5
lorentz
35d

My bandwidth is ordinarily a few hundred kbps, but whenever I torrent it can reach up to 2 mbps, while all other traffic from me and my housemates is stuck in the single digit kbps range.

What does BitTorrent do so fucking well, and how can other protocols replicate this success? Would the total available bandwidth be different if every protocol did whatever enables BitTorrent to summon bandwidth from thin air?

Comments
  • 4
    One thing I know could be done is out-of-order fragments. TCP strictly orders the bytes because it doesn't know about messages, but an UDP-based message transfer protocol could just dump all parts of the message into the network at once and then wait for the recipient to ask for lost fragments. I know, we did this in a networking coursework.
  • 2
    ... You're very likely to lose packets when you do this and so it sounds like less efficient use of the network, but since an ACK only has to be sent for many data packets, it's actually more efficient up to 50% packet loss. Additionally, this way the sender is at full liberty to strategize with the pacing of the packets based on known and observed network characteristics, so the protocol doesn't need to be changed to support a very high performance ceiling.
  • 0
    @lorentz I love how UDP sounds like absolute garbage, yet performs quite well.
  • 0
    @Root what's garbage about UDP?
  • 1
  • 3
    Man, I used to have 4kbps as my top speed years ago. I would never want to go back to that. I also had mobile internet years ago and had like 1-2 Mbps. My sympathies go out to people dealing with speeds like that. When every freaking file download is 1 gigabyte now that just sucks. Then websites are multimegabyte shit storms too. Sorry man.
  • 1
    @Demolishun it's around 400 kbps and that because of really bad spatial layout. I'll route a cable through the kitchen of the new rental once I dealt with the mould. It's only in the single kbps range when there's a torrent download.
  • 2
    I have 100 mbps fiber paid for by my landlord, but I used to access the web using my Nokia 2700 as a USB modem.
  • 2
    Your housemate is seeding
  • 0
    UDP with zero flow control?
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