The Internet is something that we all use nowadays, it is something totally important and indispensable for people, without the Internet many of the daily things that we do every day couldn't be carried out or even be completed, that is because the Internet has taken great importance in our lives and in our jobs.

Much of all humanity uses or has access to the Internet, being the Internet so important in our lives, it also means the advancement and development that in the past we did not have as a society.

The Internet provides and has provided information to thousands of people who previously did not have access to the Internet, providing education, information and knowledge extremely important and valuable.

Unifi switch

The Internet is simply a very useful tool through which we can obtain information and acquire new knowledge depending on each person or depending on each search.

The Internet today can come to be used to:

  • Learn a language
  • Sell a product
  • Promote a brand or a video
  • Simply for fun

The internet is a huge virtual network globally used by humanity.

The Internet could be catastrophic if it were to stop working one day

Around the world, close to four billion users spend approximately 6 hours or more than 6 hours in virtual and digital activities that require the internet.

In one minute million of videos are uploaded to Youtube, billions of emails are sent and many messages posted on Twitter appear every second.

Thanks to the internet we have access to many of the most important networks today, such as:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • SnapChat
  • Twitter
  • Tiktok
  • Youtube
  • Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Today, the whole society is completely dependent on the internet, whether you are talking about banking, public transportation, telephone networks, etc.

Have you ever asked yourself, what would happen if the internet stopped working, or even if that would be possible?

Locally it happens more often than you think. A clear example of this is the Algerian and Sudanese governments who completely block the access to the internet network during exam periods, so they can prevent students from cheating.
This is just one of the examples of internet blackouts that have been occurring more and more frequently in recent years.

Most of the time, the reason for an Internet-related outage can be due to emergencies, such as protests, riots, elections or even cyber-attacks. But these are local cases.

The question here is:

Could something similar happen on a global basis?

If one part of the internet and its giant network is shut down, information between thousands of points could still get through, just in a slower or even unsecure way.

Roughly, the vast majority of the percentage of internet traffic moves over submarine cables, which is faster and cheaper than satellite.

What is not so surprising is the combined total length of these cables, which is 12 million kilometers. This is like tying the earth with a thread and spinning it around 30 times.

There are a multitude of occasions where a cable could be cut. And this is something that has already happened.  For example: in 2008 there were three incidents, and the most serious occurred in January, when a ship dropped its anchor off the coast of Egypt and accidentally cut a cable. It caused serious problems in the Middle East, where 60% were left without internet, and in India, where the interruption was about 70%.  

In addition, there are also people who cut cables on purpose. In 2013, three divers cut a cable in a port in Egypt, but only caused a slowdown in service.

In 2015, there were more than a dozen incidents in San Francisco Bay, people dressed as if they were public workers, went down into the sewers to cut INTERNET cables, which caused a major slowdown.

Other things like sharks or rockslides have also come to disrupt internet connections, this being, something that doesn't happen often, if at all; fortunately, it doesn't usually take a long time to repair them or the caused damage.

Internet modem/ router taken from my office

In 2018, an internet outage left all of Mauritania without internet, but within two days they had fixed it. But the most shocking case was that of a 75-year-old lady in Georgia, when she disrupted Armenia's total connection for 12 hours while looking for scrap metal in the forest, she saw a copper cable and decided to cut it and steal it, being unaware at the time of the huge consequences it would cause.

Organized Attacks

In groups or organized attacks, let's suppose that many submarine cables were cut, there could still be a satellite internet connection, only the speed would be very slow.

But apart from the cables,

Could any hacker stop the internet from home?

A clear example of this is on October 21, 2016, a group of hackers attacked the company Dyn (a DNS provider) with a DDoS attack.

What does "DNS" mean?

DNS is what allows us to type google.com instead of typing the whooole IP address, which is quite difficult to remember.

A DDoS attack was sending millions of fake requests to crash the service. The result was that, extremely important services, such as Amazon, Spotify and Netflix, stopped working.

However, the three attacks that were made that day were resolved within a couple of hours and they managed to find the hackers who were responsible for this cybercrime.

Hacker binary attack code. Made with Canon 5d Mark III and analog vintage lens, Leica APO Macro Elmarit-R 2.8 100mm (Year: 1993)

Even if we are talking about a higher level, worldwide, simultaneous and sustained over time, the only remote possibilities of the internet going down would be some kind of social or global catastrophe. But in that case, the internet would be the least of our worries.

Today, we can safely say that the internet has revolutionized the world allowing us to streamline processes, communicate and have a lot of information at the reach of a Click.

Currently, thanks to the internet it is much easier to carry out various tasks ranging from buying things to for example make a complaint online.

The internet is nothing more than the name given to the connection of several networks of servers around the world, this connection is completely decentralized so, this means that there is no central point or a starting point of the internet; the internet is composed of several thousand independent networks connected to each other.

Even so, it wouldn't be possible to have a massive internet blackout since there is no company, government or organization that totally controls the internet, the internet is the interconnection of networks and that is where its name comes from.

Work on notebook

It is practically impossible for the whole world to be without internet from one moment to another, in its totality for that, there would have to be hundreds of massive failures around the world at the same time or that all companies and countries would agree to block it which would be a terrible idea because unimaginable amounts of money would be lost on behalf of their customers.