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title: BitTorrent Protocol Specification

# BitTorrent Protocol Specification

This wiki describes the BitTorrent protocol (BTP).

From the [original BitTorrent protocol spec](https://www.bittorrent.org/beps/bep_0003.html):

> BitTorrent is a protocol for distributing files.
> It identifies content by URL and is designed to integrate seamless with the web.
> Its advantage over plain HTTP is that when multiple downloads of the same file happen concurrently,
> the downloaders upload to each other,
> making it possible for the file source to support very large numbers of downloaders with only a modest increase in its load.

## Operation

Overall, the protocol works like this:

1. a tracker server is set up.
1. a metainfo file containing the tracker's address, as well as information about the file to transfer, is created.
1. a client obtains this metainfo file, and contacts the tracker,
   which returns the addresses of peers it can obtain the file from.
1. the client contacts these peers and downloads the files from them.

## Copyright

The contents of this wiki are placed in the public domain, under a CC0-1.0 license.