Maintaining a respectable ratio on a BitTorrent tracker can be a drawn-out task. The vast majority of users understand this, warm in the knowledge that whatever they upload helps their peers to download more quickly. Some users do not care about such things, and turn to ratio hacking applications like GreedyTorrent.
Developed by India-based Alex NJ in C++ using the wxWidgets library, GreedyTorrent is a freeware application which enables BitTorrent clients to report to a BitTorrent tracker that they are uploading more than they actually are.
Although the BitTorrent protocol employs a tit for tat method to ensure a certain level of sharing, some sites insist that members maintain a ratio close to 1:1 – i.e uploading the same amount as a downloaded. These ratio enforcement policies actively intervene with the altruistic design of the BitTorrent protocol, and make it hard for people to maintain a positive ratio, even if they want to.
Failing to maintain a good ratio on private trackers usually results in a ban from the tracker. Some trackers even force users with a lower ration to give a donation, in exchange for some from of upload credit. However, it’s acknowledged that it can be very difficult (and mathematically impossible for all users) to honestly maintain a ratio in certain circumstances. The GreedyTorrent site lists two situations where most difficulties arise:
1. If a user has an internet connection where the download speed is far greater than the upload, it means that generally for every hour spent downloading, 4 to 10 times more time needs to be spent uploading which may prove restrictive for some.
2. Almost all torrents on private trackers have many more seeds than leeches, mainly due to the fact that everyone is trying to upload as much as they can to improve their ratio. Of course, this makes it absolutely impossible for everyone to achieve a ratio of 1:1, especially where many users have ratios in excess of this.
It’s for these situations that GreedyTorrent claims to have been designed. The user can configure the application to report to the tracker that they are uploading more than they actually are – by default this is set at 5 times the actual upload amount – ADSL connections usually have an upload speed of 4 to 5 times slower than the download so that is probably the logic employed here.
GreedyTorrent is not a BitTorrent client itself, and claims to operate invisibly to the tracker administrator, displaying only the attributes of a genuine high-speed uploader. This of course will remain to be seen.
Greedy people exist in all sections of society but it is the unconditional altruism of most in the BitTorrent community that has ensured its meteoric rise to success over the last few years. Luckily, most torrenters are very happy to upload, warm in the knowledge that whatever they give today, they will more than likely get back tomorrow.