We probably all remember the days when a little program called Kazaa became super popular thanks to its keen ability to find music, movies, and other plunder. In fact, Internet traffic was governed by P2P for four years. However, this year HTTP traffic took the lead and has ended the P2P dominance over Internet traffic. The circle graph in the picture shows HTTP in blue and P2P in red.
"Ellacoya Networks, makers of deep packet inspection gear for carriers, has pulled together some statistics on one million broadband users in North America, and its findings show that HTTP traffic accounts for 46 percent of all broadband traffic. P2P applications now account for only 37 percent."
Researchers attribute the shift from P2P to HTTP to Internet video sharing sites, including video sharing giant YouTube, which now controls a whopping 20% of all HTTP traffic (about 55% of all HTTP streaming video). Ellacoya declared that 36% of HTTP traffic comes from streaming video, 5% from streaming audio, and 45% from traditional text-image web sites. Perhaps it is because YouTube allows users to enjoy so many videos free of legal responsibility and free of charge that makes it so popular. Moreover, downloading videos from YouTube is more reliable (predictable) than from P2P, although not necessarily faster. Whatever the reason for its success, YouTube’s 20% share in HTTP traffic is a testament to the fact that we truly are in the information age.