Internet connection speeds are increasing around the globe, while distributed denial-of-service attacks are down, according to the latest report from networking services company Akamai.
The second quarter of this year saw a number of firsts, Akamai noted in its 2014 State of the Internet Report.
For starters, the average global Internet connection speed rose above the arbitrary but noteworthy milestone of 4Mbps for the first time. The worldwide connection speed jumped 21% from the first to second quarter of the year, hitting 4.6Mbps, Akamai reported.
Despite seeing only a 4% quarterly increase, South Korea held onto its top spot in two key areas. It has the highest average bandwidth at 24.6Mbps, and it also has the highest percentage of its population on a broadband connection -- 95%, which ties South Korea with Bulgaria.
Akamai also noted that an 18% quarterly growth for Hong Kong brought that country to an average connection speed of 15.7Mbps, pushing it ahead of Japan, which now matches Switzerland with an average connection speed of 14.9 Mbps.
The U.S. did not make the world’s top five or even the top 10 when it comes to Internet connection speed. Instead, the U.S. ranked #14 globally -- behind East Asia and mixed among the Nordic countries -- with an average connection speed of 11.4Mbps, an 8.9% increase over the first quarter of 2014.
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said he’s not surprised that global Internet connection speeds are up, saying it "just makes sense.
“There's been an increase in fibre to the home and 4G mobile broadband. Technology has gotten better too, particularly with wireless speeds, and the carriers have had to increase bandwidth to meet the demand of the customers.”
Kerravala also is not surprised that the U.S. is not at the top of the pack when it comes to Internet connection speeds.
“The U.S. has been slow, primarily because it has a few carriers that dominate the market and that creates a lack of competitiveness,” he added. “I think the U.S. should be embarrassed about where they sit.”
Akamai also found that in the second quarter of this year online attacks originated from IP addresses in 161 different countries or regions. That’s 33 fewer than was found in the first quarter of this year.
By far the largest number of attacks (43%) came from China, according to the report, with Indonesia coming in second with 15%. The U.S. marked third place with 13% of all attacks, up slightly from 11% in the first quarter.
The Akamai report also noted that the company’s customers reported fewer DDoS attacks in the second quarter. The company notes that 270 attacks were reported, down from 283 in the previous quarter. That marks the second consecutive quarter that showed a decline in DDoS attacks, and it also marked a 15% decrease year over year.
This is a good sign that security companies and enterprises are getting a better handle on security issues, according to Kerravala. “I think security technology has gotten better, more predictive in nature,” he said. “It's helpful but hackers are always out there, so the security technology needs to continually evolve.”