10 Fascinating Facts From 2016 Sandvine Internet Phenomena Report

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-06-23
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Fascinating Facts From 2016 Sandvine Internet Phenomena Report
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    10 Fascinating Facts From 2016 Sandvine Internet Phenomena Report

    New research examines how people living in North America and Latin America use the Internet. Did you know that a rising percentage of Web traffic is encrypted?
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    Netflix Is Still Tops
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    Netflix Is Still Tops

    On fixed networks, Netflix is still tops. Sandvine found that Netflix represented 35.2 percent of all downstream traffic on North American fixed networks, topping YouTube, which could only muster a 17 percent share. Regular old Internet browsing represents just 4 percent of all fixed network use.
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    Amazon Video Traffic Is Rising Rapidly
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    Amazon Video Traffic Is Rising Rapidly

    Amazon streaming video services are becoming increasingly popular, according to Sandvine. The company says that Amazon Video now represents 4.3 percent of all downstream traffic in North America and 4 percent of the aggregate of upstream and downstream traffic. Just a couple of years ago, Amazon was nowhere to be found in this list. Now, it's a rising competitor.
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    Media Streaming Reigns Supreme
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    Media Streaming Reigns Supreme

    Streaming video and audio are clearly the activity most Internet users love to engage in, according to Sandvine's data. The company found that the combination of streaming audio and video accounts for 71 percent of all evening traffic on North American fixed networks. By 2020, Sandvine estimates that number will grow to 80 percent of traffic.
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    Cloud Storage Is Bigger Than File Sharing
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    Cloud Storage Is Bigger Than File Sharing

    For the first time ever, cloud storage has become a more-desirable solution than file sharing. Cloud storage services, such as Apple iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive, are now the most likely way for users to share and store content, the report finds. BitTorrent, which was once the dominant file-sharing platform and accounted for 31 percent of all traffic in 2008, now commands less than 3 percent of Web traffic.
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    A Look at Communications Apps
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    A Look at Communications Apps

    As voice and video calling becomes increasingly popular in services like FaceTime, WhatsApp and countless other messaging apps, it's taking up more traffic. In fact, on mobile networks, communication now accounts for more than 9 percent of all traffic, up from 7.4 percent, compared to 2015. When analyzing just upstream traffic, communications apps have a 17 percent share.
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    More Web Traffic Than Ever Is Encrypted
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    More Web Traffic Than Ever Is Encrypted

    Those hoping for better network security should hear what Sandvine has to say. The company found that in January 2016, 61.3 percent of all Internet traffic was unencrypted, and just 37.5 percent was encrypted. However, that's better than last year, when 29 percent of Internet traffic was encrypted. On the mobile side, things are best of all, where 64.5 percent of traffic is encrypted.
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    What Happened to Web Browsing?
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    What Happened to Web Browsing?

    Plain old Web browsing is now a distant third in terms of Web traffic. Just 9.3 percent of all Internet traffic on mobile devices is standard Web surfing, making it the third-most-popular activity for users over cellular networks. On fixed networks, standard Web browsing has just 4.1 percent traffic share, again placing it in third place. It seems today's Internet users are more interested in apps and services than surfing the Internet.
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    What's Going On During Peak Periods?
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    What's Going On During Peak Periods?

    Sandvine's data looks at so-called "peak periods," or when traffic is at its height. The company found that during those periods on mobile devices, users are most likely to be watching "real-time entertainment" or accessing social networks. Interestingly, 8 percent of mobile users are actually "tunneling," or cruising around the Internet over private networks.
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    YouTube, Facebook Among Most Popular Mobile-Access Services
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    YouTube, Facebook Among Most Popular Mobile-Access Services

    Sandvine's data shows that some applications are more popular than others on mobile devices. For instance, users are most likely to employ YouTube and Facebook over cellular networks, which together account for more than a third of all traffic. Instagram, Snapchat and Google Cloud are also popular traffic-generators. Netflix was the eighth most popular service on mobile devices.
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    Netflix, YouTube Are Most Popular Fixed-Access Services
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    Netflix, YouTube Are Most Popular Fixed-Access Services

    Over fixed-access networks, things are a little different. Netflix was by far the most popular app or service used on fixed-access networks, accounting for a third of all traffic. YouTube came in second place. Some other favorites among fixed-access users were BitTorrent, iTunes, Hulu and Facebook.
 

Sandvine, a company that provides network policy control solutions around the world, has released its annual evaluation of how people living in North America and Latin America use the Internet. The study, entitled the "Global Internet Phenomena Report," discusses Internet use across both fixed and mobile networks and determines where users go once they are online. The 2016 report notes that Netflix users are consuming a massive amount of data and that cloud storage has become the biggest source of upstream traffic across the United States and Canada. The report also found that a rising percentage of Web traffic is encrypted. Additionally, the study delves into just how important streaming audio and video have become in the average American's life. However, that's just the tip of the iceberg. This eWEEK slide show explores key takeaways from the Sandvine report and extracts some of the more interesting findings to help us understand how people in North America are using the Internet. Read on to learn more.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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