Internet traffic patterns throughout 2021

In 2021, the Internet continued to be somewhat affected by the pandemic. Join us as we look back on the second year of this strange, difficult, and altogether extraordinary moment of human history, and use data from our global network to answer several questions: How did Internet usage change in different places on Earth? Which types of websites and Internet applications saw the most traffic growth? How did mobile vs desktop traffic evolve? Which types of cyberattack were the most widespread? And when during the year were the biggest spikes in Internet traffic and when did the most attacks take place?

Worldwide Traffic

Let's start global. Here's how Cloudflare saw the overall Internet traffic throughout the year 2021.

Timeline of events

Here are some global events that may have affected the Internet traffic throughout the year — some are also mentioned in our popular domains blog post. A bigger sample of 2021 events is available here.
Year in Review Timeline Year in Review Timeline

How did Internet usage change in different global cities?

We examined how Internet usage changed in different places worldwide by comparing each month with two months before, during the year. Orange areas indicate where the activity got heavier, and blue shows where it decreased.
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Traffic distribution

When during the year were the largest spikes in traffic? Here’s how overall Internet traffic rose and fell throughout the year in , the country in which the city you selected above is located.

Mobile vs desktop traffic

At what time of the year did we see peaks in mobile traffic in ? Here’s the evolution in 2021 of the percentage of Internet traffic generated using mobile devices vs. desktop computers.

Which types of websites saw the most traffic?

We examined which categories of Internet services users flocked to as the year unfolded. Bars represent how traffic was distributed over the list throughout the year, every day.
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Attacks distribution

When during the year were the largest attacks? Here’s how overall Internet attacks rose and fell throughout the year in , the country in which the city you selected above is located.

Which cyberattacks were the most widespread?

Attackers have proven themselves willing to exploit global turmoil, so we examined which attack methods gained the most traction. Bars represent the distribution of attacks over a list of relevant categories.
We have excluded Simple Layer 7 DoS attacks from this list due to their overwhelming prevalence throughout the year.
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