Wide Disparity In Which ISPs (In Which Countries) Throttle BitTorrent

from the so-does-it-work? dept

The folks over at M-Lab have apparently updated their data on BitTorrent throttling to look at how much different ISPs throttle BitTorrent connections. TorrentFreak has an excellent summary of the data, showing that thanks to Comcast getting slapped down for its BitTorrent throttling years ago, there's very little happening in the US. Other countries, however, show a very different story (though it seems to vary wildly from ISP to ISP. For example, in the UK< 65% of BitTorrent traffic on BT gets throttled, but none gets throttled on O2. Similarly, up in Canada, 80% is throttled on Rogers, and none on Telus.

With all this data out, it will be interesting to see two things: (1) If people start switching providers based on this data -- and, no, not just for unauthorized access, but for all the many legitimate uses of BitTorrent these days. (2) If this leads to any additional research on the impact of throttling. This data points to some areas where researchers could do either cross-country comparisons between those that have high throttling and those that have low throttling, or intra-country comparisons between ISPs with exceptionally different policies.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 8:37pm

    Countries/ISPs that hate linux listed :/

     

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    Watchit (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 8:37pm

    So if, according to the torrentfreak article, it was ruled by the FCC that Comcast had to stop interfering with it's customers bittorrent traffic, then why do they still even throttle it at all, even if it's only 3%?

     

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      AzureSky (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

      Re:

      i would guess what they do now is more along the lines of only throttling people who push the limits and torrent constantly at full speed.....they also throttle you if you do this with ftp or newsgroups or or or.....because they cant really provide you unlimited full speed, their network cant take it....they over sell their network capacity massively many places.

       

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        Wally (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:38am

        Re: Re:

        AzureSky, I think you have something there. Thing is, the heavier network loads are least likely to be torrents. Things like streaming Netflix also take a lot of toll on a network. The i have problem is, Comcast in particular has been known to throttle down everyone else's services but their own when it comes to streaming. But while I do agree that their networks cannot handle that much traffic, I just don't think it's BitTorrents alone causing the problem.

        My ISP is Time Warner Cable's Road Runner.

         

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      PRMan, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 9:42am

      Re:

      Probably quality of service for protocols that do better in realtime. They may give preference to a few of these (Comcast phone service, for instance) over "all other traffic".

       

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    Gene Poole, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 9:59pm

    what I find interesting is that TELUS doesn't throttle at all. I don't take this as being benevolence, but I wonder if it's at all related to the issue in 2005 when they got into trouble for blocking access to a website during a work dispute? Maybe TELUS is afraid of legal issues over net neutrality.

    Now if only more ISPs shared the same concerns.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:19pm

    Big deal, I use a VPN.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:19pm

    Big deal, I use a VPN.

     

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    Wally (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:02pm

    Confused

    I am a tad confused. I don't see my service provider on that list. I know this is a dumb question, but I don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:17pm

    " If people start switching providers based on this data -- and, no, not just for unauthorized access, but for all the many legitimate uses of BitTorrent these days."

    I saw this one coming a mile away. Mike, I think you need to be fair here. The legitimate uses of BitTorrent generally don't involve very large files, so speed is not particularly important. Further, only people who are heavy enough users to sense true throttling would care. Those users? Pirates come to mind.

    I would say that for the most part, the people interested in this data have a reason to be interested. I doubt that the average end user type really cares. It would be like saying their access to Usenet was somehow limited. It doesn't hurt them, they just want their facebook and angry birds downloads.

     

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      Prisoner 201, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:41pm

      Re:

      "The legitimate uses of BitTorrent generally don't involve very large files, so speed is not particularly important."

      Citation please?

      Personal counterexample:

      I install and update three different online games that use the BT protocol for distribution. Total installation size (with current patches) is in just below 20Gb.

      If I can't play on patch day because my ISP is choking my connection, you bet I will be looking for an alternative.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 3:47am

        Re: Re:

        Diablo III plus WoW fresh instalation tops over 30Gb. And I did that in under a week. So uh.. I'm a heavy pirate lol.

        But wait, I use put.io to download torrents thus all my pirating traffic comes in https (even though my last 15Gb consisted of legit files).

        So most of my P2P traffic is actually legal lmao. Hilarious.

         

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      Wally (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:44pm

      Re:

      "The legitimate uses of BitTorrent generally don't involve very large files, so speed is not particularly important."

      Apparently I, and the rest of the real world, disagree with that.

      "BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data over the Internet. BitTorrent is one of the most common protocols for transferring large files and it has been estimated that peer-to-peer networks collectively have accounted for roughly 43% to 70% of all Internet traffic (depending on geographical location) as of February 2009.[1]"

      Still not convinced?

      "The BitTorrent protocol can be used to reduce the server and network impact of distributing large files. Rather than downloading a file from a single source server, the BitTorrent protocol allows users to join a "swarm" of hosts to download and upload from each other simultaneously. The protocol is an alternative to the older single source, multiple mirror sources technique for distributing data, and can work over networks with lower bandwidth so many small computers, like mobile phones, are able to efficiently distribute files to many recipients."

      Here is the one thing you have to realize and fail to through stupidity. In order to USE BitTorrent, you still need a gateway/modem connecting you to the Internet. If your service goes down, you cannot use a bit torrent.

      Link:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:00am

        Re: Re:

        Wally, in large, I mean multi-gig files. For the most part, what I see getting pushed here as the legit reasons are things like Linux distributions and such. Outside of large movie files, what exactly is out there in the 5-10 gig range?

         

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          Wally (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Awe how cute ^_^ a little troll failing miserably ^_^

          I think you missed Pridoner 201's comment.

          On that, let's do the math. Take 20. Divide by 3. You get 6.67
          That'd be 6.67GB of data.

          Stop making comments without thinking and I will insult you less.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ignore him dude, he's just a sock-puppet.

             

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            •  
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              Wally (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I kind of figured that out. I do sincerely thank you for the warning though ^_^

              You will have to check my other posts to see how I deal with sock puppets and devient trolls. Also, I'm wondering if that avatar of his matches anybody else's with different names. It usually reveals whether or not the person is the same or not.

               

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            •  
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              Wally (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I kind of figured that out. I do sincerely thank you for the warning though ^_^

              You will have to check my other posts to see how I deal with sock puppets and devient trolls. Also, I'm wondering if that avatar of his matches anybody else's with different names. It usually reveals whether or not the person is the same or not.

               

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            •  
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              Wally (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm under the simple philosophy that the harder you put them down without indicating anger, the less likely you'll get more back.

               

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 2:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Awe how cute ^_^ a little troll failing miserably ^_^

            I think you missed Pridoner 201's comment. "

            No, I didn't miss his comment. I don't think commercial distribution via bit torrent is a very good example, because it's a company leeching bandwidth from all providers to make their business go. Quite simply, you wouldn't pay what it would cost for distribution.

            They are piss poor examples, because I salute ISPs for blocking it.

             

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              Prisoner 201, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 3:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Whelp. All parties involved in the distribution (aka peers) are paying their respective ISPs for the bandwidth used.

              You are so full of fail it hurts to watch.

               

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                Wally (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 6:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Hey Prisoner 201, I could just piss him off further by trolling back the "UMAD Bro?" meme, but I'm more intelligent than that. The question I have is how do you deal with a troll who is trying is hardest and still failing? I couldn't possibly fathom being as mean to this AC as I had been to others because it exposed the real problem of devient trolling, they don't shut up.

                 

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            •  
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              PaulT (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 3:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I don't think commercial distribution via bit torrent is a very good example, because it's a company leeching bandwidth from all providers to make their business go."

              Wow...

               

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            •  
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              Vidiot (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 5:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I don't think the use of toasters is a very good practice, because it leaches amperage from power companies.

              (Isn't it their job to provide that?)

               

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              Niall (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 5:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And UPS are 'leeching' from the public/government by using the road network to 'illegally' bolster their business method? Is it suddenly worse if they decide to use local delivery services for the last mile than their own? If they decide to use rail for longer-distance deliveries?

               

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              •  
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                PaulT (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 6:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                By his logic, if you were to miss the UPS delivery and drive to their collection centre to get your parcel instead, they're stealing fuel from you...

                 

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            •  
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              Wally (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 7:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "No, I didn't miss his comment. I don't think commercial distribution via bit torrent is a very good example, because it's a company leeching bandwidth from all providers to make their business go. Quite simply, you wouldn't pay what it would cost for distribution."

              Commercial distribution via BitTorrent is USING BITTORRENT. You really are miserable and alone aren't you? Anyone who must of put this much fail up could easily be seaking attention. I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself and give good well thought out, logical, reasoning skill enduced thoughts, with links, and maybe I'll consider giving you the attention you deserve if you made an actual effort.

              Now that I have your attention,
              The company is not leaching bandwidth. Comcast in particular has no trouble at all. You asked for an example of pretty much any BitTorrent traffic used in downloading files in the 5 to 10 gigabyte range right? We gave you a logical and perfectly good example within the bounds of your questionnaire. We have you a logical explanation.

              The only reason you fail is because while Prisoner 201 and I gave you unbiased, well thought out examples and logic to prove indisputable facts, you still decided to put on your derp face and try to intelligently rebuttal hard evidence. You could have learned something troll, but you decided to stay uninformed and in your fantasy world of self amusement to make pointless trolling arguments.

              I've decided to try to be particularly nice to you. But be warned, any more sock puppetry trolling failures will result in my wrath.

               

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              Gwiz (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 8:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I don't think commercial distribution via bit torrent is a very good example, because it's a company leeching bandwidth from all providers to make their business go.

              No it's not. It's not leeching bandwidth from anyone. It's individual users using bandwidth that they already pay for.

               

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Medical and educational material are 2.

          Family photo collections, family videos.

          Texture collections, photo collections, open source games, public domain movies and videos, government databases(ie: Legal, financial, statistics, scientific data, etc)

          Because you don't use the interwebz and don't know the wonderful things it has enable it doesn't mean there are others not using those.

           

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      PaulT (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 12:46am

      Re:

      "The legitimate uses of BitTorrent generally don't involve very large files"

      It's nice when you bullshit at the start of your rant, it makes it easier to ignore. Unless you have a citation for your ridiculous assertion, of course.

      "Further, only people who are heavy enough users to sense true throttling would care."

      Yes, that's right, people who download legitimate content love downloading at a fraction of the speed. Only pirates want their content quickly. Are you really this stupid?

      "they just want their facebook and angry birds downloads."

      Then why do you keep attacking them for piracy? If the majority of people aren't pirating, why do you claim so many lost sales?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 1:24am

    throttling has been proven to have no effect on the other members using a particular connection. it only happens because the ISPs can do it, not because they have to.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 4:05am

    I encrypt my traffic and randomize ports. I'll get over 90% of my downstream speed on good torrents. So the heavy users will only be affected if they turn their service into complete crap which will generate complaints to the regulatory agency and possibly fines. And you can always change ISP depending on your availability of course.

     

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      identicon
      Wally, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 6:46am

      Re:

      Precisely the point. The problem here in the US is that the cable provider Comcast, really sucks. Unfortunately, due to regional monopolies, the only broadband provider on the area may be Comcast.

      You make an excelent point though ^_^

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 4:46am

    hahahaha, "legitimate uses".

    oh that's funny.

    All they have to do is DPI those that regularly gorge themselves with BT activity and then zap those that are plainly using it for illegal means rather than "legitimate uses".

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      How does one distinguish the illegal uses from the legal ones based on amount? EG, I share large files and let them upload for weeks on end equaling several hundred gigs a month. I download updated and new files equaling several hundred more gigs a month. Funny thing is it's all legal. This is a practice I started back when Comcast put in their data cap (I did it to piss them off and just never stopped). So your little test would fail miserably.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 5:09am

    Aiming this at the retarded AC, but besides Linux distros and games (the Humble Bundle is routinely put online to download through torrents as that lessens the load on their servers), I know for a fact I've downloaded copies of Windows 8 using bittorrent protocol. At Microsoft's doing. The very first preview got overloaded with people downloading it through their servers and I distinctly remember it eventually being available as a torrent from Microsoft. Total size was close to 4 gigs.

    It's quite telling how dismissive you are about the legitimate uses of bittorrent protocol. And sorry to say, but businesses are not leeching off others by putting files online using torrents and allowing others to help share some of the bandwidth cost.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    H.P. Albarelli Jr., Aug 10th, 2012 @ 6:02am

    RICO violation

    Masnick is a thief and is engaged in criminal operations
    concerning theft of copyrighted materials. Anyone visiting this site is liable to be caught up in the on-going investigation into this criminals activities. Be careful.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 6:25am

      Re: RICO violation

      What's interesting is that using this magical thing we call "Google Search", we can find out exactly who "H.P. Albarelli Jr." is. Thus, if one were willing, they could know who exactly is making libelous comments about them online and should they be willing, pursue legal recourse to stop the spread of such libelous statements.

      You'd think an investigative reporter (who graduated from Antioch Law School) would know this. But as we saw a few days ago, not all who are writers are that bright or apparently able to read/know facts. And the same applies for quite a few lawyers apparently (as Charles Carreon excellently proved).

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 7:10am

        Re: Re: RICO violation

        Yeah, because some AC who types "HP Albarelli Jr." into the name box is definitely without a doubt that person and not just a random troll. Come on.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 7:12am

          Re: Re: Re: RICO violation

          I'm sure it's just a troll but on the off chance it isn't, it's worth pointing out what I did.

          But in this case, it's doubtful it is. Just threw that there just because.

           

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      Gwiz (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 8:34am

      Re: RICO violation

      Masnick is a thief and is engaged in criminal operations
      concerning theft of copyrighted materials. Anyone visiting this site is liable to be caught up in the on-going investigation into this criminals activities. Be careful.



      Umm. Perhaps you should be careful yourself.

      I am not a lawyer, but that comment sounded very libelous to me.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    PRMan, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Australia

    "BitTorrent is extremely popular in Australia"

    Of course, because it's entirely peopled by criminals... ;)

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    When something is throttled, such as a car or plane, doesn't that make it go FASTER?

     

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