We rely on the Internet more and more as every year goes by, or so it seems. Long gone are the days when the World Wide Web was a myth, and only the super-rich or the super-geek has an Internet connection. Long gone are the days when a connection was limited to 28kbps and was only on for an hour a day, or periodically to check emails. In this era of global technology and communications, every home and office has a permanent link to the Internet that is always on.
Twenty years ago, if you wanted to find something out, you’d probably have to visit a library, or look it up in a collection of encyclopedias. If you wanted to buy food, you’d go to the supermarket, or if you wanted to browse for a new TV or gadget, you’d go to an electrical outlet and look around. Now, we can Google virtually any fact we like and get the answer instantly, we can do our grocery shopping online and have it delivered directly to our doors, and for anything else there are a multitude of Internet companies selling electrical goods that offer significant savings to those found in actual shops.
So the question is, with all these services that enable us to do virtually anything from the comfort of our armchairs, are we getting to dependent on our Internet connections? Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Internet were to be disconnected globally just for one day? Is your Internet connection really just as important as your gas or electricity supply?
For many people, especially those who run a business from home, the answer to this question could be a resounding yes! The Internet being down for just a day could devastate a business that operates on a schedule and to tight deadlines. This is why many service providers promise an always-on service with 99.999% uptime, for companies and people who simply must have the Internet at all times. Some people even go to the length of installing more than one Internet line into their homes and offices, just for the occasion when one service goes down. Imagine if you have a small workforce working online. You still have to pay these people, even if they are unable to do their work due to a service disruption. Without electricity, you can run computers on battery backup or a generator for a number of hours, but if your working environment is in the cloud, you’re truly stumped without your Internet.
Many people are also looking at satellite connections and mobile phone technology to provide backups to their primary Internet connections. After all, having more than one cable into your home or office is no good if a construction worker puts a spade through a bundle of cables at the end of your street!
So think to yourself. What would you do without the Internet for a day, or a week? How would you get on? What kind of inconvenience would it be? How much money would you lose? Should you consider backing up your connection with an alternative service?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.