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45% of all traffic is P2P, say Sandvine

45% of all traffic is P2P, say Sandvine

Sandvine is clearly looking towards selling more PTS 14000 'management' consoles with its survey results.

Peer-to-peer file sharing may be more of a drain on ISPs than previously realised if figures released yesterday are accurate.

Ars Technica quotes a report issued by broadband equipment vendor Sandvine which states that traffic from peer-to-peer file sharing networks accounts for 35.6 percent of all data downloaded over the Internet in the United States. This contrasts with regular web surfing and streaming media usage, which suck up 31.6 percent and 17.9 percent respectively. Unsurprisingly, the figures are even more damning for upstream data transfer where P2P accounts for a massive 75 percent, meaning that BitTorrent and associated protocols account for nearly half of all traffic whizzing across the 'net at any given time.

Before taking any of the figures quoted too seriously, however, it's important to consider the source: Sandvine sells equipment designed to detect, throttle, and even block peer-to-peer traffic. In other words, it's good PR if ISPs can cut their bandwidth bills in half.

The figures are missing one important distinction, too: they don't split the P2P usage into 'legitimate' and 'illegitimate'. Data transferred whilst downloading the latest Hollywood blockbuster is counted alongside the bits shuffled in order to get the latest World of Warcraft patch or Linux distribution. Although it's a good advert for the money an ISP can save using 'traffic management' equipment from Sandvine, the figures don't indicate how many customers are going to be peed off that their legitimate downloads are being filtered.

With more and more companies choosing to leverage the scalability of peer-to-peer protocols like BitTorrent, it's an issue that ISPs are going to have to consider long and hard. Filtering out the pirates while keeping the good guys is likely to be tougher than anyone realises.

Have you ever found your peer-to-peer downloads – all legitimate, I'm sure – filtered or blocked by your ISP? Perhaps you've been warned for blowing past the 'fair use policy' on your allegedly 'unlimited' line? Share your experiences over in the forums.

29 Comments

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RotoSequence 25th June 2008, 07:44 Quote
I'd like to see this from someone other than a company who is in a position to make a profit from their statistics. Sounds like there could be some significant exaggerations; last time I saw something on traffic percentiles, something on the order of 45% of traffic was streaming video. So who is telling the truth?
liratheal 25th June 2008, 07:59 Quote
Never once have I even had a letter from my ISP telling me that I download too much. In recent months I've been grabbing dozens of Linux distros and live CD's (Testing them for a little server, hard to find a suitable one!) and have been going over the 'limit' easily. Of course, there are the WoW patches too (That 1.1gb I had to download twice recently, which was fun), and the Eve client this month, which is another near-as-makes-no-difference gb file.
DougEdey 25th June 2008, 08:23 Quote
The UK is getting stupid with traffic shaping now, apparantly I am always in the "top 5% of downloaders each week" which I find an unfair allegation as if people barely use the internet and I'm not taking bandwidth I should not be punished. I need to shout at them later today actually.
Glider 25th June 2008, 08:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
In recent months I've been grabbing dozens of Linux distros and live CD's (Testing them for a little server, hard to find a suitable one!) and have been going over the 'limit' easily.
Debian netinstall, all you need to know :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoSequence
last time I saw something on traffic percentiles, something on the order of 45% of traffic was streaming video. So who is telling the truth?

I always tought 75% was SPAM going around...
Woodstock 25th June 2008, 08:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
In recent months I've been grabbing dozens of Linux distros and live CD's (Testing them for a little server, hard to find a suitable one!) and have been going over the 'limit' easily.
Debian netinstall, all you need to know :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoSequence
last time I saw something on traffic percentiles, something on the order of 45% of traffic was streaming video. So who is telling the truth?

I always tought 75% was SPAM going around...

i was gonna say the same thing for both...
liratheal 25th June 2008, 08:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
Debian netinstall, all you need to know :D



I always tought 75% was SPAM going around...

I could never get on with Debian, no idea why, but the hardware is.. Weird. I'd go into detail, but we'd end up miles off topic :B

And yeah, I agree with the spam sentiment.
Shadow_101 25th June 2008, 08:59 Quote
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
scarrmrcc 25th June 2008, 12:21 Quote
45% of all statics are made up.
Ryu_ookami 25th June 2008, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_101
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

damm you beat me to it anyway

QFT +!
Timmy_the_tortoise 25th June 2008, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarrmrcc
45% of all statics are made up.

I heard that was more like 90%
Firehed 25th June 2008, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarrmrcc
45% of all statics are made up.

I heard that was more like 90%

Nope, 105%.

Anyways, IIRC P2P usage used to be estimated at 60-70% of all net traffic, not ~35%. Not that those numbers aren't 100% guesswork, but still... down?
rollo 25th June 2008, 13:18 Quote
only 45% lol

Think with connection always on ( computer always on usauly)

Download upload doesnt exeeed 60gb a month.

Never had a email saying im a heavy user.
p3n 25th June 2008, 15:19 Quote
As long as ISPs dont advertise 'always on' 16 Mb connections then limit you to 5gb transfer per month then they dont need this crappy hardware, they need a lawsuit from trading standards..
Project_Nightmare 25th June 2008, 15:43 Quote
Unless they create a program that marks the legal p2p downloads (ie bittorrent game patches and research transfering) or spyware that monitors and blocks certain programs, the pirates will always win. I already knew that it took a lot of bandwith, but what would people do with their free time
B3CK 25th June 2008, 18:31 Quote
Well if they would raise the upload speed, you would see more people using ftp servers out of their house, instead of p2p.
Also this is a bad idea of monitoring traffic, as this will just add more latency to the games you play; or VOIP calls you make. Even if they set it to ignore those protocals, thats one or more hops and inspections those packets make on their way to the destination.
yodasarmpit 25th June 2008, 18:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoSequence
last time I saw something on traffic percentiles, something on the order of 45% of traffic was streaming video. So who is telling the truth?
Things like SkyPlayer, iPlayer, 4oD all use P2P protocols so a large chunk of streaming video could be classed as P2P.
DXR_13KE 25th June 2008, 19:12 Quote
i wonder if this 45% of pirate traffic also translates to about 45% of the clients pirating....
chicorasia 25th June 2008, 19:35 Quote
It used to be said that 75% of all internet traffic is SPAM. I saw a very recently survey that stated that 85% of all traffic was video streaming. Now it seems that the real villain is P2P networking. We should take this numbers with a huge grain of salt - of course Sandvine wants to sell their packet filtering gear!

The SPAM you and I get on our inboxes:

"Herbal solution to enl4arge you p3ni5"

The SPAM ISP staff gets in their inboxes

"Ultimate solution to r3duc3 your P2P overhe4d"
Gareth Halfacree 25th June 2008, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicorasia
The SPAM ISP staff gets in their inboxes

"Ultimate solution to r3duc3 your P2P overhe4d"
I may have actually torn something laughing at that. You're getting the bills from my chiropractor.
jweller 25th June 2008, 22:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Never once have I even had a letter from my ISP telling me that I download too much. In recent months I've been grabbing dozens of Linux distros and live CD's (Testing them for a little server, hard to find a suitable one!) and have been going over the 'limit' easily. Of course, there are the WoW patches too (That 1.1gb I had to download twice recently, which was fun), and the Eve client this month, which is another near-as-makes-no-difference gb file.

Stay tuned. Tiered broadband usage pricing will be here soon, Comcast, Time Warner, At&T and Verizon are "testing" it as we type. (See my links below)

The 1.5 - 3.0 mb DSL plan I pay for never goes but a smidgen above the 1.5 mb minimum (http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest). I'd love to experience that theoretical 2-3 mb download speed I have purchased. I don't know if so called broadband "hogs" are the reason I don't get that speed.

Comcast, Time Warner : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/03/AR2008060303248.html
AT&T : http://www.thestreet.com/story/10421256/1/att-mulls-surcharge-for-high-dsl-use.html
jweller 25th June 2008, 23:02 Quote
75% of all statistics are made up. The other 25% of statistics come from a conspiracy of chimpanzee's in a secret room deep in the bowels of the pentagon.
naokaji 26th June 2008, 07:56 Quote
I only believe in statistics I faked myself...

anyway, everyone who has ever used p2p and looked at how hard it clogs down the connection even when its downloading at slow speeds knows how inefficient p2p is, It sends and receives far more data than you actually download.

one click hosters ftw
rollo 27th June 2008, 10:03 Quote
iwelller distance from exchange effects dsl speed to get anything 2mb + u need to be within 3mile of exchange.
edjay 29th June 2008, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoSequence
I'd like to see this from someone other than a company who is in a position to make a profit.........So who is telling the truth?
The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission) seem to have found that it was all of a 2-5% inconvenience over a 2 month test for BELL CANADA. I have not studied the article, but at a glance, even that estimate appears to be putting forward a misleading picture for the general public.

http://www.rgbfilter.com/?p=67

It needs looking into by someone with more eyes and brains than me.
ParaHelix.org 29th June 2008, 15:45 Quote
Best Linux distribution = Ubuntu.
edjay 30th June 2008, 18:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaHelix.org
Best Linux distribution = Ubuntu.
Aye, Hardies the best to date: I believe it's also responsible for 45% of congestion on the Internet!
smashie 30th June 2008, 19:47 Quote
Good grief, I've been using joost a lot over the past few months, that's P2P as well. Although I've no idea how popular it is.

I'm also seeding hardy as well.
led_zeppelinzoso 1st July 2008, 20:29 Quote
Atlantic Canada has horrible ISP choices and service. I’m paying through the nose for a 7 mb/s connection and it only clocks at 3, 5 at the most. I call to complain and they tell me its my computer, not them. BS it’s my computer… and now they slap on a 60gb download cap, so, no more folding, and I have to limit my torrents. AND the government has taken away our digital rights act. F this, I’m not going to pay 22.99 for a Metallica cd, I’m steeling that. And hey, when you make such crappy albums, you shouldn’t get any money.

Sorry, I’m tiered…
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