Once upon a time back in 1991, before the Commercial Internet Exchange CIX transformed the net, the Internet was intended to be used only for high-minded academic or technical research. There were ASCII girlie pictures too, but serious work was what it was built for. Fast forward 24 years, and what the Internet is really all about is streaming Game of Thrones, The Man in the High Castle, and The Walking Dead.
Don’t believe me? Look at the latest Internet usage numbers in Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report. There, you’ll find real-time entertainment streaming video and audio traffic accounting for over 70 percent of North American downstream traffic in the peak evening hours on home and (shhh!) office networks.
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Leading the way is, of course, Netflix, which accounts for 37.1 percent of downstream traffic during prime-time hours. That’s slightly ahead of the 36.5 percent it showed off last year. If anyone tells you to short Netflix on the stock market — ignore them.
A long way behind Netflix, you’ll find YouTube with 17.8 percent. Then there’s protocol called HTTP, which powered something you may heard of called the Web with 6.06 percent. Continuing down the list you’ll find Amazon Video, 3.11 percent; iTunes, 2.79 percent; BitTorrent, 2.67 percent; Hulu, 2.58 percent; and Facebook, 2.53 percent.
“Streaming Video has grown at such a rapid pace in North America that the leading service in 2015, Netflix, now has a greater share of traffic than all of streaming audio and video did five years ago,” said Dave Caputo, Sandvine’s CEO, in a statement. “With Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, and Hulu increasing their share since our last report, it further underscores both the growing role these streaming services play in the lives of subscribers, and the need for service providers to have solutions to help deliver a quality experience when using them.”
In other Internet traffic news, broadcast and media companies are still doing their best toknock out BitTorrent-powered sites such as Pirate Bay. It’s not working. BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing continues to dominate upstream traffic. Indeed, BitTorrent traffic actually growing
True, with the growth of streaming video, BitTorrent downstream traffic share declined in fixed access bandwidth share to a mere 5 percent of total traffic in North America. But, upstream traffic is still dominated by file torrents. Torrent upstream traffic now makes up 29 percent of all US Internet traffic in North America during peak hours.
As for the 3G and 4G mobile Internet, real-time entertainment traffic still dominates accounting for 40 percent of the downstream bytes. Few people, 3.22 percent, are watching Netflix on their smartphones.
On an aggregate basis, YouTube led with 19.59 percent, followed by Facebook, 16.35 percent and HTTP, 10.69 percent. HTTPS, secure-socket layer (SSL)
Encrypted traffic makes up the rest of the top of the list. This includes Google, 4.33 percent, Snapchat, 4.11 percent; MPEG media traffic, 4.09 percent; Pandora Radio, 3.95 percent; and Instagram, 3.79 percent.