Thursday, July 27, 2006

BitTorrent vs ISPs

Local ISPs are definitely having a problem with BitTorrent as it gobbles up the bandwidth that consumers have subscribed to.

While ISPs usually promise connection speeds of up to some predefined KBps, the planning assumption is that not every consumer will utilise that bandwidth and hence ISPs need not have the full network capacity to support 100% of subscribed bandwidth. However, with BitTorrent, ISPs are now having to rethink their network planning strategies since consumers are trying to make full use of their bandwidth for downloading.

Technologies like traffic shapping, throttling, etc are but some of the techniques that ISPs are trying to use to bring BitTorrent traffic under control. However, where there is a will, there is a way, and BitTorrent has now evolved to involve protocol encryption, etc that makes it far harder and expensive for ISPs to try to limit BitTorrent traffic.

ISPs should deliver on the bandwidth speeds they promise instead of shortchanging customers by using the words "up to". Theoretically, anyone can promise speeds of up to 1Gbps as long as the data transfer sometimes hits that top limit but usually hovers in the Kbps ranges.

To fight against being shortchanged by ISPs, you can try looking up the information on How to Encrypt BitTorrent Traffic.

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