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Jan 2, 2011

Web seeding

Web seeding
Web seeding was implemented in 2006 as the ability of BitTorrent clients to download torrent pieces from an HTTP source in addition to the swarm. The advantage of this feature is that a website may distribute a torrent for a particular file or batch of files and make those files available for download from that same web server; this can simplify long-term seeding and load balancing through the use of existing, cheap, web hosting setups. In theory, this would make using BitTorrent almost as easy for a web publisher as creating a direct HTTP download. In addition, it would allow the "web seed" to be disabled if the swarm becomes too popular while still allowing the file to be readily available.
This feature has two specifications.
The first was created by John "TheSHAD0W" Hoffman, who created BitTornado. From version 5.0 onward, the Mainline BitTorrent client also supports web seeds, and the BitTorrent web site had a simple publishing tool that creates web seeded torrents. ĀµTorrent added support for web seeds in version 1.7. BitComet added support for web seeds in version 1.14. This first specification requires running a web service that serves content by info-hash and piece number, rather than filename.
The other specification can rely on a basic HTTP download space.
In September 2010, a new service named Burnbit was launched which generates a torrent from any URL using webseeding.
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