What internet problems are we struggling with the most?
Every year since Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 the internet has continually evolved and become more sophisticated.
Confluently, human dependence, and usage of the internet have exponentially increased in the same time period.
With the lockdown of 2020, the extent of our internet usage increased as many people and businesses moved their work online to continue to perform throughout the pandemic. Therefore, there were even more elements of life that people were consistently using the internet for.
Unsurprisingly as more people were using more of the internet, there was also a rise in problems with using the technology. By taking a deep dive into Google search data from the past twelve months we have been able to establish which internet-related questions the British public has been trying to find answers for.
The internet issues confusing the nation the most
1: How to clear the cache? 176,100 searches
Clearing the cache has been the biggest internet challenge that has tripped Brits up in the last year, and forced them to turn to Google to find the answers. Clearing your cache can be one of the first responses to try and speed up the pace of your browser, and is often successful in speeding up your computer. With more people trying to do more on their computers it is unsurprising that they needed to clear the cache, ergo there were over 176,000 searches in the past year.
2: How to use Zoom? 170,400 searches
At the peak of the lockdown the video meeting site Zoom had over 300 million daily users, and consequently, its value soared in 2020. As so many people used this new technology, it is unsurprising that some struggled to use it. Although many find Zoom’s interface simple to use, many people (especially older generations unfamiliar with video conferencing) struggled with it and as a result, there were over 170,000 searches on how to use it.
3: What is 5G? 97,000 searches
5G is the fifth generation of mobile internet technology and will deliver the fastest and most reliable mobile internet connection to date. But as with all new technologies it has its sceptics and its critics, and many people perpetuate unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the true purpose of 5G which could be another reason people are trying to find out about it. With the latest top-range smartphones using 5G, more and more people have access to it and just under 100,000 were compelled to find out more about it. Faster, more reliable cellular internet means that internet phones become increasingly powerful.
4: How to clear cookies? 88,900 searches
Although cookies have been around since the 1990s it is only recently that they have come to the attention of the majority of the public, as websites were required to start asking your permission to use them in the 2010s. One of the reasons it is advisable to delete cookies is that they can be used to track your data over time and if hackers breach a website that you have stored cookies from they could be able to access personal information.
5: How to connect Alexa to Wi-Fi? 88,800 searches
The Amazon Alexa is the most well-known of all the virtual assistant AI speakers that have become a common sight in many homes up and down the country. As Alexa works at its best when connected to the internet, finding out how to hook it up to your Wi-Fi network is incredibly important. Therefore, 88,000 people searched for how to do just that in the last year.
The internet issues confusing the nation the most
|Rank||Question||Number of Searches in the Past Year|
|1||How to clear cache||176,100|
|2||How to use Zoom||170,400|
|3||What is 5G||97,00|
|4||How to clear cookies||88,900|
|5||How to connect Alexa to Wi-Fi||88,800|
|6||What does Wi-Fi stand for||55,000|
|7||How to change Wi-Fi password||53,200|
|8||How to delete search history||47,200|
|9||How to check internet speed||38,800|
|10||What is FaceTime||31,600|
|11||What are internet cookies||20,900|
|12||How fast is 5G||17,800|
|13||When is 5G coming to my area||16,440|
|14||What is 4G||15,600|
|15||How to FaceTime||13,220|
|16||How fast is 4G||9,620|
|17||How to increase internet speed||8,090|
|18||What is the 5G network||8,050|
|19||How to divert a call||7,870|
|20||What are pop ups||47,200|
Damian Hanson, co-founder of CircleLoop comments:
“So many of us now rely on the internet for our day-to-day communications and with comms at the heart of everything CircleLoop does we wanted to find out what internet issues caused the most confusion.
“The internet has already become an entrenched part of our lives and it will only continue to do so. With unprecedented events such as the pandemic we find ourselves in, the internet has only solidified itself in more aspects of our lives. As the internet speeds and capacity continue to grow it will allow us to do more, resulting in more questions on how to maximise our experience from it.
“Take 5G, for example. The latest generation of mobile internet technology has allowed for a faster and more secure internet experience, it has improved the ability to use the internet to bridge the gaps in our lives, such as communication. However, as with all new tech, people always have questions and concerns.
“With all the technological and software developments of using the internet, we’re now reliant on being able to see and speak to anyone around the world. Whether it be work meetings, family reunions or school lessons, communications technology has become integral because of the power of the internet.”
- We used Ahrefs to find commonly searched questions related to keywords to do with using the internet.
- By using Google Keyword Planner we were able to discover the volume of searches for each question in the United Kingdom between June 2020 and June 2021.