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Torrent trackers to come back online

Two of the world's biggest torrent trackers, OpenBitTorrent (OBT) and Public BitTorrent (PBT), have announced their plans to return to operation, concluding the protest against uTorrent parent company BitTorrent Inc.

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on how both trackers voluntarily ceased operation in an attempt to force the silent BitTorrent Inc. to implement protocol changes suggested by Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. Now though, they're set to begin operation once again at the end of this week, because uTorrent's latest beta gives user's the option of using the enhancement, while the new alpha of the Torrent client will have it enabled by default.

Open Bit Torrent
Open Bit torrent is open again!

The suggested improvement to the system was designed to offer better security for admins and to reduce wasted bandwidth for the trackers. Both OBT and PBT switched to UDP only, dropping TCP support since it let a lot of bandwidth be used needlessly. However, due to many torrents containing HTTP addresses, many failed connection attempts were made, resulting in further wasted bandwidth. With this new protocol enhancement, the torrent trackers are able to specify what traffic they allow, meaning they can effectively cull the unnecessary requests, saving them huge sums of money in data charges (for a less succinct explanation, check out TorrentFreak‘s rundown.)

The head of OBT has been speaking out about the changes: “This is going to save us a considerable amount of money and will benefit the BitTorrent community in the long run. It’s a great step forward and guarantees the survival of open BitTorrent trackers.”

Another aspect that will be improved with this enhancement, is that it allows web admins to prevent their sites from being hit by mass torrent traffic, thereby making it harder for the P2P platform to be abused, for nefarious purposes.

KitGuru Says: Huzzah, now we can all get back to legally downloading stuff. Right guys?

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