I made the switch today to the King of the BitTorrent world, µTorrent. This micro-sized client got rid of the flash and sparkle that annoyed me from Vuze, and yet, is loaded with features.

    Three reasons the creators of µTorrent created it
  1. Serge: "I got sick of large, slow and inefficient applications hogging all my resources so I wanted to build something tiny and powerful."
    Ludde: "I’m somewhat obsessed by making tiny and resource friendly program."
  2. Serge: "Second, I was interested in the BitTorrent protocol, because it is simple, effective and relatively well documented (and I also downloaded a lot using it). Making an efficient BitTorrent client seemed like a good place to start."
  3. Serge: "Finally, Ludde was looking for a project to work on and liked the idea. µTorrent was born."

The creators are Serge Paquet (Canadian) who has the project leader role, and Ludvig Strigeus (Swedish) who is the smart programmer. They first released their project to make the smallest and most resourceful BitTorrent client in 2005. They seem to live by Ghandi, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." With only 6MB of memory used, it is barely noticed open on your CPU. The file itself is only 215KB! You can download µTorrent from: http://www.utorrent.com/download.php. µTorrent is a BitTorrent client currently maintained by a team of developers at BitTorrent, Inc, who purchased it On December 7, 2006.

A BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol, allowing for downloading files in pieces and still retain structure. µTorrent is Freeware and legal, but caution should be advised to users using it to download copyrighted material. (Everybody does though) The client has 38 available languages.

It’s like buying a new car, you get all the old features of your previous car, some new goodies, all with a hot look.
µTorrent was written for efficiency. It doesn’t log valuable resources, making it use less than 6MB of memory. This is huge, considering Zuze was taking up 20% of my CPU meter, all because of the stupid streaming videos embedded inside. Which is also possibly why downloads also appear faster. “Most of the features present in other BitTorrent clients are present in µTorrent, including bandwidth prioritization, scheduling, RSS auto-downloading and Mainline DHT.” (µTorrent)

Light and Tight
This torrent utility is said to be one of the easiest to use, making it the torrent utility of choice for beginners, intermediate, and advanced users alike. IP phones normally struggle with torrent software, but with µTorrent simple button interface, users were satisfied.

Speed can be affected by firewalls and ISP issues.

” Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) block or throttle BitTorrent connections because of the high bandwidth it generates due to the sheer number of people using BitTorrent. Protocol Encryption combats this attack vector by hiding the fact that connections are BitTorrent connections. Some ISPs cannot distinguish an encrypted connection from any other random data connection, so they are unable to label it as a BitTorrent connection, and consequently, cannot block or throttle it for being a BitTorrent connection.” (µTorrent helpfile)

Easy. Select your Internet speed from the drop down. Confirm your port. Now go look for a torrent, you can use the client to search for one, or use my favorite (and largest torrent search engine) The Pirate Bay.

Are you non-windows users out of luck?
Although the client was written for Windows using C++, “Users of non-Windows operating systems may be able to use µTorrent on their computers with the use of a special piece of software that allows the operating system to run Windows applications. Note that there are no guarantees of any kind that everything will work properly when µTorrent is used on alternative operating systems.” (µTorrent helpfile)

If you like Tetris, you will find an imbedded treat! Look for the Easter Egg.

    What do all those flags in the Flags column mean?
  • D = Currently downloading (interested and not choked)
  • d = Your client wants to download, but peer doesn't want to send (interested and choked)
  • U = Currently uploading (interested and not choked)
  • u = Peer wants your client to upload, but your client doesn't want to (interested and choked)
  • O = Optimistic unchoke
  • S = Peer is snubbed
  • I = Peer is an incoming connection
  • K = Peer is unchoking your client, but your client is not interested
  • ? = Your client unchoked the peer but the peer is not interested
  • X = Peer was included in peerlists obtained through Peer Exchange (PEX)
  • H = Peer was obtained through DHT.
  • E = Peer is using Protocol Encryption (all traffic)
  • e = Peer is using Protocol Encryption (handshake)
  • L = Peer is local (discovered through network broadcast, or in reserved local IP ranges)

A warning about P2P

”Warning: while P2P file sharing technology is completely legal, many of the files traded through P2P are copyrighted. Unless you live in Canada where citizens are shielded from P2P copyright lawsuits, downloading music, movie, and TV files will put you at risk for a civil lawsuit in any other country. These lawsuits usually take the form of class-action suits, filed against groups of users who are logged as blatantly copying and distributing copyrighted materials. Recently, the MPAA and RIAA, along with the governments of England and Australia, took several thousand users to court, demanding that they pay thousands of dollars in copyright infringement penalties. Please keep this lawsuit risk in mind when you install and use any BitTorrent software in the USA, Europe, or Asia.” (Netforbeginners)

The µTorrent help file.

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