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Recently, naked photos of pseudo-celebrity Kim Kardashian were posted online with the accompanying boast of how the pictures would break the Internet. When the pictures failed to make a dent in the Internet, many laughed at how, not only couldn’t the photos break the Internet, they were outshone by photos and videos of a probe landing on a comet.

However, whatever one might think about the exposed behinds of reality-TV stars, the boast of breaking the Internet never really had a chance. That’s because, in the modern online world, it’s pretty much impossible for any single event, photo or video to even annoy the Internet, never mind break it.

It did used to be the case that single, unexpected traffic events could have a noticeable impact on Internet performance. From major news events to movie trailers to OS downloads to the first few Black Monday’s, single events could slow, if not outright break the Internet.

But for many years now, that kind of impact has been nearly impossible to achieve. Today, the Internet is designed to handle these kinds of outbursts. Everyday people are binge watching whole seasons of a TV show, doing real-time video chats, engaging in massive online gaming battles and doing other things that would have brought the old Internet to its knees.

Now, thanks to the current Internet infrastructure, this kind of traffic represents just another day on the Internet. Big content delivery networks, Internet backbone providers and last mile broadband providers have optimized their infrastructures to detect, manage and minimize the impact of any unusual Internet traffic spikes. Kim K’s booty really never had a chance when it came to breaking the Internet.

That’s not to say that the Internet can’t be broken in other ways. Aging and improperly updated hardware and software in core parts of the Internet has led to outages and slowdowns. Coordinated denial of service attacks can cause chaos for major sites and Internet choke points. And political battles between Internet infrastructure providers can lead to poor performance for politically targeted services such as video streaming providers.

So yes, the Internet can be broken. But not by naked pictures of a celebrity.

For more on this topic, read the Aberdeen report We All Pay the Price for Internet “Hiccups”

Photo Attribution :  © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com


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