Mac vs. PC: The Pirate Edition

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The Get a Mac campaign is famous for comparing the troublesome PC with the much hipper Mac. In a series of commercials the Mac displays its superiority over the Windows based PC. Unsurprisingly, the ads never covered BitTorrent etiquette, because Windows users are better 'pirates' compared to their Mac counterparts.

apple mac pirateBitTorrent is a filesharing protocol, so it goes without saying that sharing is an important part of its usage etiquette. The more someone shares, the faster everyone is able to download, and again share this data with others.

We thought it would be interesting to compare the users of different operating systems on their sharing behavior. Therefore we decided to take a closer look at the share ratios of Windows, Mac and Linux software on The Pirate Bay. The results are quite interesting and indicate that Windows users share twice as much as their Mac counterparts.

In order to calculate the share ratio we simply looked at all the seeders (completed downloads) and leechers (still downloading) on the torrents in the software category on The Pirate Bay. The share ratio is the number of seeders divided by the number of leechers. So, the higher the ratio, the more users share.

In the table below you can see that there are much more torrents for Windows software, 49345 compared to 2952 for Mac software and 1271 for Linux. Nevertheless, those downloading Windows software tend to share the files for longer, even compared to the Linux users.

Mac, Windows and Linux torrents on The Pirate Bay
OS torrents seeders leechers share ratio
Windows 49,345 327,876 128,728 2.55
Mac 2,925 35,264 29,520 1.19
GNU/Linux 1,271 2,775 1,991 1.39

Not listed in the table, but worthy of note, are the average number of downloaders per torrent. Mac software is in the lead here with 22 downloaders, followed by Windows with 9 and Linux with a measly average of 4 peers per torrent. Although we can conclude that those who download Windows software share more compared to others, the ratios for Mac and Linux software aren’t bad either. It can get a lot worse – Xbox 360 downloaders don’t even make a 0.3 share ratio.

Of course, the term ‘pirate’ obviously doesn’t apply to all downloaders either, especially not for the Linux group. It is interesting to see the huge differences in share ratios between the different categories though; perhaps Microsoft should consider building their next campaign around these stats. Sharing is caring, right?


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