by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:

How Many Ways Do You Connect To The Internet?

from the are-you-hyperconnected? dept

A new study points out the rather unsurprising fact that the number of "hyperconnected" individuals is growing. The definition of hyperconnected is anyone with seven or more connected devices and nine or more applications on those devices (though, it's not entirely clear how they define an "application" since it seems to include certain websites. Apparently 16% of people surveyed fell into that camp. Another 36% are in the "increasingly connected" group that counts those who connect via at least four devices and uses six or more applications. To be honest, this seems like an odd way of defining connectivity. If I had a really good "all-in-one" device meaning that I wouldn't need that many other devices but could use that one in more circumstances, why should that make me seem less connected? Of course, then there are the unconnected. A different study has found that approximately 18% of homes in the US have no internet access whatsoever.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    anne, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:38pm

    Only Four For Me

    Let's see. I have a desktop, a laptop, a cell phone with internet access (although Verizon has crippled it so that it majorly sucks), and a PDA through T-Mobile. That makes only four devices. Guess I'm less than cool, eh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    lar3ry, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:41pm


    I must be part of the 18%. I have absolutely no internet access, whatever. I have no way to post to blogs... NOTHING!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    Only old people use only four devices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:53pm

    This explains it:

    "In a worldwide study sponsored by Nortel"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Avatar28, May 14th, 2008 @ 7:06pm

    Hmm, let's see.

    1 x personal laptop
    1 x work laptop I use freely
    4 x desktop PCs
    1 x Windows Mobile phone w/internet
    1 x XBox 360
    1 x Wii

    Hmm. Computer geek? Check!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 7:08pm

    Erm. I have my laptop... and... uh...
    My laptop, on which I spend nearly all my free time and much work time. 1 device, all day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    XCetron, May 14th, 2008 @ 7:29pm

    thats it :(

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Daniel, May 14th, 2008 @ 8:43pm

    My stuff...

    Laptop: Always connected via School WiFi, home WiFi, and School Wired (w00t for 38mbps!).

    Server: Wired

    Home desktop @ Dad's house: dial-up =(

    Slingbox: home wired

    Cell phone: conceivably could use 'net, doesn't ATM.

    That's all. Not bad for 15 years old...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    The Mighty Buzzard, May 14th, 2008 @ 8:51pm

    4x Desktop via dsl
    laptop(ancient) via null modem cable to one of the above Desktops

    You can't do anything on the Internet worth the time it takes to do it from a phone or gaming console anyway. Excepting pwning noobs in some online fps or other, of course.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    troye, May 14th, 2008 @ 10:00pm

    only 2

    I have 1 laptop with 15mbit down at home. Windows Mobile BJ ATT with unlimited smartphone connect on the go. And, wifi at college campus for my laptop.

    Dialup? Who still uses that. I thought dialup died a long time ago!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    the.arctic, May 14th, 2008 @ 10:03pm

    I find the standards of this "hyperconnected" moniker a little odd. Why not classify the way these devices are used? For example, I usually read Techdirt using Opera Mini on a Samsung D820 non-smartphone. This device is always on, and always on my person (or next to my bed when I'm asleep). So why does someone with more devices get more connectivity points? I'll only accept that they're more connected than myself if they're using all seven at once. Personally, I've been using the term "perpetually connected" when describing my internet usage characteristics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Iron Chef, May 14th, 2008 @ 10:11pm


    This explains it:

    "In a worldwide study sponsored by Nortel"

    Huh? Nortel is one of the few companies that really understands communications. Based on experience, they are one of the few companies that could actually deliver back in 2000, before the bubble burst. I lost a *lot* of money in them, but still, they continue to have a solid patent portfolio and I'm hoping they make a comeback.

    What's equally interesting is that they are also a huge proponent of Open Standards, and it's interesting that they are tackling strategy from an application and carrier level, and I applaud that.

    My first book out of college I recieved was "Wireless Network Design, Overview, 1998 Edition." by Nortel. I read that thing, all 400 pages, from cover to cover.

    Today, they offer LTE, WiMax, GSM/Edge as well as IMS/UMA. What's not to like? Maybe we don't see eye-to-eye, but I still see a lot of potential in that company.

    Throttling and net neutrality looks like it could be "> solved with some of their technology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Iron Chef, May 14th, 2008 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re:

    The link didn't come through--
    Net Neutrality and Nortel's Story

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 14th, 2008 @ 10:51pm

    As they say...

    ...home is where the landline is. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Tony, May 15th, 2008 @ 12:11am

    RE: Iron Chef

    This is a bit off topic, but man, Nortel has NOT got a lot of potential. As a Network Engineer who worked for them (prior to and just after the dot com's were dot gone) in the broadband wireless division, their equipment is crap! I am now a Sr. Network Engineer for a major mortgage lender and our network was mainly Nortel. (8600's, 8100's, MSS's, 5510's, Alteon's and opteras). We have been replacing everything but the WAN stuff with Cisco because of the failure rates and complex maintenance. We were just acquired and they (our buyers) want all the Nortel stuff gone too. We are keeping the Passport ATM gear as well as the Optera SONET gear because unlike the rest of their stuff, it's rock solid. The worst decision Nortel made was the acquisition of Bay Networks. What's their other revenue stream? Class 5 switches. (DMS100, DMS500) That whole world is ending. In another 10 years, if that, their class 5 revenue will be nil. The prospects don't look good.

    Anyway, the Greatful Dead were all about sharing their music. I don't know where this stuffed shirt gets off making these demands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Tony, May 15th, 2008 @ 12:15am


    LOL! I inadvertently included the GD quip in response to another piece by Mike. Sorry for the confusion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Iron Chef, May 15th, 2008 @ 12:36am

    Trust me-- the Nortel carrier-grade gear is real solid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Brian, May 15th, 2008 @ 2:00am

    Yeah. It's not terribly clear as to what constitutes connectivity, but given the information above I suspect that I could satisfy at least nine with my personal desktop alone.

    As far as singular devices go; let's see...

    2 Desktops (Personal & Work)
    1 Server (Personal)
    2 Laptops (Personal & Work)
    2 PDAs (Personal & Work)
    1 XBox Live
    1 Wii
    1 TV

    And that excludes the other desktop that friends/family use when staying at my place, all the laptops I work on and update for employees at work and the desktops I use at school (when I forget my laptop). There's probably more that I'm forgetting about, but meh...

    Basically, what don't I do on the internet? Online news has replaced the traditional paper media. I get my TV shows online for the most part and DVR the rest. (What's live broadcast TV again?) Radio... Internet. Work... significantly internet based. Pleasure, internet (MMOs, etc).

    You get the idea. I should probably stop before I make myself sound like a complete recluse. It's interesting to think about, though. So many people's lives are heavily influenced by online activity. Often times more so than they think. It's also interesting to watch how life and business changes as a result. (Of course, Mike has been talking about that since forever ago, now.)

    In a related topic; After reading all the news that's been circulating lately about social-networking sites, I've come to realize how much of so many people's lives revolve around them. Personally, I've always thought that they were retarded and delinquent, but it seems people are living a very significant portion of their social lives through these sites. I even have a couple friends who make something of a living through mySpace based businesses, which I also thought to be waste of time and money. Although not hugely successful, profit earned where there otherwise would have been nothing is still profit.

    That said, I still think social-networking sites are a useless pile of idiocy, but there's indeed something to be learned from observing the trends there.

    Anyway... /ramble. Sorry for the digression.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    mkam, May 15th, 2008 @ 4:43am

    Re: Only Four For Me

    No game system like a 360 or the wii? They probably count work computer and home computer separately, which would increase the count for most people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Heidi, May 15th, 2008 @ 5:19am

    laptop, desktop, cell, mac, xbox 360, work cell & laptop

    geeky girl right here.. could be worse if i had the money!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Nate, May 15th, 2008 @ 6:19am

    Im not quite there...

    I have quite a few pieces of hardware that connect to the internet, and I had never thought about it. Let's see if I am hyperconnected, though... 3 Home computers 1 Wii 1 Nintendo DS 1 Cell Phone (which I hardly use for internet...) I think that is it, so I guess I am not "hyperconnected". But, I could easily see it happening.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Tim, May 15th, 2008 @ 6:22am

    Surely as a geek, the priority is to keep the number of ways requried down? I have ADSL at home with a dozen boxes NATted through it and a moobile that does 3G and all that jazz, including joikuspot for wifi->3G proxying.

    You could reaonably include sites in the list since things like twitter and facebook also grok upload via SMS for those who have that but not internet on their phones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Dissident, May 15th, 2008 @ 6:48am

    Yup. I must be a geek.


    2 x Laptop (work and personal)
    1 x EEE PC Laptop
    1 x Desktop
    1 x PDA
    1 x Helio Ocean (dont call it a phone!)
    1 x Xbox 360 Live

    I got it covered on the hardware end. I guess I really am a geek.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Nitro, May 15th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    Am I connected?

    I have two desktops at home with 7mb down. I have a laptop and a desktop at work with 1.5mb down. I am a computer tech, so I have about 300 more computers with 1.5mb down (shared). Do I count those? I have a cell phone that is capable of internet access, but I don't understand the appeal of using such a small screen for internet activities. I could care less if I don't get someones e-mail until after 5:00pm. I also don't understand the need to pay for access on my mobile device when I can just hit the net when I get home on a fast connection with a bigger screen. I have days that I live on the net and then I have days that my computer doesn't even get booted up. Heck... my primary machine has been dead for two weeks and I will finally be putting it back together next week. I guess I am under connected! :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Nitro, May 15th, 2008 @ 7:30am

    Re: Am I connected?

    I should have said 300 machines in different offices on different shared 1.5mb down T1's!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    pferland, May 15th, 2008 @ 8:40am


    Who needs 4 desktops when you can virtualize it ;-)
    I have one server running as my Gateway, DNS, AD, and I have 3 web servers running too. but if I had the space, I would have a room full of computers if I could

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), May 15th, 2008 @ 11:20am

    Strange Metrics

    I think the 7+ measure is a strange metric. Like the guy in #11 said, he's hyperconnected because he's always got a connected device. What's more, familiarity with these devices leads to more thorough use.

    I think the 'number' of connected devices would indicate people with more money (or a business need), not more connectivity.

    I've also seen plenty of people with money, but not a geek bone in their body. They have some of the best devices (RIM, laptops, smartphones) but not a clue how to do anything with them.

    I'm a pro geek, so I qualify for the 7+ count. For fun, I'll kick off a list, but I argue that the sheer number of nodes I have makes me a geek, but still no more connected than the poster in #11.

    PC and laptop, two screens, KVM
    Separate laptop for PPT presentations
    Nokia N95
    AT&T Tilt smartphone
    Simple Motorola feature phone
    AT&T 3G HSDPA card
    VoIP phone system, 3 vonage lines
    2 network printers (can print from Internet anywhere)
    NAS with FTP server
    Mirra backup server

    kitchen laptop
    ethernet remote camera
    D-Link Digital Media Adapter
    TivoHD Series 3
    PC in entertainment system
    does an mp3/podcast player count?

    are we counting connected GPS devices?

    And there's gig ethernet throughout, and an 18-port switch, two active Wi-Fi APs, a travel wi-fi router, and too many extra routers (because of Vonage). My wife has her own laptop and phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2008 @ 11:44am

    3 servers (2-2003 small business and advanced) and 3 desktop win (all have 3 drives, xp, vista ult., suse 10), 3 macs (os9.2.2, 10.4 & 10.5.

    I do tons of prepress work all are required.

    Also use one of the servers to operate via remote access an 8 computer prepress department 100 miles away.

    I guess I am way conected, never paid attention.

    All with 2 - turbo roadruner connections, one is not enough, and fios is not available in my neighborhood :(

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Andrew, May 15th, 2008 @ 1:11pm


    well. let's see. I got 2 desktops at home, another laptop, a media center PC, my phone which is internet enabled, and my carpc which i have a sprint broadband card in it and my work desktop... so that makes it 6....

    only 6? so I guess I am not that cool. yet. oh wait. i did not cound my other desktop which is a server. however i do not use that directly... so who is countin anyways. i am good with what i got. next will be a PS3. but i will wait on that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Nasch, May 16th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    What a bunch of geeks!

    And I'm one too of course. I was surprised how many comments were simply people listing their connected devices. No offense, but should we care? Do we really still have that kind of geek culture, where you're cooler if you have more hardware? Isn't it more interesting to hear about what people are doing with their hyperconnectivity? I mean, tell me about the cool stuff you can do with your internet connection that nobody had even thought of 2 years ago - that's worth taking about.

    Or maybe I'm not geeky enough and it really is fun to compare devices, I don't know. :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Nick, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Well...

    Then how did you post this...........idiot

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Ted, Nov 27th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Only Four For Me

    What counts? And how is this changing the world around us? Wiis, XBoxes, cells, BBs, PDAs, Smartphones, desktops, Remote Access, laptop...what is a slingbox? People are more connected to media, are they more connected to each other? Are we listening less or more? Do we care about what we hear less or more? What about first amendment law? Are those changing with the changing mediums of "speech," and the amount of speech Americans hear?
    I think it would seem people listen less, but the Iranian election and Twitter would have proven me wrong. Thoughts?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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