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How Torrents Can Benefit Businesses

Torrenting is a highly efficient way to transfer files through the Internet

4 min read
The BestVPN

Torrenting. You’ve heard about it, talked about it, and probably even enjoyed something that came from it without you knowing. But, you’ve probably misunderstood it.

The BestVPN

What is Torrenting?

Simply put, Torrenting is a highly efficient way to transfer files through the Internet. This is usually done through a client like BitTorrent.

To torrent, you first download a torrent file from a torrent site. These files come straight from other users (seeders) who are willingly sharing their file to other peers. Once you download the torrent file, you feed it to a client. The client tells you what file you’ve downloaded and where it can be found.

A person looking to download a certain file can directly download it from another person (peer). The more peers that are seeding (sharing the file), the quicker a file can be downloaded and the less burden it will be to the seeders. It’s because of this method of file sharing that makes torrenting such a great way to share files to millions of users across the Internet in so little time.

Herein lies the problem with torrenting. Because people are downloading files directly from other users and not from a single source (official website for the media being downloaded), it makes pirating those files really easy and quick.

This is why, as you may have already heard, torrenting is looked upon with disdain especially by businesses losing profits from potential sales of pirated files.

But, torrenting isn’t all bad. In fact, it has actually helped A LOT of businesses already- even bigger ones like Facebook!

How torrents can benefit businesses

1. You can give your customers JUST what they want

On-demand access has always been a big hit with consumers but the broadcasting industry always seemed to miss this point. They’d only show reruns of popular shows 10 years later.

In 2005, David Poltrack, Executive Vice President at CBS, has said:

"In our research with consumers, content-on-demand is the killer app. They like the idea of paying only for what they watch. Currently, the television industry seems to be interested in the potential of this protocol, as their revenues are derived from advertising which can still be employed in internet-based variations, rather than consumer supported content sales. Based on reports from January 26, 2005, almost 10% of traffic on the Internet 2 academic network was carried on the BitTorrent protocol. A recent report announced that due to delays by broadcasters in airing new content, TV program pirating in Australia is rampant, accounting for 15.6% of all torrent traffic."

This line of thinking gained some traction with other broadcasting companies in the following years. In 2008, the CBC became the first  North American public broadcaster to make a full show (Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister) available for download using BitTorrent.

In 2013, Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, had this to say about pirating (torrenting):

“Yes, Bewkes said, "I have to admit it, I think you're right." The much-discussed fantasy series is HBO's most popular, and "if you go to people who are watching it without subs, it's a tremendous word-of-mouth thing," the exec told investors. "We've been dealing with this for 20, 30 years—people sharing subs, running wires down the backs of apartment buildings. Our experience is that it leads to more paying subs. I think you're right that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world," he said. "That's better than an Emmy."

“People often pirate because there’s just no supply for what they demand” is a fact embraced by Warner Bros. already. They’ve even gone on to say that piracy tells them what consumers want:

“Generally speaking, we view piracy as a proxy of consumer demand...Accordingly, enforcement related efforts are balanced with looking at ways to adjust or develop business models to take advantage of that demand by offering fans what they are looking for when they are looking for it.”

2. A quick way to get exposure

If you create creative content like music, films, or videos, but you lack the proper exposure to get your career going, sharing your work on torrent sites is a sure way to get noticed by millions of people quickly.

You might think that “Exposure from pirated work won’t get you anywhere” but you’d be wrong.

In fact, Mystery Science Theater 3000, a TV show that aired from the late 80s to the late 90s remained on the air due to the exposure it had with fans. The fans had taped and shared episodes of the first season as they held true to the show’s credits that said: “keep circulating the tapes”.

This exposure even causes the show’s revival in 2015 when it became the Internet’s most crowdfunded video project.

3. Distributing large amounts of data

This is actually what torrenting was made for. Extremely useful if your company is looking to distribute large quantities of data like Business files, Educational material, Government resources, Massive OS installs, Photograph collections, or Scientific evidence.

By using torrents, your company isn’t only distributing data quickly, you’re also saving a ton of bandwidth.

This form of sharing is so efficient that even Facebook and Twitter use it internally to update their servers.

4. Updating or downloading software

Game companies like Blizzard Entertainment have used BitTorrent to distribute content, patches, and updates for their most popular games like World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft.

Torrenting is also a great way to download Linux ISOs which are offered for free and are often 1 GB or more.

Other major open source and free software also encourage BitTorrent as an alternative means to download their products. This is mainly to improve availability and reduce the stress on their own servers.

A word of warning

Downloading files directly from other users comes with its own dangers as well. These dangers come in the form of malware that hackers insert into the files they seed.

Another problem is that your ISP may throttle your connection. This is because ISPs commonly disapprove of torrenting for its relation to pirating- even if you’ve gotten permission from the original source of the file.

You can counter both these threats by using going to safe torrent sites and by using the best VPNs for torrenting to cover your trail.

The Conversation (0)

Metamaterials Could Solve One of 6G’s Big Problems

There’s plenty of bandwidth available if we use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces

12 min read
An illustration depicting cellphone users at street level in a city, with wireless signals reaching them via reflecting surfaces.

Ground level in a typical urban canyon, shielded by tall buildings, will be inaccessible to some 6G frequencies. Deft placement of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces [yellow] will enable the signals to pervade these areas.

Chris Philpot

For all the tumultuous revolution in wireless technology over the past several decades, there have been a couple of constants. One is the overcrowding of radio bands, and the other is the move to escape that congestion by exploiting higher and higher frequencies. And today, as engineers roll out 5G and plan for 6G wireless, they find themselves at a crossroads: After years of designing superefficient transmitters and receivers, and of compensating for the signal losses at the end points of a radio channel, they’re beginning to realize that they are approaching the practical limits of transmitter and receiver efficiency. From now on, to get high performance as we go to higher frequencies, we will need to engineer the wireless channel itself. But how can we possibly engineer and control a wireless environment, which is determined by a host of factors, many of them random and therefore unpredictable?

Perhaps the most promising solution, right now, is to use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. These are planar structures typically ranging in size from about 100 square centimeters to about 5 square meters or more, depending on the frequency and other factors. These surfaces use advanced substances called metamaterials to reflect and refract electromagnetic waves. Thin two-dimensional metamaterials, known as metasurfaces, can be designed to sense the local electromagnetic environment and tune the wave’s key properties, such as its amplitude, phase, and polarization, as the wave is reflected or refracted by the surface. So as the waves fall on such a surface, it can alter the incident waves’ direction so as to strengthen the channel. In fact, these metasurfaces can be programmed to make these changes dynamically, reconfiguring the signal in real time in response to changes in the wireless channel. Think of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces as the next evolution of the repeater concept.

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