Where Are The Websites Stored?
We visit websites every day but we probably don’t know where this data comes from and where it is stored. Data like images, videos or the text included in a web page.
So where the information on the internet and for all websites is stored? The websites’ data are stored in physical servers all over the world. A server is a certain type of computer-optimized for storing data and working for many consecutive hours.
Hosting companies usually own this kind of computers and they have all these servers grouped in certain buildings. That happens so they can monitor their operation. The best practice is to spread these data centers in different locations since there is always the fear of an accident like a fire.
The information we see online is just a representation of what it exists already in physical hardware. Many people think that everything that exists on the internet is somewhere installed not associated with the real world. This idea is far from true.
Interesting fact*: All the world is connected with even undersea cables so we can be able to interact online. Take a look at a submarine cable map that shows how each continent connects each other with this kind of infrastructure. undersea cables map
Big companies that handle a lot of data they have also this kind of data centers so they don’t rely on third parties. You can see here a video from google how these data centers look like.
Saving the data for a website is very similar to saving files on your computer. There are many folders that contain images or any other media needed and especially files that have the code responsible for what we see in our browser.
You can even host your website in your pc but you need to install additional software, keep it working 24 hours a day and being connected with the web or else your site will not be working.
Where Are Web Pages Stored On Your Computer?
When you visit a site, the browser saves some files relate to the site such as images and the code that is needed for presenting the web page visually to you. These files are saved for a certain amount of time and not forever. They help as a future reference when you revisit the same site. That’s why when you visit a site for the second time it is much faster.
In case you use windows 10 and chrome, these files should be saved under this path: your username > AppData > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data.
The browser fist needs to save what are the IP addresses related to the website domain. The process of checking what is the IP related to a domain takes some time when you look for a site that you never visited before.
It will also save images or videos so don’t download the same material twice as we already mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Some small text files that we call cookies are also saved on your pc. These are related to your behavior when you visit the site. For example, you visit youtube and watch a song from your favorite singer. The next time the youtube homepage will suggest other songs from this singer. This is happening because of the cookies. The webpage you see is adjusted based on your previous behavior.
How Much Data Are On The Internet?
We will provide you with 2 different estimations here for you to have a better understanding.
IDC defines as global datasphere 3 parts: 1.) The core: The datacenters we previously described that google or hosting providers own. 2.) The edge: Entreprise infrastructure like cell towers. 3) The final points such as mobile devices, pc, laptops and any device that connects on the internet.
This global datasphere (based on IDC) was 33 zettabytes in 2018 and the prediction by 2025 is to reach the 175 Zettabytes.
1 Zettabyte = 1000 Exabytes , 1 Exabyte = 1000 Petabytes, 1 Petabyte = 1000 Terabytes, 1 Terrabyte = 1000 Gigabytes
The second approach is to check ip traffic. Based on the Cisco Visual Networking Index annual global Ip traffic will be 4.8 zettabytes (396 exabytes per month). In 2017 the global IP traffic was 1.5 zettabytes (122 exabytes per month).
IP traffic is the data exchange between any pc, server and other devices connected on the internet. We can call this web traffic. Since any machine connected on the web is identified by an IP address the typical name is IP traffic.
For example, when we visit a website by using or phone we generate IP traffic.
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