The eMule team has released a new version of eMule, which supports protocol obfuscation, probably inspired by the success of encryption in several BitTorrent clients. This feature, which causes eMule’s communication to appear as random data and makes it more difficult for ISP’s to throttle eMule users.
The new version has the option of only connecting to clients that support this feature but it has the option of connecting to all clients as well.
Protocol obfuscation has been the most requested feature by eMule users for several months. It has been reported that Brasil Telecom has been aggressively throttling traffic generated by eMule. This has made eMule practically unusable for thousands of Brazilian’s and although NeoMule, an eMule mod, added protocol obfuscation several months ago it only partially alleviated the problem.
NeoMule users represent a very small percentage of the ed2k network and although their protocol obfuscation feature works well, it only works if the users it connects to are also using NeoMule.
Recently, more and more ISP’s have began throttling P2P protocols. Numerous ISP’s have targeted the BitTorrent protocol and in response Azureus, BitComet and uTorrent have implemented protocol encryption.
Overall, their protocol encryption feature has been effective but Allot Communications claims that they have developed technology that allows ISP’s to specifically target and throttle encrypted BitTorrent traffic.
It’s clear that eMule’s protocol obfuscation feature will be well received by the eMule community but it remains to be seen how long it will take for ISP’s to figure out a way to throttle eMule’s traffic once again.