What is Bittorrent?
Bittorrent is peer to peer filesharing. First, you need to install a torrent client (recommended clients), then download a torrent file and add it to the torrent client. Assuming you have ample disk space and don't need to port-forward, you're all set. Here's the full Wikipedia article.
Leech/Leeching is the downloading of a file via bittorrent.
Seed/Seeding is the uploading of a file via bittorrent.
The Swarm is the pool of “users” that are sharing the same file.
The Tracker manages active peers so your client knows who to connect to.
Announcing, is your torrent client telling the tracker that you're online and wanting to download/upload.
The Passkey is a string assigned to your torrent that identifies your client to the tracker. Public torrents don't have a passkey which makes these torrent a free-for-all. Private torrents require a passkey; anybody that announces to the tracker without a valid passkey is rejected.
Advantages of Bittorrent
No single point of failure
Bittorrent removes the central point-of-failure that is the traditional filehost. Once a full copy of the file makes it into the swarm, it's virtually impossible to take down without manually blacklisting the torrent infohash at the tracker level.
Leveraging the power of the many
Bittorrent works by leveraging the bandwidth from everyone in the swarm and the tracker we use prioritizes seeders that might be closer to you (via ASN and subnets). This means that if you're in Australia and trying to download a file, instead of connecting to 50 people in Europe, you'll instead connect to 20 people in Australia and 30 in Europe.
Typically, the speeds from Bittorrent will easily surpass that from traditional filehosts. Bittorrent doesn't have any bandwidth caps, no daily download limits and you can easily stop/resume torrents without having to start over. We also don't need to worry about an influx of traffic as traffic is distributed among the swarm. In short, even if 5,000 people were to download a torrent at the exact same second - the file will quickly start percolating through the swarm and as more and more people finish the download, more and more people start seeding, further distributing the file again.
How we leverage Bittorrent further
We push this further by putting our own servers in the swarm which boosts the amount of bandwidth available exponentially. Residential connections are getting faster and faster but won't ever compete with servers located in datacenters with peering agreements.
For the best peering possible, we focus on providers that peer directly with providers like AMS-IX in Amsterdam. Peering is effectively a shortcut; agreements between ISPs and companies to exchange traffic directly rather than going through third parties. This results in our servers being able to saturate the swarm instantly and once demand tapers off, the traffic transitions from our servers to mostly peer-to-peer.
On that note, we do continuously seed the latest version of all torrents so even if everyone in the swarm were to disconnect - the file will still be available for download.
Disadvantages of Bittorrent
Because Bittorrent is peer-to-peer, everyone needs to broadcast who they are so everyone can connect with each other. This means your IP address is broadcasted to the swarm. If this is something you're concerned with, we recommend using a VPN such as Mullvad and implementing a killswitch.
If you choose to download copyrighted material such as Movies or Music, then you run the risk of receiving DMCA letters. We suggest using a private tracker, or a VPN or Seedbox if you can't get into a private tracker.