructure, how to globally distribute website traffic, how to leverage Content Delivery Networks, how to implement Cloud services, or how to address transient users on mobile devices. There were no huge cyber threats, or Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to fear. The idea of lost revenue or profits or optimizing costs of online infrastructure were years away. No one was making enough money online to care. It was the early innings of the Internet as we know it. But, I strongly believe the power of the Internet is still is in its infancy.
Flash forward to 2015—there is no more important and inter-connected platform than the Internet. Every company has become an Internet company and the Internet has become almost every company’s corporate network. Yet, the visibility and control is seemingly out of reach for companies. Until now…
At Dyn, we don’t want you to be afraid or feel like you’ve lost visibility into, or control over, your interactions with the Internet. Operating as a ‘Switzerland of the Internet’ means that we can give you a neutral, unbiased, 3rd-party Internet Performance Platform, blending together data and analytics of Internet traffic to provide you with the ability to do something about it with our traffic-shaping rules engine.