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Bit Torrent

Bit Torrent allocates the full file size to your hard drive, and then
downloads the file, in pieces, 512 kilobytes at a time (I believe).
You don't download the first pieces in a linear sort of fashion, so even if
the only remaining person has only 30% of the total download complete, and
you have say 80%, the two of you could actually both complete the download
because you started at the "front" of the file while this other person
started at the "rear".
This is an oversimplification of course, but explains the phenomenon.

Download a few files, say 1 gb or so, and stop halfway through, delete.
Repeat. Than check your disk for fragmentation. Its quite preposterous.

Some of the newer clients are not so bad, especially the ones with upload
total limitations, connection limitations, and a variety of settings you can


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-admin at [mailto:discuss-admin at] On Behalf Of
dsr at
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 2:25 PM
To: Robert La Ferla
Cc: discuss at
Subject: Re: Bit Torrent

On Sun, Apr 18, 2004 at 12:32:23PM -0400, Robert La Ferla wrote:
> How does Bit Torrent work?  Is it basically a distributed download where 
> you download from several servers in parallel?  How secure is it?

An abbreviated and slightly inaccurate account:

The primary server publishes a large file. If desired, several other
servers can be pre-seeded with the file. A client connecting to the
primary learns about all the other clients currently connected, and
different parts of the file are downloaded from all the available
sources: the primary, the seeds, and all current clients.

Secure? Check your md5sums. This isn't a covert channel by any means.

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