Fundamentally, BitTorrent is about creating a more efficient and open Internet. We believe that μTP, an updated BitTorrent protocol that makes efficient use of bandwidth while reducing network problems, is a critical component in continuing to drive that legacy forward. μTP is an enhanced BitTorrent transfer protocol that we introduced in our μTorrent client a few months back. While BitTorrent 6.x clients partially supported it, the new BitTorrent 7 client now has support for μTP on a par with the popular μTorrent software.
In addition to μTP there are several other improvements in BitTorrent 7 including:
- UDP NAT-traversal – an improved way to find peers who might otherwise be stuck behind firewalls;
- Transfer Cap feature – a way to limit the total bytes transferred by your client in a specific period, to keep you in line with any limits imposed by your ISP;
- UDP Tracker support – a way to reduce the load on trackers and improve performance.
The technology on which the μTP protocol is based is also available as an open source software library published here. Several other BitTorrent clients either have implemented μTP support or are now considering it. We hope we will continue to see wider adoption of μTP across the BitTorrent ecosystem.
In many ways, μTP is a get-smart approach to managing traffic on the network. Where its predecessor TCP could only detect a problem on the network once a packet was dropped and when a user’s Internet connection had slowed to a crawl, μTP can slow itself at the earliest signs that the network is getting overloaded – avoiding problems before they become acute. While some users have been concerned that they don’t want a BitTorrent client that slows itself down, the somewhat counter-intuitive result is that by automatically avoiding over-aggressive behavior, the downloads tend to actually go faster.
We continue to see µTP as a mutually beneficial solution for users and ISPs. Moreover, we believe that it is in the best interest of all parties when all stakeholders do their part to preserve a neutral Internet and self-regulate. BitTorrent Inc. is grounded in innovation, and µTP is the natural progression in ensuring that the Internet can scale and continue to evolve to meet users’ ever-changing demands.
- Simon -