Explaining network connections you see frequenty

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This article/section is a stub — some half-sorted notes, not necessarily checked, not necessarily correct. Feel free to ignore, or tell me about it.


Akamai technologies is a CDN[1], one that tries to be smart about sending you to the nearest host with the given content(verify).

Largish downloads from it are likely to be one of:

  • Windows Update (updates can be quite noticable traffic)
  • video streaming (from e.g. BBC or Apple)
  • or some site that uses it for CDN purposes (e.g. amazon, ebay, other).


Something like

Softlayer is a CDN that various other sites use.

Things that use softlayer:


Google, including:

  • Youtube videos
  • Google Earth content
  • Firefox "safe browsing", which checks with google (and is enabled by default)
  • Google updater (may have installed with some google product), and updates for things like chrome
  • google mail
  • Google talk(verify)


Amazon's object storage

Various installed programs use S3. For example, dropbox uses it for file storage.