Journal of Network and Systems Management

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 276–301 | Cite as

Measurement Based Analysis of One-Click File Hosting Services

  • Josep Sanjuàs-CuxartEmail author
  • Pere Barlet-Ros
  • Josep Solé-Pareta


It is commonly believed that file sharing traffic on the Internet is mostly generated by peer-to-peer applications. However, we show that HTTP based file sharing services are also extremely popular. We analyzed the traffic of a large research and education network for three months, and observed that a large fraction of the inbound HTTP traffic corresponds to file download services, which indicates that an important portion of file sharing traffic is in the form of HTTP data. In particular, we found that two popular one-click file hosting services are among the top Internet domains in terms of served traffic volume. In this paper, we present an exhaustive study of the traffic generated by such services, the behavior of their users, the downloaded content, and their server infrastructure.


Traffic analysis HTTP File sharing Web applications RapidShare Megaupload Peer-to-peer 



The authors thank the anonymous research institution for allowing the collection and analysis of their traffic for research purposes. We are also grateful to Ismael Castell-Uroz for his assistance and feedback. This work includes GeoLite data created by MaxMind, available from We acknowledge Ipoque for kindly providing access to their PACE [30] traffic classification engine for this research work. This research has been partially funded by the Comissionat per a Universitats i Recerca del DIUE de la Generalitat de Catalunya (ref. 2009SGR-1140).


  1. 1.
    Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H., Masinter, L., Leach, P., Berners-Lee, T.: Hypertext Transfer Protocol—HTTP/1.1. RFC 2616 (Draft Standard) (1999)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson, P.: What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. In: JISC Technology and Standards Watch, pp. 2–64 (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Garrett, J.: Ajax: a new approach to web applications. Adaptive path (2005).
  4. 4.
    Adobe Flash:
  5. 5.
    Schneider, F., Agarwal, S., Alpcan, T., Feldmann, A.: The new web: characterizing ajax traffic. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Passive and Active Network Measurement (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cha, M., Kwak, H., Rodriguez, P., Ahn, Y.Y., Moon, S.: I tube, you tube, everybody tubes: analyzing the world’s largest user generated content video system. In: Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Internet Measurement (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Li, W., Moore, A., Canini, M.: Classifying HTTP traffic in the new age. In: ACM SIGCOMM, Poster Session (2008)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
    Cuevas, R., Kryczka, M., Cuevas, A., Kaune, S., Guerrero, C., Rejaie, R.: Is content publishing in bittorrent altruistic or profit-driven? In: Proceedings of ACM CoNext (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Antoniades, D., Markatos, E.P., Dovrolis, C.: One-click hosting services: a file-sharing hideout. In: Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Internet Measurement (2009)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Borgnat, P., Dewaele, G., Fukuda, K., Abry, P., Cho, K.: Seven years and one day: sketching the evolution of internet traffic. In: Proceedings of INFOCOM (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Claffy K., Braun H., Polyzos G. (1994) Tracking long-term growth of the NSFNET. Commun. ACM 37(8):34–45Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schulze, H., Mochalski, K.: P2P survey 2006.
  15. 15.
    Schulze, H., Mochalski, K.: Internet study 2007.
  16. 16.
    Schulze, H., Mochalski, K.: Internet study 2008–2009.
  17. 17.
    Feldmann, A., Rexford, J., Caceres, R.: Efficient policies for carrying Web traffic over flow-switched networks. IEEE/ACM transactions on Networking 6(6), 673–685 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Catledge, L., Pitkow, J.: Characterizing browsing strategies in the World-Wide Web. Computer Networks and ISDN systems 27(6), 1065–1073 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Barford, P., Bestavros, A., Bradley, A., Crovella, M.: Changes in web client access patterns: Characteristics and caching implications. World Wide Web 2(1), 15–28 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sen, S., Wang, J.: Analyzing peer-to-peer traffic across large networks. In: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Internet Measurment (2002)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Saroiu, S., Gummadi, P., Gribble, S., et al.: A measurement study of peer-to-peer file sharing systems. In: Proceedings of Multimedia Computing and Networking (2002)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gummadi, K.P., Dunn, R.J., Saroiu, S., Gribble, S.D., Levy, H.M., Zahorjan, J.: Measurement, modeling, and analysis of a peer-to-peer file-sharing workload. In: Proceedings of ACM SOSP (2003)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pouwelse, J., Garbacki, P., Epema, D., Sips, H.: The bittorrent p2p file-sharing system: Measurements and analysis. Lect. Notes Comput. Sci. 3640, 205 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tutschku, K.: A measurement-based traffic profile of the eDonkey filesharing service. Lect. Notes Comput. Sci., 12–21 (2004)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Guha, S., Daswani, N., Jain, R.: An experimental study of the skype peer-to-peer voip system. In: Proceedings of IPTPS (2006)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Karagiannis, T., Rodriguez, P., Papagiannaki, K.: Should internet service providers fear peer-assisted content distribution? In: Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Internet Measurement (2005)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Barlet-Ros, P., Iannaccone, G., Sanjuàs-Cuxart, J., Amores-López, D., Solé-Pareta, J.: Load shedding in network monitoring applications. In: Proceedings of USENIX Annual Technical Conference, pp. 59–72. Usenix Association (2007)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
    Nguyen, T., Armitage, G.: A survey of techniques for internet traffic classification using machine learning. IEEE Commun. Surv. Tutor. 10(4) (2008)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    ipoque Protocol and Application Classification Engine:
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
    Von Ahn, L., Blum, M., Hopper, N.J., Langford, J.: CAPTCHA: using hard AI problems for security. In: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques (2003)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
  34. 34.
    Allman, M., Paxson, V., Blanton, E.: TCP congestion control. RFC 5681 (Draft Standard) (2009)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Briscoe B. (2007) Flow rate fairness: dismantling a religion. ACM SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev. 37(2):63–74Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    WinRAR archiver:
  37. 37.
  38. 38.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josep Sanjuàs-Cuxart
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pere Barlet-Ros
    • 1
  • Josep Solé-Pareta
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament d’Arquitectura de ComputadorsUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations