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BitComet Introduces DHT Layer
June 9, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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BitTorrent's journey towards decentralization took another step forward yesterday with the arrival of BitComet .59. The new version of BitComet includes many new features, however perhaps the most important addition is the integration of DHT (Distributed Hash Table.)

With the uncertainly of centralized torrent indexing sites, BitTorrent developers are exploring various avenues to alleviate this vulnerability. Some misconnected approaches such as eXeem fell flat, however more intelligent designs have shown very promising results. The introduction of a DHT layer to BitTorrent clients has proven to be the first valid approach to decentralizing BitTorrent.

Many have labeled this as "decentralized BitTorrent." This is not exactly true, at least not yet. DHT does nothing to the BitTorrent protocol; rather it is a layer that exists on top of the BitTorrent network to assist in the distribution of information in case a tracker happens to go offline.

For example, let's assume there are 50 BitComet clients participating on a network. In addition, say these 50 BitComet clients are using "A Great Tracker" as their index. These BitComet clients will work together to create a virtual index of information currently traded on "A Great Tracker." Under previous circumstances, if you were downloading "A Great Song.MP3" from that network of BitComet users and the tracker went down, your download would be lost. However with the DHT layer also indexing that torrent file, it would act like a tracker by continuing the swarms and find additional sources.

The latest version of BitComet is compatible with the DHT network associated with BitTorrent Beta 4.1.2, however not with Azureus. As this feature continues to evolve, many BitTorrent enthusiasts wonder if it will be only a matter of time before DHT replaces centralized trackers as the method of torrent distribution.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: BitTorrent Clients

BitComet Homepage and changelog.

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