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With Dropbox, I can have multiple computers watch a synced folder for .torrent files to begin downloads, but then they each download it - separately. How can I have my uTorrent instances share eachother's progress?

EDIT: What if I am able to put each computer on a different wireless network?

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Have you really got such a huge bandwidth pipe that you're saturating your computers' network cards? Why wouldn't you have just one computer be the primary downloader? – ceejayoz Jan 4 '10 at 23:14
yeah, he is right. it seems unlikely that this method would increase the speed. i would call your internet provider and ask for a tiny bit more bandwith. Comcast doubled my upload speed for $5 a month when I asked them... – djangofan Jan 4 '10 at 23:22
well i would like both computers to ultimately store the file, and I see no reason why I should have only one computer downloading when it could otherwise hurry the process for them both to. Each computer for whatever reason might complete the files or pieces of it before the other. so it seems to make sense for them to share. Maybe the bittorrent should be detecting it on its own, but it also seems like i should be able to help the process. – user10580 Jan 5 '10 at 2:14
Having two computers will not make it any faster. The internet is the bottleneck here, the fact that one computer may finish parts of the file first is irrelevent. With two computers downloading, they are having to share the total internet bandwidth with eachother, so each computer is downloading half as fast. You are trying to make it harder than it needs to be, just use one PC! Downloads will be twice as fast and you wont have to worry about trying to sync up two bittorrent clients, which i dont think is possible anyways. – Connor W Jan 5 '10 at 8:38
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You have to add them as peers (right click can do that - usually something like IP:PORT). I don't know if there is an API or scripting interface that allows it.

You might be able to do this through the web admin, once the computer have all picked it up and started. Even if they have been added, it won't likely maintain a constant connection regardless, just send/receive packets as needed. A more interesting question is how to do you get n computers to divide the download in roughly n parts (assuming all have plenty of upstream bandwidth available) and prioritize pieces to optimize your download (hint: you can't without writing your own torrent client to my knowledge).

But more importantly, your computers should just automatically discover each other through the tracker or DHT. This is probably a pointless exercise.

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if you can do it thru the web interface you can probably script it with curl (generally a linux tool, but it's available in Cygwin and possibly as a straight win32 port). the question about dividing the download is a good one -- if it's a multifile torrent you could script having one computer grab the first few files, the next computer grab the next few files, etc. – quack quixote Jan 4 '10 at 23:45

They might already be sharing their progress -- bittorrent works by each computer connecting to several other downloaders. But the protocol doesn't provide any control over the other downloaders being connected to, so it's hit-or-miss as to whether they're downloading from each other or not.

This is considered one of Bittorrent's flaws as a protocol; nearby nodes aren't weighted over distant nodes for purposes of choosing peers. For the past couple of years I've seen press releases about new peer-to-peer protocols that are described as "bittorrent that prefers local connections", but offhand I don't know if any of these technologies were ever matured.

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out of curiosity- why is that/was that? It seems like it'd be simple to implement a check by ping back times and quickly weight peers. – user10580 Jan 4 '10 at 23:51
i think it's designed in (to the protocol) -- so that poorly-seeded torrents don't die because everybody connects to peers that are too local. – quack quixote Jan 5 '10 at 7:34
Yeah, the poor guy with a crappy connection would never get any pieces of the file. – ceejayoz Jan 5 '10 at 19:21

The closest I came to this is manually managing the torrent instances so they would connect to different client and different segments of the files. Every now and then when a segment would get too popular and I couldn't prevent the machines from duplicating efforts I synced them. This way I could dedicate most of the bandwidth to other peers. When all the machines had all the parts, I would pick one machine to assemble the file and make the others peers and complete the file quickly.

It would be nice if you could have distributed torrent clients working on a torrent like you would have distributed password cracking software. The clients would divide up the work and coordinate progress.

So far I don't know of a distributed torrent team, but that would be killer, especially if you had geographically separated machines.

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If you install the Transmission bittorrent client, you can enable a web interface that would allow you to control the client from any of your computers. Basically, you would be controlling one computer from any of your computers, so you'd only be downloading things once.

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