Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

BitTorren over port 80. HOwto?

Where I live (the whole country) we can only use port 80, 21, and 443 to access the outside world. Most software that I want happens to be on BitTorrent. As Torrent files becomes more and more popular as a distribution channel, most of here in Myanmar are starting feel left out.

What alternatives do we have? It seems even eDonkey relies on other ports. Help!

Monday, March 8, 2004

"Most software that I want happens to be on BitTorrent. As Torrent files becomes more and more popular as a distribution channel, "

Do you mean to say that retail suppliers are using eDonkey and bittorrent as their main retail distribution channel?

Chris Ormerod
Monday, March 8, 2004

Quite a few Linux distros use bittorent for distribution.

Maybe not retail per se, but still handy.

Monday, March 8, 2004

BitTorrent is the way a lot of Open Source project get seeded these days. It last for only a few weeks before it disappears. It is indeed a new way of distribution which is faster and earlier than normal retail channels. But that was not the point. The point was what do we do?

Monday, March 8, 2004

Sorry to hijack your thread Ravi :)

But I had only heard of BitTorrent in terms of my brother wanting to download that new game that he couldn't afford. But if it is used for "legitimate" purposes, what kind of control does the "initiator" have over the "torrent"? (i.e. could my company set one up that only our customers could access?)

But to answer your question, you could try finding somebody outside your country who might be able to save it to a FTP / HTTP download server for you?

Chris Ormerod
Monday, March 8, 2004

Monday, March 8, 2004

...and eDonkey isn't used for Linux distributions, by any stretch of the imagination.

Whatever is legitimate is also available via FTP, directly.  So just get yourself a good download helper app (GetRight the best of the set) and start downloading via FTP.

Monday, March 8, 2004

As Myanamr is both one of the poorest and most repressive countries in the World  suggestions that Ravi goes off and uses his MasterCard to buy anything he wants are pretty foolish.

Stephen Jones
Monday, March 8, 2004

Mandrake allow 'club' members access to certain downloads - you download an individual .torrent file which starts things off for you - appears to be setup with specific IP of the user. (Doesn't work for me due to dodgy proxy from ISP!!.) - should be possible for you to setup for customer only use, though I'd have thought FTP would have been more convenient and controllable ...

Monday, March 8, 2004

"Oh Myanmar, you'll always be Burma to me!"

Brad Wilson (
Monday, March 8, 2004

BitTorrent is a completely legitimate piece of software.  It is peer-to-peer, yes, but if you take down the tracker then all of the peers are worthless.  So other than being alot faster, having illegal material posted as a .torrent is no different than having it posted to a single FTP site in Russia.

The .torrent file can be hosted anywhere (or emailed as an attachment, etc.)  It is just metadata describing where the tracker is.

BitTorrent is great for distributing big files that have spikes of popularity.  You get p2p bandwidth, but you can still track how many total downloads are happening.  Add-in the checksumming and failover, and you have a Killer App.

I wonder how long it's going to take until the movie studios jump on the bandwagon and start offering all of their trailers as torrents.

Sure, BitTorrent is used by copyright-violators as well.  But that's much preferable to the copyright holder than fostering the growth of truly anonymous, encrypted, decentralized P2P systems.

Richard P
Monday, March 8, 2004

Legit though Bit Torrent may be, if those ports are blocked, face upto the fact that if someone doesn't want "other" applications being run.

The place where I am, there is an explicit policy on "no file sharing applications, period", which extends to Bit Torrent. Yes, even if you use it for downloading Linux ISOs, you can end up having to write lots of explanatory emails and promises to never do it again.

I can't imagine what the consequences to you might be if your *country* decides you shouldn't be using these applications. I just got away by saying I wouldn't do it again.. Can you expect to not face a fine or jail time for violating your country's laws ? :)

Having said that, some trackers do in fact seed on port 80, rare though they may be. You can look for those. Also, most clients (Azureus for one) allow you to specify the incoming port to use. If not, I would suggest you run one of a few tunneling software available.. (HTTP Tunnel is one I know of). Yes, you get much slower transfer rates, but at least it works :) Also be aware that in a friend's university, being detected running tunneling software is enough to get a suspension of network privileges, so be careful.

Good luck, and SURELY there must be an easier way to do what you want ?

deja vu
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Is there a program out there somewhere that is easy to use with bittorrent? I've downloaded some, but I can't figure out how to use it... :'(

Sunday, April 4, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home