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In the Global Internet Phenomena report that will be released tomorrow, we give a conservative number that "more than 50% of the traffic on the internet is encrypted." In reality, the number is probably closer to 75-90% of the overall traffic, since some applications "usually" encrypt their data.

Unencrypted Traffic Graphic

Internet applications fall into several different categories when it comes to encryption. These categories are:

1) Definitely Encrypted: These applications are definitely encrypted. This includes not only obvious ones like HTTP/TLS, but many websites, social networking, and messaging applications that activate encryption by default. Traffic to, Facebook, and Telegram messaging are all encrypted as they cross the internet.

2) Likely encrypted: A lot of video traffic falls into this bucket, with YouTube and Netflix falling into this bucket. Google has a transparency page that details how much of their traffic is encrypted, and this shows that ~98% of YouTube is encrypted today. Other applications also support encryption, but may not be encrypted, so they fall into this bucket in our report.

3) Unencrypted: HTTP and RTP are a few examples of unencrypted traffic, and thankfully these numbers are falling worldwide.

Google has begun penalizing insecure sites that do not use HTTPS within search, as well as Chrome more aggressively marking sites as insecure directly on the browser. Facebook has also implemented HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to make browsing more secure when people click on links from Facebook. With HSTS preloading, a link that a user posted as an unencrypted HTTP link will automatically be re-directed to an encrypted HTTPS link for a given site.

Sandvine's application recognition works for applications works even on encrypted traffic, due to a long history of leveraging machine learning and behavioral analysis of internet traffic. Within some applications, we do not distinguish in our reporting whether the traffic is encrypted or not, so getting an exact number without working directly with customers is a challenge. However, if I had to say, I suspect that the real number is ~80% at a minimum.

The report releases tomorrow! Register for our webinars to receive a copy as soon as it's released:

10 a.m. Eastern Time: Register for the Webinar

9 p.m. Eastern Time: Register for Webinar #2


Previous Phenomena Previews

Global Internet Phenomena Preview #1: Ookla Speedtest
Global Internet Phenomena Preview #2: Crashlytics
Global Internet Phenomena Preview #3: PlayStation vs. Xbox Live vs. Steam
Global Internet Phenomena Preview #4: File sharing
Global Internet Phenomena Preview #5: Alexa vs. Siri
Global Internet Phenomena Preview #6: Tesla
Global Internet Phenomena Preview #7: Peloton
Global Internet Phenomena Preview #8: Netflix

Topics: Featured Blog Header, Encryption, Global Internet Phenomena