Will There Be A New Bittorrent?

November 17, 2007

It’s true that the protocol’s been asked to do things that its creator didn’t envision. Clients now use encryption to get around ISP traffic shaping and sometimes pad files to improve interoperability with other networks. DHT functionality, which removes the need for a central tracker, was implemented in a chaotic, piecemeal fashion. Private trackers have to monkey around with torrents’ announce URLs in order to monitor individual users’ activity. Torrent files lack metadata. Traversing firewalls remains an issue. And various researchers have created custom clients that prove the protocol can be subverted by selfish users. There are tacked-on, vulnerable and subpar aspects to the way Bittorrent works — plenty of room for improvement, in other words.



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