Former Netscapers launch P-to-P startup

Kontiki, a peer-to-peer (P-to-P) startup backed by a handful of former Netscape Communications executives, unveiled itself Monday, touting its content delivery technology that it says can outperform traditional content distribution networks.

Using the P-to-P method made famous by file-swapping service Napster Inc., Kontiki said in a statement that it can deliver digital media ten times more efficiently and at one-third of the cost of traditional networks, such as those operated by Akamai Technologies Inc. and Digital Island Inc.

The Kontiki Delivery Network is largely software-based, with some servers controlling the system. Kontiki determines which computers have requested the same files, identifies the best paths across the Internet to connect them and uses this virtual network to deliver the files. Akamai and Digital Island have invested heavily in their own networks.

In addition, Kontiki said it saves cost by time-shifting downloads. Files requested by users are delivered at off-peak hours, resulting in economic bandwidth use. Typical content distribution systems charge customers for fixed connections or peak bandwidth utilization, Kontiki said.

The company waves away one of the main obstacles for commercial P-to-P networks: lack of control. The computers that make up the network are owned by individuals; there is no saying when they will disconnect. Central network management makes the Kontiki Delivery Network reliable and secure, according to Kontiki, adding that the network has self-healing capabilities, with an automatic fail-over to origin servers.

The Kontiki network is designed to distribute TV-quality video, CD-quality audio, software and games. PC users will be able to download a free client to find, schedule, download, and play files. Users will also be able to subscribe to automatic delivery services. Copyright is protected through integrated digital rights management. Kontiki will go into private testing this week with a public beta planned this year.

Mountain View, California-based Kontiki has been operating in stealth mode for nine months and currently employs 50 people. The company received US$18 million in funding from a number of venture capitalists, including The Barksdale Group, founded by former Netscape Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Barksdale. Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen is another investor.

Kontiki's management is also made up of several former Netscape and America Online Inc. (AOL) employees. Mike Homer, chairman and CEO, was general manager of Netscape's Netcenter portal site. Wade Hennessey, chief technology officer (CTO), worked on personalization services at AOL.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?