Internet Usage Statistics – Facts About the World Wide Web (2022)

Are you curious about internet usage statistics? This article will highlight interesting research, surveys, and data about business internet usage such as how employees use the internet at work. It will also explore global trends related to internet usage including the (lack of) accessibility to a reliable internet connection that many communities face.

Table of Contents

How Much of the World Has Internet Access?

In 2020 the number of internet users worldwide was 4.83 billion, which means that over 60% of the global population is connected to the internet. This is a far cry from 1995 where a mere 16 million (0.4%) of the world’s population had access to the internet. 

Going forward it has been estimated that 90% of the human population, aged 6 years and older, will be online by 2030. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there will be 6 billion internet users by 2022 (75% of the projected world population of 8 billion) and more than 7.5 billion internet users by 2030 (90% of the projected world population of 8.5 billion).

Is Access to the Internet a Human Right?

The proliferation of internet access has provided greater opportunities for individuals, communities, and businesses around the world. National holidays such as International Internet Day have cemented the cultural and economical importance of having access to the internet in our modern world. 

Some have even gone so far as to demand that access to the internet be considered a fundamental human right (The right to internet access, also known as the right to broadband or freedom to connect). For example, In September 2019, the Kerala High Court (India) held that the right to have access to the internet is part of the fundamental Right to Education as well as the Right to Privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Internet infrastructure for rural communities is underdeveloped on a global scale. According to the report “Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2020” from the International Telecommunication Union, global home internet access is nearly twice as high in urban areas as it is in rural areas: 72% of urban households have access to the internet, yet this is true for only 37% of rural households worldwide. 

US Internet Access Statistics

Flag of the United States of America (USA)

The FCC’s 2019 Broadband Deployment Report states that 21.3 million Americans (6.5%) do not have access to broadband internet. This would mean that 93.5% of Americans have access to broadband internet connections. 

However, according to an in-depth study by BroadbandNow Research the number of Americans without access to the internet is closer to 42 million, double the estimates from the FCC. This would mean that 87% of Americans have access to broadband internet connections. 

Note: With respect to comparing the American and Canadian internet availability statistics, it’s important to note that the FCC’s report uses 25/3 Mbps as their current benchmark for internet connectivity vs Canada’s 50/10.

Canada Internet Access Statistics

A group of buildings. The shape of a Canadian maple leaf is in the negative space.

According to the Government of Canada, internet speeds with the capacity to download at 50 Mbps and upload at 10 Mbps are needed for internet users to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the modern internet. 

Overall, as of 2017 speeds of 50/10 Mbps are available to 84% of Canadian households. The Government of Canada has committed to bring these speeds to 90% of Canadians in 2021, 95% in 2026 and 100% by 2030.

As you can anticipate based on the finding from the ITU report there is a clear divide between rural and urban Canada. In 2017, only 37% of rural households had access to 50/10 Mbps, compared with 97% of urban homes. Indigenous communities have the least accessibility to the internet, with only about 24% of households in Indigenous communities having access to these speeds. 

Africa Internet Access Statistics

Durban, South Africa

According to the report “Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2020” from the International Telecommunication Union, 34% of African households have access to the internet, composing of 28% of urban households and 6% of rural households. 

In 2016 mobile usage in the sub-Saharan population of Africa was more widespread than electricity. There is a greater availability of mobile phones and cellular data connections there than there are home-based ethernet connections; according to the Economist less than half the population has access to electricity, yet two-fifths own a mobile phone. 

For more information on internet access throughout the world in 2020, see this report from the International Telecommunication Union

Global Internet Usage Statistics

The earth as seen from outer space
StatisticYearSource
Humans On The Internet Will Triple From 2015 To 2022 And Hit 6 Billion2022Cybersecurity Ventures
4.95 billion people around the world use the internet in January 2022 – equivalent to 62.5 percent of the world’s total population. 2022Data Reportal
The average global internet user spends almost 7 hours online each day.2022Data Reportal
In 2021, an estimated 319.6 million emails were being sent and received per day. By 2022, this number is expected to increase to 333.2 billion emails sent and received per day.2022Statista
The top 10 most popular domains in late 2021 were:
1 TikTok.com
2 Google.com
3 Facebook.com
4 Microsoft.com
5 Apple.com
6 Amazon.com
7 Netflix.com
8 YouTube.com
9 Twitter.com
10 WhatsApp.com
2021Cloudflare
Adult internet users in the UK estimate they spend an average of 25.1 hours online per week2020Ofcom: Adults’ media use and attitudes report 2020
There are 3.9 billion email users worldwide. The figure is over half of the world’s population and shows no sign of slowing down. Growth is forecast at a steady 3% annual rate with the number of email users predicted to reach close to 4.4 billion in 2023.2020Finances Online: Number of Email Users Worldwide 2020/2021
As of 2017 speeds of 50/10 Mbps are available to 84% of Canadian households.

The Government of Canada has committed to bring these speeds to 90% of Canadians in 2021, 95% in 2026 and 100% by 2030.
2017Government of Canada: High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy
Global home internet access is nearly twice as high in urban areas as it is in rural areas.

72% of urban households have access to the internet, yet this is true for only 37% of rural households worldwide. 
2020International Telecommunication Union: Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2020

Business Internet Usage Statistics

How do employees use the internet at work? These business internet usage statistics highlight the productivity, lifestyle, and security impacts of internet use in the workplace.

Use of the Internet for Business

A group of office employees drinking coffee and celebrating Safer Internet Day.

It’s no secret that internet access is a fundamental resource for businesses of all sizes. The collaboration and research capabilities offered by the internet are simply unmatched. Developments over the last five years have shown a formidable potential to evolve the capabilities of entire industries.

StatisticYearSource
30% of employed Canadian internet users report that their employer expects them to use the internet to stay connected outside of their regular work hours.

This constant connection may contribute to a greater prevalence of burnout due to its impacts on work/life balance.
20192019 Canadian internet Use Survey
5G connections will transform internet use for businesses. 5G speeds will be 13 times higher than the average mobile connection, with the average 5G connection speed expected to reach 575 Mbps by 2023.

These improvements are  certain to have major implications for the adoption and proliferation of internet-of-things (IoT) devices.
2018Cisco Annual internet Report (2018–2023) White Paper
A March 2020 survey of internet users in Canada found that 41% of survey respondents had digital methods to communicate with their workplace.2020Canada; The Strategic Counsel; March 2020; 2,000 respondents; 18 years and older; Online panel
Employees in the UK spend an average of 6.4 hours per week using the internet in the workplace. 2020Ofcom: Adults’ media use and attitudes report 2020
67.5% of employees in UK companies with 250-999 employees use computers with internet access at work2018United Kingdom; Office for National Statistics (UK); 2006 to 2018; employees with computers

Workplace Internet Use by Employees Statistics

A woman in professional attire stares off-screen, distracted

Unfortunately, the internet is also a source of distractions, viruses, and other dangers. These employee internet usage statistics provide insight into the security and productivity challenges that are caused by unmanaged internet use in the workplace.

If internet abuse is negatively affecting the operational efficiency of your business, you can enforce your acceptable use policies by implementing web filtering software to restrict employee internet access and internet monitoring software to track how employees use the internet in the workplace.

StatisticYearSource
97% of male survey participants and 85% of female participants believed cyberloafing was acceptable in the workplace2012Cyberloafing at the workplace: Gain or drain on work?, Singapore Management University
Why do employees cyberloaf in the workplace? 

34% of employees say they are not challenged enough

34% say they work long hours

32% say there are no incentives to work harder

30% are unsatisfied with their employment

23% say they’re bored at work

18% say it’s due to low wages
2013Salary.com: Wasting Time at Work Survey 2013
Workers in the UK spend more than two hours a day procrastinating, including approximately 3 hours and 5 minutes of a working week on social media2017Workplace Insight: UK workers waste over two hours a day on social media and other distractions
64% of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work2012Salary.com: Wasting Time at Work Survey 2012
60% of employees said they would use their own personal smartphones, tablets and laptops to access blocked websites during work hours.2012Salary.com: Wasting Time at Work Survey 2012
71% of employees believe short breaks throughout the day are beneficial for their productivity.

They indicate that they will be more productive with access to Social Media and other “unproductive” websites than if restrictions are placed on them.
2012Salary.com: Wasting Time at Work Survey 2012
64% of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work.

Of the 64%, 39% spend one hour or less per week, 29% spend 2 hours per week, 21% waste five hours per week, and only 3% said they waste 10 hours or more doing unrelated activities
2012Salary.com: Wasting Time at Work Survey 2012
60% of respondents in a Sugarcookie survey admit to watching porn at work at least once.

Nearly 20% have been caught watching porn at work.

Their motives? 58% said they were bored at work and 20% watched porn at work because they were stressed.
2018Sugarcookie.com: How Many People Watch Porn At Work Will Shock You
The British Houses of Parliament once made 24,000 attempts to access porn at work over the course of 4 months. 2018The Telegraph: Parliament staff made 24,000 attempts to view online pornography in four months
70% of all online porn access occurs during the 9-5 workday2004CNBC: Porn At Work: Recognizing A Sex Addict
Half of all workers in a survey said they’d been exposed to sexually explicit material by co-workers2004CNBC: Porn At Work: Recognizing A Sex Addict
45% of IT workers have found employees logging onto gambling websites to place bets on football matches, horse races or play lottery-style games.
2018Daily Mail: Third of firms catch their staff viewing porn at work: Almost half also log on to gambling sites leaving businesses ‘wide open’ to cyber security threats
Employees change windows or check email or other programs nearly 37 times an hour, spend on average nearly 10 minutes on switches caused by alerts, and another 10-15 minutes before returning to focused activity on the disrupted task.

This constant context switching can cost as much as 40% of a worker’s productivity according to research from the American Psychology Association.
2011PayScale.com: Get To Work! How Much Does Your Time-wasting Cost Your Company?
64% of employees indicate that they are likely to search for a new job while at work in their current job.2018Accountemps survey of 1000+ US workers
72% of Charles Schwab customers plan to buy or sell mutual funds, and 92% of them plan to do so online during work hours.c. 2017SHRM.org: Employee internet Management: Now an HR Issue
28% of employees that are making gift purchases intend to do so while at work, according to Pew internet and American Life Projectc. 2017SHRM.org: Employee internet Management: Now an HR Issue

Workplace Internet Security Statistics

A photo of a computer screen. The cursor is pointing to the word "security"

Access to the internet is the greatest data security risk for all businesses. These internet usage statistics outline the dangers of using the internet at work.  

StatisticYearSource
65% of attacker groups used spear phishing as the primary infection vector in 20192019Symantec internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) 2019
53% of companies had over 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee. 20192019 Varonis Global Data Risk Report
99% of professionals in an Intermedia survey admit to conducting at least one potentially dangerous action, from sharing and storing login credentials to sending work documents to personal email accounts.20172017 Data Vulnerability Report, Intermedia
34% of employees in an Intermedia survey store work documents using sync-and-share services such as cloud storage websites, allowing them to access the documents from personal accounts even after leaving an organization20172017 Data Vulnerability Report, Intermedia
The use of user behavior monitoring is accelerating; 94% of organizations deploy some method of monitoring users (compared to 42% the previous year) and 93% monitor access to sensitive data.2018Insider Threat 2018 Report – Crowd Research Partners
89% of organizations limit employee internet access in some way.2018Spiceworks.com: Data snapshot: How web filtering affects workplace security and productivity
The three most commonly restricted websites on corporate networks are: illegal sites (blocked in 85% of all organizations), unethical/inappropriate sites (85%), and online dating sites (61%).2018Spiceworks.com: Data snapshot: How web filtering affects workplace security and productivity
90% of IT departments restrict web access to protect against malware/ransomware infections

84% want to keep users from visiting inappropriate sites at work, and 83% aim to prevent unacceptable user behavior
2018Spiceworks.com: Data snapshot: How web filtering affects workplace security and productivity

Conclusion & Further Reading

How we use the internet has rapidly changed since the use of the ARPANET in the 1960s. These internet usage statistics from 2009-2021 express how the rapid evolution of technology has shaped our workplaces and beyond. 

Over the decades home-based high speed internet access has become more ubiquitous, the internet usage of employees in the workplace has evolved, and the employee internet management strategies of businesses have evolved alongside it. 

Try Internet Monitoring & Web Filtering Software for Free

Need to restrict internet access in your network? In this tutorial you will learn how to block websites using a free trial of BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s web content filtering software.

With BrowseControl you can…

Block websites based on URL, category, domain, or IP address

Schedule unique internet restrictions throughout the day 

Assign custom policies for each group of computers or users,

and enforce internet usage policies, even when devices leave the network

There are 3 ways to block employee internet access with BrowseControl

1) Block access to specific websites with the Block List

2) Restrict internet access to only certain sites with the Allow List 

3) Using the Category Filtering feature you can block access to content categories such as Porn, Virus Infected, or Social Media 

For complete control over internet and application use in your network, you can combine BrowseControl with BrowseReporter, CurrentWare’s internet monitoring software.

All right, let’s get started.

To begin, sign up for a free trial of BrowseControl at CurrentWare.com/Download. After filling out the form you will be provided with the files you need to get started with BrowseControl.

To install BrowseControl, run CurrentWare.exe on the administrator’s computer and follow the installation instructions; this will install the CurrentWare Console and Server. 

After that, deploy the CurrentWare Client Setup file (cwClientSetup.exe) on all of the computers you would like to control. 

From there you can import your Active Directory organizational units or manually create your desired policy groups.

For full installation instructions, please visit our knowledge base at CurrentWare.com/Support. 

Now that you have BrowseControl installed, I’ll show you how to block specific websites based on their URL, domain, or IP address with the URL Filter.

This feature can be used to block your employees from accessing distracting websites like Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram.

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.

Next, click on the URL Filter then select “Blocked List”

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

Enter the URL, domain, or IP address of the websites you want to block to the master URL list, then press the Enter key or click “Add”. 

BrowseControl will apply a wildcard to the URL, ensuring that any paths within the domain will be blocked as well.

In the master URL list, select the websites you want to block for the chosen group, then click “Add to Blocked List”.

If you would like to add the selected websites to the block list of multiple groups, you can press the drop-down arrow and select “add to multiple groups”, select the desired groups, then click “add to blocked list”

If you have a large number of websites you would like to block, you can also use the import feature to import an existing list.

Finally, click “Apply to Clients”.

That’s it! You have now blocked your employees, students, or patrons from accessing those specific websites. 

Next, I’ll show you how to restrict internet access to only certain sites.

This feature is ideal if you want to prevent your employees, students, or patrons from accessing websites that are not explicitly allowed by your organization.

The process is identical to how you would block a website, except this time you will set the internet to “off” and add the websites you would like to allow to the Allow List.

With this method, your users will only be able to access the exact websites that have been approved by your company.

Here are the full instructions.

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.

Next, click on the URL Filter, then ensure that “Allowed List” is selected

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

Next, set the internet to “Off”. This will ensure that only the websites that are added to the allowed list can be accessed.

Enter the URL, domain, or IP address of the website you want to allow to the master URL list, then press the Enter key or click “Add”. BrowseControl will apply a wildcard to the URL, ensuring that any paths within the domain will be allowed as well.

In the master URL list, select the websites you want to allow for the chosen group, then click “Add to Allowed List”

If you would like to add the selected websites to the Allowed list of multiple groups, you can press the drop-down arrow and select “Add to Multiple Groups”, select the desired groups, then click “Add to Allowed list”

If you have a large number of websites you would like to allow, you can also use the import feature to import an existing list.

Finally, click “Apply to Clients”.

Next, I’ll show you how to block websites based on content categories such as Porn, Virus Infected, and Social Media 

With BrowseControl’s category filtering feature you can block billions of websites across over 100 URL categories. More than 10,000 new domains are added each day, making it simple to restrict internet access even as new sites emerge. 

Here’s how:

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers, then select the desired mode.

Next, click on “Category Filtering”

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

Select the web content categories you would like to block, then click “Add to Blocked List”

Finally, click “Apply to Clients”.

That’s it! 

The Allow List can also be used in tandem with the Category Filtering feature to allow websites that would otherwise be blocked based on their content category. 

For example, you could use the Category Filtering feature to block Social Media while still allowing access to LinkedIn.

Now that you’ve seen the 3 key ways you can block a website with BrowseControl, I’d like to show you how to restrict internet access at certain times.

With BrowseControl’s Internet Scheduler you can schedule custom block or allow lists throughout the day. 

This feature will bring some flexibility to your internet restriction policies; in this example, we will allow our employees to browse the internet during lunchtime.

Here’s how to use the internet scheduler

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.

Next, click on “internet scheduler”

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

Next, click “New Schedule”

Set the start and end time of the schedule. Then, select the schedule type.

Internet On will allow internet access to all websites that are not on the URL Block List

Custom allowed list will only allow access to specific websites.

Custom blocked list will block access to a specific list of websites and allow access to the rest of the internet.

Custom Category blocked list will block specific categories and allow access to the rest of the internet.

Next, set your desired schedule frequency.

Daily will enable the schedule every day during the specified time period.

Weekly will enable the schedule only on specific days of the week.

Monthly will enable the schedule only on specific months.

Next, click “Add Schedule”.

If you selected one of the custom block or allow list options, you can click the link provided under the “schedule type” column to set the websites or categories that you would like on the list.

And finally, click “Enable Scheduler” if it is not already enabled

That’s it for today. If you’re ready to start blocking websites you can get a free trial of BrowseControl at CurrentWare.com/Download. 

If you have any questions during your evaluation our support team is available to help you over a phone call, live chat, or email.

See you next time!

BrowseReporter is a versatile computer user activity monitoring software that helps organizations enforce policies, meet compliance requirements, and understand how their users operate – no matter where they’re located.

BrowseReporter’s detailed user activity reports provide insights like…

  • Are our users following organizational policies? Are there any unwanted activities that need to be addressed?
  • How engaged are our users? Do they spend the majority of their time on-task? And…
  • Are our users making use of the software we’ve invested in? Should we reduce the number of licenses we pay for?

The computer activity data is collected by a software agent that is installed on your computers. The agent connects to a database on your organization’s network, allowing you to maintain complete control over the data.

BrowseReporter’s central console allows you to run reports on your user’s computer activities from the convenience of a web browser. 

There are dozens of reports to choose from, including…

  • User productivity reports with an overview of how much time was spent on websites that are productive, unproductive, or neutral. These classifications can be customized to match what is productive for your users.
  • There are also detailed internet activity reports that show you what websites your users have visited, how long they spent browsing each site, and the amount of bandwidth consumed.
  • And finally, the application usage reports show you what software is being used, how long it was used for, and who was using it.

BrowseReporter’s reports can be generated on-demand, on a set schedule, or automatically sent to your inbox to alert you of specific events.

Using the End-User Reports feature you can even provide your users with on-demand access to their own data. This lets them benefit from the insights that you have.

BrowseReporter can even be deployed with optional privacy-enhancing features.

You can…

  • Display a custom message to notify users that they are being monitored
  • Make the client visible in the system tray
  • Stop monitoring outside of standard operating hours, and…
  • Disable certain types of tracking altogether 

These optional features allow you to customize your BrowseReporter deployment to fit the needs of your organization.

BrowseReporter is best used in tandem with our web filtering software BrowseControl. Using both solutions provides you with the visibility and control you need to ensure that your organization’s computers are being used appropriately

Ready to make data-informed decisions? Get actionable insights into the activity of your users with a free trial of BrowseReporter.

Get started today by visiting CurrentWare.com/Download

If you have any questions during your evaluation our technical support team is available to help you over a phone call, live chat, or email.

Thank you!

Need to manage employee internet use in your business? Get a FREE trial of CurrentWare’s employee internet management software solutions to monitor & restrict employee web usage.

Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.