Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
The Internet

BitTorrent Guide 374

An anonymous reader writes "BitTorrent is the new latest/greatest P2P app to come and one of the MP3 rags has published a guide to it. Shareaza has already started to implement support for it, though support is in the early stages. The ruling is blazing fast downloads, but the difficulty of finding .tor files and other issues shows it is still a work in progress with strong niche potential. Information to host files on BT can be found here." It remains to be seen if Bit Torrent can outlive P2Ps bad rep since it is a really useful application.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

BitTorrent Guide

Comments Filter:
  • Potential? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by harveyswik ( 592377 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:31AM (#5985562)
    No, if Bit Torrent can be implemented as a standard protocol for all web browsers *then* it will have real potential.

    Potential dissipate the ./ effect!
    • I read a week or so ago that mozilla's position was that nobody had yet written a plugin to support. When they do, then they'll discuss whether to include it officially.
      • Re:Potential? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by los furtive ( 232491 )

        I've given up buying CDs since it's illegal anyway to copy the music to my computer or mp3 player.

        It's not illegal yet. And with an 'I give up' attitude like that you're not helping those who haven't given up yet and are still trying to defend their rights.

  • by RiverTonic ( 668897 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:33AM (#5985568) Homepage
    ... a tool to download very big files like iso's. The other case where it really is useful is when links to large files are posted on slashdot. In that case it's already useful for files over a couple of mb.
  • by ( 579491 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:39AM (#5985594)
    you just need to find different sites for your specific needs, for example one site that will have a weekly torrent for that tv show like to watch, another site for the latest films, another for your cds... yeah, it takes a bit more work than other p2p programs, but it's worth it to get around the bogus files and slow download times of other p2p programs. and where do you find these torrent sites? google...
  • "P2P"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gorimek ( 61128 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:39AM (#5985595) Homepage
    I wouldn't call it a P2P application in the typical file sharing sense. Isn't it more of a "poor mans Akamai"?
    • Re:"P2P"? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Omnifarious ( 11933 )

      Maybe it is a poor man's Akamai, but IMHO, it works a lot better than Akamai does. For example, it works well even if your ISP doesn't have a hub running BitTorrent. And the publishing step is much simpler than Akamai's. So, perhaps, Akamai replacement is a better term.

      • Re:"P2P"? (Score:3, Informative)

        Refer to the /. discussion Mozilla and bittorrent? [], where the poster has an idea about using bittorrent as akamai. Quick answer: different tools, different uses.

      • by VJTod ( 563763 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @02:30PM (#5986587)
        What's difficult about publishing content on akamai?

        I drop a file on my webserver and the content will be automatically published to a server geographically local to whomever accesses the content. I publish my content directly to my website as I always have. I never publish the content anywhere else.

        I don't need to configure individual files to be available through bittorrent.

        Clients accessing my content don't need a plugin.

        BT & Ak both work well even if my ISP doesn't have a hub running akamai.

        If it is in any way a replacement for Akamai - why is BT's website just text? (maybe because you can't bittorrent content like you can akamize content)

        Is BitTorrent is a poor man's Akamai?

        Besides - bittorrent is just files. Akamai has several different types of services most related to distributed content distribution. From individual files to whole websites can be hosted on the Akamai network. [] is completely hosted on the akamai network - requests to rarely ever hit the core servers.
        • It's difficult because Akamai has to go through a bunch of stupid effort to get the content to where it's going. It's also difficult because you have to sign up with Akamai to arrange to be able to push your content through them in the first place.

          If BitTorrent were natively supported in Mozilla, you could host entire sites using it too. In fact, I rather would. Most of those picture heavy sites that get Slashdotted within seconds of their appearing on the front page would be just fine if they were publ

    • Re:"P2P"? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @12:35PM (#5985864) Homepage Journal
      I wouldn't call it a P2P application in the typical file sharing sense.

      No, it isn't a P2P application in the typical file sharing sense. Bit torrent is perfect for short term kinds of downloads.

      Let me give you an example.

      Let's say I make games and I release a patch for it once a month. If every one of my hundreds of thousands of users tried to download that patch at the same time, my bandwidth would be slashdotted so to speak. Even if I could handle the load, I'd be consuming gigs and gigs of bandwidth in just a few days.

      But if I torrent that file to all my users then the bandwidth consumption spreads across the internet like a virus (for lack of a better word) and I save money. It's also better for the user because they're not relying on a central server to supply the file. If my server goes down 12 hours after the patch is released, the file is still being distributed across the net.

      Obviously in 6 months the torrent won't be as reliable a downloading source because the patch is too old and not as many people are patching. After a week, the rush of people grabbing the file at the same time is over and then I release the real thing instead of the torrent on my website so the people who were too late in the patching can get it.

      The beauty of torrent is timing. If you have a popular file to share at a specific time, torrent's your application.
      • Re:"P2P"? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ahaning ( 108463 )
        You suggest that if your main server goes down, the distribution continues. But, don't you need a machine that keeps track of who's Torrenting so that all of the BT clients know from whom to send/receive?

        In some of my recent experimentation with BT, I tried to Torrent a file, but it didn't work because the main server wasn't hosting it anymore. I had the .torrent, but I couldn't connect to the host. There may very well have been someone else out there with more of the file than I had and/or there could ver
    • You don't have it call it a P2P application "in the typical file sharing sense". But it definitely is a P2P application, no denying it.
    • Yes, P2P (Score:4, Interesting)

      by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @02:50PM (#5986670) Journal
      You're mistaking the term "Peer-to-Peer", which describes *how* the program works, for "things people use early popular Peer-to-Peer-based tools for" and also because you're confusing "how you let other people have your files" with "how you find files other people have." BitTorrent is Peer-to-Peer, because the way it distributes files is primarily by sharing them between peers, a piece at a time, rather than by getting them all from the host or whatever. Unlike some of the other P2P systems out there, BitTorrent doesn't have a central index of files that are available - it does its indexing on the pieces of a single file, and the person who runs the tracker for a file is usually the person who has the complete copy they're distributing.

      Napster, the obvious first example of P2P file sharing, maintained a centralized index of everything it knew about, which was one reason it could be sued to death, so most of the newer file-sharing applications found ways to also decentralize their indexing (which is harder.) BitTorrent avoids the whole problem - the person running the tracker is the person publishing the file, and the indexes of who has what pieces are transitory. So if the distribution is legitimate, fine, and if it's not, the copyright owner can go sue the publisher who ripped them off.

      So from an applications standpoint, yes, the person distributing a file can sometimes use it like Akamai or AT&T or Speedera to ship their stuff out faster, except that it's quasi-free because it's using the downloaders' bandwidths instead of a big caching service's bandwidth. But one big difference is that BitTorrent is designed to handle big files, while the caching services can handle anything - so they're useful for keeping your front page from being slashdotted (or superbowl-commercialed), and for the graphics on your front page, as well as for distributing the new release of your music CD or your software update. The caching services also provide a function that BT doesn't, which is accelerating delivery of small files by delivering them from nearby servers - instead of hauling them 50ms across the continent or 200ms across the Pacific, you're grabbing them from nearby, while BT requires an index hit from the tracker before fetching content. BT scales very closely with demand volume because it is P2P, so the more demand there is, the more servers there are to fill it - the caching services scale because they've got big honking servers spread around the net.

  • It's changed fansubs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:42AM (#5985607) Homepage Journal
    If you're into the whole anime thing, like I am, Bit Torrent is a godsend. BitTorrent is the biggest thing to happen to digital fansubs since DivX.

    Prior to BitTorrent acquiring digital fansubs of anime was extremely difficult. Especially if you weren't at a college campus. The files are 200MB, so dial up users are out. Releases were made on IRC fserves, so propagation was slow. Things made their way slowly onto other p2p networks like WinMX and DC, but you were never able to find anything and everything. And only IRC fanboys could get things guaranteed as soon as they came out.

    BitTorrent changed everything. Check out Anime Suki []. The fansubbing groups are now setting up torrents of every episode they release. And every day the newest ones are listed as they come out. So anybody who has a fast enough connection, or is willing to wait for 200MB can get fansubs when they come out, guaranteed. The best new stuff is not limited to the fanboys anymore. And you don't have to deal with other p2p networks where people will do "trad3z onli!" or otherwise cancel your download. And no queues either.

    The problem with BitTorrent is that when a file is no longer popular, BitTorrent becomes useless. And if a file is small BitTorrent is also useless. You need lots of people downloading and uploading and you need a big file. Prior to BitTorrent putting a video on a web page either meant you were badass or a big company with big ass servers and bandwith. Or nobody visited you and it didn't matter. BitTorrent brings video back to the web. WebMasters no longer need to fear crashing and burning if they host an awesome video.

    If only there was something like SiteTorrent that found some way to keep /.ing away. Something like that will require much thinking however.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:51AM (#5985662)
      If only there was something like SiteTorrent that found some way to keep /.ing away. Something like that will require much thinking however.

      How about mod_torrent for apache? Right now every file you want to share with bittorrent has has to be configured separatedly and attached to a tracker. With something like mod_torrent you could specify that for example all avi files, zip files etc. on a host should always be uploaded trough bittorrent.

      On a file request the web server starts the tracker automatically if no one else is already downloading the file. There would always be at least one seed, the web server, and users would share the bandwidth load if the file was popular. Even if no one else will be downloading the file at the same time distributing the file trough bittorrent should only impose a very small overhead.
      • great idea

        second half would be torrent support built into Mozilla so that stuff could display inline with the page.

        at worst it would only slightly lessen the bandwidth used by the site, at best it would help sites cope with being slashdotted, farked or whatever. of course, the database driven sites that choke something between apache, php and mysql wouldn't be helped but the ones with big downloads might stay up.

    • If you're into the whole anime thing, like I am, Bit Torrent is a godsend. BitTorrent is the biggest thing to happen to digital fansubs since DivX.

      It is a big thing to happen to digital fansubs, but it isn't a godsend. Fansubs were supposed to be only available to fanboys/girls, that have watched most commercially available anime and want to watch other anime that is unlikely to get commercially available. Now most anime are licensed (but not announce) before they air in Japan. So most fansubs now are ju
    • useful for... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zogger ( 617870 )
      ... this could be useful for those 2-3 minute audio/video clips that the commercial news services run as well. "Breaking news" is always that, a lot of people nailing a server to get "the latest".
  • The second link (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Isbiten ( 597220 ) <> on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:46AM (#5985627) Homepage
    Has links to warez. I thought slashdot had some policy about not posting links to warez...
    • Read the FAQ []!

      Does slashdot have a policy about posting links to warez/pr0n/illegal content/etc sites?

      Yes! We never link to them until after all the editors have verified the site is currently up, and downloaded all the goodies.

      Answered by CmdrTaco
      Last Modified: 6/14/00

      • Re:The second link (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Duds ( 100634 )
        there's not warez there. .torrent files are not warez. There is no copyrighted content in the file.

        To claim so is to call me a drug dealer for the following sentence. "There's a lot of drugs avaliable in Soho"
        • I don't know about american law, but under most laws it would still be illegal to host a torrent since you are a abetting a crime (what you think is not so relevant as what the judge think)
          • I assume you mean a torrent to pirated content. If so, then you are more like Napster than P2P, because you have the power to control access and prevent the piracy of the specific work and you would be expected to know whether it was pirated or not.

            It's odd that you think this is clearer under other laws -- it's mostly only the US that has actually tested these legal waters.
          • He's made a couple of trollish comments on this topic. It's obviously not abetting a crime to host a torrent for something you're allowed to copy freely, so things like Linux ISOs and Jam Band Concert Tapes are just fine.
        • "To claim so is to call me a drug dealer for the following sentence. "There's a lot of drugs avaliable in Soho""

          Try applying the following question to each case: "How much effort does it take to go from the information given to the final illegal product?"

          In the torrent case, a link to a site with warez torrents gets you 90% of the way there. In the Soho case, you'd still have to randomly cruise streets, looking for a dealer.

          Even so, I wouldn't say that linking to a warez site is necessarily illegal,

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Okay, so I was using bittorrent on a windows box to download the Doom3 trailer (posted here []), and it works great.. 200KB/sec, so when it completes I decide, "sure, i'll help other people out by leaving it running". Windows, being the beast that it is, eventually crashes and the bittorrent app goes down along with it.

    Now, my issue is.. why can't I easily help serve that file again? If bittorrent would allow me to select the torrent file and the local file to use, I would be more satisfied. (and no, obscure

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:47AM (#5985640)
    At least the way anime groups use it(they've discovered it beats the hell out of IRC on "release day"), it's for short term. However, it varies group to group- some will leave BT downloads seeded for weeks.

    Still, if you're looking for something older than a few weeks, you're looking at something like edonkey, but speeds will be far more pathetic.

    The problem with BitTorrent is that "advanced"(ie, unofficial) clients are springing up like weeds, and they let you fudge with all sorts of parameters(how many clients you upload to and stuff, for example). If the p2p authors didn't originally let you tweak it, it's probably because you SHOULDN'T tweak it. Edonkey has seen the same problems- you should see the configuration parameter list for mldonkey. It's horrible- more rope for users to hang not themselves, but the network.

    Worse, the "advanced" BT clients let you change your upload rate. Part of the reason BT is so absolutely, amazingly fast is that it forces you to use all your upload, which pisses off the kiddie leechers who don't realize you gotta pay(full upload capacity) to play(maxxing out your download.) I noticed right after the "advanced" and 3rd-party tools came out that speeds dropped.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:54AM (#5985669)
      AFAIK, if you lower your upload rate you will also download slower. There seems to have been quite some thought put into the design of the BitTorrent protocol.
    • Unfortunately, on 768/128 ADSL, leaving my upload uncapped results in crappy download speeds... so I have to limit uploads to ~5kB/s or lower for decent download performance. On the school lan, however, uploading doesn't cause any trouble.

      However, it shouldn't be long before more anti-leech apps come out that slow you down if you don't share yourself.
    • by kryptkpr ( 180196 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @12:44PM (#5985936) Homepage
      As many have pointed out, if you have an asynchornous connection where you can download way faster then uploading, then uploading too much blocks TCP ACKs and kills your download speed. This is why clients that let you adjust the upload rate "sprang up".

      This does not give people an excuse to leech. I'm currently co-ordinating with a number of other developers to create an anti-leech tracker (it keeps track of how much you've uploaded and how much you've downloaded, and will begin to warn and/or deny you at a certain ratio after a certain ammount of time).

      The reason BT's speed is dropping is not becuase people are limiting uploads, but becuase popularity is growing. There aren't 100 people on a file anymore, there's 2000.

      Do a little test. Grab BT Availability Checker [] from that page, and run it on a torrent that's got lots of people (new simpsons episode, matrix reloaded, whatever).

      If you're lucky, half of the 50 or so peers you're sent (out of 2000!) will be actually alive.
      There is currently no way to "match up" people who should be sending things to one another (one the same ISP or LAN), but again, we're working on it.

      BT is still in it's infancy, but the future looks good.
      • by Snaller ( 147050 )
        Yep, since its open source it will be easy for the RIAA to find out who is downloading and DDS them (if you are lucky)
        • Which will show them for the terrorists they are. BitTorrent gets the original file from a centralized server. Their whole excuse for DoSing people was they supposedly couldn't track down the person distributing the supposedly "infringing work" and sue or DMCA them.

      • ...if you have an asynchornous connection where you can download way faster then uploading, then uploading too much blocks TCP ACKs and kills your download speed.

        Compile QoS & friends into your kernel.
    • The official client let's you tweak everything as well. There are command line parameters for everything that you can see in the experimental clients. Those clients just built a GUI on top of already existing functionality.
    • Bram spent quite a while figuring out which things need tweaking to get the performance to optimize. Some of them are more critical than others, such as the "no leeching" approach. There are two basic difficulties with it, one of which might be easily fixable:
      • Using *all* your upstream for uploads can dog out the rest of your applications. It's nicer to be able to limit the uploading to 90% of your upstream so that ACKs for other things get through. That's probably fixable; I don't know if Bram's workin
    • Worse, the "advanced" BT clients let you change your upload rate. Part of the reason BT is so absolutely, amazingly fast is that it forces you to use all your upload...

      Nonononononono. Maxing upload is *bad*. If you max out your upload, you can't ACK any packets coming in, which kills your downstream; eventually the connection'll time out. Then you're screwed.
    • Worse, the "advanced" BT clients let you change your upload rate. Part of the reason BT is so absolutely, amazingly fast is that it forces you to use all your upload, which pisses off the kiddie leechers who don't realize you gotta pay(full upload capacity) to play(maxxing out your download.) I noticed right after the "advanced" and 3rd-party tools came out that speeds dropped.

      Whether or not the ability to change your upload speed is a good thing or not is actually debatable, in my opinion. Take the recen
  • Another tutorial (Score:4, Informative)

    PCLinuxOnline has a BitTorrent tutorial over here [].
  • by dr ttol ( 674155 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @11:59AM (#5985693)
    For the slashdot crowd, [] is for them.

    For everything else, [], which has a comment system for each torrent file so people can post up their thoughts. Also they allow people to upload their own torrents. This site has the following sections: Misc, Movies, TV, Music, Porn, Books, Games, Software, Comics, and Anime.

    Also, [] is good too, but has been having a lot of problems lately. They have: Games, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Apps, Misc, and DVD [] has TV Shows, Movies, Music, Apps, Games, Comics, Anime and Misc. Allows people to upload their own torrent and has a tracker as well. [] also includes TV Shows, Movies, Games, and a Misc section.

    The following are the best TV-only BitTorrent sites. [] []

    Anyways, those are the most popular BitTorrent places. And with me posting this now (and perhaps getting modded up =D), they should be even better and faster (if the website doesn't die from the load first).

    • redirected to, now it just shows:

      Slashdot sucks.
    • Thanks for Asking? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Milican ( 58140 )
      So here is a blurb from

      Thanks for asking slashdot...

      users, we will be back

      OK, so now people are getting pissed if we slashdot their servers. Since when on the Internet do you have to "ask" to see a webpage. Well, if you don't like it then don't post your servers on the *public* Internet. DUUUUUUH! I have an idea, don't want us coming in? Make things password protected for your precious little community. Don't be a bitch because someone is interested in your site. Next thing you kn
  • Thanks, Slashdot. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by suntse ( 672374 )
    "Hey look at this cool new bittorrent tool. People are illegally trading games and movies and mp3s with it. Here's a big list of sites where all the pirates exchange information for all of you!" Brilliant. Say goodbye to all of the bittorrent site you can find from this slashdot article. They won't last long now.
  • BitTorrent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kryptkpr ( 180196 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @12:13PM (#5985760) Homepage
    The torrent creation guide relies on the stock completedir; bleh... a much better replacement is MakeTorrent []. Currently it's an enhanced/modified completedir (sources are available, so you can use it under *nix), but I'm working on a complete rewrite. There are guides here [] and here [].

    I'm also developing an alternative client, and many people prefer the interface to the stock one.. it's called burst! [] (front-end is released GPL, back-end currently still relies on the python code which is MIT).
    • I am presently using the Experimental client; while it works rather well and looks alright, it puts a zillion 'BT's in my sys tray and windows on my desktop - one for every ahem 'linux iso' I have completed. Does your client keep it to one, with a pop-up menu? Or am I destined to have 23 'BT's across my screen?

      As a recent new user, I am constantly amazed at the sheer speed of BT for large files, and would love to see more use of it on /. (even though I downloaded the D3 trailer, and saw a lot of people

      • Re:BitTorrent (Score:2, Informative)

        by kryptkpr ( 180196 )
        No, burst keeps one icon, with a constantly updated pop-up menu to show transfer progress and state. You may wish to enable "Start Transfers Hidden" under options if you don't want to see the console downloader windows (they're for advanced users and seeders, but they let you adjust upload rate and number of unchoked uploads at will, using up/down/left/right).

        To re-open a file for sharing, follow the procedure for downloading it again, and choose the same destination file. It will go through a checking p
      • Re:BitTorrent (Score:2, Informative)

        by __aasfhc1949 ( 71946 )
        Hello teamhasnoi:

        Once the file is completed, you can stop uploading (sharing) it at anytime and resume it later on just by double-clicking on the *.torrent file (just make sure it points to the directory with the downloaded file). It'll check the file first and then begin uploading to other clients.

  • ...and those problems are nearly always the users. Networks are stuffed full of leeching goits who deliberatly try and minimise the ammount they upload, making P2P much less useful.

    The best P2P solutions are ones run where bandwidth is excessive (DC on campuses for example, where 1mb/sec upload was no skin off the nose of the user with 100mb/sec internally) or private groups (like my local SSH+DC system that only has 6 users).

    Freenet seems to be pretty good at enforcing people to be altuistic and not self
    • Networks are stuffed full of leeching goits who deliberatly try and minimise the ammount they upload, making P2P much less useful.

      The best P2P solutions are ones run where bandwidth is excessive (DC on campuses for example, where 1mb/sec upload was no skin off the nose of the user with 100mb/sec internally)

      Kind of off topic, but can you imagine how many people are going to become leeches and begin deliberately trying to minimise how much they upload after ISPs across the world start limiting monthly band
  • In My Opinion... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @12:38PM (#5985890) Homepage Journal
    ...bittorrent will be most useful as an alternative to web downloading huge legitimate files [], like the Baen CD-ROMs or Linux distros. It's blazing fast, or can be, but it's just too easy to shut down a tracker/website, just like what was done to Napster. There's no anonymity here, and the only reason sites like are around at all is that the RIAA/MPAA haven't noticed them yet. Once they do, kiss 'em goodbye.
    • there's no copyrighted material in any torrent file. There's a reason FastTrackCentral is still around doing the same with sig2dat.

      They can't actually touch em.

      Plus, so what if a torrent site goes. The .torrents are tiny. You can email, you could hide them on a server or whatever.

      The tracker is more of a problem, and indeed more copyright vulnerable than the sites.
  • Java Bit Torrent (Score:5, Informative)

    by deblau ( 68023 ) <> on Sunday May 18, 2003 @12:40PM (#5985903) Journal
    I'm leading development on the official Java port, here []. The code was originally a line-by-line port from the original Python (3.0.2), but it's in the middle of a refactoring to take into account some of the ways Java does things differently. We plan to match release numbers with the original Python codebase. Once we get the code cleaned up, we'll make a 3.0.2 release, and add features to get ourselves up to the current Python. The code is currently in CVS, directions available on SourceForge. We're always looking for developers and testers, of course. If you have any questions, email me directly, my SF username is flickboy. More general comments can go to the boards. We're in the process of getting our own web page up, so cut us a little slack.

    I've heard complaints about and requests for "advanced" features, on the mailing lists, on IRC, and of course here. As far as the P2P protocol is concerned, I trust Bram's judgment. There are no plans to include any advanced features like upload bandwidth throttling. Instead, what I'm hoping will differentiate the Java port will be the GUI and ease-of-use, the ability of testers familiar with Java (leading to great security and QA), and code cleanliness.

    If you're at all interested in seeing a (mostly) working Java implementation, and the only feature-for-feature 'official' version, check out JTorrent [], and drop me a line. If you're curious about other language ports, or other ports with different goals, check out the "btports" Yahoo group. For general questions, or questions about the original Python, use the "bittorrent" Yahoo group, or go to #bittorrent on

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @12:50PM (#5985967)
    That if we're all using it for web pages (downloading and uploading as we go along) the amount of end user bandwidth (which is unmetered) will increase and the amount of server bandwidth (usually metered) will decrease? Imagine how happy cox would be if every computer on their cable network was functioning as a mini-web server at all times. The ISPs will not like this, and will start either raising rates or capping bandwidth. Yeah, I know bandwidth is getting cheaper, but I'm sure Cox would rather pocket those savings then spend them on network upgrades.
    • The ISPs will not like this, and will start either raising rates or capping bandwidth.

      Actually, they have a simpler plan - kick anyone they catch using Bittorrent off their system.

      From what I've heard, BitTorrent infuriates the cable ISPs.
      Apparently their whole infrastructure was designed for users accessing one or two web sites, and downloading files, not each user randomly connecting to hundreds/thousands of other systems. Bittorrent users generate a load equal to several hundred normal users. A f
    • The cable industry has been suicidally clueless on the issue of home cable users running servers since almost the beginning. The problem is the perception of bad service, which was partly caused by some bad equipment in their beta-test city (performance really sucks if you've got 10% packet loss), but the PacBell "Don't be a Cable Web Hog, buy DSL Instead" TV commercials really hurt them. Cable bandwidth is very asymmetric, and the early equipment didn't have the capability to throttle upstream very ef
    • You're comparing BitTorrent to web pages. I compared it to other p2p programs, and I think The ISPs would prefer this to the alternatives:

      Kazaa & Gnutella: While this is open your entire shared folder is available for browsing and uploading to others, and some people might leave it on all the time.

      Freenet Project: Similar to above, and if you're a permanent node then you're trafficking packets that aren't even to or from your published FreeSites.

      BiTTorrent's beauty to me--and I suspsect the ISPs--is
  • Questions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gehrehmee ( 16338 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @01:38PM (#5986231) Homepage
    As I see it, there are two obstacles to bittorrent becoming a player in my usual internet usage:

    1) Large collections of small files: It would be really cool, to me, if small files out of a large catalog could be picked and chosen over a single bittorrent session. I'm envisioning this being used for things like debian package pools. Forget all these mirrors, let's find a way to let everyone who downloads an individual package share that with the next person who wants it. I don't know enough about other distributions, but anyone else who has to keep a large number of small packages up to date would benifit greatly from this.

    2) Small, high-demand, and/or frequently changing sites. One only needs to look at [] and [], two major torrent hosting sites, to see the problem. All too often small informational sites with no real massive payload get squashed by the slashdot effect. Surely the idea of using bittorrent's neccesarilly distributed nature to move around signed, up-to-date, small suites of related html & images is amoung the biggest potential opprotunities for small-time independant web publishers to survive high bandwidth demands?

  • seems like SuprNova (, a large BT link site has been slashdotted. what a pity... as reads on main page: "Thanks for asking slashdot... users, we will be back" it raises the question if slashdot should inform the webmasters of the potential increase in bandwidth use because of the post on slashdot, or whether it is their problem and slashdot is exercising free speech.
  • by oobar ( 600154 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @02:06PM (#5986443)
    The BitTorrent FAQ and Guide [] site is rapidly becoming the main collection point for all information BitTorrent. If you have questions or curiosities, check it out.
  • by nuclear305 ( 674185 ) on Sunday May 18, 2003 @02:27PM (#5986570)
    The first rule of BitTorrent, is that you don't talk about BitTorrent. Now all the torrent sites posted here are slashdotted, and the rest are being DDoS'd. The key to a successfull filesharing network is that it's not publicized.
  • I just installed bittorrent, and after an hour or so it bluescreened my Win2k box. Yes, I have a linksys NIC, but I have the latest drivers for it -- guess that isn't the problem...
  • libtorrent (Score:2, Informative)

    by ikewillis ( 586793 )
    Check out libtorrent [], a C implementation of the BitTorrent protocol. I know many people are having problems with the current Python implementation, specifically in the area of resource consumption.
  • by scubacuda ( 411898 ) <.scubacuda. .at.> on Monday May 19, 2003 @12:59PM (#5992251)
    I'm entering this thread kinda late, but I just wanted to mentioned what a fucking cool guy Bram Cohen was (the maker of Bit Torrent).

    I d/led it yesterday for the first time. I liked it, so I of course donated $5 to his Pay Pal account. Within a couple of minutes, he wrote me a thank you e-mail.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.