ipoque Internet Study 2007

An analysis of Internet traffic by German Internet traffic management systems provider ipoque has found that Skype accounts for 95 percent of all VoIP traffic on the net in a large part of the World, but P2P is the dominant consumer of bandwidth, accounting for over 90 percent of Internet bandwidth during the night.

ipoque claims to have analysed three petabytes of anonymous data representing over one million users in Australia, Eastern Europe, Germany, the Middle East and Southern Europe during August and September 2007. It says that “VoIP only accounts for one percent of the Internet traffic, but is used by 30 percent of all users. Skype is by far the most popular Internet telephony application.”

It attributes Skype’s success in large part to its ability to negotiate firewalls, network address translation and other barriers that thwart standard VoIP protocols. “VoIP has become a commodity application, not least based on the enormous success of Skype with its ease of use and resilience to restrictive network environments due to widespread firewalling and network address translation (NAT). While standards-based VoIP systems using SIP, H.323 and IAX require manual configuration to get around the resulting limitations, Skype has many built-in mechanisms to automatically deal with such network conditions and to offer an as seamless as possible operation in most environments.”

However, the dominant consumer of bandwidth by far is peer-to-peer file sharing. Its average share varies between 49 percent in the Middle East and 84 percent in Eastern Europe, and at night time consumes up to 95 percent of Internet bandwidth. “Every fifth Internet user…uses file sharing. BitTorrent is the most popular P2P protocol. Only in Southern Europe, eDonkey still dominates,” ipoque said. “The P2P content analysis revealed little changes compared to last year’s study. Videos make up the largest proportion. The most popular titles are current movies, pornography and music. Remarkable high is the share of eBooks in the Middle East and computer games in Southern Europe.”

Ipoque says that about 20 percent of BitTorrent and eDonkey traffic is now encrypted to provide anonymity to file sharers and to evade traffic shaping and blocking by network operators, and it claims that “while many detection systems are fooled by these measures, ipoque’s application detection engine reliably identifies all forms of obfuscation and encryption used by these protocols.”

Another surprising consumer of bandwidth is file hosting services, also known as one-click file hosters, such as RapidShare and MegaUpload. These are operators of web servers where arbitrary files can be uploaded. The user gets a URL pointing to the uploaded file – the so-called Direct Download Link (DDL). This link can then be provided to other users for instance in Web forums or via e-mail. “Although file hosters are only used by a relatively small number of Internet users, they are responsible for between four and nine percent of all Internet traffic.,” ipoque says.

The report can be found here.

[Source: ITWire | Author:Stuart Corner ]

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