from the lotsa-teeny-parts dept.
TorrentFreak reports on WebTorrent, a project using BitTorrent and WebRTC to transport files:
WebTorrent is a project launched by Feross Aboukhadijeh, a Stanford University graduate who has already booked quite a few successes in his career. After graduating he founded PeerCDN, a P2P-assisted content delivery network, which was sold to Yahoo at the end of 2013. Feross then focused on WebTorrent, convinced that it could revolutionize how the web works today.
"I felt that the idea of 'people-powered websites' – websites that are hosted by the visitors who use them – was too revolutionary to keep locked up as proprietary software, and I wanted to do more to push the idea forward," he tells TF. "Imagine a video site like YouTube, where visitors help to host the site's content. The more people that use a WebTorrent-powered website, the faster and more resilient it becomes."
Over the past two years WebTorrent has matured into a project that's slowly starting to win over several major tech companies. Netflix, for example, contacted Feross to discuss his technology which they may use to stream their videos. A few months ago Netflix specifically mentioned WebTorrent in a job application, which shows that the video giant is serious about P2P-assisted delivery.
[More After the Break]
Feross believes that companies such as Netflix could benefit greatly from WebTorrent. Currently, streaming performance goes down during peak hours but with WebTorrent this shouldn't be a problem.
[...] Netflix aside, there are already various noteworthy implementations of WebTorrent. The project's homepage, for example, shows how easily it can stream video and βTorrent offers a fully functioning torrent client UI.
Other examples include File.pizza, which uses WebTorrent to share files in the browser. The same technology is used for server-less websites by PeerCloud and Webtorrentapp, while GitTorrent uses it to decentralize source control.
In addition to the examples above, the Internet Archive is also looking into the technology for its video distribution, and another major tech company is considering adding WebTorrent support to their web browser.
Libtorrent has bridged the gap between WebTorrent and traditional torrent clients. The open-source BitTorrent library, used by clients including Deluge, qBittorrent, and Tribler, will help to widely expand the reach of browser-based WebTorrent tools and services.
[...] Over the past few years, several tools and services have been built on WebTorrent's technology. These include Instant.io, βTorrent, as well as the popular Brave browser, which comes with a built-in torrent client based on WebTorrent. These apps and services all work as advertised. However, WebTorrent-based implementations typically come with a major drawback. Since communication between WebTorrent peers relies on WebRTC, it can't share files with standard torrent clients by default.
This rift between WebTorrent and traditional torrent clients is now starting to close. Libtorrent has just created a bridge between the two 'worlds' by implementing official WebTorrent support.
[...] Right now, WebTorrent and traditional torrent clients can't talk to each other. However, the libtorrent peers will soon act as a hybrid, bridging the gap between these two ecosystems.