• What Is BitTorrent?
    • BitTorrent is a way of communicating between computers to transfer files very efficiently. Official BitTorrent.com Website. The key difference between BitTorrent and HTTP/FTP is that HTTP/FTP are protocols designed for you to download the file from one central server. (Go!Zilla has stretched the protocols to do its Acceleration/Segmenting which allow it to download from more than one place at a time. But it still just downloads the file from X central servers, it can just use more than one of them at a time.)

    • 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 Go!Zilla. 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.
      (Official BitTorrent.com Website.)

  • Starting a BitTorrent Download in Go!Zilla:
    • 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 Go!Zilla, you can test individual files simply by holding CTRL+ALT when clicking the link to a .torrent file in Internet Explorer, that will have Go!Zilla take over the file and Go!Zilla will download using BitTorrent.
    • You can turn it on so Go!Zilla will automatically handle all .torrent files using the Downloads--BitTorrent configuration page in Go!Zilla.
    • If you do not have any other BitTorrent clients on your computer, then Go!Zilla 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.
Go!Zilla and BitTorrent's DHT Network

Go!Zilla 5.0 and higher supports the BitTorrent™ DHT Network. (Distributed Hash Table Network).

To start, you likely are asking: What is BitTorrent's DHT Network?
The DHT Network is for sharing contact information, so people downloading the same file can discover each other.

It is like the Six Degrees of Separation idea, where if you go from a friend to a friend's friend to a friend's friend's friend, within six friend jumps, you can have a connection between any two people on Earth. (Or even more fun is Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, doing the same with actors in films.)

The DHT Network lets computers do that. Your computer would have a small number of friends ("peers"), and when it needs to find the people downloading the same Torrent™ file you are, it would start with its peers (friends), who would direct you peers that are closer to what you want, and those would direct you ever-closer to the one you want. After repeating the process a few times, you'll find the peer with the information you need.

What does this do for me?
A regular BitTorrent download has a central server computer that helps coordinate all the people downloading, helping them find each other, etc.

With the DHT Network, no central server computer is needed, people downloading Torrents all help each other track who is downloading the same file you are.

What information is sent when doing this?
The information that is sent:
  1. Your IP address (and port). This is required and lets other computers know where you are, and how they can contact you.
  2. A made up Unique ID number, which is unique for your computer, but has no personal details. It's a number that looks much like this: A9B2CE3737F8A847D8F1B5C595697FE50E1DFA9B. This number uniquely identifies you in the huge number of members in the DHT Network, and is required for the system to work.
  3. The ID for the Torrent you're downloading, which is the same sort of very-long number as the ID for your computer. This is required to find other people downloading a Torrent with the same ID. (You may see it called an Info Hash, BitTorrent's official name for this ID.)

In the Go!Zilla configuration (the Downloads---BitTorrent---DHT Network page) should I turn it on all the time, or just when needed?
All the time means whenever Go!Zilla is running, it will be part of the DHT Network. This does use a little amount of bandwidth and memory (in my testing, the highest I've seen was 3 KB per second, usually it has been less, more like 0.5 KB/sec or less.)
But that does mean if you connect to the Internet using a modem or have a very slow connection, you probably do not want this running all the time!

Just when needed will start the DHT Network in Go!Zilla only when you start a download that uses it. After it is started, Go!Zilla will keep the DHT Network running until Go!Zilla is closed.
Once it starts the DHT Network, you will be helping other people find each other. Leaving it running until Go!Zilla closes helps keep everyone finding the information they need (including helping You find the information next time!)

And you can of course also turn it off (on the same configuration page in Go!Zilla) and never use it.

The choice is up to you--but you would want a DSL or Cable or other fast connection to have it running all the time.

Does this share files I am downloading or have downloaded?
  1. For files you have already downloaded, NO.
  2. For a regular HTTP or FTP download, NO.
  3. For files you are downloading that are a BitTorrent download that is using the DHT Network, it does share the ID for the file--so you can find where to get the file. But the file itself is not shared by the DHT Network (but can be shared by the BitTorrent part. More about that.)
Some thanks for help with this...
  • Bram Cohen for creating this whole BitTorrent protocol!
  • BitTorrent.org for posting details about the DHT Network protocol so I could add it to Go!Zilla.
  • Petar Maymounkov and David Mazieres for the Kademlia protocol, which is used for the DHT Network.

    BitTorrent and Torrent are trademarks of BitTorrent, Inc. © Headlight Software, Inc.