August 19, 2008

BitTorrent : Faster and more stable Downloads

What is BitTorrent ?

BitTorrent is an open source peer-to-peer protocol for distributing large amounts of data and files over the internet.The idea behind BitTorrent is to allow massive distribution of popular files without paining the actual source(Server).

How the traditional download works ?

Consider a traditional download method, where the user downloads a file from a server.When unusually high numbers of users are simultaneously downloading the same file, causing the server to run out of available bandwidth. When this happens the clients are refused a connection with the server and even results in a server crash.

To solve this problem Programmer Bram Cohen released a protocol called BitTorrent in April 2001.

How the BitTorrent Works then ?

image courtesy of wikipedia

The first distributor or server acts as the first seed, then each pair who downloads the data also shares the downloaded parts with the other peers.This helps to reduce the original distributor's bandwidth and hardware resource costs.

You can read more about BitTorrent here..

How do I download files using BitTorrent ?

Using BitTorrent for downloading files is very simple, all you need is a BitTorrent client and an active internet connection.Okey we can do it in 3 easy steps.

1. Get a BitTorrent client

  • BitTorrent client is a software that uses BitTorrent protocol to download and manage torrents.There are a lot of BitTorrent client software available for each platform(Mac,Linux and Windows).Some popular BitTorrent clients are : Vuze (formerly known as Azureus),BitTorrent,uTorrent.
  • Just download any of these client software and install it.(Azureus and BitTorrent are available for Windows Linux and Mac OS X).

2. Find a torrent to download

  • Okey now you have a BitTorrent client installed, now you need to find some torrent you like to download.
click on the image to enlarge

  • for example : go to and search for ''elephants dream" and click on a search results with more number of seeders (more number of seeders means fast download rates).

click the image to enlarge
  • Now click on the desired torrent link and download the torrent file (.torrent file) from the site.

3. Start the download

  • Once the file is downloaded double click on the file to open it.Some clients like Vuze may ask you to specify where to save the files.

That's all, now you are using BitTorrent !

Tips and Techniques

There are several BitTorrent sites , here are some of my favorites

For faster Download rates

Choose torrents with more seeders than leechers checkout this link for a nice article on how to increase your torrent speed.

Read my review on Vuze (Formerly known as azureus), one of the most advanced and feature rich BitTorrent client available.

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