Regardless of the controversy surrounding BitTorrent, it remains one of the most widely used internet technologies and millions of people use it everyday. It is also one of the heaviest network applications out there and there have been plenty who have criticized the protocol and the apps that use it for 'hogging' bandwidth and degrading network performance for other apps. With the latest uTorrent 2.0, by far the most popular BitTorrent client, BitTorrent the company is trying to change all that uses the newly-developed µTP
, a protocol it designed to help with network congestion. In the end though, much of the responsibility lays with the user, out of uTorrent's control, until now as, also in the latest 2.0 releases, the app automatically detects network speed and adjusts the configuration accordingly.
"In µTorrent 2.0 Beta we have sought to streamline this operation by automating the configuration process in the setup guide. With just a click or two, users can now test their internet connection speed, see how their router handles connections, and then optimize their client to their own network," BitTorrent announced
Before uTorrent 2.0, users had to manually test their connection and then set up the app accordingly. For the casual users, this wasn't the easiest thing to do, resulting in a lot of poorly configured installs which, in turn, resulted in poor network performance. Now, uTorrent has automated many of the steps by enabling users to test their connection from within the program on the first run and then configure itself depending on the data.
For this, BitTorrent enlisted the help of Measurement Lab "an open, distributed server platform for researchers to deploy active network measurement tools." The project has some pretty big backers including the Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium and Google. The integrated speed tests rely on Measurement Lab's servers deployed in various regions around the world.
The interesting part is that BitTorrent will aggregate anonymous data and release it under a Creative Commons Zero license which effectively makes it available for anyone to use as they please. The company hopes the data will prove useful to a lot of researches or other companies and, judging from uTorrent's very large install base, the data may be a very accurate assessment of internet connection speeds around the world.uTorrent 2.0 RC5
is available for download here