Follow the traffic: What MegaUpload’s downfall did to the web

Megaupload and MegaVideo chart  - Obfuscated

MegaUpload, the file-sharing community, has had its physical offices raided by the FBI and its site shut down (although it may be back up) because the U.S. government says it has violated copyright. While others detail what services to use now or who was actually using the service for non-nefarious (piracy) purposes, we were wondering what it meant for the web when a large content sharing site is suddenly taken offline. I asked a few companies that track that sort of thing to see what has happened to Internet traffic over the last 24 hours.

Arbor Networks said it saw traffic begin to drop fairly sharply in Europe after about 7 p.m. GMT and 2 p.m. EST, when the site was estimated to have been shut down on Thursday. I’ve asked if it also saw a spike in other types of traffic, such as peer-to-peer traffic that might indicate that burned MegaUploaders were turning to BitTorrent, but a spokeswoman said so far, Arbor hadn’t seen anything like that.

Meanwhile, Sandvine has released data showing MegaUpload was indeed one of the more popular sites on the web for storing and sharing content. It ranked as .98 percent of the total web traffic in the U.S. and 11.39 of the total web traffic in Brazil. It garnered 1.95 percent of the traffic in Asia-Pacific and a less substantial .86 percent in Europe. The chart below shows how it ranked among other services of similar ilk:

Sandvine also showed the abrupt fall-off in its traffic after the raid:

We’ll update this story if more companies report back.

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