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What is Bittorrent & Why Should I Use It?

Internet History 101: The Bits of Bittorrenting

Ah, the Internet! With all of the ease of information and entertainment just a mouse-click away, it’s a wonder we manage to pry ourselves away from the computer screen and venture out into that thing they call “the real world.”

In the past decade, the Internet’s capabilities have expanded by leaps and bounds. Old school dial-up Internet speeds gave users time to whip up a full-course meal, read a chapter in a book, and chat with a neighbor down the hall before a single webpage loaded.

With download times significantly improved, Internet users got the bright idea that bigger files could be shared across the World Wide Web -- files such as high-definition movies, music, games, books, and more.

More Megabytes, More Problems

While the potential to download brave new worlds of killer content was there, the massive file size of these files bumped download speeds back to painfully slow, Stone Age (read: dial-up) levels. While the reward of a shiny new digital film or some sweet, sweet MP3 ear candy was promising; waiting for these files to download was hardly a treat. Downloading files from a central server also increased the probability that a file download could randomly crap out or just (poof!) disappear before you finished downloading it.

Bittorrenting: A Solution Explained

Bittorrenting – a process of peer-to-peer file sharing -- became a solution to the problem of downloading gigantic files. One big advantage of bittorrenting is that no large central server is required to distribute files to those who want them—all you need is your PC or Mac.

Bittorrenting breaks down massive files into itty-bitty bits. (Think back to Mom cutting your Salisbury steak into tiny, bite-sized pieces so you could eat your dinner.) These “bits” of the larger files are spread across multiple users, each of whom have a small piece of that file. (Remember spreading your food around your plate in an attempt to fool Mom that you ate everything so you could get to desert instead? Bittorrenting spreads out larger files in pretty much the same way.)

Rather than taking forever to download a large file, bittorrenting makes each user a piece of the puzzle, portioning out smaller parts of that file that can be downloaded simultaneously and speeding up the time required to get that awesome new file on your hot little harddrive!

In order to download a file, users need to download a bittorrent client first. (Think of a bittorrent client as a way to help you digest your food.)

Vuze: The Middle Man That Makes Bittorrenting Faster

That’s where Vuze comes in to save the day! Vuze is a bitorrent client that allows peers to transfer files among each other. Vuze acts as the “middle man” between the torrent file and the website, allowing you to download non-infringing content in small, non-sequential parts and then assemble it back together so you can view, read, watch or listen to it as a whole.

Much like bittorrenting breaks large, downloadable files into a sort of digital jigsaw puzzle that makes it faster to download, YOU are also a piece of the puzzle.

Seeders vs. Leechers

Bittorrent users are often known referred to as “Seeders.” Each “seeder” is a user (or “peer” whose computer holds the complete file to share. A seed is then broken into pieces and the pieces are sent to other peers who want to download them. As each peer receives a piece of the file, it can then share that particular piece with others. In short, the more people that download a bittorrent file, the more people there are uploading it and sharing it with the rest of the community, making download times faster for everyone.

As with any community, there are some folks that take more than they give. These peers are called “Leechers.” (You can typically spot them by the big, glaring “L” next to their usernames.) Leechers are peers who don’t share their pieces of the complete file.

Get Your Files Faster. Download Vuze Today!

As a bittorrent user, you are a member of a community. What you’re downloading (and sharing) are pieces of large files—TV, movies, videos, games, books, articles, photos, etc. All you need to do is find what interests you, choose the best source, then click the link download the “.torrent” file and follow the client instructions.

So find the legitimate movies, music, and games you want, and get started now! Speed up your viewing today and download Vuze!