Entries Tagged as 'P2P'


First let me open by saying I do not condon copyright infringement or theft.  Companies and individuals are entitled to fair and just compensation for their work; however, US Copyright laws entitle you to backups for personal use, and there are a number of indisputably legal uses for P2P file sharing.

I recommend you check out Shareaza (DO NOT USE shareaza.com — that’s a SCAM site — use the Source Forge link below).  Shareaza is a multi-protocol P2P file sharing client; it does Gnutella, Gnuetella2 (G2), EDonkey2000, and BitTorrent.  It also includes the ability to search for files.

If you’re just interest in exchanging files via BitTorrent then uTorrent is by far the best client.  BitTorrent has a search tool built in, and you can certainly use other sources for torrents as well.

Reguardless of the client you choose, you should consider running PeerGuardian 2 fro Phoenix Labs (you can read all about it on their site).

And I recommend you consider running your P2P client in a virtual machine.

Dynamic IP Filtering (Black Lists)

There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a dynamic black list of IP addresses to prevent your computer from connecting to or being connect to by users on the Internet who might not have your best interests at heart…

Below are three different dynamic IP filtering solutions for various operating systems; each of them are open source, have easy to use GUIs, and use the same filter list formats (and will download those lists from a URL or load them from a file).

You can read a great deal more about each program and the concepts of IP blocking on the web pages associated with each.

Linux BitTorrent Clients – Follow-Up

I’ve been using several Linux bit torrent clients fairly heavily for the past week or so, and I have a few new comments about each of the “contenders” — below I’ve ordered them as I would recommend using them.

KTorrent · KTorrent might be a little “fat”, but it works, and it works very well — particularly when dealing with a large number of torrents simultaneously.  This is my pick.

TorrentFlux · TorrentFlux is probably the best solution you’ll find for a torrent server.  Simply said, it works fine (though I don’t know that I’ll continue to use it, simply because it doesn’t seem to be being improved, and it’s far from perfection).

Transmission · Transmission is simple, and that simplicity seems to pay off — it works, it works well.

qBittorrent · qBittorrent works fairly well for a small number of simultaneous torrents; but if you want to download large numbers of torrents or seed large numbers of torrents stay away from this one — it actually crashes, and unless your goal is just to watch the integrity of your torrents be checked and over and over you can do much better.

Deluge · Deluge was what I really wanted to like; and it seemed to work, but it has two major problems — it doesn’t handle large numbers of torrents well, and it doesn’t properly handle port forwarding (either through UPnP / NAT-PMP or when you try and set the port forwarding manually).  We’ll just leave it at it has issues (that apparently are fairly well known) and the progress on it is glacial in it’s pace.

Moving torrents from one client to another isn’t all that hard to do, a little time consuming maybe… but once you figure out how to do it, and let your data files re-check, you’ll be on your way.

My experience over the past week reminds me that you can do your diligence by researching every fact and figure about a program all you like; but until you put it through the paces you just won’t know.

NOTES: My test included about 550 torrents totaling just under half a terabyte in total size.  I required that ports be forwarded through a firewall properly (either via UPnP, NAT-PMP, or by hand), and that I be able to control the total number of active torrents (preferably with control over uploads and downloads as well), and be able to restrict the bandwidth (a scheduler was a nice touch, but not a requirement).


No, not a swarm of bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets — I’m talking about file sharing technology.

First, there’s absolutely nothing illegal or immoral about using file sharing technology for file sharing and distribution, just as there’s nothing illegal or immoral about using hyper-text (http) or file transfer (ftp) technology.  It all has to do with the content you’re trying to exchange, not the system you’re using to exchange it.

There are many legitamate uses for BitTorrent and other P2P technologies.  Here’s a perfect example.

A small company has a number of offices spread throughout the world, and no one location has an internet connection with significant bandwidth (let’s say for argument, they all had a high end class of DSL service, but none of them have fibre).  This company would like to distribute it’s trial software, but because of the economics can’t afford to pay for additional bandwidth or for a content delivery system — they could opt to “aggragate” the bandwidth of all of their offices by providing a torrent and running torrent servers at each location — that would allow the nodes with the most bandwidth available to satisfy requests, and any individuals who had downloaded the software and elected to continue seeding would be able to source it as well.  While no one individual might get the software as quickly (though that’s not necessarily true), many more people would be able to get the software sooner, and at no additional cost; thus the company could meet it’s budgetary constraints and might not have to consider increasing the amount they need to charge for the software to cover operating expenses.

Swarming technology is real, it’s practical, and it’s a solution for a number of problems.

Swarms are highly fault tolerant, they’re highly distributed, and they dynamically adjust to changing conditions…

While any technology can be abused and misused, there’s nothing inherently bad in any of the P2P technologies.  Just because bank robbers use pens to write hold up notes we didn’t outlaw the pen or pencil…


 Maybe, just maybe I’ve found a clue why BitTorrent can’t make any money — and here’s a good example from a web page on their site.


Company Overview
BitTorrent is the global standard for delivering high-quality files over the Internet. With an installed base of over 160 million clients worldwide, BitTorrent technology has turned conventional distribution economics on its head. The more popular a large video, audio or software file, the faster and cheaper it can be transferred with BitTorrent. The result is a better digital entertainment experience for everyone.

With tens of thousands of new users every day, BitTorrent has three lines of business:

BitTorrent DNA
BitTorrent DNA is a disruptively effective content delivery technology. It significantly reduces bandwidth costs for popular files while dramatically improving the performance and scalability of websites. BitTorrent DNA enables websites to seamlessly add the speed and efficiency of patented BitTorrent technology to their current content delivery infrastructure, requiring no changes to their current Content Delivery Network (CDN) or hardware in the origin infrastructure. Businesses can benefit from the efficiencies of peer-assisted content delivery while improving the end-user experience.

BitTorrent Device Partners
The BitTorrent Device Partners is a program designed to meet the various needs and depth of technology that hardware and software companies require to create next-generation Internet-enabled consumer devices. The BitTorrent Device Partners includes a Software Development Kit (SDK) for consumer electronics manufacturers who are creating new devices for the home, office or on the move. The BitTorrent Certified program is another offering which ensures compatibility between CE products and the BitTorrent ecosystem of services, products and content. Compatible devices are also eligible for the BitTorrent Certified logo endorsement, which allows hardware manufacturers to leverage the BitTorrent brand for packaging and promotional materials.

For more information about BitTorrent products and services, please contact us. 

They indicate BitTorrent has three lines of business, yet they only list two.  Is the third line kept super secret?  Are they so clueless they can’t count?  Do they not know how to proof read?  Do they not know how to revise their web page?  Do they expect everyone to contact them to get the third business line?  Are they still “thinking” about what the third (profitable) business line might be?

Common guys, just admit that you don’t have a head for business — it doesn’t matter what technology you buy (since you obviously can’t seem to continue to innovate on your own), you’re just never going to make any real money, you’re just going to burn venture capital as you slowly go out of business.

Linux BitTorrent Clients

I’ve been looking at bit torrent (BitTorrent) clients for Linux over the past few weeks — and to say there’s a huge number of candidates wouldn’t do justice to the number of choices a person has… but like so many things in life, quantity and quality are generally on perpendicular axises.

I set a fairly simple set of requirements for the client:

  • Open source
  • Stability
  • Simplicity
  • Configurability
  • Support protocol encryption (require it)
  • Light on resources
  • Ability to handle torrents via URLs

And I set some nice to haves:

  • Search integration
  • Daemon
  • IP black listing (though I use IPBlock, so this is only a nice to have for others)

So once again I set out to limit the field and do some real testing on Ubuntu 10.04LTS… and the ones I ended up really doing more than just kicking the tires are listed below (alphabetically).  Other failed because they didn’t meet my requirements, they were pieces of crap that should be expunged from the world (LOL), or I just didn’t like them enough to waste time and energy on them.  The links for each of the below are to Wikipedia; you can find links on there to the website for each client.  I installed all of the clients via the package manager on Ubuntu.

Deluge · Deluge is a fairly basic program, though has just about every setting configurable that you might want.  It does have a client / server model (use of it is optional); but a single instance of the daemon is unable to handle multiple users; but it does allow you to terminate your session and continue downloading, and it doesn’t seem to have any issue running multiple daemons (one for each user).   This client also offers a number of “plug ins” to provide a block list, a web ui, a schedule, etc — features most others just include as part of the base system.  I wanted to like this client more than I did; but in the end I can only call it acceptable.

KTorrent · KTorrent is a nicely done program, and it has just about every setting configurable that you might want.  Interestingly by default the queue manager is disabled, so it really doesn’t act much like any other bit torrent client I’ve ever used — but enabling it gives you the ability to download multiple torrent at once.  One short coming is you don’t seem to be able to limit the total number of downloads and uploads together — you can do them individually, but that means for trackers that limit your total active connections you could end up not using all of them.  I’ve also noted that this client seems to be a little “fat” and consume a significant amount of system resources (GUI in particular) when left running for extended periods.  I like this client; but there are better.

qBittorrent · qBittorrent is essentially a *nix clone of the Windows version of uTorrent (µTorrent); and it certainly does a good job mimicking it.  It seems to have all the features I wanted; and none of the downsides.  It has a web ui, a ip filter, etc.  It seems to be reasonably light on system resources and just works.  If I had to pick a standalone bit torrent client, this would probably be my recommendation.

TorrentFlux · TorrentFlux is actually a web ui for BitTornado.  There is a fork of the project called TorrentFlux-b4rt that looks like it will eventually offer more features (and support more bit torrent engines) but for the moment TorrentFlux appears to be much more stable.  It’s fairly basic, but has most all the features one might want.  While many of the others offer a web ui, I think this is probably one of the better “server” solutions for bit torrent clients.

Transmission · Transmission is a very simple bit torrent client; perhaps too simple.  It has all the settings you need, as well as a web ui.  It also has ports for just about every operating system (so if you only wanted to deal with one bit torrent client on multiple operating system this would be a good choice).  Transmission has a huge following; but personally I felt it just wasn’t quite what I wanted.

In the end, I guess I didn’t find a bit torrent client that I really liked… but I think TorrentFlux (or a re-incarnation of it) has good potential to be what I want; and I think qBittorrent is probably my favorite of the stand alone clients.  However, in saying that, let me underscore that every client on this list works, and works acceptably well — so I don’t think you’ll go wrong with any of them… and I’m sure that those with a religious conviction to one or the other will just not accept that their favorite client doesn’t top my list… but in fact, I’m holding the tops slots of my list open hoping I find something better.

NOTE: The use of torrents for downloading does not necessarily denotate that a user is breaking any laws.  That said, because many internet service providers will terminate a user that is using a torrent client, it is a good idea to require encrypted connections and use IP filtering software (with current black lists).

AT&T U-Verse – Internet – Gnutella2

After a fair amount of experimentation and “thinking”…

As I posted earlier that AT&T U-Verse Residential Gateway Router doesn’t handle a large number of connections well.

In fact, when you try to have large numbers of simultaneous connections through the router traffic can slow to a crawl.

It appears that this sluggishness might be related to large numbers of inbound connections (which further substantiates my theory that this might be by design).

With Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing systems such as Gnutella 2 (found in Shareaza, MLdonkey, Morpheus, etc) operating in hub mode you’d see a far greater number of inbound network connections than with the same protocol operating in leaf mode (or most any other P2P software).

A simple work around (though not necessary a good overall solution) is to disable your P2P file sharing application from operating with G2 in hub mode; that will greatly reduce the number of inbound connections and thus you’ll see your U-Verse gateway operating much better.

There are, of course, advantages to operating in hub mode (and there needs to be nodes operating in hub mode for G2 to work efficiently); but with U-Verse you’re not doing the world any real good operating in a mode that slows traffic to a crawl.


While this post is relevant specifically to U-Verse, AT&T provides 2Wire gateways for ADSL service as well; so you may find that disabling hub mode in G2 on non-U-Verse systems improves overall performance as well.

Pirates at Bay

Yesterday a copyright infringement trial begain in Stockhome Sweden… at the center of the trial is Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi who have often voiced their disdain for copyright laws; and Carl Lundström who largely funded the venture.

You know these four more familiarly through their online identity, The Pirate Bay.

The focus of the prosecution’s case is that these individuals enabled others to share copyrighted property (IP), could have placed controls on the sharing of IP, and actually profited from the operation of the site that provided a directory of illegally shared IP.

The four’s defense is that they did not in fact share any IP, that they merely operated a site that provided “free speech” to individuals who wanted to post information there.

This is a very similar tactic used in the Napster, Grokster, and Kazaa litigation; but interestingly enough previous attempt to close The Pirate Bay have failed.

There are a number of key points that are going to be covered in this trial; one of which will likely be the EU privacy laws; the second is the commercial aspect of The Pirate Bay (they made lots of money, way more than it took to operate the business).

An interesting point in all of this is that the advertisers that supported The Pirate Bay have not been implicated in this case.  One would assume that they had as much knowledge of what was going on on the site as the owners.

The prosecution has been careful to avoid bringing file sharing into the case; in fact in their opening arguments they made it clear that they were not attempting to prevent file sharing as a whole, merely to protect the intellectual property of their clients.

Watch this case carefully, it will effect mostly what happens in Europe; but a win for the recording industry there will likely be seen as carte blanche to push forward with their efforts to have ISPs monitor what you and I do online without reguard to legalities.