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P2P Usage - Which Network Consumes the Most Bandwidth?
September 29, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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To start things off, it should be pointed out that this is a less recent study from July of this year. However, while it is aimed to demonstrate the efficiency of a particular network analysis tool, we felt it was necessary to give this survey renewed attention considering today’s rapidly changing P2P environment.

Over a six-month period, from January 2004 to June 2004, CacheLogic conducted an extensive survey of network traffic over several major ISP networks. Locations included North America, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia. CacheLogic is an ISP solution firm that concentrates on helping its client’s monitor and manage P2P traffic (similar in nature to Sandvine.)

Within recent months, the P2P landscape has gone under significant changes. For several years, the FastTrack network was the undisputed King of the P2P world. However, this dominance has been cast into doubt as the eDonkey2000 community is now frequently out-populating it. While eDonkey2000 is undoubtedly more resourceful than FastTrack, even eDonkey2000's claim to the P2P crown may also be in questionable. Which network is now the dominant community? According CacheLogic, BitTorrent is by far the largest P2P network.

Judging the "largest" network can be a subjective and very tricky proposition. Does the amount of users determine the largest network? Perhaps the amount of content or resourcefulness? CacheLogic determines the dominance of a P2P network based on the amount of traffic (bandwidth) generated on an ISP. According to CacheLogic, not only does BitTorrent generate more traffic than FastTrack and eDonkey2000, it totally blows them away.

While this lead is narrower in Europe (where much of their testing took place), on a global scale, BitTorrent takes up an astounding 53% of all P2P traffic. eDonkey2000 consumes 24%, FastTrack takes up 19% while Gnutella is left in the dust with only 4%. FastTrack has shrunk considerably since January of 2004, when it was the dominant network. At that time, it accounted for approximately 46% of all traffic.

CacheLogic rationalizes the increased success of BitTorrent on two points. In recent months, there has been a substantial increase in demand for TV (especially high definition) episodes, which BitTorrent has become well known for. In addition, the average size of files being traded on BitTorrent often exceeds 500 megabytes. According to CacheLogic, BitTorrent is the dominant P2P network on all tested locations except continental Europe.

There can be little doubt left that file-sharing is alive and well, and the recent RIAA lawsuits have done nothing other than shift the P2P population. In fact, the P2P population has shown dramatic growth despite the recent "crackdown." Perhaps out of desperation, the copyright industry is seeking to thwart P2P progress through legislation such as the "Induce Act." What affect, if any such legislation, will have remains to be seen.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Statistics/Analysis

You can read the survey results here.

You can discuss this article here - 35 replies

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