BitTorrent

Introduction

BitTorrent is a communication protocol used for P2P file sharing. It is one of the most popular protocols for sending large files across the internet. Bram Cohen designed and released it under BitTorrent, Inc. on July 2, 2001. Popularly identified as Mainline by developers, BitTorrent is open source, and it was the first client written for the protocol. After the release of version 6.0, it is now officially a rebranded version of uTorrent is no longer open-source. BitTorrent is available for use on smartphones (Android and iOS) and computers (Linux, Mac, and Microsoft Windows operating system).

It operates a freemium license. However, it supports advertisements. The application is available in 66 languages, including English, French, Chinese, Spanish, etc. You can use the client application to transfer digital files, i.e., videos and audios from one location to another. P2P torrenting is responsible for a large percentage of the world’s internet traffic with BitTorrent being one of the major protocols used. There are other popular clients which include Vuze, Transmission, Xunlei, uTorrent, etc. There is currently an average of 170 million monthly BitTorrent protocol users across 138 countries. In this review, we study this file sharing service in detail.

About BitTorrent

As a student at University at Buffalo, a public research university, Bram Cohen designed the BitTorrent protocol in April 2001 which he later on released on July 2nd. The software is currently a product undergoing development under Rainberry, Inc (formerly BitTorrent, Inc). Rainberry, Inc is headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA. In 2018, BitTorrent, Inc was acquired by popular cryptocurrency startup TRON.

BitTorrent is written in Python programming language and released as free software without a license into the public domain. However, subsequent versions were registered and distributed under a license. For instance, version 3.4.2 was released under the MIT license, while versions 4.y & 5.z were released under the BitTorrent Open Source License. It was later on relicensed under the GNU General Public License.

Its version 5.30 version is the last open source client application. After the release of version 6.0, the BitTorrent client has been rebranded to uTorrent. To share files on BitTorrent, all you need to do is to create a small text file labeled “.torrent.” This document contains the metadata about the data to be shared. Examples of files downloaded through torrenting include The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, etc.

BitTorrent is used by several individuals and organization to distribute their works. For instance, popular networking sites, Facebook, and Twitter use BitTorrent to distribute updates to their respective servers. As updated on its website on BitTorrent is releasing its cryptocurrency token, i.e., BTT to enhance faster file transfer via its protocol.

Alongside its client applications, BitTorrent also exists as a web service, which makes it easy to download torrents directly from your browser. You can use it to search for torrents to download. You can play torrent files and magnet links while downloading. BitTorrent Classic, the desktop app can be used for bulk downloads. Although it exists as a freeware, it has paid versions. To buy BitTorrent for use, click here.

Features

Existing on a file sharing protocol, BitTorrent has many features namely;

BitTorrent Token (BTT)

As pointed out earlier, TRON owns BitTorrent. So, in early 2019, the team developed a TRC-10 utility token identified as BitTorrent Token. This token is created to help increase speed on TRON blockchain. Tron’s blockchain is a DApp built on the Ethereum blockchain. With it, users can download torrents faster. BTT is to serve as a currency on the platform. It has a built-in wallet in which the tokens can be stored. When listed on decentralized exchanges, it can be exchanged for TRX tokens. Examples of exchanges listing BTT includes Binance, OkeX, Bittrex, BitFinex, Bithumb, HitBTC, Huobi among others.

Data Saver

It helps to save mobile data while downloading torrents or sending files across the protocol. BitTorrent has a Wi-Fi only mode which, when activated, helps to reduce data usage and increase performance.

Improved UI

A sneak peek at the BitTorrent app for Android shows its new GUI. Designed with a simple, clean, and beautiful theme, you can discover and download media anywhere.

Multiple Languages

BitTorrent is presently available in over 60 languages. The latest release for its Android version includes translation into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, etc.

File Transfer/Unlimited Downloads

BitTorrent is used large files using P2P. Its inbuilt technology disintegrates the large files into bits for easy downloads. With this feature, you use less bandwidth and enjoy faster download speed. Also, there is no download limit for files. You can move as many files as possible.

Protection

BitTorrent offers secure downloading of files. It has an inbuilt anti-virus which automatically scans and screen torrents for viruses before downloading. This feature is available on BitTorrent Pro.

Streaming

You can stream torrents using BitTorrent. Also, you don’t need to wait until the download completes before you preview content. You can watch torrents while downloading.

Media Player/Converter

BitTorrent has an inbuilt HD media player which enables you to play your media content using the client application. It also allows users to convert downloaded files into compatible formats for your device, i.e., iPad, Xbox, Smart TV, Android, etc.

Remote File Management

This feature allows you to manage your torrents remotely from any part of the world. This feature is available only on BitTorrent Pro.

Bandwidth Booster

BitTorrent has an inbuilt bandwidth booster to regulate bandwidth usage, thereby ensuring fast delivery. With this feature, you can run background downloads and other activities without affecting browsing speed.

Multi-Platform Availability

BitTorrent is available for use on different platforms. You can set up your BitTorrent account on your smartphones and computer.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It is simple to use: BitTorrent is a simple client application. With a user-friendly interface, it is easy to use it for downloading your favorite content as torrents. It allows configurations and personalization.
  • It is Free: BitTorrent is free to use across all platforms. Although the premium products provide additional features, BitTorrent Basic allows the user to download files with maximum speed.
  • It accepts Cryptocurrencies: Asides other payment methods, i.e., use of credit card, PayPal, you can also pay using Bitcoin and other accepted currencies.

Cons

  • It doesn’t maintain anonymity while torrenting. While using the software, the users’ IP address is available to the public. Thus, it is advisable to use a trusted VPN that supports torrenting.
  • BitTorrent Basic contains advertisements.

Different Versions

BitTorrent has three versions, i.e.

  • BitTorrent Basic: This is the free version of the service. It provides essential torrent downloading features. However, it contains advertisements. To download this version, click here.
  • BitTorrent Ad-Free: This version includes the basic features. However, it contains no ad. It is priced at $4.95/year. Buy this version here.
  • BitTorrent Pro: With the inclusion of the features mentioned in previous versions, it provides an HD media player, converter, and Anti-virus. You can get this version here at $19.95/year.

Compatibility

BitTorrent is compatible with Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Microsoft Windows operating system. It also exists as a web service.

FAQs

Q: Is it illegal to use BitTorrent?

A: Torrenting is considered illegal in many countries because it involves the downloading of copyrighted work. However, it is not illegal to use BitTorrent.

Q: Which is better BitTorrent or uTorrent?

A: To indicate the better BitTorrent protocol, we would compare with different tests. First, both software has identical UI and a few other similarities. In terms of device compatibility, BitTorrent is less compatible with devices as compared to uTorrent. In terms of Speed, BitTorrent has faster speed. Also, BitTorrent handles ads more than uTorrent. So, both are generally great apps as they record great test results in terms of performance and performance.

Q: How safe is BitTorrent?

A: It is safe to use. The Pro version has an inbuilt antivirus which scans files downloaded from the internet for malware and virus before saving them on the computer.

Summary                                             

BitTorrent is a communication protocol released in 2001. It allows users to download and transmit large files over the internet. It is compatible with most devices including Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. We have tested this software and considered it safe to use. To learn more, visit the BitTorrent website.