If you’ve been downloading torrents for any period of time, I’m sure you’ve heard of μTorrent, the nifty, and, possibly the most popular BitTorrent client for Windows.
Recently, it introduced a new lightweight protocol called uTP in its latest version – 2.0.
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The developers of uTP claim it to be ISP-friendly, as it slows down transfer speeds when it detects a network congestion. Many ISPs throttle, and even block BitTorrent transfers through their networks when they catch it eating up bandwidth. uTP is meant to prevent such a situation, thus benefitting both the user and the ISP.
However, if you get your connection from an ISP with poor infrastructure and clogged networks, you’ll find that your torrent download rates remain almost continually low, thanks to uTP.
Personally, I’ve seen download rates plummeting by as much as 30% after installing the new μTorrent version. That may not be noticeable to people with fast broadband connections, but for all those rocking 1 mbps or slower connections, it’s quite a serious issue ( especially if you’re a torrent freak 😉 ).
Thankfully, uTP is yet to be widely adopted, and μTorrent 2.0 gives you an easy switch to kill it off.
Here is how you can do it:
Go to Options -> Preferences in the μTorrent window.
Under the BitTorrent section, uncheck the tick box next to “Enable bandwidth management.” Click OK, and you’re done!
Why Should I Bother To Disable uTP?
Just because you can disable uTP doesn’t mean you have to! If you’ve got high speed Internet access with a reputed ISP, you’re unlikely to notice much, if any, decrease in transfer rates with uTP enabled.
Disabling it might actually cause trouble, as your ISP could be throttling normal torrent transfers. Personally, I think uTP is a forward-thinking step by the BitTorrent community that will help itself, the ISPs, and ultimately us, the users, in the long run.
That being said, it’s still a pain for many (yeah you guessed it, my connection sucks!) who’ve access to slow broadband connections from crappy providers. If you’re one of us, it’d be wise to switch uTP off for now.