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Sandvine: 70% of Internet traffic encrypted in 2016

Sandvine, a provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, has released a Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight on the state of Internet traffic encryption in 2016.

In recent years, a significant number of major Internet services and applications have begun to encrypt their traffic in order to ensure their user’s content remains private. In this report, Sandvine uses data collected from networks in North America, Europe, and Latin America to explain the current state of traffic encryption, make predictions on where it is going, as well as provide a high level overview of the technical terms and technology associated with encrypted Internet traffic.

Some notable points from the research include:
– A forecast that 70 per cent of global Internet traffic will be encrypted in 2016, with many networks exceeding 80 per cent.
– North American fixed networks have the lowest share of encrypted traffic, globally, thanks to the popularity of streaming video applications which are not fully encrypted.
– Netflix, the leading source of North American traffic has begun to transition towards delivering encrypted video in select web browsers, although over 90 per cent of their traffic remains unencrypted.
– Over two-thirds of traffic on fixed access networks in Europe and Latin America is already encrypted thanks to popularity of sites such as YouTube and Facebook.
– Encryption on mobile networks globally lags slightly behind fixed networks, but averages around 60 per cent of total traffic.
– Instagram is the leading mobile application yet to fully encrypt their traffic, leaving most pictures and videos unencrypted.

“The rapid rate at which encrypted traffic is growing is a reality that few network vendors seem willing to admit to themselves or their customers,” said Don Bowman, CTO, Sandvine. “Traditional traffic classification approaches will no longer be effective in providing network operators with the information they need to run their business with a broadly encrypted Internet. Network vendors will need to develop more advanced traffic classification techniques, which will require both innovative approaches and intensive computing power, in order to ensure that the business intelligence, traffic management, and subscriber service offerings operators rely on remain effective in the age of encryption.”

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