Pakistan-based researchers have developed a new BitTorrent client called BitMate that works over dial-up connections, making it possible to share and download torrents in developing countries where few people have access to broadband. BitMate is based on the popular Vuze BitTorrent client, with a few key changes to the way the application interacts with the network.

“In developing countries, BitTorrent is almost unusable on the typically low-bandwidth dialup connections,” the researchers behind BitMate write on their website. And no, we’re not just talking about the fact that it’s impossible to download a Blu-ray rip over a 56k connection. The problem for dial-up users is that BitTorrent is designed to be based on fair and equal exchange of data. If you upload a lot, you’re also rewarded with high download speeds. That helps to bring overall download speeds up since it forces clients not to be selfish — but the flip side is that users with very slow connections simply get shut out.

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