BitTorrent 4.4.1 Review
For a brief time in the early noughties, BitTorrent was the most controversial software on the web. Widely known as a popular peer to peer file-sharing engine, the same software still powers most of the net’s illegal download traffic. The original developer, Bram Cohen, always kept a distance from the nefarious uses his powerful package was put to – and now a series of deals with movie studios, game distributors and music companies have fully legitimised the software and the site attached to it.
At www.bittorrent.com you’ll find hundreds of Hollywood movies, games, and music downloads. Unfortunately, due to licensing issues, many of the titles available to rent or buy are only available to US users. Still, a diligent browser will find some freebies on worldwide release among the tantalising selection of new movies and premium TV shows.
It’s the latest version of the software we’re reviewing here though – and BitTorrent has certainly changed a lot since it went legit. Oddly enough, it’s quite disappointing when compared to some of the shadier clients in circulation. You won’t find any built-in search or browsing tools – you have to find downloads on the BitTorrent website instead. Nor will you find any of the network tweaking features found in those clients.
What you do get is fast, legal access to an archive of movies, games and music, with a very easy to use client. In theory, that is. The thing about P2P applications is that you need lots of other ‘seeds’ and ‘peers’ for the download to work. If there’s no one else downloading or hosting that 1942 Superman cartoon you fancied, then you can be connected for days without seeing a single megabyte.
The legal BitTorrent seems like a great idea, and we’re sure our Stateside cousins are loving it – but until the international licensing issues have been sorted out, it’s worth waiting a little longer.