The latest Internet traffic report from Sandvine shows that global file-sharing traffic continues to rise. The same is true for VPN usage, which saw a drastic increase over the past year. According to Sandvine, increased fragmentation among legal video streaming services likely plays an important role in these trends.
Today’s Internet traffic patterns are completely different from those roughly a decade ago.
The most pronounced change in recent years has been the dominance of streaming services, mostly IPTV providers, Netflix, and YouTube.
While streaming remains the key traffic generator on the Internet today, file-sharing traffic is making quite a comeback. The early signs of this trend were already visible last year but new data from the Canadian broadband management company Sandvine show that this was no fluke.
Looking at the global application traffic share, we see that video streaming accounts for 60.6% of all downstream and 22.2% of all upstream traffic.
File-sharing has a very modest downstream market share, at just 4.2%, but it beats streaming when it comes to utilized upload bandwidth, 30.2% worldwide.
The relatively large upstream share makes sense, as that’s part of the nature of file-sharing. What’s more telling, perhaps, is the year-over-year growth numbers.
From 2018 to 2019, the share of file-sharing traffic increased by roughly 50% while the upstream share grew by 35%. Keep in mind that these numbers are relative, so in absolute terms, the traffic increases are even larger, as bandwidth usage continues to increase.
There are some regional differences in this trend. BitTorrent traffic, which is the largest chunk of all file-sharing traffic, has grown mostly in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) regions, for example.