Popular BitTorrent Clients in Review
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Who would have guessed that Bram Cohen's peer-to-peer communication protocol could ever achieve this kind of success? Even the man himself probably couldn't have forecast its popularity when he designed the BitTorrent protocol in April 2001. However, the protocol as well as the client applications started to mature from early 2004.
"When I first started working on it, nobody knew whether it was possible to overcome all the logistical problems of handling a flash crowd. It was challenging, but not only did I get it to work at all, but got it to work extremely efficiently. More recently, I'm proud of being part of the team that has worked hard to convince content publishers and enterprise businesses that unlike other p2p architectures, BitTorrent is a legitimate and incredibly powerful tool for content delivery." -Bram Cohen (ref.: link).
Simply put, the glory days of the BitTorrent (abbreviated BT) protocol started in 2004 and its veneration is still steadily growing on an exponential level. In terms of importance, the BitTorrent protocol virtually crushed and eliminated all of the other contemporary file-sharing solutions. P2P networks such as Direct Connect (DC++), eDonkey (eMule), FastTrack (Kazaa), and Gnutella are all things of the past.
It's rather impressive that according to some of the most recent statistics done by Evidenzia (an enterprise that specializes in collecting, analyzing, and archiving the traffic of P2P networks), the number of files that are released under the BitTorrent protocol have nearly tripled compared to last year. As a result, in Q3 2007, BitTorrent reached a peak milestone.
(Statistics Courtesy of EVIDENZIA-P2P Monitoring Systems)
This being said, we think that it's a priority to dedicate an article to reviewing two of the most popular BitTorrent clients. At first, we're going to give you a brief overview of BitTorrent networks, how they work, what clients are for, and ultimately explain the most important terminology: seeds, peers, swarm, tracker, leech, etc. Once you're familiar with the tidbits of this P2P protocol, we can move on.
You can already anticipate reading a comprehensive comparison of the following standalone BitTorrent clients: Azureus and μTorrent. As a result, we guarantee that as soon as you finish reading this article you will be hooked up with the necessary knowledge and information to feel at home in the world of BT networks.
Now that you're prepared, let's begin with the brief introduction, general terminology, and then continue with the all-embracing and in-depth review of those aforementioned freeware clients.
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