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March 17th, 2007, 20:35
When most of us think of downloading, we think of a hosting site that grants users access to its files via the Internet. BitTorent is a different approach. It's a very clever iteration of peer-to-peer networking protocol.

The best example of peer-to-peer networking is Napster. Napster allowed users to swap (music) files with each other. BitTorent is similar, but instead of just enabling complete file transfers, it enables users to swap pieces of files, that are ultimately combined on the receiving end to complete the entire transfer.

There are a number of advantages to the BitTorent approach. Wikipedia does a good job of explaining that here.
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