P2P file swapping is huge, we all know that. For a time, it was all people seemed to be talking about when they talked about the Net. E-mail, instant messaging and IRC have all had their "ooh aah!" moments, and now its P2P file swapping that seems to have captured everyone’s interest. But just how big is P2P file swapping? How much does it go on in comparison to other Internet based activities? Well, a recent survey has revealed that the practice of P2P file swapping forges on unabated, with 60 per cent of all Internet traffic being the result of peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms such as eDonkey and BitTorrent. BitTorrent itself accounts for a staggering 30 per cent of all Internet traffic, despite the fact that the antics of the MPAA and RIAA have driven it back underground again so to speak. Also eDonkey, which does not make use of any centralized servers or tracking sites, is responsible for consuming the most bandwidth of any application on the Internet! Yes, first prize goes not to IE or Outlook but to eDonkey.

Of the files being swapped on the four major file-sharing systems (eDonkey, BitTorrent, FastTrack and Gnutella) 62 per cent is video and 11 per cent is audio, with the rest being miscellaneous file types, according to the study.