Sunday, May 8, 2011

[update] Does Netflix Replace P2P File Sharing?

A while ago I posted a Wired article that used data from Arbor Networks and Sandvine to analyze if Netflix replaces P2P file sharing as the most common way to consume Internet video (here). The information from the two DPI vendors showed very different levels of P2P file sharing (19.2% according to Sandvine and 8% as reported by Arbor).

Now Sandvine tries to explain why its data is more reliable.  Matt Tooley (picture), VP of Consulting Solutions, says in the company's Blog that the reason is Sandvine' ability to detect encrypted BitTorrent traffic.

Indeed, encryption was always the main challenge to DPI vendors when trying to identify P2P file sharing traffic, or other application that ISPs do not like (such as Skype). See "DPI Research: New Features are Needed (Encryption, User Profiling)" - here
"..  “BitTorrent (regular)” and “BitTorrent (UDP)” are trivial to identify, whereas the encrypted and uTP varieties require very sophisticated traffic identification techniques.  Perhaps this reality can explain the discrepancy between the numbers provided by Sandvine and those provided by other organizations. It’s possible that our P2P Filesharing numbers (which included all varieties of BitTorrent) were being compared against only the easily-detected protocols".

See "Sandvine’s Take on Netflix’s Impact on P2P File Sharing" - here.

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