BitTorrent, as a technology, has a stigma about it, but it certainly transformed Internet traffic for the past years and plenty of companies and projects have been using it for more efficient distribution of large amounts of data. With the release of uTorrent 2.0, a lightweight BitTorrent client owned by BitTorrent Inc., the company, a new protocol was introduced, dubbed µTP (micro transfer protocol), which promised to have a lowered burden on the network and faster downloads as a result. The protocol, not without its skeptics, has now been open-sourced to enable its greater adoption.
“µTP is an upgraded lightweight BitTorrent protocol, introduced in v2 of our popular µTorrent client, that makes efficient use of bandwidth while reducing network problems,” an entry on the BitTorrent blog read. “Today, we are announcing that we have created an open source implementation of the protocol in the hope of extending its adoption within the BitTorrent ecosystem and possibly beyond,” the announcement
BitTorrent has put a lot of effort in developing µTP
, also referred to as uTP, and has been touting its advantages. It is now bundled with uTorrent, the world’s most popular BitTorrent client app, but others in the ecosystem have been reluctant to adopting it.
The protocol’s main attribute is that it can adjust the bandwidth consumption of the application based on network conditions. Thus, on a congested network, it would slow down the transfers in order to allow the other communications to go through. This should lead to a less congested network that performs better for everyone.
BitTorrent says that this will ultimately lead to faster downloads for the users on the whole. The caveat is that it would have to gain widespread adoption to get the best out of it. In practice, there have been plenty of users complaining about lower speeds and generally poor performance. These may be just growing pains, but the issues exist and uTP won’t go very far until they are solved.
This is where open-sourcing the protocol comes in. By doing this, the company hopes that others will get involved and help make it perform better and as intended. It also allows makers of other BitTorrent client apps to inspect the protocol in detail and decide for themselves whether to implement it. [via Torrentfreak