For the past two months I and other members of the household have mostly worked from home. That obviously had an impact on the amount of data received and sent over the Internet. But how much and what has actually changed? To better answer that question, I had a look at my router statistics.
From a usage type point of view we have of course massively increased the use of voice and video conferencing. I ran lots of tests for my Jitsi and BigBlueButton servers. Also during the week two persons in the household are in voice and video conferences simultaneously for at least 4-5 hours per day. In addition, my line of work generates a lot of data, in the range of gigabytes at a time that I upload to servers on the Internet. In return, I download packages of 4-5 GB files several times a month which I would usually do at work and not at home. One thing that must have declined quite a bit in the past two months is media.ccc.de/Netflix/Youtube/Amazon video streaming. That might sound strange but I was quite busy in the last two months connecting people and organizing stuff, so there was much less time for watching videos.
So let’s get to the numbers: During an average month in the past, my monthly data consumption was 120 GB in the downlink direction. I didn’t note down the amount of data that I sent to the Internet, because it was less than 10% of the downlink. In April 2020, those numbers changed completely: In the downlink my data consumption was 320 GB. For May, it looks like the number will be pretty similar. So an almost 3x increase!
The uplink value is interesting as well: In April 2020, I sent 102 GB to destinations on the Internet. That’s 1/3 of the downlink value! In other words, I have sent almost as much data in April 2020 as I would normally consume in the downlink during ‘normal’ times. Yes, those video experiments and data dumps really show. Interesting.
Also, I kept monitoring of how well my Internet connectivity in both directions was doing. While the mass media during March was worried about a collapse of the Internet, I noticed no slow-down whatsoever, not during the daytime and not during evenings either. The 100 Mbit/s datarate in the downlink direction and 40 Mbit/s in the uplink direction of my VDSL line was always available to different destinations on the Internet whenever I tested this.
So that’s my story so far. If you have made an observation about your changing Internet data use and patterns, please leave a comment.