Offline downloading in China: A comparative study

Zhenhua Li, Christo Wilson, Tianyin Xu, Yao Liu, Zhen Lu, Yinlong Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Although Internet access has become more ubiquitous in recent years, most users in China still suffer from low-quality connections, especially when downloading large files. To address this issue, hundreds of millions of China's users have resorted to technologies that allow for "offline downloading", where a proxy is employed to pre-download the user's requested file and then deliver the file at her convenience. In this paper, we examine two typical implementations of offline downloading: the cloud-based approach and the smart AP (access point) based approach. Using a large-scale dataset collected from a major cloud-based system and comprehensive benchmarks of popular smart APs, we find that the two approaches are complementary while also being subject to distinct performance bottlenecks. Driven by these results, we design and implement a proof-of-concept middleware called ODR (Offline Downloading Redirector) to help users get rid of performance bottlenecks. We feel that offline downloading has broad applicability to other areas of the world that lack broadband penetration. By deploying offline downloading technologies, coupled with our proposed ODR middleware, the Internet experiences for users in many parts of the world can be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMC 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM Internet Measurement Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450338486
StatePublished - Oct 28 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2015 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: Oct 28 2015Oct 30 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC


OtherACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2015


  • Cloud storage
  • DTN
  • Internet
  • Offline downloading
  • Smart AP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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