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February 17, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

The latest bi-annual survey from Network Wizards shows continued strong growth in the size of the internet, in what is the longest-running and most widely-respected survey of the size of the multitude of interconnected networks that make up the internet. Network Wizard’s Mark Lottor has been counting the number of connected computers on the net since 1987. He does it by finding the domain name of every IP address that has so far been allocated, which gives the number of hosts, with a host being a computer that has an IP address. However, as the company points out, the survey does not necessarily throw up the number of physical machines attached to the net, as a single box can act like a multiple machines and have multiple domain names and IP addresses or act as an application gateway. And contrary to everything you might hear from the numerous companies conducting statistical analysis on internet usage numbers, it is impossible to correlate any of this information with the number of users. But despite all that, the survey is the best indicator we’ve got to chart the growth of the internet. The number of hosts found during the survey, which was conducted in January, was 43.2 million, up 17.6% from the 36.7 million found in July 1998 and 45.7% from the 29.7 million found a year ago. That 46% growth rate is consistent with the growth over the past few years and means the internet is on course for the 100 million host level by the second quarter of 2001, according to research done on the numbers by internet consultant Tony Rutkowski. The largest domain, not surprisingly is .com, with 12.1 million hosts, 28% of the total, followed by .net., .org, .edu, .jp, .us, .mil, .uk and .de. In October 1998 Austin, Texas- based Matrix Information and Directory Services (MIDS) acquired exclusive rights to the survey from Menlo Park, California-based Network Wizards after working with Lottor since 1993 to produce the survey.

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