Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Study: The US Likes to Surf at Night

September 14, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Lifestyle, Trends

According to Arbor Networks, an internet security firm based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, internet traffic in the US peaks around 11PM eastern time. Or for those who live on the west coast, 8PM. Arbor looked at weekdays during last July, gathering traffic data from internet service providers that account for half of internet activity in the US.

Courtesy NASA

Courtesy NASA

What does this mean exactly? Either most Americans like to surf more at home, like to download more away from the office, or leisurely activities simply require more bandwidth. Think about it: how large are office documents compared to say, movies and music?

Speaking of media, the study chorused Captain Obvious by citing “porn” as one of the more popular activities online, including it in a traffic-happy triumvirate including YouTube and gaming. Their respective peaks? Midnight eastern for video, and somewhere between 8 and 11PM in the same time zone for gaming.

If Arbor is correct, then it’s clear that the east coast still represents the majority of internet traffic in the US. Makes sense actually, when you consider that it’s more dense population-wise than its western counterpart (at least way back in 2000, feel free to point to more current census data in the comments). Simply put, more people live there, and all things being equal, that means more people going online.

But what does this all mean really? Well, companies who provide services and products online should start appealing more to the night-centric online crowd, if they already haven’t done so. It’s also reasonable to assume that evil office ITs are doing a better job of limiting online access at the workplace, no?


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