"Why do TVs have a lot of traffic uploads?" A few days ago, a netizen posted a question on Zhihu, the netizen bought a new Sony smart TV, and when he tested the network, he found that the TV had 1-5M/s upload, but at this time the TV was in a dormant state, and only iQiyi's TV side software was installed on this new TV. After discovering this strange situation, netizens forcibly shut down iQiyi, and found that the upload was zero immediately, "Sure enough, iQiyi is acting as a weird, and it is used as a server for free, and it is not kind to ask for electricity to electricity and network to network." ”

Yangtze Evening News/Purple Cow News Reporter Shen Zhao Xue Yawen (Intern)

Use user broadband as a server

After this post was sent, it quickly appeared on the Zhihu hot list, and was concerned by many netizens, under everyone's suggestion, the poster contacted iQiyi customer service, the poster said that the initial customer service proposed that this is an acceleration method, there is no impact on the use, you can use it with confidence, but the poster thinks that "It's not rest assured, you use me as a server, affecting the use and speed of my other networks." In the end, the customer service gave a way to turn off the HCDN switch, and after six steps, the HCDN switch operation interface revealed its true face. Turning off this one is not finished, the poster downloaded the cool meow software on the TV and found hundreds of K data uploads.

As can be seen in the introduction of iQIYI's official website, HCDN (Hybrid CDN) is a large-scale hybrid architecture online video data distribution technology developed by iQIYI's technical team, which adopts the scheduling architecture of hybrid CDN and P2P nodes. In the iQIYI Service Agreement, there is a clause mentioning that in order to improve the lag problem limited by broadband and network connections and enhance the user experience, users acknowledge that iQIYI may take technical measures to improve the quality of video distribution, including but not limited to the use of proprietary HCDN peer-to-peer networks.

Mr. Zhao, a senior software engineer, gave a professional answer to reporters. "P2P is peer-to-peer." Mr. Zhao gave an example, "For example, if you go to a website to download a video, common sense downloads it from the server of this website. This is not the case with P2P, assuming that someone near you has downloaded this video, then someone nearby is also a point, which can make your download speed much faster. Conversely, if you download the video yourself, when someone else wants to download the video, you will become someone else's point. "P2P technology was also fashionable in the early years, and in the past, Xunlei Download, which was quite popular, would use this technology.

CDN full name is content delivery network, "CDN is equivalent to a server cluster, play the role of accelerating the network." For example, "CDN is to distribute content on many server nodes, such as Nanjing has nodes, Shanghai also has nodes, overseas nodes, if I want to access an overseas node, conventionally speaking need to pass through the international network broadband, that speed is very slow, but if there is a CDN service, if you visit the overseas website if there is a content cache in the domestic node, your access speed can be much faster." "Through CDN technology, users can obtain cached access resources nearby, avoiding network congestion, and HCND combines the advantages of the two."

The user's right to information is not guaranteed

Why do companies prefer this technology so much? The reason is simple, control costs. Video software like iQiyi, the number of users is huge, the video content is massive, the traffic required is extremely amazing, "For example, buy 100 megabytes of broadband, the annual fee spends a lot of money It seems that there is a lot of broadband, but I have 2017,13 users, so many people have to access at the same time, each person is hundreds of K or even a few K, then there is no way to watch the video at all." "Commercial broadband is more expensive than home broadband. According to the award-winning page of iQIYI's HCDN technology, in 10 alone, HCDN could provide <>TB of peak bandwidth per day, saving more than <> billion yuan in bandwidth costs a year.

"In fact, turning on this function by default is also risky for users." Mr. Zhao said that from the operator's point of view, the possible situation is that they obviously give users a lot of broadband traffic, but the users themselves do not know that their traffic is occupied as a node, resulting in a very slow network speed, looking back to say that the operator has a problem and does not give enough traffic, "The operator will also check, if you find that your broadband has a more obvious abnormality, it may be disconnected to deal with it." ”

In the final analysis, the emergence of this contradiction is still that the user's right to know is not fully guaranteed, the vast majority of users for this large number of technical professional terms with English abbreviations do not know anything, most software only in the long user agreement, privacy instructions to mention a sentence, these agreements, instructions if not check the consent can not continue to use the software, HCDN switch interface is also quite hidden, do not specifically look for it is difficult to find, and even some "rogue software" does not set the switch interface for the user at all, If the user does not deliberately do network traffic monitoring during use, he will not find that there is upstream traffic running in the background.

"The software should be very clear to the user to apply for permission to use HCDN, and also allow the user to find where the closing interface is, rather than defaulting to check the use and not find where to go, it is very important to protect the user's right to know." There is no right or wrong technology, the important thing is the user's position and starting point, and there is still a long way to go to standardize Internet industry services.