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What is BitTorrent?


Category: File Sharing

If you need to download large files from the internet, one of your options is using the BitTorrent protocol. Find out more about this reading the article.

What is BitTorrent

BitTorrent is one of the file sharing protocols commonly used across the Internet. It was created as a file sharing protocol that allows distribution of large amounts of data without increasing the load on the server and server bandwith load.

Client software

  For BitTorrent to work, you will obviously need a file distribution client, many of them available for download across the internet. Most notably, the first such application has the same name as the protocol and is distributed under Open Source license.

BitTorrent client

BitTorrent Client

Sharing files

  To share a file, a user first creates a "torrent" file, which is then uploaded to a server hosting torrents. From here,  other users can download the file, and they can become sources for other users. This file contains information about the blocks that make up the file, the address of the tracker server and other data required by the client to work.

  Because of the way the protocol functions, the more users that share a file the faster the download will go. This is because the file is broken into smaller fragments, and each fragment can be downloaded from another peer. Even more, it will choose the machine with the best network connection to download a particular fragment. As fragments are downloaded, the user becomes a source for other users to download them.

  First, you must download the .torrent file, which contains information regarding the tracker address, where it can fnd out about the users sharing that file. Then, it downloads  the blocks, starting with the ones that are least available. Once a block is downloaded, the client checks it to make sure it is the right block, and immediately starts looking for other users who need to upload it.

  It is also important to know that BitTorrent gives the best download performance to those who upload the most, so it discourages leechers - people who download the file without offering any files for uploading..

Uses of bittorrent and alternatives

  BitTorrent is efficient especially if you have a broadband connection. Also, some clients provide you with alternative options (like Gnutella), so you can finish your download even if the tracker server is down.

   If you want to start using it, Torrents trackers are easy to find by a simple google search, and you can find some client software links below.

Related links:

  Official BitTorrent page

Posted by: Quarc on February 26, 2006 at 10:12.

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