Even though the internet is a part of our professional and personal lives, there’s a lot of confusion about how it works and more importantly, how to optimize it. While we rely on it for everything from work to entertainment to finance to healthcare, most people still harbor some common internet myths.
While some of these internet myths are just harmless misunderstandings of how networks and technology work, others can affect the function of small businesses and enterprises. These relate to bandwidth, upload speed, and the necessary internet infrastructure to boost performance. Here are some of the most common internet myths that most people unwittingly believe in.
Common Internet Myths
1. The web and the internet are one thing
Most people refer to the web and the internet as if it’s the same thing. The internet connects devices and computers through interlinked networks. This is how they’re able to communicate. The web on the other hand is a collection of domains and web pages that hold information. To put it simply, the internet has much more than the web.
2. Shark bites can bring down the internet
This urban legend, aided by unverified press reports, suggests that shark bites on cables can bring down the internet connections of entire countries. The truth is that their steel coating makes them immune to shark attacks. Whenever the cables are down, it’s mostly due to anchoring or fishing accidents, or landslides.
3. The net has unlimited bandwidth
Enterprises, academic institutions, organizations, and everyone else who uses networked data centers rely on workers, and utilities to stay connected but with an upper limit on the bandwidth that they can consume. Put simply, there’s a limit to the bandwidth speeds in any node connection. The speeds may improve but it’s not infinite.
4. Upload speed will always be slow
That’s usually the result of how an internet connection is configured. Most of them are tailored for efficient downloading as opposed to uploading. The primary reason for this is that most websites now host dynamic content which necessitates faster download speeds. But overlay networks can increase the speed of both downloads and uploads.
5. The internet’s optimized for performance
One of the most popular misconceptions is that the internet was designed for optimal performance. The fact is that it was designed primarily for resilience. While routing rules take into account connectivity, they’re also geared to find the most economical path.
The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which manages routing, isn’t designed to measure the performance of a network while directing traffic. Whenever it changes networks, it’s mostly due to the costs involved and not the performance per se.
Understanding the truths behind these common internet myths will help businesses manage their networks better. They will know what they can control and what their ISPs can manage. Importantly, they will also know what problems and challenges exist as part of the inherent design and structure of the internet.