The company which had masterminded the BitTorrent technology has recently opened the source code of uTorrent Transport Protocol (uTP). The protocol code in C++ is ready for implementation and can be sourced from GitHub under MIT license. uTP technology is extensively used by BitTorrent and uTorrent clients. It is designed especially to reduce the network congestion by letting other traffic go first. Thus, it helps in reducing the overall network load locally and at ISP levels that is caused by. According to the developers, this new change will diminish the need for ISPs to block the traffic on BitTorrent, while also boosting the downloading performance of the software.


One of the features lending uTorrent much popularity is that users can specify when to reduce the bandwidth consumption, certain times within the application. This will help in decongesting the network, while making it easier for other users to continue the usage of BitTorrent or uTorrent technology. This makes for a much better solution to the problem of congestion than the local constriction used till now. uTP, with its dynamic throttling principle, will allow BitTorrent connections to pave way for other kind of traffic when needed, with the connections automatically backing down. Once the network eases, these connections can jump back to working full throttle automatically. The connections using uTP, like BitTorrent, will also be enabled to use 100% bandwidth during times when the network is completely free. To summarize the usage of uTP, we can say that the technology will help reduce the total download time, especially when compared to the present less flexible traffic constricting approaches.

The Technology

Working on similar lines, uTP will also be able to prevent the ISP level clogging of the tubes which are a result of the traffic from BitTorrent. If uTP was to be widely used, the stringent traffic shaping policies and other QoS strategies that seemingly weaken the BitTorrent download performance will become unnecessary and hence, end up improving the BitTorrent download speed and performance altogether. This will help improve the BitTorrent experience for regular users. Meanwhile, the developers of this new protocol are working further to make the protocol universal through Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Low Extra Delay Background Transport (LEDBAT) working groups.

Although offering these several features and advantages mentioned above, the techno community is not very keen on adapting to it. Reports suggest that few users who adapted to this technology have suffered further degradation of performance and hence, the reception to this uTP has not been as good as it was anticipated to be. However, as the source code will now be available for the users, the use of protocol for applications will become easier for the application developers. Identification and finding solutions to implementation problems will also be made easier with the use of this technology amongst application developers, hence enhancing the use of uTP amongst the community.

The techno community is agog with net neutrality debate. If technologies like uTP are used, they will ease the network congestion and the conflicts between ISP and P2P users can easily be resolved.