Part of the Internet technologies glossary:

BitTorrent is a content distribution protocol that enables efficient software distribution and peer-to-peer sharing of very large files, such as entire movies and TV shows, by enabling users to serve as network redistribution points.

BitTorrent's protocol has been described as a "swarming, scatter and gather" file transfer protocol. Rather than having to send a download to each customer requesting it, the distributor or holder of content sends it to one customer who, in turn, sends it to other customers. Clients share pieces of the download back and forth until everyone has the complete download. This distribution scheme makes it possible for the original server to handle many requests for large files without requiring immense amounts of bandwidth.

Bram Cohen wrote BitTorrent in Python and made it available in 2001. BitTorrent is distributed freely under an open source license.

This was last updated in April 2009
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • BPEL (Business Process Execution Language)

    - BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) is an XML-based language that enables task-sharing in a distributed computing or grid computing environment.  (SearchSOA.com)

  • respawning cookie

    - A respawning cookie is a standard HTTP cookie backed up by data stored in additional files that are used to rebuild the original cookie when the user visits the originating site again. A 2009 study... (WhatIs.com)

  • Flash cookie

    - Flash cookies, also known as local shared objects (LSO), are text files stored on a user’s hard drive when a browsers requests content that's supported by Adobe Flash. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Internet technologies

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet technologies, including definitions about port numbers, standards and protocols and words and phrases about how the Internet works.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question
  • program example for downloading a large file from one server to another

    Pnolans, I'm not sure what you're looking for, but either of these options may help. rsync --partial --progress progress.log remoteMachine:/path/to/file/on/remote/server/ wget -c http://mysite.c...

  • Blocking Torrent application to save bandwidth

    I have successfully used packet shapers in the past to do just this. There are free solutions but most do not do packet inspection as mentioned by carlosdl. Though they can be very expensive they...

  • Cisco 1801 router and torrents

    Sounds like a bug in the version of IOS, or your ISP is blocking you after this time, and the reset of the router will reset the line at the same time, so may also reset their timer. When the faul...

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.