Top 50 BitTorrent schools busted in new study - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Study: file sharing still popular with college students

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Rutgers University topped ScanEye and TorrentFreak's list of BitTorrent users with 1,809 hits. (Source: Wikimedia/Metallurgist) Rutgers University topped ScanEye and TorrentFreak's list of BitTorrent users with 1,809 hits. (Source: Wikimedia/Metallurgist)

(RNN) - Attending college is one of the greatest financial commitments someone can make.

The rising cost of tuition drains students' wallets in the blink of an eye, causing them to make cutbacks and live on a shoestring budget.

Ever since the days of Napster and Limewire, the illegal downloading music and movies has been a fast fix for financial woes, and a new study has made it clear that software "pirates" still have a clear presence on some of the country's top universities.

More complex than peer-to-peer file sharing, today's college crowd is using a file sharing method call "BitTorrent." It's a method that still allows student to download movies and music. It's also an easy way for students to get expensive software that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars.

BitTorrent's success is partly because it can transfer large files quickly and efficiently. Its 150 million active users can download virtually anything through an clever downloading method.

When users downloaded content from Napster or LimeWire, they got their files from a single source. BitTorrent distributes large files to multiple sources, which gives users the ability to simultaneously download from multiple servers.

The technique is particularly popular with the tech-savvy college crowd, and although it can be used to lawfully share files, it's largely used for illegal purposes.

The U.S. government recognized the BitTorrent trend in 2010 when they threatened to cut federal funding from colleges and universities that did not discipline students who used file sharing, including BitTorrent.

Schools everywhere responded by installing network software that prevented file sharing; however, some software pirates still fall through the cracks.

Two years later, data from web monitoring site ScanEye and BitTorrent news site TorrentFreak have identified 50 schools with the most students using BitTorrent.

ScanEye gathered the data by tracking numerical labels assigned to every computer, commonly known as an IP address.

Research released Saturday showed students at Rutgers University used BitTorrent the most, with 1,809 IP addresses accessing BitTorrent from the school's internet service since November 2011.

Rutgers ran away with the top spot, dwarfing second place New York University with 986 IP addresses.

Rounding out the top five were the University of Houston (795), University of Southern California (776) and Texas A&M University (768).

ScanEye and TorrentFreak also tracked the type of files Rutgers students were downloading. The most common downloads were entertainment files like the movies Fast Five, Cars 2 and Puss in Boots. The most popular video game was The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and the most downloaded album was The Dreamer, The Believer by hip-hop artist Common.

Cult classic films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were also popular dorm room downloads.

But it wasn't all fun and games.

Microsoft Office for Mac was another frequent download. Programs like Microsoft Word and Excel have become essential tools for college students, and BitTorrent helps them avoid paying $120 directly to Microsoft.

Although many of top Torrent-using schools were large universities, some were smaller schools. Three smaller institutions on the list were Sonoma State University (No. 24), Marquette University (No. 34) and Grambling State University (No. 35).

The full top 50 list is as follows:

Universities ranked by BitTorrent usage
#UniversityHits
(Source: TorrentFreak.com)
1 Rutgers University 1,809
2 New York University 986
3 University Of Houston 795
4 University of Southern California 776
5 Texas A&M University 768
6 The George Washington University 767
7 University of Minnesota 720
8 State University of New York at Buffalo 610
9 University of Maryland 602
10 Tennessee State University 530
11 Northeastern University 513
12 Michigan State University 495
13 Wayne State University 488
14 Columbia University 479
15 Boston University 467
16 Vanderbilt University 460
17 North Carolina Central University 450
18 University of California, San Diego 435
19 Old Dominion University 425
20 Ohio State University 395
21 University of Michigan 388
22 Case Western Reserve University 387
23 University of Texas at San Antonio 382
24 Sonoma State University 381
25 The Pennsylvania State University 381
26 University of Colorado 378
27 Virginia State University 378
28 Villanova University 377
29 Purdue University 375
30 Indiana University 374
31 Clemson University 374
32 Lindenwood University 366
33 Harvard University 361
34 Marquette University 360
35 Grambling State University 358
36 University of California at Berkeley 355
37 University of Arizona 343
38 University of Washington 341
39 Fordham University 334
40 University of Illinois 333
41 Georgetown University 329
42 University of Nebraska-Lincoln 324
43 Montclair State University 322
44 University of Wisconsin Madison 319
45 University of Utah 311
46 University of Delaware 301
47 University of Pennsylvania 300
48 Duke University 298
49 University of Hawaii 295
50 State University of New York at Stony Brook 291

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