GetRight 6.0 and higher supports BitTorrent™ downloads.
- What Is BitTorrent?
To start, you may be asking just that: What is BitTorrent? You should read that first to get an idea of what's going to happen when you download a file using the BitTorrent protocol. (Official BitTorrent.com Website.)
- Starting a BitTorrent Download in GetRight:
- Automatic handling of Torrent™ files is turned on by default only if you have no other BitTorrent tools on your computer, such as the Official client from BitTorrent.com.
- If you do have another BitTorrent client and wish to try with GetRight, you can test individual files simply by holding CTRL+ALT when clicking the link to a .torrent file in Internet Explorer, that will have GetRight take over the file and GetRight will download using BitTorrent.
- You can turn it on so GetRight will automatically handle all .torrent files using the Downloads--BitTorrent configuration page in GetRight.
- If you do not have any other BitTorrent clients on your computer, then GetRight will set itself to handle all BitTorrent downloads.
- How do I find Torrent™ files to download:
- Often you'll see them listed along with a regular HTTP/FTP download, sites with large files (like Linux installs) very frequently use them.
- You can search for them! BitTorrent.com allows you to search to find Torrents to download.
More Advanced BitTorrent Topics
- GetRight will leave a BitTorrent download window open when it finishes the file. There are some controls to adjust it on the Downloads--BitTorrent--Sharing config page. While the window remains open, it will continue to share pieces of the file to peers. This helps other people get the whole file (and will help you get files when other people keep sharing after they've gotten the file you want.)
- GetRight uses Universal Plug-and-Play to be able to automatically set up your router/firewall to do Port Forwarding so
it will be able to accept incoming connections. Not all routers will support this, but newer ones should. You should click the "Test Plug-and-Play Port Forwarding" button on the Downloads--BitTorrent configuration page. This will let you know if GetRight is able to do this, or if you'll need to set things up yourself.
- In a very cool feature, when downloading from BitTorrent, GetRight can also simultaneously download the file
from HTTP and/or FTP servers as well, putting all the pieces from all the different sources together into one complete file. This can greatly increase your speed downloading a file, especially when downloading from a Torrent where few peers have the file. And since the pieces you get via HTTP/FTP are shared out to the BitTorrent peers, this helps everyone! Nothing special is needed for the HTTP/FTP server.
How do you get this to work? Simple: if a website lists both a Torrent and a HTTP/FTP download for a file, just click them both.
BitTorrent client author or just curious? My notes about this, including a proposed addition to .torrent files to include the HTTP/FTP mirrors. And if you're a BitTorrent client author, some other technical notes as I was implementing the protocols.
- Like other features, GetRight sticks with the "just downloading" philosophy. For the one person who uploads a file, there are many more people who download it. More than 99.9% of the people in the world will never need the ability to create their own torrents (ie run a tracker and seed the file.) Not including those features make things (like the configuration options) far simpler for all the people in the world who just download. (Plus gives us something to possibly add later into GetRight Pro.)
What Is this 'BitTorrent' thing?
- P2P: Peer-to-Peer. There are different types. P2P File Sharing is where you can search files others have on their PC to download them. BitTorrent is P2P Downloading, where you're downloading a file from a set of peers, but not searching for files at all.
- Piece: with BitTorrent, a file is broken down into many small blocks (often 100s). Peers can effeciently pass the pieces between themselves, sharing and downloading until the whole file is retrieved.
- Peer: someone downloading the same file you are...you'll connect to them and share pieces of the file.
- Seed: a Peer that has the whole file.
- Swarm: name for the bunch of peers and seeds for a file.
- Tracker: a server computer that coordinates all the peers and seeds for a file. One tracker can handle many files.
BitTorrent is different: you communicate with other people who are downloading the same file ("peers" in BitTorrent lingo). Instead of downloading from one place, you will download small pieces of the file from different peers--and you'll connect to a bunch of peers, up to 20 in GetRight. There often is a "seed" peer that has the whole file, to get the file started and send pieces so all the parts are available to be passed around between peers.
In addition to downloading pieces from different peers, you will be sharing and uploading the pieces you've already downloaded back to other peers. So if peer A has piece 1 and you download it, peer B may later ask you to give it piece 1. This sharing is required and is part of the whole BitTorrent protocol, there's no way to not share. The faster you share pieces with a peer, the faster it will allow you to download its pieces.
Another advantage is that BitTorrent has built in information so the pieces of the file can be validated to make sure it is 100% the same as the original file (another big improvement over HTTP/FTP.) You should never have a bad BitTorrent download.
Because of how BitTorrent works, it is better if your computer can be listening for other peers trying to download the same files. GetRight does try to set this up automatically (if your router/firewall supports Universal Plug-and-Play) but not all versions of Windows or routers allow this. GetRight and Port Forwarding.