µTorrent's switch to UDP and why the sky isn't falling

In action movies, when the hero has only minutes before the readout on the bomb counts down to zero, with many miles to drive through a congested city in order to get there in time, he'll just ignore traffic lights and floor it. Wouldn't it be great if you could do the same thing on the Internet if your torrents don't download fast enough? Now you can. Maybe.

In a new alpha version of the popular BitTorrent client µTorrent, uTP has been made the default instead of TCP. uTP sends the actual downloads over the UDP protocol rather than TCP. The existing version 1.8.1 also supports uTP, but it's not enabled by default. This simple swapping of the transport protocol that sits between the IP layer and the application has gotten our friends over at The Register all worked up: "By most estimates, P2P accounts for close to half of internet traffic today. When this traffic is immune to congestion control, the remaining half will stumble along at roughly a quarter of the bandwidth it has available today: half the raw bandwidth, used with half efficiency, by 95% of internet users. Oops."

The half of the internet traffic figure is already highly debatable, as services like Hulu and iTunes deliver non-P2P video to ever more users. But the quarter of the bandwidth number is entirely speculation. If µTorrent is indeed eschewing congestion control, however, and this catches on, it could be pretty bad.

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Solid_Dawg3488d ago

but could someone please translate that to me. i know what torrents are and i think they are trying to to congestion control and it may be bad? anyone mind clearing this up for me? and does it really matter, or only to those people who rip games off torrents?

StuffRokz3488d ago (Edited 3488d ago )

that the article is saying that uTorrent is trying to get around congestion control, giving its users free reign, or faster downloads.

the main issue is that if more programs ignore congestion control and let their users run free, it will drastically hinder the internet speeds available, and could end up being bad for everyone.

it says that 50% of internet traffic is from p2p connections, and that if that 50% is able to run free without being controlled, it will drastically reduce the performance that the other 50% of users experience, getting only 25% of the speeds they would normally get. for example, if their internet connection was 800kbps, they would only be able to max out at 200kbps since there is no control over the p2p users.

hope that helped a bit, but if it didn't then i apologize.

edit: i also apologize if i'm completely wrong, though i'm pretty sure that's what the article is talking about. :-D

Simon_Brezhnev3488d ago

thanks for clearing it up bubbles for u

StuffRokz3488d ago

are always welcome :-D

just glad to be of assistance.

y0haN3487d ago

2 Stupid Dogs was an awesome show.

Solid_Dawg3487d ago

and at least attempting. bubbles comin ur way.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3487d ago
ZootHornRollo3488d ago

just means you can download faster on utorrent

uie4rhig3488d ago

UDP isn't as good as TCP tho!! like there is no guarantee that the packets are delivered !! which could eventually lead to downloading more, yet getting less..

ar3488d ago (Edited 3488d ago )

Since every packet is important in BitTorrent I guess they have implemented there own system for these things in the application layer.

"What is in 1.9:
uTP, the micro transport protocol. This UDP-based reliable transport is designed to minimize latency, but still maximize bandwidth when the latency is not excessive. We use this for communication between peers instead of TCP, if both sides support it. In addition, we use information from this transport, if active, to control the transfer rate of TCP connections. This means uTorrent, when using uTP, should not kill your net connection - even if you do not set any rate limits."

uie4rhig3487d ago

well it does sound cool and reliable.. hmm interesting actually.. it'll probs be used by other torrent programs.. which hopefully will lead to it being standardised (if it is good that is)..

AuToFiRE3487d ago

I believe this is going to be interesting, yes there is more congestion but it isnt controlled by bit-shaping so it will probably go faster..