Remember when you clicked on a website and then went off to do something else while you waited for it to load? Things change fast in a digital world, and 2020 is sure to bring its share of surprises. Here’s a list of predictions about what to look for as technology moves into the third decade of the twenty-first century.

The Internet of Things will change everything

Instead of deliberately making a choice to go online, with the Internet of Things, the digital world is becoming as much a part of our surroundings as the air around us. We’re on the cusp of big changes already, and 2020 will see us tip over the edge and rocket towards full and constant connectivity.

Want a coffee cup that tells you when your drink has dropped below optimal temperature? What about real-time connections in cars that break up traffic jams before they even start? Medical contact lenses could give you moment-to-moment information on your blood sugar and blood pressure and even alert emergency services if something is wrong.

Most of us will go 5G

5G is already available. But in 2020, even more mobile networks will support it, improving everything and making more room for smart devices. This will make the mobile internet faster and more reliable, and that means more people than ever will use their mobile devices for searches, streaming, and everything else.

5G can work on larger channels than 4G, meaning higher speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity on the network. Today’s mobile networks are limited to existing cellular bands, which are crowded and over-used. 5G will be able to work on the highest ranges of the spectrum where everything is wide open.

We’ll have to get used to new terminology

We’re running out of words to express the enormous amounts of data the internet is capable of transferring. We currently talk about internet speed in terms of gigabytes, and mobile streaming in terms of megabytes, but get ready for exabytes.

A gigabyte is 10003 bytes. An exabyte is 10006, which is one quintillion bytes. To put all this in perspective: back in 1986, the entire world’s capacity for one-way broadcasting was 432 exabytes. In 2004, global internet traffic passed one exabyte per month for the first time, and that growth has continued unabated since then.

There will be more hackers

From individual bad-actors to state-sponsored hackers, there will be more people looking to attack basic infrastructure, disrupt banking, and use malicious code to steal from individuals and corporations. As more of our lives come to depend on the internet, our vulnerability will increase.

At the same time, we’re taking internet security more seriously on individual, corporate, and state levels. Computer scientists are working hard to make an internet with security built in right at ground level, rather than just added on. 2020 could be the year the balance tips in favor of the good guys.

The internet will be for everyone

As prices drop and coverage and speeds expand, the internet is becoming more democratic. While it might have been a bit much to call internet access a “human right” a decade ago, once everything is connected and all vital systems depend on it, there can no longer be any debate on the matter.

In fact, corporations will be at the forefront of making sure everyone is connected. After all, when people are connected, it’s easier to learn their preferences and tailor effective advertising that you can be sure will reach them. Look for 2020 to be a tipping point for bringing the entire world online.

Everything is changing, and fast. Are you ready? To ensure you are up to speed, compare internet providers at iSelect Reference.