Is your school ranked among the nation's top collegiate pirates?

By on September 10, 2013, 7:15 AM
bittorrent, p2p, school, file sharing, networks, university, pirates, college

University networks are unique in that they typically offer students a very speedy connection to the web that can’t be had elsewhere but even these networks are struggling with the same issues facing traditional ISPs: piracy. To highlight the behavior, TorrentFreak has put together a collection of the top 50 universities ranked by BitTorrent usage.

In what is a surprise to pretty much nobody, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked first place overall followed by Rutgers and New York University. Rounding out the top 10 is the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, University of Illinois, Northeastern University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Columbia University and Michigan State University.

It’s troublesome for the schools involved as, unlike the run-of-the-mill ISP, the US government requires colleges and universities to do everything in their power to curb the illicit behavior. New legislation passed in 2010 puts schools at risk of losing federal funding if it’s deemed they aren’t doing enough to stop illegal file sharing on campus.

Most institutions of higher learning responded by implementing new campus rules with some going as far as to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to install anti-sharing systems on their networks. The varying efforts have had some level of success but the problem hasn’t been eliminated completely by any stretch of the imagination.

TorrentFreak partnered with BitTorrent monitoring outfit Scaneye to look at the IP addresses that are sharing files on BitTorrent, recording every instance as a “hit.” Several samples of content being downloaded were taken with the majority clearly being infringing material, the publication said.




User Comments: 16

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Guest said:

Ummm, why don't these Universities have advanced firewall's I.e Netgear UTM150 etc etc that block all P2P traffic? we use one at work and it works flawlessly.

2 people like this | Matt12345170 Matt12345170 said:

Because torrents are not the only thing that use P2P. Turn that off and it breaks everything else... students get pissed

MilwaukeeMike said:

I'm too old to have experienced much pirating in my college days, but I remember being rather amazed at the P2P networks in the UW system here in Wisconsin. My brother was at school and could find just about any popular music he wanted from another student at a UW school. Because all the campuses were connected the download speeds for a single song were about 1-2 seconds. 100 Mpbs and up were unheard of speeds to people who came from homes with dial-up.

It was causing a big problem because the universities were paying for their internet based on bandwidth and file sharing (and Napster) were costing like $10,000 a month.

I'd bet the costs are much lower nowadays, but the fact that colleges can have connection speeds 10 times faster than 'high speed' internet would make piracy much more attractive.

windmill007 said:

They should offer legal alternatives to all students for free. Such as Spotify etc.

spencer spencer said:

At my school I they even block all news sites that they don't agree with, they say "it's inappropriate and uneducational" even about everything and we have about 1500 laptops connected during the day to the schools network. And they complain about bandwidth problems...maybe the reason this is because they route the info through like 200 different connections and have to go through the lightspeed database everytime someone clicks a button;also they record absolutely everything we do on these laptops...oh yeah and for an economical school laptop they choose MAC PROS?????.I didn't mean for this to turn into a rant

davislane1 davislane1 said:

My first thoughts when I clicked the headline were, "If MIT isn't at the top of this list..."

...oh yeah and for an economical school laptop they choose MAC PROS?????.I didn't mean for this to turn into a rant

For school: MBP > most other laptops.

MadnessRed said:

Ummm, why don't these Universities have advanced firewall's I.e Netgear UTM150 etc etc that block all P2P traffic? we use one at work and it works flawlessly.

P2P isn't just piracy. It is frequently used for downloading large popular files where the host cannot support the bandwidth required. Many Linux distro recommend using p2p downloads to get the isos, and if you want to get a Ubuntu iso within a few days of release, you pretty much have to p2p (or at least you did)

spencer spencer said:

My first thoughts when I clicked the headline were, "If MIT isn't at the top of this list..."

For school: MBP > most other laptops.

why is that??? iWork??

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Lol MIT is number one. That is no surprise.

hitech0101 said:

Colleges in my country use pirated software as they cannot buy it including windows.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

why is that??? iWork??

Fewer problems. I don't know if it's the applications students have to use or if it's their computer habits, but everyone I know who has a Windows-based laptop or PC has some type of major computer malfunction every semester it seems. Meanwhile, those of us on Macs seem to have no problems at all. Seeing as most non-tech undergrads I've met have a hard enough time with basic troubleshooting, I imagine the cost of MBPs is cheaper than the time and money (tech staff) used fixing abused student laptops.

As for iWork... I ditched that for Office after my first semester. Too many compatibility issues for it to be practical in an academic setting.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I know a guy which has stashed away a computer in a school that runs 24/7 just dowloading files. He has yet to be caught ^^

gobbybobby said:

They should offer legal alternatives to all students for free. Such as Spotify etc.

(in the UK) You get Spotfy Half price with an NUS (National Union of Students) card. Which I have and is great.

TV/ Movies and games makes up the majority of bandwidth anyways. Im a sucker for having things day 1, so if a TV show I like airs in the US first, I will download the first HD copy to hit the torrent sites which is usually within hours of the US broadcast.

I wouldn't download in Uni tho, you have to log in with your Uni Account to use the Wifi/ computers and they threaten revoking wifi access if you torrent. I never lived on campus, as they ran out of places so stuck all the overspills in a big block of flats in the city center with a free bus pass so we could travel to campus (and anywhere in the city) the building had a High speed line provided by a 3rd party, was 300meg down and 100 up on the speed tests (bit faster if you tested at 2am) annoyingly wifi only, and it sometimes dropped despite being so fast, annoying if gaming, oh well can't have everything :/!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Because torrents are not the only thing that use P2P. Turn that off and it breaks everything else... students get pissed

If you can turn off P2P traffic, you can also filter it down to desirable/undesirable.

Source: I work IT at a university.

Edit: Actually.. there's not many people here who would have first-hand experience with university networks. If you have a specific question, tag me and I'll see if I can answer.

Xyvis said:

I was surprised to see that my university was on that list, University of South Florida (USF). I know a lot of students do pirate textbooks from what I've seen it's very common for the higher level classes, especially in mathematics, starting at Calculus and up.

Also many students have Apple laptops, not quite sure why, I prefer my Lenovo laptop.

Guest said:

Fair enough, I should have expanded on the firewalls capabilities.

Within the Netgear UTM's aswell as other firewalls in sure, there is an option for content filtering that blocks Torrent sites, each and every single one I might add.

It blocks P2P on certain ports. its very flexible. just saying.

just surprised that U.S.A universities allow this type of thing, im in S.A and we pretty strict on torrents and what not.

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