Bittorrent is a peer-to-peer (p2p) file sharing protocol for distributing digital content. It was developed by Bram Cohen and BitTorrent, Inc. While the company no longer owns or develops the protocol, it remains in use on many websites.While the original protocol is open source, several derivative protocols and clients are proprietary. In addition to Bram Cohen’s official BitTorrent client, there are many other implementations such as TorrentFreak, µTorrent or Azureus.
The protocol was initially used for sharing large files. It does not affect the efficiency of content distribution, since it is a centralized system with one server and many clients.The protocol is said to benefit its users by reducing the bandwidth cost of file distribution, particularly for popular content. It does this by splitting files into small pieces that are shared among members of a swarm.The pieces are then reassembled in the downloading client, to form a copy of the original file. After the initial seeding of a file is finished, each peer is able to help other peers download parts they themselves have already downloaded.This means that, if a peer is disconnected from the swarm for some period of time, he or she can still resume downloading where they left off. It also makes censorship and server access restrictions difficult.
The inherent nature of the BitTorrent protocol is that it allows one computer (or “peer”) to take part in distributing a file, without having any significant effect on the speed or bandwidth of other computers.The BitTorrent protocol is used for distributing large amounts of data in a way that limits the effect on any one person’s bandwidth, and allows for more efficient transfer speeds.This is accomplished by splitting the file into many smaller parts, then distributing those pieces among multiple users.As more and more users download the file, each person’s computer uploads a piece that they have completed to other peers. At some point, all of the pieces are downloaded by every peer. Once this occurs, the file is assembled and can be played or displayed in its entirety.