Traffic vs Data Tutorial

Think of the internet as a road carrying cargo, vehicles are ‘packets’ and the cargo is your ‘data’. The entire group of vehicles and packets is ‘traffic’.


Some vehicles like the semi-trailer carry large amounts of data, with a small percentage overhead, others like the small truck carry little data with a larger percentage overhead. Yet others like the police car carry no data – and are there for special purposes.

Most traffic metering systems will measure the traffic that passes through the system, others (especially proxies and mirrors) will measure the cargo. This is why sometimes the two systems can have vastly different values.