BitTorrent network and protocol
BitTorrent is a decentralized peer-to-peer data sharing protocol introduced in 2001. It is used by many developers to distribute large data files, such as applications, movies, computer games, software actualizations over the Internet, because BitTorrent protocol can highly reduce network load.
To download data via BitTorrent protocol you must have a BitTorrent compatible client installed in your computer. A simple client called BitTorrent is available for both Windows and and for Mac OS X. But there are also other alternative available, such as popular uTorrent, or Vuze.
If you want to start a download via BitTorrent protocol, you have to find a .torrent file on the Internet. Torrent file contains metadata about the data for download, such as full name and size of the data, hashed checksum for verification of downloaded data and position of the torrent tracker - the server that maintains the P2P file sharing.
Torrent files are usually stored on developer websites as an alternative to direct server download of their projects. This alternative form of download is often used for distribution of Linux operating system packages, drivers and updates. Another way how to find torrent files, is to find them in some internet torrent catalogs, such as torrentz.com. Torrents in catalogs are sorted to groups, reviewed and available for download.
How to use uTorrent for Mac to download data via BitTorrent protocol
- Download and install the uTorrent. After installation is finished, uTorrent will be automatically associated with .torrent files.
Download some torrent file from internet (from torrent specialized sites or other resources using search).
In our case torrent file for download of installation DVD image of OpenSUSE Linux.
- Double click on torrent file will start the uTorrent client.
- Press the OK button and uTorrent will start the download session.
- Now just Wait until your download is finished. uTorrent for Mac saves its downloaded data in default Mac OS X's Downloads folder.
Official BitTorrent client from version 6 is only re-branded uTorrent client.
You could also install some advanced download manager extension for your web browser, that has BitTorrent protocol support. These extensions are available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Opera has pre-installed BitTorrent protocol support in its default download manager.