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BitTorrent For Dummies 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764599811
ISBN-10: 076459981X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Share your home movies or download new software

Find safe files to download, create your own, and use BitTorrent for business

There's certainly a torrent of interest in BitTorrent! But while it enables you to download all kinds of cool files and to distribute your own creative efforts, it also carries some risks. This book not only shows you how to acquire BitTorrent, but also how to use it without picking up worms, viruses, and lawsuits.

Discover how to

  • Select, download, and install a BitTorrent client
  • Manage and store files you download
  • Choose software for making movies and audio files
  • Understand the legal risks of file sharing
  • Trim business costs with BitTorrent

About the Author

Susannah Gardner is the creative director of Hop Studios, a Web design company specializing in custom publishing solutions, and the author of Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies. She has also worked for The Los Angeles Times Web site and taught online journalism for the University of Southern California.

Kris Krug is a writer, designer, photographer, and Web aficionado based in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (October 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076459981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764599811
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
BitTorrent is one of those file-sharing technologies that I've heard about but never really understood. To remedy that, I got a review copy of BitTorrent For Dummies by Susannah Gardner and Kris Krug. I now understand why this is such a better architecture than others...


Part 1 - Getting Started with BitTorrent: Cluing In to BitTorrent; Downloading BitTorrent Files; Playing BitTorrent Files

Part 2 - Managing BitTorrent Content: Finding BitTorrent Content; Storing BitTorrent Content; Understanding BitTorrent and the Law

Part 3 - Creating BitTorrent Content: Creating Audio Files; Shooting Digital Video; Capturing and Editing Digital Video

Part 4 - Delivering BitTorrent Content: Making and Tracking Torrents; Seeding Your Torrents; Promoting Your Torrents

Part 5 - Getting More Out Of BitTorrent: Hunting for Additional Content; Protecting Your Content; Using BitTorrent in Organizations

Part 6 - The Part of Tens: Ten (Or So) Common File Formats for Sharing Your Content; Ten (Or So) Things You Can Do To Stay Safe From Viruses; Ten Fun BitTorrent Downloads


Now the first thing that comes to mind when discussing peer-to-peer software for file sharing is the illegal downloading of copyrighted software. Gardner and Krug make sure that the reader has *no* defense along the lines of "I didn't know it was wrong". They do a great job in explaining the laws, why downloading certain material is illegal, and how to find sites that have legal content for downloading. That won't stop people from using it to get the latest Madonna single or video, but you've been warned. After that's out of the way, they explain how BitTorrent works and how your behavior when using the software affects all other users.
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Comment 25 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Gardner describes the basic idea behind BitTorrent. How someone downloading runs a BitTorrent client that can in turn upload portions of a file to another client. This is the distinguishing characteristic of the network, as realised by Bram Cohen.

You can see from the book that the client is easy to obtain from various websites, and easy to set up and run. The etiquette is that if you download a file, that you should keep your client connected to the net. So that it can answer quests from others. Which is probably how you were able to quickly get the file in the first place.

While the book advises that you should not download copyrighted material like movies, one has to wonder how many readers will actually desist.
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Format: Paperback
I've always been a fan of "For Dummies" books. I can't get enough of them, and learning there was one of these titles about BitTorrent made my day, since I had been very much in the dark about this technology... in general in the dark about anything remotely related to Peer-to-Peer for more than three years. So I gave the book by Susannah Gardner and Kris Krug a shot, and it was all that I expected.

After a primer on the technology, the purpose of BitTorrent in the spectrum of peer-to-peer protocols out there and tools to find, download and manage torrents, the book deals head on with the copyright implications of downloading illegal torrents, offering resources to help find legal (and fun) torrent material.

While a few of the chapters were about topics that were slightly peripheral to the main subject (production and promotion of torrents, for instance), the bulk of the book was fantastic for the newbie (a.k.a. ME!) to get on the know about BitTorrent and start getting my first streams of torrent juice flowing into my machine's hard drive. [...]
2 Comments 6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a good overview of BitTorrent technology: its history, its wide applications, how it can be abused, and how to use it to distribute your own work. The step-by-step guide to using the technology to make and receive files is made as easy as possible.

However, the book devotes two whole chapters to the creation of audio and video files, these sections have nothing at all to do with BitTorrent and will be skipped by most people. BitTorrent for Dummies begins with a short section of "assumptions", like assuming the reader has enough hard drive space. One of those assumptions should have been that the reader has audio or video files ready to share.

Lastly, the book takes a pro-copyright stance, which is good, and an early illustration shows a illegal copy of a movie on The Pirate Bay as something you shouldn't do on BitTorrent. Later, the book cites The Pirate Bay as an example of a legitimate BitTorrent tracker. The anti-copyright stance of The Pirate Bay's creators is well-known, and I find the book inconsistent on this part.

Good for the basics, but then again, a few hour's research online would provide the same information.
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