uTorrent, the world's most popular torrent client, has hit an important milestone with the release of version 2.0 beta. The new version features improved support for the UDP-based uTP transfer protocol, support for UDP trackers, a setup guide and a lot of small improvements and bug fixes. However, uTorent stays true to its nature as a light-weight torrent client - the beta setup executable is only 279 KB small.

utorrent setup guide

One of the most obvious changes is probably the new setup guide process, which features a speed test in order to determine optimal upload and download settings for your machine and broadband connection. However, this feature is only enabled if there's no previous version of uTorrent installed on your system, so you should do a clean install if you want to check it out.

uTP support is a feature that's a little more under the hood, but it could prove to be equally interesting in the long run. uTP is BitTorrent Inc.'s UDP-based transfer protocol that aims to solve network congestion issues by making the client more network-aware. Here's how the company explained this functionality in a recent submission (PDF) with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission:

"The uTP transport collects one way delay measurements between peers as it transfers data. By using these measurements, uTP can sense congestion building in the network before it is felt by any other application. When this pre-congestive state is observed, the protocol is designed to slow down or stop, in effect, yielding capacity to other applications (e.g. VoIP, gaming or even web surfing)."

The submission also revealed that uTP has been used by around 400,000 uTorrent beta testers, and that the company is only weeks away from making it available to all of its users, presumable by releasing a stable version of uTorrent 2.0. The release of uTorrent 2.0 beta is certainly an important step in that direction.

uTorrent is by far the most popular Bittorrent client, according to a recent Torrentfreak report about an analysis of 150.000 peers. uTorrent was used by almost 56% of all of the Bittorrent users that participated in the 400 swarms that the analysis was based on. Vuze, which turned out to be the second most popular client, was only used by around 17%.

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