How big is the Internet?

Warren Bailey wbailey at
Thu Aug 15 20:48:53 UTC 2013

I neglected to say one additional thing which I think may be worth reading
before replying. I have always held the opinion that internet traffic
isn't internet traffic until it hits the Internet, which I defined as two
or more autonomous systems functioning on their own but possessing the
ability to relay information between the two. I'm pretty sure that if you
have a single network, you couldn't label it "inter" unless "inter" was
between yourself - and then you have a network.. Not an internetwork.

Maybe?? :)

On 8/15/13 1:10 PM, "Leo Bicknell" <bicknell at> wrote:

>On Aug 15, 2013, at 1:27 PM, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at> wrote:
>> My laptop at home is an edge node under the definition above, despite
>>being behind a NAT. My home NAS is as well. When I back up my laptop to
>>my NAS over my home network, that traffic would be counted as "Internet"
>>traffic by your definition.
>> I have a feeling that does not come close to matching the mental model
>>most people have in their head of "Internet traffic". But maybe I'm
>It matches my mental model.  Your network is connected to the Internet,
>that's traffic between two hosts, it's Internet traffic.
>Let's take the same two machines, but I own one and you own one, and
>let's put them on the same network behind a NAT just like your home, but
>at a coffee shop.  Rather than backups we're both running bit torrent and
>our two machines exchange data.
>That's Internet traffic, isn't it?  Two unrelated people talking over the
>network?  They just happen to be on the same LAN.
>My definition was arbitrary, so feel free to argue another arbitrary
>definition is more useful in some way, but for my arbitrary definition
>you've applied the rules correct, and I would argue it's the right way to
>think about things.  In a broad english sense "IP packets traversing an
>Internet connected network are Internet traffic".
>It's all graph cross sections.  "Peering" volume totals a set of
>particular links in the graph, omitting traffic from your laptop to your
>file server, or your NAS to your laptop.  My model attempts to isolate
>every edge on the graph, and generate the total sum of IP traffic
>crossing any Internet connected network, which would always include all
>forms of local caches (Akamai, Google, Netflix) and even your NAT.  I
>think that's a more interesting number, and a number that's easier to
>count and defend than say a peering or "backbone" number.
>       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
>        PGP keys at

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