As Expected, BitTorrent Providers Planning To Route Around Comcast Barrier

from the cat-and-mouse dept

It’s no secret that every time ISPs look to filter or degrade the performance of a certain kind of traffic, it only increases attempts to encrypt the traffic, which actually makes things worse for the ISPs. So now that Comcast is standing by its BitTorrent traffic shaping efforts, a group of different BitTorrent developers are working together to build in encryption that gets around the Comcast traffic shaping system. That encryption will, of course, add somewhat to the overhead that Comcast needs to deal with, and will become more expensive if they have to keep looking for new systems to degrade traffic. Perhaps they’ll just follow the lead of some other ISPs in simply degrading all encrypted traffic — though, considering how much legitimate traffic is encrypted, that’s going to cause some problems. Of course, rather than spending so much fighting all of this, they could focus on building out their systems to better handle the traffic. But why would they do that?

Filed Under: ,
Companies: comcast

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “As Expected, BitTorrent Providers Planning To Route Around Comcast Barrier”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Jman594 says:

what happend to anti-trust?

I can’t get faster download speeds than with my cable connection. DSL won’t even hold a candle to it, yet it’s almost like you’re held prisoner with the cable comapnies and they know it.
I just upgraded to the 15Mbs in my area (which produces consistant 8Mbs downloads) and I couldn’t be happier. But customer service really sucks. Mediacom has got to be somewhere in the middle in regards to customer service.
I don’t know if my torrents are being throttled or not. When I asked Mediacom, of course, they told me that they would never do that. So I guess that I don’t know what to believe. My torrent download speed didn’t increase by doubling my bandwidth.

y8 says:

Re: Re: Re: what happend to anti-trust?

Well, matt, it seems that SOMEONE has to be uploading the content. Just because there is not a single central cerver doesn’t mean that there is no server.

Each ‘host’ is a server, so while one server isn’t being monopolized (i/o, drive access, bandwidth), the fact is that now you have to deal with 5 or 10 or more individual servers, some of which may be some guy on dial up.

So maybe you could be a little less condescending.

Dionysus444 says:

Re: Re: Re:2 what happend to anti-trust?

Okay, first, Torrents DO rely on servers, but not to store the files. Torrent servers just store and send lists of currently connected seeders and leechers so the client can establish individual connections to the seeders and leechers.

However, y8, by using the term SERVER, one refers to a dedicated machine for a specific set of tasks. If someone VNCs my computer, my machine doesn’t become a server. Host, sure, but definately not a server. Also, servers can (normally) be directly referenced to by a client, where as torrent clients are much closer related to sending emails.

Jman594 says:

Re: Re: Re:2 what happend to anti-trust?

You can’t be serious man. I have the ability to connect to up to 9999 hosts to leach from. However, I am limited to the seeders and leachers availible (yes, you download from others who are also downloading the same file). My avg download speed is around 400k/s.

Now, explain this to me, when my download speed gets above 550k/s, why do I mysteriously lose my internet connection for roughly 3 seconds? And I mean the modem crashes, not any part of my network. I know this because my network goes down and all computers say they’ve lost the connection. I have connected directly to the modem and the connection still goes down. Who or what do you think is to blame?

Also, though the client/server reference is accurate, the context you used in the first reply to try and make ME look stupid actually made you look as though you may need to study bitTorrent a little more. (trying not to be condecending)

August West says:

Re: Re: Re:2 what happend to anti-trust?

Actually it does make your machine a server, if you want to argue sematics. A client is any device requesting a service and the server is any machine providing that service. You’ll notive that the VNC server service, not the VNC viewer, need to be running on your machine in order for someone to VNC in to it.

Jerry in Detroit (profile) says:

Comcast Throttling Software Provided by Comcast

Comcast provides complimentary McAfee anti virus software. One jumps through a few hoops but then downloads an installer programs which logs into McAfee Central and downloads the rest of the software.

Recently, I attempted to install the software only to have Comcast interrupt the subsequent 50+ megabyte download. I finally had to resort to reinitializing the IP by powering down the computer & modem then downloading the software.

Carme says:

If the ISP were smarter encryption wouldn't matter

Bittorrent is a clever idea for spreading large files across the net but it’s simply a poor match for current cable broadband technology. Encrypting the protocol doesn’t solve the problem, it only makes it harder. Instead of playing hide-and-seek with encryption, which is really quite childish, the Bittorrent developers should be working on tuning the protocol so it is less harmful to current cable broadband networks. The cable companies need to do their part and improve their technology, probably by implementing DOCSIS 3.

Encryption won’t even help much. P2P traffic has some characteristics which are independent of the data, like establishing many connections in a short time. The ISP can limit the rate or number of incoming or outgoing connections to throttle P2P activity. This is actually a lot more fair as it affects an entire network usage pattern and doesn’t discriminate against any specific application.

Liquid says:

Re: If the ISP were smarter encryption wouldn't ma

It’s not about hurting the network speeds at all… Its the fact that people are using to break copy right laws, and the RIAA/MPAA are pressuring these companies to police the internet when they shouldn’t be… It’s not their jobs to make sure little Timmy isn’t downloading the T.I. CD or little Cindy isn’t downloading the new hanna montana 3d movie… That would be like telling book publishers that they should put a device in books that cause the book to burst into flames if someone decides to let a friend borrow it, or even give it to a friend to keep… Since they friend did buy the book and paid their portion of the writers royalties, and the publishers fees…

Personally in the end people will find away to get around the BS of it all… It will most likely come back to physically sharing media with each other instead of over the net…

Liquid says:


When you download a torrent your downloading multiple parts of a file from multiple people at one time. Like all others are saying you do not connect to a server for the downloads. How torrents work is that you go to a site download a torrent file witch is a text file that has some code or text in it that tells the torrent program to go over here and download it. There could many many many here’s to download from. That is why you have two kinds of people which are seeders, and leechers. Seeders are the one’s that have the full program/music/video file(s), and leechers are the ones that are downloading the files. When you download a torrent you pull bits and peices from all these seeders & leechers. As your downloading the torrent your torrent program i.e. Bitcommet, uTorrent, Azures, etc… takes those bits and puts them in their sequential order to make the whole file…

I hope that kinda explains how this works… and if I am wrong on some stuff I’m pretty sure that someone will make a comment on it… Yeah there are no download servers involved in downloading the torrent…

diablo says:

cable company bad

current cable company technology and hardware is crap that is why in north america we have the slowest internet in the civilized world.dsl not much better but phone companies have made some effort to stay with technology.cable companies opted to spend on exspenive third party software instead of investing in their ancient lines of copper belief is the cable companies don’t want to invest in thier own system because they feel as i do that it will be a wireless world.for torrent users check out increasing simutaneus connections in xp.huge differene reg hack required

mwright says:

Re: BT is legitimate

while the PIPE may be dumb the routers and switches that the traffic passes through are not. Are we to believe that ALL traffic should be treated equal. .. is downloading the latest janet jackson song equal too a 911 call using VoIP.

Bandwdth today is not unlimited as too size and it never will be, becuase there will always be limits on what a certain piece of fiber or copper will handle.

What we need to do is have a priority which many businesses use… if a VoIP call or citrix is being used other traffic is limited, if they are not then it is wide open..

We must make sure that 30 downloads of music does not block 1 911 call…

Meat says:

Re: Re: BT is legitimate

Let’s be realistic here. They are aren’t throttling it to let a few 911 calls through. They are throttling it to let them save money because they have oversold their bandwidth. People have found a way to use all of the bandwidth that they pay for and the ISPs cannot provide what they have committed to in the contracts that people have signed. They have found a way to weasel out of their obligation to provide the customers what they are paying for because they don’t want to spend the money to upgrade their systems.

Monarch says:

Re: Re: BT is legitimate

Idiot mwright. If a 911 call was a concern to any person, they wouldn’t have VoIP! They would have a regulated telephone, not voice IM over phones. And YES! That Janet Jackson download IS as important as the 911 call over VoIP. Why? Because the bandwidth SHOULD be dumb and unregulated! You want Regulated 911 calls, get an Analog Phone!!! Next thing you know, the government is going to be thinking like you, you moron, and the next thing I know, my internet bill is going to be loaded with regulation fees like my analog phone is! F’ing Moron mwright

Anonymous Coward says:

“Of course, rather than spending so much fighting all of this, they could focus on building out their systems to better handle the traffic”

You make it sound so easy and painless….Why don’t *you*?

Oh, right, it would cost money and be like actual *work*.

Right now they are using the part-time users to subsidize the high-end users and it’s no longer working. What they need to do is go to a bandwidth-based usage plan system that stops the subsidy-style “all for one and one for all” BS and starts having people actually pay for what they are using.


10, 20, 30, 60, 120GB plans. Speeds going up accordingly.

Do *not* allow “overage charges”, but *do* allow users to initiate a new billing cycle if they hit their limit.(For instance, a customer billed on the 16th and running out on the 7th can start a new billing cycle, changing the billing date form the 16th to the 7th, thus starting the period over)

Allow roll-over.

Allow users to change their plans at the start/end of any billing cycle (or when they choose to initiate a new cycle).

No throttling.

The high-bandwidth users will end up funding the next build-out of infrastructure.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...