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UDP tracker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The UDP tracker protocol is a high-performance low-overhead BitTorrent tracker protocol. It uses the stateless User Datagram Protocol (UDP) for data transmission instead of the HTTP protocol (over TCP) regular trackers use. The data is in a custom binary format instead of the standard bencode algorithm BitTorrent uses for most communication.

URLs for this protocol have the following format: udp://example.com:port.

Comparison with the HTTP tracker[edit]

The UDP tracker is better optimized and puts less strain on the tracking server. Neither tracker has any effect on transfer speeds.

Clients implementing the protocol[edit]


  • Limited IPv6 support (the protocol specifies a 32-bit integer for the IP address and supports pseudo-headers for 128-bit IPv6 addresses)
  • No mechanism for index sites to scrape an entire tracker
    • This can be supported by traditional TCP scrape mechanisms, as it's not a performance issue.
  • No mechanism for trackers to enforce client restrictions
  • The UDP tracker protocol has no field to represent the user agent, as the HTTP protocol has. However, the convention to encode the user agent and version inside the peer_id field still applies.
  • No mechanism for trackers to send warning messages
  • No compression, especially problematic for large announce responses.


  1. ^ Vilches, Jose (2009-08-12). "First μTorrent 2.0 beta released". TechSpot.com. Retrieved 2009-08-12.

External links[edit]