Despite BitTorrent being the leading file-sharing protocol for several years already, Limewire is still the most installed P2P application on the market. Even though most of Limewire’s users only use the Gnutella network, the application has completely overhauled its BitTorrent implementation.
In 2008 LimeWire was the most installed P2P application with an impressive market-share of 37%, compared to 14% for runner-up uTorrent. Although Limewire is primarily a Gnutella-based client it also supports BitTorrent downloads.
Although we can safely say that most LimeWire users don’t use the application just for its BitTorrent support, LimeWire could not ignore the popularity of BitTorrent and had no other option than to implement the most used file-sharing protocol back in 2006.
Up until today, LimeWire’s BitTorrent functionality has been rather limited, especially compared to the full-featured BitTorrent clients such as uTorrent, Transmission and Vuze. However, this is all about to change according to the LimeWire team.
LimeWire’s lead developer Sam Berlin told TorrentFreak that they’ve done a complete overhaul of their BitTorrent implementation. The newest release is already available in Beta and now uses Arvid Norberg’s Libtorrent under the hood, which is a significant improvement.
With the implementation of Libtorrent – which is also used by BitTorrent clients such as Deluge, Halite and Miro – Limewire now supports Mainline DHT, UDP tracking, IPv6, HTTP seeding, local peer discovery and uTorrent’s peer exchange
With Libtorrent LimeWire definitely made a step in the right direction that will benefit those who use the application to occasionally download torrents. True to LimeWire’s “ease of use” standards there are very few BitTorrent options to configure, meaning that most new features are simply enabled and can’t be turned off.
Sam Berlin told TorrentFreak that the LimeWire team has no idea how many of their users use the application to download torrents. In a BitTorrent client survey we conducted of 137,797 peers across various swarms only 43 of them were using LimeWire. They must be delighted at the news.