The experimental online service BurnBit can be used to create torrents out of any file that is hosted on the Internet. That’s interesting for webmasters who want to reduce the bandwidth usage of their server. BurnBit ensures that users who download the file get it delivered from the web server and at the same time from peers who are also downloading or seeding the file. The overall traffic is in this way divided between the web server where the file is hosted and users who are downloading or seeding it. File distribution is optimized.

Torrents are created right on the frontpage of the service. Just paste a web url pointing to a file in the form on the start page to create the torrent. The file is then processed by BurnBit. The processing time varies, and depends on parameters like the size of the file, the connection to the hosting provider and the load on the BurnBit server.

Once processed, the torrent of the file is offered for download on a newly created page on the website. You can download the torrent right away from the page, or share the page or torrent with friends.

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Webmasters can embed download buttons on their websites which display the current number of seeders and leechers. These buttons can be customized with CSS. Torrents can be downloaded with a click on the button and loaded into any software that supports the Bittorrent protocol.

Additional HTTP mirrors can be added to increase the number of web seeds. This improves the availability, connectivity and download speed for all users significantly. Additional file mirrors are added the very same way as the initial file locations. BurnBit compares file hashes to make sure that files are identical.

All users can register to become a member of the site. Registration is free and comes with additional privileges, like monitoring and customizing torrents, or receiving notifications.

Creating a Torrent, Restrictions

Users have two options to create torrents. They can either use the homepage of the service to create the torrents, or embed the download script on their site to automatically create torrents. Regardless of the method, they always have to link to a file on the Internet to create the torrent. There are no size limitations for the files that can be turned into torrents. The largest file seen on site had a size of more than 16 Gigabytes.

Seen on site? Yes, BurnBit maintains a torrent directory on site where users can download torrents uploaded by other members of the site.

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A few restrictions have been added. It is not allowed to create torrents of copyrighted or adult files. Users may also notice that some sites are blocked by the developers because of past abuse of the service.

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File downloads in theory, should not take longer than direct http downloads. They may even be faster if enough seeders are available to push the download rate for downloading users. Webmasters can save lots of bandwidth provided that multiple users download files hosted on their sites. They won’t benefit from the service if only one user downloads a file using torrents.

BurnBit is used as the tracker for the torrent file. This could be problematic considering that downloads will stop working if the service goes offline or out of business. An option to add multiple trackers to each torrent needs to be implemented to put webmasters at ease.

BurnBit is an ingenious service, especially for webmasters who offer downloads on their websites, and users who want to distribute files as torrents instead of web downloads.

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