In the early days of the Internet, you probably plugged your phone cord into your modem and waited as the computer-generated a series of static, dial tones, and chirps. The aptly-named dial-up Internet was similar to dialing a phone, and it would tie up the phone line as long as you were using the Internet.

Just a few decades later, things have changed dramatically. Internet users of today would be appalled at the slow speeds of dial-up, which seemed reasonably fast at the time. Today’s Internet is not only faster but also supports services like video conferencing, uploading large documents to the cloud, and streaming movies and TV shows.

But 10 or 20 years from now, we’ll probably look back at our current Internet as outdated. While it’s impossible to say just what we’ll see in the next few decades, we can make some educated guesses about what the future of the Internet could bring.

The Future of the Internet
10 or 20 years from now, we’ll probably look back at our current Internet as outdated.

Online Banking

The Internet has already shaped how we do our banking, and we’re likely to see further advancements in that area. Thanks to the Internet and online banking, we can pay bills online, access our bank accounts from our phones, and even deposit checks without ever having to step into a bank. Most transactions are digitized, and banks that exist entirely online, without having physical branches, have begun to evolve, as a result. These online-only banks have less overhead than banks with physical branches, so this is a trend that we may see continue.

In the future, we may not need our wallets to pay for anything. Instead, all transactions may be performed online or using our phones. With many transactions taking place online already, like direct deposit and through services like PayPal, online payment methods will probably continue to grow. Soon, we may pay for everything, including in-person transactions, with our phones.

New Health Technologies

Health technology has evolved right alongside the Internet, and the two are increasingly merging. From digital health records to cloud storage systems, health facilities are taking advantage of the new benefits offered by the Internet.

But the Internet has resulted in new health technologies for consumers, too. Currently, people can track their own health through apps on their smartphones. Apps have been developed to focus on many different aspects of health, including diabetes, fitness, nutrition, stress, sleep, and menstruation, all of them combined. They allow consumers to take an active role in monitoring their health, providing data that consumers can use to track their progress. We’ll probably see these apps and the wearables attached to them continue to evolve, and as the Internet becomes more powerful and efficient, new health technologies will emerge to match.

5G Internet

The Internet has become essential to modern life, offering everything from the ability to work remotely to seemingly endless entertainment. With the increased use of the Internet, the number of subscribers and the demand for high bandwidth has increased, too. With streaming services like Netflix and Hulu becoming highly popular, Internet users need fast speeds and reliable connections.

We’ve already seen the evolution from 1G and 2G wireless Internet services, which operated similarly to traditional phone systems. Third-generation, or 3G, services rolled out in the early 2000s, followed by the current 4G services. With 4G wireless Internet, browsers could enjoy faster speeds ranging from 5.0 to 12.0 Mbps.

Massive companies are planning to use drones to bring the Internet to areas where access is limited.

But evolution doesn’t end there. New 5G networks have been slowly rolling out across the country, and they take the Internet to the next level. These networks’ bandwidth is 10 times that of a 4G network, allowing them to easily accommodate the growing Internet usage. In time, we should see nearly everyone across the country upgraded to 5G networks and enjoying improved bandwidth and improved browsing experience, as a result.

In areas where 5G Internet isn’t present, drones will likely play an important role in technology. Massive companies like Google are planning to use drones to bring the Internet to areas where access is limited. Networks of high-altitude drones could be used to create Internet signals in remote, hard-to-access areas. With drone technology, we could see that the final step in bringing connectivity to the entire country.

Security Measures

As technology continues to evolve, there will be people who seek to find vulnerabilities in the new systems and the way that the Internet works. Hackers, viruses, and security threats will continue to remain an issue, and that means that developers and security companies will also need to keep pace, finding new and innovative ways to keep computers and Internet users secure.

Blockchain technology is one of those increased security measures. A blockchain is a digital ledger that helps to minimize the risks of storing data on a network. The blockchain uses all of the newest security technology to help protect that data from hackers and online threats. Blockchains are largely considered incorruptible.

It’s likely that blockchain technology, as well as other security measures, will continue to evolve with the Internet. While changing Internet technology will probably result in new security threats, we’ll also likely see solutions to those threats. The Internet has come dramatically far in its 30 years of existence. It’s certain that we’ll see new, innovative, and exciting advancements in the future, too.

Frankie Wallace

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