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A Kinder, Gentler µTorrent 2.0
February 4, 2010
Thomas Mennecke
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The fundamentals of µTorrent 2.0 have been in development for well over a year. Slyck first reported on the development of its main features, support for UDP transfers and uTP - a method for BitTorrent clients to use bandwidth efficiently, way back in December of 2008. The µTorrent client has come a long way since, and the fledgling features just breaking news back then are now ready for mainstream use.

So what's the big news with µTorrent 2.0? In addition to the laundry list of new features remains the essence of this major release - ISP and bandwidth friendliness. That's accomplished with support for UDP trackers and uTP.

"In general uTP is designed to detect congestion and throttle back send rates as soon as congestion is spotted," Simon Morris, Vice President of Product Management for BitTorrent Inc. told back in 2008.

"The point of uTP is to make BitTorrent protocol efficiently use available bandwidth if and only if other applications are not competing for the same bandwidth. Protocols that do not implement this will continue to send regardless (e.g. in the case of TCP until packet loss occurs). - this isn't going to solve all the problems on the internet, but it will make sure that congestion impacts to the end user experience will not be caused by our clients."

µTorrent 2.0 also supports UDP trackers - a newer breed of trackers that allow them to use UDP instead of HTTP over TCP for data communications. The advantage of this is less CPU power dedicated to crunching incoming/outgoing data, and more CPU power dedicated to handling peers. Is it more bandwidth friendly? Probably, if it's used in conjunction with uTP. We'd like to say that using UDP is more bandwidth friendly since fewer mainstream Internet application use UDP - but there's likely a lot of other Internet companies with big dreams that think this way too.

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