Torrents have a bad rep, and it seems they are always under attack from someone. But the fact is BitTorrent is a great piece of technology, and it has many excellent (and legal) uses. There are also many legal reasons to use torrents which people might not be aware of.
1. File Syncing
Torrent syncs are decentralized P2P file sharing clients.
Cloud-based file sync services, like Dropbox and Google Drive, are easy to use but if privacy or storage space is a concern, a torrent file sync might be for you.
Torrent syncs don’t store your data on a centralized server; the files are shared directly between your laptop and your desktop, or between the computers of your friends and co-workers. Unlike Dropbox of Google Drive, there is no file size limit, and you can sync any number of records (if you have the hardware space for it!).
If you don’t trust a central server and want unlimited transfers, you should look into torrent file syncing.
2. Sharing Videos and Music
That’s right, not all music and video torrents are illegal, despite what DCMAs might say.
If you want to make your media available online—perhaps you’re in a band and want to promote your music—torrenting is probably the best way to do it.
Hosting files is expensive, but if you release data via a torrent, you’ll save a fortune in bandwidth fees. People would contribute their bandwidth every time they download the song. Plus, you have the potential to hit a huge audience, and not annoy anybody with Digital Rights Management complications.
Many torrent sites bundle music and videos in packages for free downloads. The hope is, just as happens with the radio, that free music that people like will improve live show attendance and album sales.
But torrents are not good for just media and video files; it’s suitable for any data file.
3. Distributing Large Data
Torrents are a great way to distribute large chunks of data quickly and save money on bandwidth. You can publically distribute any piece of data with a torrent.
The quickest way to share a large file is a torrent, as you will get a download speed far faster than other methods. Particularly, there is no better, or quicker, way to download Linux installs.
Examples of large data packs suitable for torrents include:
- Scientific evidence
- Business files
- Government resources
- Educational material
- Photograph collections
- Massive OS installs.
4. The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization that preserves internet content. Primarily known for the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive stores copies of websites so anyone can look into the past.
The organization has a massive archive of public domain media, all of which is available for torrent download.
The Internet Archive recommends a torrent download, as it’s fast and save the non-profit organization money on bandwidth fees.
5. Game Updates & Downloads
Blizzard Entertainment uses a BitTorrent client World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and Diablo III downloads and updates.
If you purchase a Blizzard game, you are given a link to a torrent client that will download the file. Even better, when an update is available, the torrent client will download it automatically for you!
Using a torrent lets Blizzard save money on bandwidth and provide the fastest possible download speeds.
Torrents are great, but not always safe
So there you have it, 5 excellent and perfectly legal uses for torrent distribution. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you should drop your guard, though.
Always use protection when surfing the internet! #TurnOnVPN