Is uTorrent ruining Western Civilization as we know it? (And how big is BitTorrent still? Inquiring minds wants to know.)

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Something’s wrong with uTorrent, the de facto Windows BitTorrent client. The client’s implementation of uTP has drawn the ire of certain private BitTorrent sites, saying that it favors uTorrent clients above all others. That’s not good for the “BitTorrent community,” as it were.

The deal is that uTorrent now uses the micro transport protocol to help share the bandwidth load between uTorrent and other applications. You don’t want BitTorrent stealing all of your bandwidth (unless you leave it running overnight or whatever), so in steps uTP. It’s a fine idea, I guess, but it has created a problem: the way it’s currently implemented, uTP favors connections to uTorrent above all other clients. That means, if you’re in a swarm with users using other, non-uTorrent clients—Vuze, Transmission, rTorrent, take your pick—the others guys are doomed. It unnecessarily divides the BitTorrent in two: uTorrent, and everyone else.

Technically, what uTorrent is doing is favoring uTP connections over plain ol’ TCP, which is used by other clients.

It’s such an issue that at least one pretty big, private BitTorrent site has banned the latest version of uTorrent.

Now, if the other clients implemented uTP, which was developed by BitTorrent, Inc., none of this would be an issue, but that’s entirely dependent upon BitTorrent, Inc. Easier said than done, yes.

You’ll recall that Vuze (formerly called Azureus) was banned on several prominent, private BitTorrent sites recently, making uTorrent Windows users’ go-to client. It’s a bigger issue now than it would have been, in other words.

I do wonder if kids (and by kids I mean higher schoolers) even torrent much anymore. It was big in my day (2004ish), but it’s so much easier to Rapidshare this or that here and there.

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