µTorrent 3.1 in Windows 7
|Original author(s)||Ludvig Strigeus|
|Initial release||September 18, 2005|
3.2 (Build 27886) (September 5, 2012)
1.6.5 (Build 27624) (July 25, 2012)
3.0 (Beta) (September 6, 2012)
3.0 (Server alpha; build 27079) (May 29, 2012)
3.3 (Alpha; build 27930) (September 13, 2012)
3.2.1 (Beta; build 27972) (September 19, 2012)
1.7.6 (Beta; build 27691) (August 3, 2012)
|Operating system||Android (2.1 and later), Linux (officially supported using Wine; native version in development), Microsoft Windows, OS X (10.5; Intel and PPC)|
|Size||1.6 MB (Android)|
1.49 MB (Linux)
875.39 kB (Microsoft Windows)
2.69 MB (OS X)
|Available in||66 languages|
µTorrent (or uTorrent; commonly abbreviated as "µT" or "uT") is a freeware, closed source BitTorrent client now owned by BitTorrent, Inc. It is the most widely used BitTorrent client outside China (where Xunlei is more popular). It gets the "µ" in its name from the SI prefix "micro-", referring to the program's small memory footprint: the program was designed to use minimal computer resources while offering functionality comparable to larger BitTorrent clients such as Vuze or BitComet. The program has received consistently good reviews for its feature set, performance, stability, and support for older hardware and versions of Windows.
The program has been in active development since its first release in 2005. Although originally developed by Ludvig Strigeus, since December 7, 2006, the code is owned and maintained by BitTorrent, Inc. The code has also been employed by BitTorrent, Inc. as the basis for version 6.0 and above of the BitTorrent client, a re-branded version of µTorrent.
µTorrent is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. A µTorrent Server is also available for Linux. All versions are written in C++.
The latest stable build for Windows is version 3.2.
Out of general discontent with bloatware, Serge Paquet suggested to Ludvig Strigeus that he should make a smaller and more efficient BitTorrent client. Strigeus began to conceptualize the plans for the program's development, which, at the time, did not include making the client feature-rich. After initially working on it for about a month during the last quarter of 2004 (the first build is dated October 17, 2004), mostly during his free time before and after work, Strigeus ceased coding µTorrent for a year. He resumed work on September 15, 2005, and three days later, the first public release (version 1.1 beta) was made available as freeware, and began generating feedback.
On March 4, 2006, PeerFactor SARL announced the signing of a six-month contract with Strigeus for the development of "new content distribution applications on the Web." PeerFactor SARL is a relatively new company formed by former employees of PeerFactor, which was a subsidiary of the French anti-piracy organization Retspan.
Ludde stated that his coding for PeerFactor SARL was to use his expertise at optimization of the BitTorrent protocol to create a .dll which PeerFactor SARL intended to use as part of a distribution platform for files in a corporate setting. At the time there was some speculation that μTorrent may have been modified to spy on users on Peerfactor's behalf, however to date (even following μTorrent's acquisition by BitTorrent, Inc.) no evidence has been produced to support these allegations.
On December 7, 2006, µTorrent was purchased by BitTorrent, Inc., as it was announced on their official forum.
On September 18, 2007, BitTorrent 6.0 was released, which is a re-branded version of µTorrent. As a result, BitTorrent 6 is closed-source (unlike BitTorrent 5.x and before, which were open source software).
Magnet Link (URI) Support
Support for Magnet Links (URIs) was added in version 1.8, released on August 9, 2008. Magnet Links were designed as an alternative to traditional tracker torrent files and became popularized when sites such as The Pirate Bay included native support for the format.
Features present in µTorrent include:
- Streaming of video torrents
- Teredo tunneling / IPv6 support
- Micro Transport Protocol (µTP) preliminary support as of 1.8.2 with full-support added in 2.0
- UPnP support for all versions of Windows, without needing Windows XP's UPnP framework
- Protocol encryption (PE)
- Peer exchange (PEX) with other BitTorrent clients:
- libtorrent and clients based on it like Deluge have full µTorrent PEX support
- Transmission and clients based on libTransmission have full µTorrent PEX support
- KTorrent has full µTorrent PEX support as of 2.1 RC1
- Vuze, formerly Azureus, has full support as of version 220.127.116.11
- RSS ("broadcatching")
- "Trackerless" BitTorrent support using DHT, compatible with the original BitTorrent client and BitComet
- User configurable intelligent disk caching system
- Full proxy server support
- HTTPS tracker support
- Configurable bandwidth scheduler
- Localized for 52 languages.
- Initial seeding of torrents
- Customizable search bar & user interface design.
- Configuration settings and temporary files are stored in a single directory, allowing portable use
- WebUI: A plugin currently in beta testing that allows µTorrent running on one computer to be controlled from another computer, either across the internet or on a LAN, using a Web browser
- A new web user interface, codenamed Falcon, is in development. It supports encrypted sessions and the ability of going through firewalls without port forwarding, while being more complete and easier to start using than its predecessor.
- Embedded Tracker: a simple tracker designed for seeding torrents, lacking a web interface or list of hosted torrents. It is not designed for secure or large-scale application.
- Quick-resumes interrupted transfers
- Versions of µTorrent up to 1.8.5 build 17091 can use as little as 14 MB of RAM running on a 486 processor on Windows 95. Unicode support for Windows 95/98/ME, avoiding use of the Microsoft Layer for Unicode which is several times larger than µTorrent. As of March, 2011, newer versions required at least Windows XP or newer. Currently µTorrent requires at least Windows XP.
- Two "easter egg" hidden features in the About subsection of Help: clicking the µTorrent logo plays a Deep Note-like sound effect, and typing the letter "t" starts a Tetris-like game called μTris, which in 2008 was selected as #1 of the "Top 10 Software Easter Eggs" by LifeHacker.
µTorrent is shipped as a single stand-alone compressed executable file, installed at first run. Recent versions have included the ability to install themselves on first run. Small executable size is achieved by avoiding the use of many libraries, notably the C++ standard library and stream facilities, and creating substitutes written specifically for the program. The executable is then compressed to roughly half of its compiled and linked size using UPX.
Operating system support
Screenshot of the Mac OS X version of μTorrent (up to 0.9.2)
Screenshot of μTorrent Server viewed in Firefox
µTorrent is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
The first test version for Mac OS X, running on Mac OS X 10.5, was released on 27 November 2008.
On September 2, 2010, the native Linux version of µTorrent Server was released. Firon, an administrator of the µTorrent community forum, said that they had been working on this project for a few months prior to the release as it was the most requested feature for some time. This release is intended for users who are seeking a fast command-line interface based BitTorrent client with a remote web-based management. They also mentioned that a full featured client with a GUI is a work in progress. He also said: "This is a native Linux port and is known to work on Ubuntu 9.10+, Debian 5+ and Fedora 12+. Others may work, but they are not officially supported. Kernel 2.6.13 or newer required. 64-bit host systems currently have some problems, so 32-bit only for now. For trackers who whitelist, the user agent is "uTorrent/300B(build#)(server)". The peerid is identical to the Windows 3.0 client. They share version numbers because of a common codebase."
Currently μTorrent supports Windows XP or newer and Mac OS X10.5 or newer
In early versions, Strigeus had built in a web redirection via nanotorrent for search queries entered through the search bar that displayed advertisements in a frame on the web browser. Some users thought this suspicious because tracking could be implemented by recording the IP addresses of those downloading/receiving the advertisements, and the search functionality could easily be used to track user queries through whichever web-interface the client is going through to execute the search. After a short trial period, the advertising was disabled, mitigating possible concerns.
A later version of the software has, instead of ads, a "search all sites" feature, which is a keyword-based search bar that delivers listings of torrent files at different trackers. A frame at the top displays advertisements (server-side) in the browser when the search function is used. In version 1.5, no ads are present in the program itself.
As of build 463, a redirect bypass feature became available in the Advanced options.
As of version 1.8.2, the µTorrent installer gives the user the option to download and install the Ask.com toolbar. This is done on the first run of the program and the user may explicitly opt out of this feature by deselecting it. The developers stated the addition was needed for funds to continue development. In late 2010, this was replaced with the Conduit Engine.
In late 2010, some controversy arose with a release of uTorrent which included adware in the form of the Conduit Engine, which installed a toolbar, and made homepage and default search engine changes to a user's web browser. A number of users reported that the installation was made without the user's consent. There were some complaints that the adware software was difficult to remove. The Conduit system adware was removed.
On July 15, 2011, BitTorrent announced that they would offer a paid version of µTorrent called "µTorrent Plus". This new version would offer extra features, such as integrated file conversion, anti-virus and a built in media player. On 6 October 2011, the Pre-alpha of µTorrent Plus was released to an invite only community. As of December 2011, µTorrentPlus 3.1 Stable is now available for purchase and download.
In August 2012, BitTorrent announced the addition of advertising in the free version of µTorrent which could be individually dismissed by users. Due to response from users, a few days later, the company stated that ads could be optionally turned off.
The author of µTorrent wrote in 2005, "I usually say 'you torrent' because it looks like a u", and offered "microtorrent", "mytorrent" (as "my" [myː] is the Swedish pronunciation of the Greek letter µ) and later "mutorrent" as alternate pronunciations.
The symbol μ is the lowercase Greek letter Mu, which stands for the SI prefix "micro-" meaning "one millionth"; it refers to the program's small footprint.
The traditional English pronunciation of the letter μ is /ˈmjuː/ (as in the English word 'mew'), derived from its Classical Greek pronunciation [mŷː] (impossible to represent accurately with "sound-alike" respelling, since English lacks the close front rounded vowel [y]). The corresponding Standard Modern Greek pronunciation is [mi], much like the English word 'me'.
Original development was performed by Ludvig Strigeus ("ludde", from Sweden), the creator of µTorrent. Serge Paquet ("vurlix", from Canada) acted as release coordinator, and had intended to work on Linux and Mac OS X ports. He maintained the µTorrent website and forum up until the end of 2005, but is no longer affiliated with µTorrent.
Development after the purchase by BitTorrent is performed by developers Adam Kennedy ("AdamK"), Arvid Norberg ("arvid", author of libtorrent), Greg Hazel ("alus"), Jan Brittenson ("CodeRed"), Richard Choi ("rchoi"), and Ryan Norton ("RyanNorton") among others at BitTorrent Inc. Strigeus remains as a technical consultant.
Other tasks continue to be performed by ongoing contributors. Giancarlo Martínez ("Firon", from Puerto Rico) maintains the µTorrent forums and FAQ. Carsten Niebuhr ("Directrix", from Germany) developed the original µTorrent Web User Interface which is now maintained by "Ultima".
μTorrent has been praised for its small size and the minimal computer resources it uses which sets it apart from other clients. PC Magazine gave the program a positive review saying that it "packs an outstanding array of features". and was also listed in their Best free 157 software tools. It was also in PC World Magazine's 101 Fantastic freebies. The website TorrentFreak.com said it was the most feature rich BitTorrent client available, later summarizing an August 2009 University of California, Riverside study which concluded that "uTorrent Download Speeds Beat Vuze By 16%" on average and "On 10% of [the 30 most used] ISPs, uTorrent users were downloading 30% faster than Vuze users". About.com said it was the best BitTorrent client available, citing its small size and "minimal impact to the rest of your computer's speed." Wired.com said its "memory footprint is also ridiculously small". The Australian PC & Tech Authority magazine gave it a 6 out of 6 stars. Lifehacker.com has continued to rate it the best BitTorrent client available. CNET.com gave it a 5 out of 5 stars saying it features "Light and quick downloading".
In November 2009, 52 million users used the application.
According to a study by Arbor Networks, the 2008 adoption of IPv6 by µTorrent caused a 15-fold increase in IPv6 traffic across the Internet over a ten-month period.
The software is available in the following languages:
|Awadh||Chinese (Traditional)||Georgian||Kazakh||Marathi||Serbian (Cyrillic)||Turkish|
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
|Major Version||Release Date||Changes|
|1.1 (beta)||18 September 2005||unknown|
|1.1.7||21 October 2005||unknown|
|1.2||9 November 2005||unknown|
|1.3||10 December 2005||unknown|
|1.4||10 January 2006||unknown|
|1.5||8 March 2006||unknown|
|1.6||30 June 2006||unknown|
|1.7||28 June 2007||unknown|
|1.8||9 August 2008||unknown|
|2.0||11 March 2010||unknown|
|2.2||15 February 2011||unknown|
|3.0||16 November 2011||unknown|
|3.1||20 January 2012||unknown|
|3.1.3 (build 27443)||19 June 2012||unknown|
|3.2 (build 27708)||07 August 2012||unknown|
|3.2.1 (build 27605)||07 August 2012||unknown|
|3.3 Alpha (build 27681)||03 August 2012||unknown|
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
|Major Version||Release Date||Changes|
|0.9.0.1||3 December 2008|
- Fixed crash in Finder when uTorrent is the default .torrent application
|0.9.1.1||26 March 2009|
- Fix: don't wait indefinitely for trackers and UPnP when shutting down
- Change: Deleted files are now moved to the trash.
- Fix: Socket bug that broke incoming connections.
- Fix: 100% CPU utilization
- Fix: deadlock on socket error.
- Fix: uTP bug fixes and enhancements
- Fix: .dat file memory leak
- Fix: Integrity check .dat files after saving. Do not overwrite file.dat.old with a bad file.dat
|0.9.2||15 September 2009|
- Feature: Support for PPC.
- Feature: UDP tracker support
- Feature: uTP supports window sizes smaller than the packet size
- Change: Added upnp host cache to speed up upnp nat resolution on certain routers
- Change: Reduced uTP overhead slightly by ramping up packet sizes at lower rates
- Fix: 100% CPU usage bug
- Fix: fixed UDP-tracker crash when dns resolution would fail
- Fix: rare crash in low level network read and write
- Fix: Fix startup race condition between network and disk I/O thread
- Fix: UDP Tracker retries three times instead of two
- Fix: http seed fix for multifile torrents
- Fix: Fixed negative allocation in RequestChunks() for web seeds
- Fix: crash in UDP tracker support when tracker sends malformed responses
- Fix: Integrity check .dat files after saving. Do not overwrite file.dat.old with a bad file.dat
- Fix: uTP selective ack bug (would cause connections to stall and time out)
- Fix: uTP fast re-send bug (would sometimes re-send packets that shouldn't be re-sent)
- Fix: uTP recovers faster after timeout
- Fix: http seeds would not reconnect after stopping and starting torrent
- Fix: http seed for multifile torrents
- Fix: uTP issue on low-latency high-throughput networks
- Fix: Copying long filenames to clipboard no longer results in garbage or crash
- Fix: Fixed web seed support for multi-file torrents
- Fix: Handle multi file torrents with web seed urls that incorrectly don't end with a slash
- Fix: Make sure web seed urls end with a slash for multifile torrents
- Fix: uTP packet size fix. Sometimes it would send packets exceeding MTU. Fixes long standing rate oscillations.
- Fix: Fixed crash when receiving a malformed PEX message
- Fix: Crash when parsing some magnet uri components without values
- Fix: DHT bootstrap failures now have an exponential back-off
- Fix: uTP would not ramp up its rate fast enough
- Fix: Invalid encoding of non-ascii urls in web seeds
- Fix: uTP fix when receiving acks for old packets
- Fix: uTP variable packet size bug
|0.9.3.11||19 October 2009|
- User interface enhancements
- Modified progress bar
- Added magnifying glass icon for completed torrents
- Multiple bug fixes and improvements
- Resized and moved UI items
|18.104.22.168||1 June 2010|
- RSS feeds added.
- Fix: Magnet links now work
- Updated the start and stop icon in the toolbar
- Fix: crash when the number of open file descriptors exceeded 500
- Fix: rate limiting problem when using calc_overhead and switching between unlimited and rate limited upload or download
- Fix: Compelete pending Disk operations before automatically shutting down
- Fix: Don't exceed the upload limit with overhead when calc_overhead is on
- Fix: disconnect issue with seeds
- Fix: uTP over Teredo at high speeds, and MTU problems on some kinds of networks
- Fix: random crash when drawing the piece graph
|1.1.0||7 December 2010|
- Feature add torrent dialog with directory settings and file selection
- Feature growl support
- Feature dock icon badging
- Feature to move torrent save location
- Added privacy settings
- Added advanced directory settings and rules
- Improved UTP bandwidth support
- Fixed seeding ratio limits
- Fixed tracker messages when torrent is complete
- Fixed setting auto add directory
- Improved https support
- Fixed having to hit return to register changes in the bandwidth preferences
|1.5||3 March 2011|
- Added utWEB support
- Added RSS support
- Added scheduler
- Updated UI
- Fixed support for secure trackers
- Improved rate limiting
|1.6.4 (build 27255)||23 May 2012|
- Fixed seeding on PPC
- Fixed crash when handling incorrect responses from HTTP trackers
- Fixed crash on start on OSX 10.5.4 (Intel)
- Fixed crash when changing proxy address
- Fixed crash when processing autoadd directory
|1.6.5 (build 27624)||25 July 2012|
- Mountain Lion support
- Proxy support
- Lion full screen support
- Growl 1.2.3 support
- Traffic cap feature
- Auto-start at login
- Bandwidth cap
|1.7.6 (build 27691)||03 August 2012|
- Added support for BitTorrent certified devices
- Renamed extension for incomplete files into .utpart
- Fixed bug with download speed dropping to zero
- Added code signature for Mountain Lion
- Improved 3D Globe graphics
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
|Major Version||Release Date||Changes|
|Server alpha (3.0 build 27079) (Intel and AMD processors only)||29 May 2012||unknown|
|Server alpha (3.0 build 27079)||29 May 2012||unknown|
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