ABOUT:BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used to distribute large amounts of data. The initial distributor of the complete file or collection acts as the first seed. Each peer that downloads the data also uploads them to other peers. 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 and reduces dependence on the original distributor.
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. Usage of the protocol accounts for significant Internet traffic, though the precise amount has proven difficult to measure. There are numerous BitTorrent clients available for a variety of computing platforms.
BitTorrent is a free speech tool.
BitTorrent gives you the same freedom to publish previously enjoyed by only a select few with special equipment and lots of money. ("Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one" -- journalist A.J. Liebling.)
You have something terrific to publish -- a large music or video file, software, a game or anything else that many people would like to have. But the more popular your file becomes, the more you are punished by soaring bandwidth costs. If your file becomes phenomenally successful and a flash crowd of hundreds or thousands try to get it at once, your server simply crashes and no one gets it.
There is a solution to this vicious cycle. BitTorrent, the result of over two years of intensive development, is a simple and free software product that addresses all of these problems.
The key to scaleable and robust distribution is cooperation. With BitTorrent, those who get your file tap into their upload capacity to give the file to others at the same time. Those that provide the most to others get the best treatment in return. ("Give and ye shall receive!")
Cooperative distribution can grow almost without limit, because each new participant brings not only demand, but also supply. Instead of a vicious cycle, popularity creates a virtuous circle. And because each new participant brings new resources to the distribution, you get limitless scalability for a nearly fixed cost.
BitTorrent is not just a concept, but has an easy-to-use implementation capable of swarming downloads across unreliable networks. BitTorrent has been embraced by numerous publishers to distribute to millions of users.
With BitTorrent free speech no longer has a high price.