August 28, 2005 9:00 PM PDT
P2P users traveling by eDonkey
Last year, British company CacheLogic said BitTorrent--a peer-to-peer technology optimized for downloading large files--was accounting for more than half of all the file-swapping traffic on Internet service provider networks around the world.
A year later, peer-to-peer traffic in general continues to account for the majority of data traffic on ISP networks, usually between 50 percent and 70 percent of the total, the company said. But BitTorrent has been overtaken by usage of eDonkey, a rival with more power to search for content, but with similar speedy download features.
"That seems to be the trend most of the way around the globe, apart from Asia where there is a lot of BitTorrent," said Andrew Parker, CacheLogic's chief technology officer. "BitTorrent traffic levels are in decline."
The study, CacheLogic's second comprehensive survey of the traffic that runs over its ISP clients' networks, is an indication that file swapping remains a powerful force online around the world.
Overall, peer-to-peer traffic accounted for 60 percent of the data traveling through networks around the world at the end of 2004, the company said.
eDonkey's rise comes after highly publicized Hollywood legal campaigns against BitTorrent hubs, which have resulted in the disappearance of many of the most popular sites using that technology. The Motion Picture Association of America is also targeting eDonkey users, but that network has gained less publicity.
Parker noted that eDonkey also has been translated into local languages in many countries around the world, aiding its spread overseas.
Other surveys have previously noted that eDonkey had long since replaced Kazaa as the network with the most numbers of simultaneous users. CacheLogic's survey focuses instead on the volume of data flowing through networks.