Today, one of the most popular method of downloading files from around the globe is by using the bittorrent technology. This is more popular among college and university students in downloading softwares, movies and other stuffs. The thing that makes bittorrent unique is the technology/protocol that it used to download files from different clients or peers
. In this article, let us have a look on what is BitTorrent and how it works.What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent is basically a Peer
file sharing protocol just like the commonly used protocols like HTTP
etc.. This protocol was first developed by a Python Programmer Bran Cohem
in the year 2001 and the first available version was released July 2, 2001.
This protocol is now maintained by Cohen's company BitTorrent, Inc. Today about millions of users from all parts of the world use BitTorrent to download files from the internet.
How does BitTorrent Work?
The working of BitTorrent is pretty interesting. Suppose that you are downloading a file say Need For Speed Carbon game from the internet. In that case, if your internet connection is slow, then it may take hours for your file to be downloaded completely. In that case, consider downloading the game not only from the main server but also from the other downloaders/clients. In that case, your file will be downloaded comparatively faster when compared with the normal download. This exactly happens with the BitTorrent download.
Your file will be downloaded not only from the main server but also from the peers
are those people who are still downloading the file like you and seeds
are those who have finished downloading their file and sharing their files with the peers
. Due to this, this protocol is also called Peer-to-Peer Protocol.
But to do this, you need to have a software installed in your system which is none other than the BitTorrent Client.
This is a completely free software to download. There are various bittorrent clients available and you can download the one that you feel comfortable with. Another advantage of this technology is that you can download multiple files from at the same time.
One thing to be noted is that, if you are downloading any file using BitTorrent, the download speed will initially be low and it will increase as time elapses. This is because, initially your computer would have discovered a less number of seeds and peers
but it continues to discover more and more of them as time goes on resulting in increased file transfer and hence increase in download speed.
Advantages of BitTorrent Download
1. Increase download speed as the number of seeds and peers increases. This is because if there are more of them, you will get a large number of people to share their files with you and this consequently increases your download speed when compared with your normal direct download.
2. You can switch off your computer if you want and can continue the download later. But in most of the direct downloads, you cannot do this. You will have to download all the files from the beginning if there is a power shut down.
3. 99% of corrupted files will be neglected and only uncorrupted files will be shared. Also, if there is any problem, you will be informed a lot of people might have been already experienced it.
4. It reduces traffic to the main server and avoids server overload.
5. The BitTorrent client is a free software to download and no need to worry about the cost.
6. It is absolutely legal.
Disadvantage of BitTorrent
The main disadvantage of this technology is that people use BitTorrent to download and share illegal files and copyrighted files. If one person buys a software, he can upload it along with the key so that others can download it via BitTorrent. This is now-a-days more popular that almost any copyrighted material is available for download via BitTorrent.
Also read What are seeds and Peers and how to increase download speed
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