1337x software was initially released under the name of SimpleBT client, and it was used the BitTorrent protocols for providing peer-to-peer file sharing services. This client, written on C++ also uses FTP and HTTP for file sharing, which is not usually found in BitTorrent clients. This client is available in more than 50 languages and is used by a considerably good amount of people. Its first featured release was its version 0.28. Here are some features along with its success and criticism reviews will be discussed.

Innovative Features of 1337x


Magnet links

As mentioned above, 1337x is certainly a one of its kind hybrid client, which is used as download manager as well as P2P sharing. It can support more than one download at a time. Using the BitTorrent protocols, it can download files in part or pieces using the sources available through trackers and other servers. One of its best features is that the Internet Explorer is embedded within the torrent client windows. This means once you open the client, you can perform the search for the client directly, using the IE window. Other features include bandwidth scheduling, option to select certain files within the torrent, UPnP configuration. Peer exchanging was also available with older versions, but now the newer versions use PEX mechanism which is compatible with some other clients, such as, uTorrent. Super-Seeding option was also available and the client supports Magnet links as well.

Another great feature in 1337x is the option to select certain parts of the file to download first, so that the user can view the file at first hand. This is possible with media files only, and the method is called prioritization. An option of downloading the media files sequentially is also available, which is similar to the now available, ‘Streaming’ options in BitTorrent clients. Furthermore, 1337x also provides users an option of sharing their torrent files over a network of P2P files. At first it was done using a feature called Torrent Share, which was later changed to Torrent Exchange. 1337x uses DHT called Kademlia for operation in case the tracker is not available or online. As mentioned above the files can also be downloaded using the HTTP, FTP servers, along with the torrent. The client also supports plug-Ins for browsers such as Firefox and CometBird. An application to play .flv or flash videos is also available with the software. This player is available over the internet on 1337x’s official website.

Controversies of Success

Some controversies clouded the performance of this P2P sharing software. At the time 1337x released its DHT feature, it received very negative reviews. The reason was simply the fact that users were new to the DHT. As it is known, the DHT does not take into consideration about the privacy flag, attached with the torrent file, in its info section. It was the 0.60 version of this software that introduced DHT first, and since people thought that this feature is exploiting that download and upload limitations, this particular version was blacklisted. Had they known that DHT would be one of the best alternatives in the feature, 1337x software would have received a huge commendation. After the blacklisting, the DHT feature was dropped in version 0.61.

1337x introduced a new method called padding the files in the torrent. This step was taken so as to make sure that in a torrent that has multiple files as data do not share the same piece of BitTorrent. This was accomplished by introducing padding files that were basically empty and had only a small last bit of piece of the file. This was damaging to the bandwidths of peers, who had to sacrifice some of the bandwidth for those padding files, straining the overall download capability of their client. This method didn’t affect the 1337x client users. The padding files though relatively empty, but still constituted for the 1/10 of the data transferred by a non-1337x users. Because of the objection by users and clients alike, the idea was dropped in the version 0.86.

Topolski Experiments and Analysis

A few questions were raised when the above stated criticisms were analyzed. It was a self-proclaimed networking expert, Mr. Robb Topolski, who conducted a few experiments regarding the DHT exploits and the padding method. He was able to determine that most of the allegations are not true in case of 1337x, and that there are no evidences that these exploits are detrimental to the networks involved. He, however, also found that a part of the allegations regarding the swarming of the tracker (due to padding) was only true when the 1337x client was the only peer for a torrent. He emphasized on the fact that there is control on the upload slots in the client, which makes it a peer with no control on uploading the content. In order to stop this from effecting negatively to the users of the client, the padding was introduced. Topolski conducted an experiment, where he analyzed the speeds of uploading of 1337x along with other two clients. He found that if the files are uploaded as Initial Seeder or Super-Seeder, the 1337x does indeed seed inefficiently. However, Topolski concluded that it was purposefully done by 1337x, and the only reason was for a controlled uploading by the peers. He also found that the client was more effective when not being used as a Super-Seeder.

Another controversy hit 1337x in 2008, only two years after the famous raid of the piratebay servers where the torrent community got a severe setback. In 2008 it was denounced by FileHippo for stealing their original work. However, it was not 1337x who stole their work, but their partners had been sort of stealing images, files and text from the FileHippo website and using it as their own work. Due to some copyright issues, FileHippo exclaimed that they would not allow 1337x users to download their content. On noticing this, 1337x ended their partnership with; however, FileHippo did not change their stance.

Amid all those controversies, 1337x has enjoyed a success among its users, and described as a very inventive BitTorrent client. Its work has been applauded positively for the research done and innovative features brought forward by the company, which were no doubt quite exemplary.