BitTorrent Inc has just added a new feature to the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent called Altruistic Mode that may throttle downloads in order to keep a 2:1 ratio at all times.
The main idea behind Altruistic Mode is to make sure you give back more than you take from the community of peers.
This is probably most interesting in situations where you want to keep a good ratio on a tracker, and where you want to support a project by giving it part of your upload bandwidth.
The intended use of Altruistic Mode is to help out a swarm. This can help other peers download faster or ensure a peer has a good sharing ratio. This is especially helpful in conditions where there are already plenty of seeds, which often happens after a torrent has been available for a while.
One thing that needs to be clear is that downloads may never complete when in that mode. If your ratio drops below 2:1, downloads stop until uploads push it back to that level. If you cannot upload to anyone, then you won't download either. This can happen if a torrent has only seeders but no leechers.
You could however disable the mode for a torrent in that case to complete the download.
Note: The feature is available in uTorrent 3.4.9 and BitTorrent 7.9.9.
Altrustic Mode is not enabled by default. That's a good decision as it is likely not that useful to the majority of uTorrent users.
First thing you need to do is enable the mode in the preferences.
This enables the mode in uTorrent but does not configure any existing torrents to make use of it. The option to enable the mode becomes available in "add new torrent" dialogs.
You find the option to enable Altruistic Mode there. You may also enable the mode for any torrent that is already in the program's queue.
Simply right-click on any torrent file and select properties from the menu to get started. You find the option to enable the mode at the bottom of the window that opens.
Altruistic Mode keeps the ratio at about 2:1 by uploading two pieces of the torrent for every piece that gets downloaded by the client. The mode ensures that your ratio cannot drop below that for that torrent which is probably most appealing for users on private trackers.
While you could argue that setting up a high upload bandwidth and a low download bandwidth might provide the same result, this is not necessarily the case as torrents will still be downloaded even if no uploads occur.
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