Study Claims 11PM Is Most Popular Time To Surf The Net

What is it that keeps you up at night? According to a recent study from Internet security firm Arbor Networks, more Americans have been staying up late to surf the Internet this summer. Compared to previous years when most Internet activity was in the daytime, the study found that the peak usage time for the whole day has recently been at 11 p.m. Eastern time.

The study also found that people using the Internet at work and school produce a smaller peak in traffic around 4 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays. Internet activity then declines as people head home. Traffic levels begin to pick up again at 8 p.m. Eastern and stay surprisingly strong past midnight. According to Arbor Networks, overall traffic is as high at 2 a.m. Eastern as it is at 9 a.m. when people are logging in at work. Popular late-night activities include internet video, especially YouTube and pornography, as well as gaming.


Of course, it’s important to consider the effect of time differences here: 11 p.m. Eastern time is just 8 p.m. on the West Coast. Since the Eastern and Central time zones account for three-quarters of the U.S. population, however, there’s definitely valid reason to say there’s a lot of late-night traffic. North Americans are staying up later on the Internet than Europeans; Traffic peaks at 9 p.m. in Western and Central Europe and then drops sharply.

Arbor Networks gathers information from ISPs that account for about half of North American traffic. The study considered 10 weekdays in July. Because there is a chance that children on summer vacation could be affecting the numbers, the company plans to keep watching traffic patterns in different seasons.