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Developer(s)University of Washington, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Initial releaseJanuary 2, 2007; 13 years ago (2007-01-02)
Stable release1.1.1 (September 7, 2007; 12 years ago (2007-09-07)[1]) [±]
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeBitTorrent client
LicenseGNU General Public License

BitTyrant is a BitTorrent client modified from the Java-based Azureus 2.5 code base. BitTyrant is designed to give preference to clients uploading to it fastest and limiting slower uploaders. It is free software and cross-platform, currently available for Windows, OS X, and Linux.[2]

BitTyrant is a result of research projects at University of Washington and University of Massachusetts Amherst, developed and supported by Professors Tom Anderson, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Arun Venkataramani and students Michael Piatek, Jarret Falkner, and Tomas Isdal. The paper describing how it works, Do Incentives Build Robustness in BitTorrent?,[3] sought to challenge the common belief that BitTorrent's "must upload to download" transfer protocol prevents strategic clients from gaming the system. It won a Best Student Paper award at the 2007 Networked Systems Design and Implementation conference.

As a strategic client, it has demonstrated an average increase in download speed by 70% over a standard BitTorrent client. Non-BitTyrant leechers in the swarm may receive a decrease in download speed.[3] Even so, if all clients are BitTyrant, high capacity peers are more effectively utilized, allowing for an overall increase in download speed. However, there is a caveat: If high capacity peers are involved in many swarms, low capacity peers lose some performance.[3]


Like Azureus, BitTyrant also supports the use of plugins. Plugins from Azureus such as 3D View and Safepeer can be used.


Initial release date: January 2, 2007

Version 1.1 - released January 8, 2007

Version 1.1.1 - released September 7, 2007


  1. ^ "BitTyrant". University of Washington - Computer Science & Engineering. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  2. ^ "Researchers Create Selfish BitTorrent Client". Slashdot. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
  3. ^ a b c Michael Piatek, Tomas Isdal, Thomas Anderson, and Arvind Krishnamurthy, University of Washington; Arun Venkataramani, University of Massachusetts. Do Incentives Build Robustness in BitTorrent? Proceedings of 4th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design & Implementation. 2007.

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