Happy Birthday: BitTorrent turns 10 today

By on July 2, 2011, 2:36 PM

Programmer Bram Cohen began designing the peer-to-peer (P2P) BitTorrent protocol in April 2001. On July 2, 2001, he posted the following Yahoo Groups message: "My new app, BitTorrent, is now in working order, check it out here -http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/." Today, the protocol is thus 10 years old.

Cohen wrote the first BitTorrent client implementation in Python. The initial response for the new P2P protocol was next to nonexistent. The only reply he received on the message board read as follows: "What's BitTorrent, Bram?..."

In the summer of 2002, Cohen collected free pornography to lure beta testers to use the program. BitTorrent became popular thanks to its ability to quickly share large music and movie files online. Although Cohen never supported piracy, BitTorrent would never have become popular without it.

Today, BitTorrent is one of the most common protocols for transferring large files. In November 2004, it was estimated that BitTorrent accounted for 35 percent of all Internet traffic. The latest data, from February 2009, puts the number anywhere from 27 percent to 55 percent of all Internet traffic (depending on geographical location).

The protocol is now maintained by Cohen's company, which also goes by the name of BitTorrent. There are numerous BitTorrent clients available for multiple computing platforms, the most popular of which is µTorrent. Version 3.0, which adds many new features, was released just last week.

In January 2011, the company revealed that BitTorrent and µTorrent hit 100 million monthly users. On an average day, 20 million users from over 220 countries use either of the two BitTorrent clients, available in 52 languages, and 400,000 new clients are downloaded every day.

User Comments: 15

Got something to say? Post a comment
dedparrot said:

Torrents, the software developed which allowed me to use other file sharing sites safely

yRaz yRaz said:

Lets all torrent to celebrate

Cota Cota said:

Long life to the one who lets me "test" games before buying them =D

petert said:

In the summer of 2002, Cohen collected free pornography to lure beta testers to use the program.

So that's how pornography can lead to a success story.

venomblade said:

warez + megaupload > torrent.

Guest said:

Happy Bday BitTorrent!!!

hitech0101 said:

The torrent client is the best downloading software i have seen till now incredibly small & very less load to the cpu yet so many built in functions so you can make it work just the way you want.Also till now i haven't faced the a single file in the download which went corrupt during download.The best part its free.

abe10tiger abe10tiger, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Happy B-day to you.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Happy Birrrrthday, har har har!

Guest said:

thanks to bittorrent...

i "tested" the leaked windows 7 OS and found the OS to be great and to my liking...

and it lead me to purchase a genuine windows 7 license...

GeoSv said:

Can we get this straight. You're talking about the protocol, not the the client named BitTorrent? BitTorrent was bought from Cohen by the media industry and they use it for their own internet serving. Cohen then adapted a different program, utorrent, to use in his own company. utorrent is safe but BitTorrent is controlled by the media and they would be investigating copyright breaches with it. Is this correct?

GeoSv said:

One problem with torrent is that the items you're sharing have to be on rewritable media, not permanent, as if you are still trying to download it.

Modeazy said:

Ah,happy Bday to the program that made beta testers of us all! And heres to more years of beta testing!!

Guest said:

Be careful calling something an App, Apple might retroactively sue you for the term!

tonylukac said:

You must be aware that the motivation to write the first browser was also pornography. They wrote it at a subset of my alma mater, the university of Illinois. I guess hormones are just a natural form of mind control.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.