What is BitTorrent? a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data
Who? What? Where? When? - Invented By Bram Cohen - Released July 2001 It is now maintained by Cohen's company, BitTorrent Inc.
What is BitTorrent used for? Content Distribution - Music (new artists, bands, etc..) - Movies (independent film makers, public service, etc..) - Podcasting Commercial Use - Game Patching Systems (World Of Warcraft) - Programs (Linux, BEoS, etc...)
How BitTorrent works. Seeds: - Host Files - Distribute to peers - Determine the speed of the download The more seeds a torrent has the faster the transfer generally will be.
How BitTorrent works. Peers: - Download Files - Distribute to peers The more peers a torrent has the more availability the torrent will have as a whole.
How BitTorrent works. Trackers: - Delegate transfer speeds - Keep Tabs on transfers - Block Banned users - Block peers from abuse - Verify content availability. The tracker is the back-end server required for a BitTorrent transfer.
How BitTorrent works. DHT: - Distributed Hash Server - No back-end Tracker - Blocked by private and secure trackers - Less taxing on servers - Increased peer security. A DHT tracking system does not require a Tracker. This leaves it in the hands of the peers, and no real way check swarm life. or delegate who gets what.
Problems with BitTorrent. Leechers: - Steal bandwidth from seeds - Do not contribute to the swarm - Ultimately kill torrent life Torrents are only as healthy as their availability. A leech kills the life span and speed by not sharing with other peers.
Problems with BitTorrent. Copyright: - Many things not legally distributed - Movie and Music industries very mad - Unsuspecting users targeted for lawsuits. With the growing popularity of BitTorrent the Music and Film industries of America (RIAA / MPAA) have targeted unsuspecting downloaders and hit them with fines and lawsuits.
BitTorrent Clients. Clients: - BitTorrent - uTorrent - Azureus - BitTyrant - Transmission - Limewire There are clients for Mac, Windows, and Unix Most are Free and Open Source.
Tech Specs. Downloading: - Segments - "Rarest first" scheme - "flash crowd" resistant - More overload and abuse proof then other file distribution methods. (FTP, HTTP) Since each peer receives a small amount of the "rarest data" it can then distribute it to another peer. The lack of a central server makes it ideal for large file distribution. Also, the load required by the server is greatly reduced.