Uses of Torrenting You May Not Know of

BitTorrent is the preferred file-sharing protocol of most Internet users. It’s the way to go if you need to distribute large amounts of digital information to multiple receivers.

Many would be surprised to learn that tech businesses use P2P technology in their operations. Even government agencies make good use of the network to release large data files to the public.

The BitTorrent protocol is so used that, without knowing, many people use it every day. For example, when you want to download a Linux distribution, its respective website will urge you to download it through the BitTorrent network instead of from an HTTP mirror. And you will want to do this if it is a large file.

Here are some companies and artists who take advantage of the BitTorrent protocol:

Microsoft Relies on BitTorrent for Its Updates

Since about 2015, Microsoft has been using a version of BitTorrent to distribute Windows updates, which we all know keep getting larger. This eased the load on Microsoft by lowering server costs and speeding up download times for users.

Nasa Uses Torrents for Image Distribution

The Visible Earth program offers downloads of satellite photography of the planet and its environment. The problem was that these images were very large (many gigabytes).

That’s why NASA decided to use BitTorrent to distribute these high-resolution images of space. It was a way to save on server costs while providing users with much faster download speeds.

Facebook Also Takes Advantage of BitTorrent

The social media giant uses a customized version of the protocol to move large amounts of data quickly and efficiently between its many servers.

Chuck Rossi explained Ars Technica that Facebook created their custom BitTorrent tracker that allows a single server to download pieces from other servers in the same node, keeping latency down.

Blizzard Entertainment Has Its BitTorrent Client

The video game company uses BitTorrent to allow gamers to download games like Starcraft II and World of Warcraft. When getting the game, the user is acquiring a BitTorrent client that comes included in the game. Whenever there is an update, it is done via BitTorrent.

They allow users to be part of the BitTorrent swarm, meaning they can choose if they want to update data to make it faster for other users.

New Artists Get More Exposure

New artists and studios have found that P2P communities are great for getting initial exposure when sharing their first works for free. The goal of such artists is not to sell albums but to attract people to their concerts.

And this makes complete sense, as new music bands face the greatest difficulty in getting known. Once they have a fan base, it is much easier to get their music into the mainstream and generate revenue.

Known Artists Boost Their Sales

Some famous musicians also use BitTorrent to share albums. In what was initially considered a bizarre move by many, bands like Thom Yorke and the Nine Inch Nails began putting albums on P2P networks, free of charge. 

They allowed potential fans to torrent their music and “choose” a fee for their albums. At first, it appeared that people were simply downloading their albums for free. However, the decision to make their music available for free ultimately paid off for such artists. They ended up making millions from fan donations, merchandise profits, and more, all beginning with their P2P experiment.


Many companies and musicians make use of BitTorrent to distribute large files. This can be in the form of updates, images, or even video games. The benefits of using such a protocol are lower costs for servers as well as faster download speeds and an improved experience for the customer. 

Additionally, new artists find that P2P communities are great for getting initial exposure when sharing their first works for free. Famous artists have also found success in making their music available for free on BitTorrent networks.