A plug-in developed by a university is promising improved BitTorrent transfers by selectively connecting to peers offering faster response times. Currently in use on over 25,000 Azureus installations, it identifies and connects to nearby peers in an attempt to accelerate downloads.
How to speed up transfers is a common question from many BitTorrent users looking to squeeze the last drop of performance from their torrent client. Here at TorrentFreak we like to give people as many tips as possible, such as those in some of our previous posts on how to Optimize Your BitTorrent Download Speed and Calculate Your Optimal BitTorrent Settings.
Developers at Northwestern University are also working to improve transfer speeds and have developed an Azureus plugin which claims to do just that – but how? From the site:
“The main goal of this plugin is simple — to improve download speeds for your BitTorrent client. For most P2P applications, the decision regarding which peer to download from is generally arbitrary. When most peers offer good download performance, the random solution works well. However, if most peers are in a different part of the world from you, your downloads can really suffer.
The Ono plugin avoids this by proactively finding peers that are close to you (in a networking sense). These peers generally offer better response time, which can lead to significantly improved performance. We identify those peers that are near you by reusing network measurements from content distribution networks (CDNs), i.e. without performing extensive path measurement or probing.”
According to the project, although the Azureus client is already involved in ‘network positioning’ for increasing transfer speeds, it fails to perform due to inaccurate network co-ordinates. They claim that only 10% of the co-ordinates are acceptable, while 60% had up to 100% errors.
As is the case with Azureus, Ono requires Java to run and can be downloaded here. Anyone wishing to read more about the project should visit their homepage.
Although low latency is preferable in any networking environment, it’s up for debate if in the real world, this in itself leads to faster transfers.
‘Ono’ is a Hawaiian word meaning ‘good to eat’ so we would be very interested to hear if TorrentFreak users find this plugin as tasty as the developers claim, so feel free to add your experiences to the comment section.