The five billionth device will be connected to the internet this month, according to new figures from IMS Research.
The analyst firm tracks the installed base of internet equipment, and said that a "second connectivity wave" had pushed up the number of connected devices dramatically.
This growth will swell the number to 22 billion when combined with a third wave of new devices.
"In the first connectivity wave, the bulk of devices connected to the internet were PCs and laptops plus their associated modem and networking equipment," said IMS Research president Ian Weightman.
"Today, over one billion computers worldwide are regularly connected to the internet, and this number is growing steadily."
The second wave includes mobile phones, netbooks, tablets, digital picture frames and internet televisions, putting the world just weeks away from the five billionth device.
"We are forecasting that there will be over six billion cell phones in use around the world, the great majority of which will be internet connected," said Weightman.
"Then consider that there are around 2.5 billion TVs in use today, and that many of these will be replaced with internet-connected sets, and you have another tremendous growth area."
Weightman added that there could soon be 1.1 billion cars with internet access, and that machine-to-machine connectivity will be another area of strong growth.
"The potential for greatest growth comes from the third wave which will include machine-to-machine deployments," he said.
"This has the potential to go way beyond industrial applications to encompass increasingly sophisticated smart grids, networked security cameras and sensors, and connected home appliances."
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