BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer program developed by Bram Cohen and BitTorrent, Inc. used for uploading and downloading files via the BitTorrent protocol. BitTorrent was the first client written for the protocol.
BitTorrent is often nicknamed Mainline by developers denoting its official origins. Version 4.20 of the client was dubbed Allegro by BitTorrent Inc., in reference to protocol extensions developed by the company to accelerate download performance and ISP manageability.
Since version 6.0, the BitTorrent client is a rebranded version of µTorrent. As a result, its source is closed, and this version of the program is currently only available for Windows (although, like µTorrent, the FAQ suggests to use it in Wine).
Prior to version 6.0, BitTorrent was written in Python, and was free software. The source code for versions 4.x and 5.x are released under the BitTorrent Open Source License, a modified version of the Jabber Open Source License. Versions up to and including 3.4.2 were distributed under the MIT license.
The BitTorrent client enables a user to search for and download torrent files using a built-in search box ('Search for torrents') in the main window , that allows a search term to be entered and which then opens the user's default web browser at the BitTorrent torrents search engine page with the results of the search.
The current client enables a range of features including multiple parallel downloads. Bit Torrent has several statistical, tabular and graphical views that allow a person to see what events are happening in the background. A host of views offer information on the number of peers and seeds which are present, from how many the data is being downloaded and to how many the data is being uploaded. It has an automatic recovery system which checks all the data that has been been handled after an improper shutdown such as a power failure for example. It also intermediates peering between itself, source file servers ("trackers") and other clients, thereby yielding great distribution efficiencies. The client also enables users to create and share torrent files.
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