Bit Torrent is a type of a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol that enables users to distribute, download and share files on the Internet. As of 2009, Bit Torrent is the most regularly used downloading protocol by Internet users, and the technology accounts for at least 27 to 55 percent of all Internet traffic worldwide.
Programmer Bram Cohen designed the Bit Torrent technology back in 2001. The idea behind the technology is different from the classic download protocol, such as FTP or HTTP downloads. With FTP or HTTP downloads, users connect to a server where they get the link to save the file. When they click on a specific download link, this creates a single connection from their computer to the file server. For a specific file to be downloaded, the server exhausts all bandwidth needed. As mentioned earlier, Bit Torrent works differently from classic downloading. With torrents, the technology uses every user downloading a file from the torrent tracker to function as a server to one another. Each user will simultaneously upload fractions of the file they have while also downloading fractions of the same file from other users. Because of how the file sharing system works in Bit Torrent, it eliminates the cost you spend for hosting files on a server just so that a certain uploaded material could be uploaded and shared in the Internet.
The Bit Torrent technology is open sourced, meaning that the source code is available for everyone to alter and distribute and because the program is open sourced, there are a lot of Bit Torrent clients available for users to choose and download from. Since this is the case, a lot of users are at a loss to what software to use. The following lists the most widely used Bit Torrent clients to narrow down your quest in choosing what software to use.
- BitTorrent. BitTorrent is the original torrent client developed by Bram Cohen. It has an easy user interface and perfect for programmers and Macintosh users.
- µTorrent. µTorrent now ranks as the most popular torrent client used. It has gotten good reviews with its stability and minimal use of system resources. Another great thing about this client is that it supports three major Operating Systems (Windows, Macintosh and Linux). As of 2006, BitTorrent, Inc owns µTorrent.
- BitComet. Like µTorrent, BitComet uses little of your system resources. This client can run on Microsoft Windows 98 and its successor.
- Azureus. This is a client that runs on Java and thus, you would need to have 1.4 JRE installed on your computer in order to use the software. Azureus considered to be the most popular client prior to µTorrent’s release.
When you have chosen the torrent client you would like to use, go to their official website and download the installer from there. When your download finishes, install the client and torrent files will now be associated with the client.