How BitTorrent Works

Album Cover: New Skin for the Old Ceremony

"You told me again you preferred handsome men, but for me you would make an exception."
Leonard Cohen / Chelsea Hotel #2

Posted on November 05, 2004 6:26 AM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

While adding a few B-Sides to my site this morning, I stumbled upon a news article called "File-sharing network thrives beneath the radar" that gives an excellent overview of how BitTorrent actually works:

Let's say you want to download a copy of this week's episode of "Desperate Housewives." Rather than downloading the actual digital file that contains the show, instead you would download a small file called a "torrent" onto your computer.

When you open that file on your computer, BitTorrent searches for other users that have downloaded the same "torrent."

BitTorrent's "file-swarming" software breaks the original digital file into fragments, then those fragments are shared between all of the users that have downloaded the "torrent." Then the software stitches together those fragments into a single file that a users can view on their PC.

If you still don't get it after reading that, then I don't think you were ever meant to ;)

Comments

boing on November 21, 2004 at 5:59 AM:

thank you for letting me know i was suppose to 'get it'. i can add that to my knowledge along with blackholes! hahahah...thanks

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