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μTorrent v2.0 to add 'game changing' μTP protocol

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 01 Nov 2009 1:57 User comments (14)

μTorrent v2.0 to add 'game changing' μTP protocol Earlier this month, BitTorrent, the company behind the popular torrent clients μTorrent and BitTorrent posted that they were getting ready to "change the game" with the introduction of a new protocol dubbed μTP (micro-Transport Protocol).
The protocol will be available with the launch of uTorrent 2.0 and BitTorrent 7.0.

Says the post:

"The fact is that our BitTorrent clients have become incredibly popular with users downloading large files over the internet. So much so that some observers claim that BitTorrent traffic accounts for 30%, 50%, or even more of all Internet traffic. Regardless of the actual numbers (which we have no way of knowing), it is clear that the popularity of BitTorrent is putting such a burden on ISP networks that they sometimes react by slowing down or interfering with that traffic.

Now there is a whole “net neutrality” debate, partly about whether ISPs should be allowed to interfere with internet traffic from one particular app simply because it is “too popular” – some argue that perhaps ISPs could invest more so that supply meets demand – but this debate is not the focus here. At BitTorrent we like to be a bit more pragmatic, to assert that there is responsibility on the part of both the ISPs and authors of popular applications like BitTorrent to make sure that the internet scales smoothly to meet demand.

Which brings us back to μTP:

News of μTP started to leak to the public late last year with some wild and totally untrue reporting that we were trying to make BitTorrent more greedy and were somehow “declaring war” on users of other applications. In fact completely the opposite is true, as was subsequently acknowledged by the initial author’s follow-up article.

μTP is a completely new implementation of the BitTorrent protocol with a major new design objective – μTP is designed to be network friendly – to not swamp network connections when there are other apps trying to send and receive – and to resolve the key problem that ISPs use to justify interference with BitTorrent traffic.

If BitTorrent traffic volume is so great that it overwhelms end-users’ connections (leading to service calls from consumers whose internet doesn’t work), then μTP eliminates this problem by being better at only using bandwidth when there is no other traffic competing, and automatically slowing or stopping BitTorrent transfers before network connections seize up.

Legacy BitTorrent traffic uses the standard internet “TCP” protocol to govern when it tries to go faster or slow down. The problem with TCP is that it can only detect a problem by waiting to see if packets are dropped. Unfortunately, by the time packets are being lost, the problem is already acute and the consumers connection has already drastically slowed or stopped. TCP is a lot like trying to drive with your eyes closed. You only notice something’s wrong when you hit something.

μTP is like driving with your eyes *open* – μTP is able to see problems coming and make much more modest adjustments to ensure the problems don’t cause a car wreck. It does this by being able to detect congestion on a network based on how long a packet takes to be sent from one peer to the next. If things start to take longer, then μTP adjusts the rate of sending accordingly.

As it happens, this trick has required some very deep engineering work – the way the client talks to other clients has had to be completely re-built. As a side effect, because the new protocol so different, it is practically invisible to some of the nasty traffic shaping techniques that some ISPs have been using. We doubt whether this happy result will last for long, and nor is it the point of the technology. The point is to reduce the need for such gear rather than to evade it.

Overall, when we get μTP stable, we’re excited about the potential benefits that this could bring to ISPs by reducing the effective burdens on their networks. Although we stand to gain nothing financially from them for implementing it, we hope to maintain the lead enjoyed by μTorrent and BitTorrent Mainline software as the most popular BitTorrent clients, and hopefully demonstrate how innovation from responsible stakeholders on a neutral internet can lead to winning outcomes all-around."

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14 user comments

11.11.2009 1:32

i don't need you to manage my apps or for that mater my QoS. im quite capable of scaling any traffic i want.

21.11.2009 2:37

Originally posted by DXR88:
i don't need you to manage my apps or for that mater my QoS. im quite capable of scaling any traffic i want.
Not everyone is capable of this.

I like this addition. Useful and doesn't kill your connection:)

31.11.2009 2:39

Originally posted by DXR88:
i don't need you to manage my apps or for that mater my QoS. im quite capable of scaling any traffic i want.

Yes, that is true on my part as well... But I think most people don't. I've seen plenty of people who crank their bandwith usage with bittorrent clients to max to get higher download speeds. Instead of limiting it to 80% or so of their maximum speed. And if this will prevent ISPs from blocking bittorrent traffic, then it's a pretty good trade.

41.11.2009 10:31
LissenUp
Inactive

So what.................?????..............you manage your QOS at your place via a complex router system? You got a Cisco network with UC and/or VoIP for a home?? Whatever!

51.11.2009 10:55

Damn i think this is pretty neat =D
Oh since about 2-3 months i've been noticing how Effing annoying its been to download things of torrents, my download speeds fell from 1MB per sec to like 15 kb/s ...My ISP is probably blocking the traffic i'm thinking, so dear god i hope this will fix things up again and turn return torrenting to the bliss it is !

61.11.2009 13:30

2 articles in last 24 hours..slow news day?

71.11.2009 14:06

Originally posted by LissenUp:
So what.................?????..............you manage your QOS at your place via a complex router system? You got a Cisco network with UC and/or VoIP for a home?? Whatever!
i wouldn't touch a Cisco router with 10 foot pole. a baseball bat maybe besides you don't need a complex router to manage a Quality of Service or bandwidth limiting techniques.

i guess what pisses me off about it is that now that its Automated For the masses. i can no longer crank it up to full throttle during off peak hours. i am now at the mercy of the program itself, and i don't like that.

81.11.2009 15:40

Quote:
Originally posted by LissenUp:
So what.................?????..............you manage your QOS at your place via a complex router system? You got a Cisco network with UC and/or VoIP for a home?? Whatever!
i wouldn't touch a Cisco router with 10 foot pole. a baseball bat maybe besides you don't need a complex router to manage a Quality of Service or bandwidth limiting techniques.

i guess what pisses me off about it is that now that its Automated For the masses. i can no longer crank it up to full throttle during off peak hours. i am now at the mercy of the program itself, and i don't like that.
As if there wont be hacks released that will re-enable this ability?

91.11.2009 22:32

I'm pretty sure there would be an option to disable the feature. Or at least to disable it's response.

As many have said, those who can, will use the QOS feature on their router/modem to maintain more important protocols (emails/webpages).

Honestly, i don't bother using the QoS on mine. When i'm trying to watch a video online and i notice it lagging, i pause the torrent; watch the video; then let it go again.

To have my torrent client do that automatically would be quite handy.

I am concerned about the extra overhead such traffic analysing algorithms will place on the computer though. One of the great things about utorrent was it's tiny footprint; i wonder if the CPU usage will remain as small in the new version...

102.11.2009 2:11

Originally posted by magnets:
I am concerned about the extra overhead such traffic analysing algorithms will place on the computer though. One of the great things about utorrent was it's tiny footprint; i wonder if the CPU usage will remain as small in the new version...
While this feature will use system resources, I think it will save more than it costs. Current bittorrent clients can overload a connection without downloading anywhere close to the max speed. This is because if there are many torrents open with no seeds, it is constantly using bandwidth and CPU cycles to try to find seeds and open connections.

Personaly, I think it is great...I don't know about you, but my internet connection changes wildly based on the time of day...less than 19mbps durring peak hours, and over 30mbps at night & early morning (upsream changes even more). I tend to que up lots of torrents, and let them go for several days or even weeks. Setting a bandwidth limit does not work very well for me. Also, I often connect remotely to a system downloading torrents, and it would be nice if remote desktop could operate at full speed while connected, without having to greatly reduce my upload limits.

112.11.2009 14:01

Nice title

Quote:
&956;torrent v2.0 to add 'game changing' &956;tp protocol
:P

122.11.2009 14:09

Quote:
Nice title
Quote:
&956;torrent v2.0 to add 'game changing' &956;tp protocol
:P
&956 is the key map for the Micro sign

132.11.2009 14:10

Quote:
Quote:
Nice title
Quote:
&956;torrent v2.0 to add 'game changing' &956;tp protocol
:P
&956 is the key map for the Micro sign
Ya but its not suppose to show normally :p

142.11.2009 14:17

µ only if you do it right, no doubt and HTTP thing µ

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