As ISPs choke file-sharing, users look elsewhere

As ISPs constrict file-sharing services such as Bittorrent, new data shows that users are moving to file-hosting Web sites to avoid the bandwidth lockdown.

As part of its premium service, MegaUpload has a separate client application that it says makes uploads and downloads between two and six times faster than using a Web browser, depending on the speed of the connection. RapidShare also promises fast downloads.

P-to-P trafficcan be slowed when appliances detect packets of information that are transferred using known P-to-P protocols, Mochalski said.

Content shared with file-hosting sites gets around those restrictions by using the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), but it would also be easy for ISPs to slow down that type of traffic because the packets contain the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the file-hosting service, and ISPs could reconfigure their equipment to slow it, Mochalski said.

But Mochalski notes that "this is so new many ISPs haven't implement bandwidth management for these [file-hosting] services yet."

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