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October 5, 2018

Internet Encryption Hits 50%: Netflix Eating 15% of Global Traffic

Netflix downstream use can hit as high as 40 percent on some network operators in America at peak hours.

By jonathan chadwick

Over 50 percent of internet traffic is now encrypted, according to Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report, which notes that TLS 1.3 adoption is growing notably.

The report also found that video now accounts for 58 percent of “downstream” (consumer-side) internet traffic, with Netflix alone accounting for 15 percent of global internet bandwidth use. (We won’t speculate what the rest is).

internet encryptionSkype Lives!

Perhaps surprisingly, Skype still dominates global messaging traffic, accounting for 28 percent of the total, the report finds. Whatsapp is second with 23 percent and Snapchat third with 22 percent.

Read more: Netflix on Grill: Streaming Giants Must Have 30% European Content

With regard to the rapid rise in internet encyption, Fremont, California-based Sandvine –  noted: “For network operators, this trend creates a huge challenge.”

The company added: “The Network operators – fixed, mobile, WiFi, and even satellite – need to understand the composition of traffic (not the content) so that they can build out a network capable of meeting a consumer’s quality expectations. With a higher percentage of traffic encrypted every day, operators are struggling to gain a holistic view of their networks.”

Unencrypted HTTP meanwhile is higher in APAC than any other region for downstream traffic. This may simply mean that many local apps are using web protocols without leveraging SSL or TLS, but it is definitely not good for consumers, Sandvine added: “HTTP/TLS, QUIC, and HTTP Download are present as they are in the other regions.”

internet encryptionNetflix and… Hog the Internet

“Netflix deserves a lot of credit for reducing the throughput needed to stream their services,” the report reads. “This means that Netflix could easily be three times their current volume and at 40 percent of network traffic – all the time.”

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Netflix downstream use can hit as high as 40 percent on some network operators in the Americas region at peak hours, it added. Also the top 10 downstream traffic share for the Americas were fourth-placed Amazon Prime, with 7.74 percent, YouTube, with 7.53 percent, and Xbox Live Download, with 2.09 percent.

In Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Netflix ranked second behind YouTube, while in APAC, it ranked third, behind HTTP Media Stream and Facebook.

“These types of spikes in online traffic are yet another reminder that operators must ensure their network is speedy, reliable, and consistent across all countries – including rural and hard-to-reach areas,” said Phil Sorsky at CommScope.

“This demand will not go away, with high performance gaming, streaming, and on-demand content only going to grow in prevalence.”

internet encryption“File Sharing is Not Dead”

Elsewhere in the report, piracy was found to be rising, with 40 percent of all streams pirated from different sources, it said.

File-sharing services accounted for almost 22 percent of upload traffic. BitTorrent ranked first for file-sharing in Europe and APAC and second in the Americas for upsteam bandwidth consumption.

“With more content choices and channels than ever before, consumers do not have good options to get access to all the content that may interest them and are still resorting to piracy.”

Sandvine found that gaming is becoming a significant force in traffic volume due to downloads, Twitch streaming, and professional gaming.

Google makes up for more than 40 percent of internet connections in APAC, meanwhile.

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