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BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data. BitTorrent is one of the most common protocols for transferring large files, and it has been estimated that it accounts for approximately 27-55% of all Internet traffic (depending on geographical location) as of February 2009.

BitTorrent protocol allows users to distribute large amounts of data without putting the level of strain on their computers that would be needed for standard Internet hosting. A standard host's servers can easily be brought to a halt if extreme levels of simultaneous data flow are reached. The protocol works as an alternative data distribution method that makes even small computers with low bandwidth capable of participating in large data transfers.

First, a user playing the role of file-provider makes a file available to the network. This first user's file is called a seed and its availability on the network allows other users, called peers, to connect and begin to download the seed file. As new peers connect to the network and request the same file, their computer receives a different piece of the data from the seed. Once multiple peers have multiple pieces of the seed, BitTorrent allows each to become a source for that portion of the file. The effect of this is to take on a small part of the task and relieve the initial user, distributing the file download task among the seed and many peers. With BitTorrent, no one computer needs to supply data in quantities which could jeopardize the task by overwhelming all resources, yet the same final result—each peer eventually receiving the entire file—is still reached.

After the file is successfully and completely downloaded by a given peer, the peer is able to shift roles and become an additional seed, helping the remaining peers to receive the entire file. This eventual shift from peers to seeders determines the overall 'health' of the file (as determined by the number of times a file is available in its complete form).

This distributed nature of BitTorrent leads to a viral spreading of a file throughout peers. As more peers join the swarm, the likelihood of a successful download increases. Relative to standard Internet hosting, this provides a significant reduction in the original distributor's hardware and bandwidth resource costs. It also provides redundancy against system problems, reduces dependence on the original distributor and provides a source for the file which is generally temporary and therefore harder to trace than when provided by the enduring availability of a host in standard file distribution techniques.

Programmer Bram Cohen designed the protocol in April 2001 and released a first implementation on 2 July 2001. It is now maintained by Cohen's company BitTorrent, Inc. There are numerous BitTorrent clients available for a variety of computing platforms.

Operation



A BitTorrent client is any program that implements the BitTorrent protocol. Each client is capable of preparing, requesting, and transmitting any type of computer file over a network, using the protocol. A peer is any computer running an instance of a client.

To share a file or group of files, a peer first creates a small file called a "torrent" (e.g. MyFile.torrent). This file contains metadata about the files to be shared and about the tracker, the computer that coordinates the file distribution. Peers that want to download the file must first obtain a torrent file for it, and connect to the specified tracker, which tells them from which other peers to download the pieces of the file.

Though both ultimately transfer files over a network, a BitTorrent download differs from a classic download (as is typical with an HTTP or FTP request, for example) in several fundamental ways:

  • BitTorrent makes many small data requests over different TCP connections to different machines, while classic downloading is typically made via a single TCP connection to a single machine.
  • BitTorrent downloads in a random or in a "rarest-first" approach that ensures high availability, while classic downloads are sequential.


Taken together, these differences allow BitTorrent to achieve much lower cost to the content provider, much higher redundancy, and much greater resistance to abuse or to "flash crowds" than regular server software. However, this protection comes at a cost: downloads can take time to rise to full speed because it may take time for enough peer connections to be established, and it takes time for a node to receive sufficient data to become an effective uploader. As such, a typical BitTorrent download will gradually rise to very high speeds, and then slowly fall back down toward the end of the download. This contrasts with regular downloads (such as from an HTTP server, for example) that, while more vulnerable to overload and abuse, rises to full speed very quickly and maintains this speed throughout.

In general, BitTorrent's non-contiguous download methods have prevented it from supporting "progressive downloads" or "streaming playback". However, comments made by Bram Cohen in January 2007 suggest that streaming torrent downloads will soon be commonplace and ad supported streaming appears to be the result of those comments.

Creating and publishing torrents

The peer distributing a data file treats the file as a number of identically sized pieces, typically between 64 KB and 4 MB each. The peer creates a checksum for each piece, using the SHA1 hashing algorithm, and records it in the torrent file. Pieces with sizes greater than 512 KB will reduce the size of a torrent file for a very large payload, but is claimed to reduce the efficiency of the protocol [32824]. When another peer later receives a particular piece, the checksum of the piece is compared to the recorded checksum to test that the piece is error-free. Peers that provide a complete file are called seeders, and the peer providing the initial copy is called the initial seeder.

The exact information contained in the torrent file depends on the version of the BitTorrent protocol. By convention, the name of a torrent file has the suffix .torrent. Torrent files have an "announce" section, which specifies the URL of the tracker, and an "info" section, containing (suggested) names for the files, their lengths, the piece length used, and a SHA-1 hash code for each piece, all of which are used by clients to verify the integrity of the data they receive.

Torrent files are typically published on websites or elsewhere, and registered with a tracker. The tracker maintains lists of the clients currently participating in the torrent. Alternatively, in a trackerless system (decentralized tracking) every peer acts as a tracker. Azureus was the first BitTorrent client to implement such a system through the distributed hash table (DHT) method. An alternative and incompatible DHT system, known as Mainline DHT, was later developed and adopted by the BitTorrent (Mainline), µTorrent, Transmission, rTorrent, KTorrent, BitComet, and Deluge clients.

After the DHT was adopted, a "private" flag—analogous to the broadcast flag -- was unofficially introduced, telling clients to restrict the use of decentralized tracking regardless of the user's desires. The flag is intentionally placed in the info section of the torrent so that it cannot be disabled or removed without changing the identity of the torrent. The purpose of the flag is to prevent torrents from being shared with clients that do not have access to the tracker. The flag was requested for inclusion in the official specification in August, 2008, but has not been accepted. Clients that have ignored the private flag were banned by many trackers, discouraging the practice.

Downloading torrents and sharing files

Users browse the web to find a torrent of interest, download it, and open it with a BitTorrent client. The client connects to the tracker(s) specified in the torrent file, from which it receives a list of peers currently transferring pieces of the file(s) specified in the torrent. The client connects to those peers to obtain the various pieces. If the swarm contains only the initial seeder, the client connects directly to it and begins to request pieces.

Clients incorporate mechanisms to optimize their download and upload rates; for example they download pieces in a random order to increase the opportunity to exchange data, which is only possible if two peers have different pieces of the file.

The effectiveness of this data exchange depends largely on the policies that clients use to determine to whom to send data. Clients may prefer to send data to peers that send data back to them (a tit for tat scheme), which encourages fair trading. But strict policies often result in suboptimal situations, such as when newly joined peers are unable to receive any data because they don't have any pieces yet to trade themselves or when two peers with a good connection between them do not exchange data simply because neither of them takes the initiative. To counter these effects, the official BitTorrent client program uses a mechanism called “optimistic unchoking”, whereby the client reserves a portion of its available bandwidth for sending pieces to random peers (not necessarily known good partners, so called preferred peers) in hopes of discovering even better partners and to ensure that newcomers get a chance to join the swarm.

The community of BitTorrent users frowns upon the practice of disconnecting from the network immediately upon success of a file download, and encourages remaining as another seed for as long as practical, which may be days.

Adoption

A growing number of individuals and organizations are using BitTorrent to distribute their own or licensed material. Independent adopters report that without using BitTorrent technology and its dramatically reduced demands on their private networking hardware and bandwidth, they could not afford to distribute their files.

Film, video and music

  • BitTorrent Inc. has amassed a number of licenses from Hollywood studios for distributing popular content from their websites.
  • Sub Pop Records releases tracks and videos via BitTorrent Inc. to distribute its 1000+ albums. The band Ween uses the website Browntracker.net to distribute free audio and video recordings of live shows. Furthermore, Babyshambles and The Libertines (both bands associated with Pete Doherty) have extensively used torrents to distribute hundreds of demos and live videos. US rock band Nine Inch Nails frequently distributes albums via BitTorrent.
  • Podcasting software is starting to integrate BitTorrent to help podcasters deal with the download demands of their MP3 "radio" programs. Specifically, Juice and Miro (formerly known as Democracy Player) support automatic processing of .torrent files from RSS feeds. Similarly, some BitTorrent clients, such as µTorrent, are able to process web feeds and automatically download content found within them.
  • DGM Live! purchases are provided via BitTorrent.


Broadcasters

  • In 2008, the CBC became the first public broadcaster in North America to make a full show (Canada's Next Great Prime Minister) available for download using BitTorrent.
  • The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporationmarker (NRK) has since March 2008 experimented with bittorrent distribution, available here. Only selected material in which NRK owns all royalties are published. Responses have been very positive, and NRK is planning to offer more content.
  • The Dutch VPRO broadcasting organization released three documentaries under a Creative Commons license using the content distribution feature of the Mininova tracker.


Personal material

  • The Amazon S3 "Simple Storage Service" is a scalable Internet-based storage service with a simple web service interface, equipped with built-in BitTorrent support.
  • Blog Torrent offers a simplified BitTorrent tracker to enable bloggers and non-technical users to host a tracker on their site. Blog Torrent also allows visitors to download a "stub" loader, which acts as a BitTorrent client to download the desired file, allowing users without BitTorrent software to use the protocol. This is similar to the concept of a self-extracting archive.


Software

  • Blizzard Entertainment uses BitTorrent (via a proprietary client called the "Blizzard Downloader") to distribute most content for World of Warcraft, including the game itself.
  • Many software games, especially those whose large size makes them difficult to host due to bandwidth limits, extremely frequent downloads, and unpredictable changes in network traffic, will distribute instead a specialized, stripped down bittorrent client with enough functionality to download the game from the other running clients and the primary server (which is maintained in case not enough peers are available).
  • Many major open source and free software projects encourage BitTorrent as well as conventional downloads of their products (via HTTP, FTP etc) to increase availability and to reduce load on their own servers, especially when dealing with larger files.


Network impact

CableLabs, the research organization of the North American cable industry, estimates that BitTorrent represents 18% of all broadband traffic. In 2004, CacheLogic put that number at roughly 35% of all traffic on the Internet. The discrepancies in these numbers are caused by differences in the method used to measure P2P traffic on the Internet.

Routers that use NAT, Network address translation, must maintain tables of source and destination IP addresses and ports. Typical home routers are limited to about 2000 table entries while some more expensive routers have larger table capacities. BitTorrent frequently contacts 300-500 servers per second rapidly filling the NAT tables. This is a common cause of home routers locking up.

Indexing

The BitTorrent protocol provides no way to index torrent files. As a result, a comparatively small number of websites have hosted a large majority of torrents, many linking to possibly copyrighted material, rendering those sites especially vulnerable to lawsuits. Several types of websites support the discovery and distribution of data on the BitTorrent network.

Public torrent hosting sites such as The Pirate Bay allow users to search in and download from their collection of torrent files. Users can typically also upload torrent files for content they wish to distribute. Often, these sites also run BitTorrent trackers for their hosted torrent files, but these two functions are not mutually dependent: a torrent file could be hosted on one site and tracked by another, unrelated site.

Private host/tracker sites such as Demonoid operate like public ones except that they restrict access to registered users and keep track of the amount of data each user uploads and downloads, in an attempt to reduce leeching.

Search engines allow the discovery of torrent files that are hosted and tracked on other sites; examples include Mininova, BTJunkie, Torrentz, ThePirateBay, and isoHunt. These sites allow the user to ask for content meeting specific criteria (such as containing a given word or phrase) and retrieve a list of links to torrent files matching those criteria. This list can often be sorted with respect to several criteria, being relevance (seeders-leechers ratio) one of the most popular and useful (due to the way the protocol behaves, the download bandwidth achievable is very sensitive to this value). Bram Cohen launched a BitTorrent search engine on http://search.bittorrent.com that co-mingles licensed content with search results. Metasearch engines allow one to search several BitTorrent indices and search engines at once.

Limitations

Lack of anonymity

BitTorrent does not offer its users anonymity. It is possible to obtain the IP addresses of all current, and possibly previous, participants in a swarm from the tracker. This may expose users with insecure systems to attacks. It may also expose users to the risk of being sued, if they are distributing files without permission from the copyright holder(s). However, there are ways to promote anonymity; for example, the OneSwarm project layers privacy-preserving sharing mechanisms on top of the original BitTorrent protocol.

The leech problem

A BitTorrent user may often choose to leave the swarm as soon as they have a complete copy of the file they are downloading, freeing up their outbound bandwidth for other uses. If enough users follow this pattern, torrent swarms gradually die out, meaning a lower possibility of obtaining older torrents. Some BitTorrent websites have attempted to address this by recording each user's download and upload ratio for all or just the user to see, as well as the provision of access to newer torrent files to people with better ratios. Users who have low upload ratios may see slower download speeds until they upload more. This prevents (statistical) leeching, since after a while they become unable to download at even a fraction of the theoretical bandwidth of their connection. Some trackers exempt dial-up users from this policy, because their uploading capabilities are limited.

The cheater problem

There are "cheating" clients like BitThief which claim to be able to download without uploading. Such exploitation negatively affects the cooperative nature of the BitTorrent protocol, although it might prove useful for people in countries where uploading copyrighted material is illegal, but downloading is not.

Some countries also have exorbitant bandwidth prices, and in those countries, torrent users tend to minimize sharing.

Speed

Average BitTorrent download speed is limited by the combined average upload speed of "leeches" (other nodes with partial copies which are also downloading) and "seeds" (complete copies that are only uploading). BitTorrent clients are often on asymmetrical Internet connections, with much higher download than upload speeds. Since a large number of low-capacity uploaders are necessary to support one high-capacity downloader, a high proportion of clients must be seeds (not burdening other clients) in order to reach the download speed of a single high-capacity uploader (e.g. a server on a business-quality symmetric Internet connection). Thus there can be a tradeoff between speed and bandwidth equity. If all clients are on symmetrical connections, this is not an issue.

Technologies built on BitTorrent

The BitTorrent protocol is still under development and therefore may still acquire new features and other enhancements such as improved efficiency.

Distributed trackers

On May 2, 2005, Azureus 2.3.0.0 (now known as Vuze) was released, introducing support for "trackerless" torrents through a system called the "distributed database." This system is a DHT implementation which allows the client to use torrents that do not have a working BitTorrent tracker. The following month, BitTorrent, Inc. released version 4.2.0 of the Mainline BitTorrent client, which supported an alternative DHT implementation (popularly known as "Mainline DHT") that is incompatible with that of Azureus. Current versions of the official BitTorrent client, µTorrent, BitComet, and BitSpirit all share compatibility with Mainline DHT. Both DHT implementations are based on Kademlia. As of version 3.0.5.0, Azureus also supports Mainline DHT in addition to its own distributed database through use of an optional application plugin. This potentially allows the Azureus client to reach a bigger swarm.

Another idea that has surfaced in Vuze is that of virtual torrents. This idea is based on the distributed tracker approach and is used to describe some web resource. Currently, it is used for instant messaging. It is implemented using a special messaging protocol and requires an appropriate plugin. Anatomic P2P is another approach, which uses a decentralized network of nodes that route traffic to dynamic trackers.

Most BitTorrent clients also use Peer exchange (PEX) to gather peers in addition to trackers and DHT. Peer exchange checks with known peers to see if they know of any other peers. With the 3.0.5.0 release of Vuze, all major BitTorrent clients now have compatible peer exchange.

Web seeding

Web seeding was implemented in 2006 as the ability of BitTorrent clients to download torrent pieces from an HTTP source in addition to the swarm. The advantage of this feature is that a site may distribute a torrent for a particular file or batch of files and make those files available for download from that same web server; this can simplify seeding and load balancing greatly once support for this feature is implemented in the various BitTorrent clients. In theory, this would make using BitTorrent almost as easy for a web publisher as simply creating a direct download while allowing some of the upload bandwidth demands to be placed upon the downloaders (which normally use only a very small portion of their upload bandwidth capacity). This feature was created by John "TheSHAD0W" Hoffman, who created BitTornado. From version 5.0 onward the Mainline BitTorrent client also supports web seeds and the BitTorrent web site has a simple publishing tool that creates web seeded torrents. µTorrent added support for web seeds in version 1.7. BitComet added support for web seeds in version 1.14.

RSS feeds

A technique called Broadcatching combines RSS with the BitTorrent protocol to create a content delivery system, further simplifying and automating content distribution. Steve Gillmor explained the concept in a column for Ziff-Davis in December, 2003. The discussion spread quickly among bloggers ( Ernest Miller, Chris Pirillo, etc.). In an article entitled Broadcatching with BitTorrent, Scott Raymond explained:

The RSS feed will track the content, while BitTorrent ensures content integrity with cryptographic hashing of all data, so feed subscribers will receive uncorrupted content.

One of the first and popular software clients (free and open source) for broadcatching is Miro. Other free software clients such as PenguinTV and KatchTV are also now supporting broadcatching.

The BitTorrent web-service MoveDigital has the ability to make torrents available to any web application capable of parsing XML through its standard REST-based interface. Additionally, Torrenthut is developing a similar torrent API that will provide the same features, as well as further intuition to help bring the torrent community to Web 2.0 standards. Alongside this release is a first PHP application built using the API called PEP, which will parse any Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0) feed and automatically create and seed a torrent for each enclosure found in that feed.

Throttling and encryption

Since BitTorrent makes up a large proportion of total traffic, some ISPs have chosen to throttle (slow down) BitTorrent transfers to ensure network capacity remains available for other uses. For this reason, methods have been developed to disguise BitTorrent traffic in an attempt to thwart these efforts.

Protocol header encrypt (PHE) and Message stream encryption/Protocol encryption are features of some BitTorrent clients that attempt to make BitTorrent hard to detect and throttle. At the moment Vuze, Bitcomet, KTorrent, Transmission, Deluge, µTorrent, MooPolice, Halite, rTorrent and the latest official BitTorrent client (v6) support MSE/PE encryption.

In September 2006 it was reported that some software could detect and throttle BitTorrent traffic masquerading as HTTP traffic.

Reports in August 2007 indicated that Comcast was preventing BitTorrent seeding by monitoring and interfering with the communication between peers. Protection against these efforts is provided by proxying the client-tracker traffic through the Tor anonymity network or, via an encrypted tunnel to a point outside of the Comcast network. Comcast has more recently called a 'truce' with BitTorrent, Inc. with the intention of shaping traffic in a protocol-agnostic manner. Questions about the ethics and legality of Comcast's behavior have led to renewed debate about Net neutrality in the United States.

In general, although encryption can make it difficult to determine what is being shared, BitTorrent is vulnerable to traffic analysis. Thus even with MSE/PE, it may be possible for an ISP to recognize BitTorrent and also to determine that a system is no longer downloading but only uploading data, and terminate its connection by injecting TCP RST (reset flag) packets.

The Sandvine traffic shaping hardware / software system is able (via a man-in-the-middle attack) to send IP hangup packets to the sender and receiver—allowing BitTorrent to be completely throttled. It must be pointed out that BitTorrent protocol behavior is easily spotted by this and other traffic shaping packages, as BitTorrent protocol setup is very dependent on a few very predictable signalling behaviors.

Multitracker

Another unofficial feature is an extension to the BitTorrent metadata format proposed by John Hoffman and implemented by several indexing websites. It allows the use of multiple trackers per file, so if one tracker fails, others can continue supporting file transfer. It is implemented in several clients, such as BitComet, BitTornado, BitTorrent, KTorrent, Transmission, Deluge, µTorrent, rtorrent and Vuze. Trackers are placed in groups, or tiers, with a tracker randomly chosen from the top tier and tried, moving to the next tier if all the trackers in the top tier fail.

Torrents with multiple trackers can decrease the time it takes to download a file, but also has a few consequences:

  • Badly implemented clients may contact multiple trackers, leading to more overhead-traffic.
  • Torrents from closed trackers suddenly become downloadable by non-members, as they can connect to a seed via an open tracker.


Decentralized keyword search

Even with distributed trackers, a third party is still required to find a specific torrent. This is usually done in the form of a hyperlink from the website of the content owner or through indexing websites like The Pirate Bay or Torrentz.

The Tribler BitTorrent client is the first to incorporate decentralized search capabilities. With Tribler, users can find .torrent files that are hosted among other peers, instead of on a centralized index sites. It adds such an ability to the BitTorrent protocol using a gossip protocol, somewhat similar to the eXeem network which was shut down in 2005. The software includes the ability to recommend content as well. After a dozen downloads the Tribler software can roughly estimate the download taste of the user and recommend additional content.

In May 2007 Cornell Universitymarker published a paper proposing a new approach to searching a peer-to-peer network for inexact strings. which could replace the functionality of a central indexing site. A year later, the same team implemented the system as a plugin for Vuze called Cubit and published a follow-up paper reporting its success

GitTorrent

The GitTorrent Protocol (GTP) is, as of 2008, an alpha-version of a protocol designed for collaborative git repository distribution across the Internet.

Implementations

Because the BitTorrent specification is free to use and many clients are open source, BitTorrent clients have been created for all common operating systems using a variety of programming languages. The official BitTorrent client, uTorrent, Vuze, Transmission, and BitComet are some of the most popular clients.

Some clients, like Torrentflux, can be run directly from a server, allowing hosting companies to offer speeds unavailable to most users. Services such as ImageShack can download files on BitTorrent for the user, allowing them to download the entire file by HTTP once it is finished.

The Opera web browser supports BitTorrent, as does Wyzo. BitLet allows users to download Torrents directly from their browser using a Java applet.

An increasing number of hardware devices are being made to support BitTorrent. These include routers and NAS devices that use BitTorrent-capable firmware like OpenWrt.

Proprietary versions of the protocol which implement DRM, encryption, and authentication are found within managed clients such as Pando.

Development

An as-yet (2 February 2008) unimplemented unofficial feature is Similarity Enhanced Transfer (SET), a technique for improving the speed at which peer-to-peer file sharing and content distribution systems can share data. SET, proposed by researchers Pucha, Andersen, and Kaminsky, works by spotting chunks of identical data in files that are an exact or near match to the one needed and transferring these data to the client if the 'exact' data are not present. Their experiments suggested that SET will help greatly with less popular files, but not as much for popular data, where many peers are already downloading it. Andersen believes that this technique could be immediately used by developers with the BitTorrent file sharing system.

As of December 2008, BitTorrent, Inc. is working with Oversi on new Policy Discover Protocols that query the ISP for capabilities and network architecture information. Oversi's ISP hosted NetEnhancer box is designed to "improve peer selection" by helping peers find local nodes, improving download speeds while reducing the loads into and out of the ISP's network.

Legal issues

There has been much controversy over the use of BitTorrent trackers. BitTorrent metafiles themselves do not store copyrighted data. Whether the publishers of BitTorrent metafiles violate copyrights by linking to copyrighted material is controversial.

Various jurisdictions have pursued legal action against websites that host BitTorrent trackers. High-profile examples include the closing of Suprnova.org, Torrentspy, LokiTorrent, Demonoid, and OiNK.cd. The Pirate Bay torrent website, formed by a Swedish group, is noted for the "legal" section of its website in which letters and replies on the subject of alleged copyright infringements are publicly displayed. On 31 May 2006, The Pirate Bay's servers in Sweden were raided by Swedish police on allegations by the MPAA of copyright infringement; however, the tracker was up and running again three days later.

HBO, in an effort to combat the distribution of its programming on BitTorrent networks, has sent cease and desist letters to the Internet Service Providers of BitTorrent users. Many users have reported receiving letters from their ISPs that threatened to cut off their Internet service if the alleged infringement continues. HBO, unlike the RIAA, has not been reported to have filed suit against anyone for sharing files as of April 2007. In 2005 HBO began "poisoning" torrents of its show Rome, by providing bad chunks of data to clients. BitTorrent clients will eventually realize that the data is corrupted, but this does make it take longer to download.

On 23 November 2005, the movie industry and BitTorrent Inc. CEO Bram Cohen, signed a deal they hoped would reduce the number of unlicensed copies available through bittorrent.com's search engine, run by BitTorrent, Inc. It meant BitTorrent.com had to remove any links to unlicensed copies of films made by seven of Hollywood's major movie studios.

More recently, the BitTorrent network has been subject to scrutiny by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). There are suggestions that they are using the network to obtain the IP addresses of those currently connected to the tracker. The information is then used to contact the ISP of each downloader so that notifications can be made (this was given sizeable coverage in the UK press with regard to Virgin Media sending letters out to customers suspected of using P2P networks).

There are two major differences between BitTorrent and many other peer-to-peer file-trading systems, which advocates suggest make it less useful to those sharing copyrighted material without authorization. First, BitTorrent itself does not offer a search facility to find files by name. A user must find the initial torrent file by other means, such as a web search. Second, BitTorrent makes no attempt to conceal the host ultimately responsible for facilitating the sharing: a person who wishes to make a file available must run a tracker on a specific host or hosts and distribute the tracker address(es) in the .torrent file. Because it is possible to operate a tracker on a server that is located in a jurisdiction where the copyright holder cannot take legal action, the protocol does offer some vulnerability that other protocols lack. It is far easier to request that the server's ISP shut down the site than it is to find and identify every user sharing a file on a peer-to-peer network. However, with the use of a distributed hash table (DHT), trackers are no longer required, though often used for client software that does not support DHT to connect to the stream.

See also



References

  1. http://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-still-king-of-p2p-traffic-090218/
  2. See, for example, Why Bit Torrent at tasvideos.org
  3. http://www.dgmlive.com/help.htm#whatisbittorrent
  4. Khashmir Sourceforge
  5. Gillmore, Steve. BitTorrent and RSS Create Disruptive Revolution EWeek.com, 13 December 2003. Retrieved on 22 April 2007.
  6. Documentation.
  7. via Internet Wayback Machine
  8. Comcast Throttles BitTorrent Traffic, Seeding Impossible, TorrentFreak, 17 August 2007
  9. Comcast and Bittorrent Agree to Collaborate
  10. Is Comcast's BitTorrent filtering violating the law?
  11. called MultiTorrents by indexing website myBittorrent.com
  12. DecentralizedRecommendation - tribler.org
  13. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081209-bittorrent-has-new-plan-to-shape-up-p2p-behavior.html


Further reading



External links




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