Thursday, October 17, 2013
Have you ever downloaded something off the internet that was really big, like a program or TV show? Usually downloads like these take huge amounts of time at regular internet speeds, which if you haven't noticed, are incredibly slow. This is where you might want to know about a little piece of the internet community called BitTorrent.
BitTorrent is an interesting idea that allows you to download things really quickly off of the internet. In a basic sense, it works like this: say there is a file you want to download and a million people have it on their computers and are also using BitTorrent. Then you find the Torrent, basically the file that establishes what you want to download, and open it in what is called a BitTorrent Client. Then you download a small piece from multiple sources, which tales very little time, and piece them together into one file. The thing about BitTorrent is that its designed to be really against people just leeching off the system, so when you download a file you also put up your own little piece that others can use to download. All in all BitTorrent is very handy.
The downside of BitTorrent is some of its uses. Unfortunately, as the internet is often prone to bad uses, BitTorent downloads a lot of illegal movies and pornography, leading to the shutdown of many Torrent provider sites that harbor illegal Torrents. Obviously, you can also get into trouble for opening these Torrents although it is harder to catch a person as compared to traditional piracy.
Thus, even though in many cases BitTorrent is an extremely useful tool for downloading, it is often abused. Unfortunately many of the good ideas of the internet have been tainted by the bad people of the internet. But there is still hope, used correctly, many internet tools including BitTorrent greatly increase the productivity of the world, and that's something we can console in.
Example of a BitTorrent client called uTorrent