Online games stealing your bandwidth

khatfield at khatfield at
Sat Sep 25 21:56:15 UTC 2010

Speaking to your example with Blizzard:

The Blizzard downloader does provide an option to disable P2P transfers which then downloads direct via http from Blizzard. 

Yes, the update software defaults to allow P2P but it isn't like they are forcing it upon their users. I have seen Sony do the same thing and have never seen a downloader that you couldn't disable that option if you like. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Harry Strongburg <harry.nanog at>
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 21:03:43 
To: <nanog at>
Subject: Re: Online games stealing your bandwidth

On Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 04:16:46PM -0400, Rodrick Brown wrote:
> I think most people are aware that the Blizzard "World of WarcCraft" patcher
> distributes files through Bittorrent

I personally love Bittorrent. It is wonderful for CDN - for both legal 
and not-so-legal files. I however despise the game-loaders not giving 
you more options to control this traffic. For example, many run as a 
daemon that does not stop seeding - even when you're in-game. You could 
manually kill it, but it will re-run again. If you remove it, enjoy not 
being able to continue to play the game if it updates.

"Pando Media Booster" (which I have had to deal with), detects your 
upload speed and uses about 3/4ths of it. The game installer never even 
had you accept an EULA - just when PMB.exe started when it was 
installed, it says on the bottom "you have accepted the EULA". EULAs 
don't really mean much now of days, sadly. This ruins the network 
quality, especially on large LANs, and most people don't even realize 
it's using all their connection.

My personal verdict on it is: Give the users the option to limit the
upload speed to whatever they want, and an option to disable it when
they don't need to download any updates; if this is done, I personally
see no problem with it. If this option is not added, I see it as malware
that should be deleted.

As I said above, I have no problems with using Bittorrent as a method of 
CDN - it's actually one of the best methods. But, the end-users need 
more control over it.

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