What you need to know about BitTorrent (part 1)
According to Business Week, only 62% of Americans know what a blog is. Either that or 62% don't know. One or the other, doesn't matter. What matters is that now you need another cool piece of lingo.
BitTorrent is what p2p file sharing was supposed to be. It's a system that is totally decentralized. The more it gets used, the better it works.
Once lots of people start using it (and I imagine it will be built into browsers quite soon) the effect is this:
Person A starts downloading a file by pointing to a "torrent" file on the web. This is not the data itself, just information ABOUT the file. It points to places where seeds (copies) of the file are available for downloading. The more seeds, the faster that person A can get going. It's all automatic... the software does the work, not you.
Person B starts downloading, but now they're getting the file from the original seeds and from A, too.
Person C continues the linked process, with all the seeds, plus A & B.
As a result, it's possible to download, say, an hour's worth of Apple Computer ads in high quality format in just a few minutes as opposed to in a day or two.
There are BitTorrent clients (the program you need to run) in just about every computer format, and they're free. See the faq below for details.
Link: BitTorrent FAQ and Guide.