Usenet is somewhat similar to a Torrent but the underlying technologies of these two are completely different from each other. Let me introduce you to Usenet in case you are not aware of it. Usenet uses the concept of a college notice board or bulletin board where anyone can post any news. This is known as News. It’s same as the news of a bulletin board in utility. Now, if the notice board has separate sections, like one for sports, one for academics, one for extracurricular activities, then it becomes convenient for students and teachers know where to post a notice. For Usenet, we call this the ‘Newsgroup’. Users can post any content to a specific newsgroup. The common and the most important difference between Torrent and Usenet is the duration of a post. For torrent, we know that a file once posted remains till eternity, no matter how terrible it ‘seeds’ become. But for Usenet, the posts are available for a specified period of Time. This time is called the retention time. After the retention time is over, the messages or posts get deleted automatically.
Another important technological difference between Usenet and Torrent is the server architecture. Unlike Torrent, Usenet does not use a centralized server. Rather, it uses a sequence of servers that function in specific ways. So, download speed is high. For Torrent, it deploys P2P, i.e., peer to peer file sharing for distributing files and data over the internet.
Now let’s have a look at the File Sharing aspects of Usenet and Torrent:
Servers: Usenet Vs BitTorrent
Usenet providers develop their complex data storage systems around SERVER FARMS. These server farms are humongous and reliable. The purpose of these server farms is to aid high speed uploading and robust downloading for a large number of users. Usually, there are several server farms maintained by the Usenet providers and all these servers work together as a single entity. You can click here to view one of the major service providers.
BitTorrent on the other hand, uses accomplishes data sharing by connecting directly to other users’ computers. Thus, download speed of Usenet is significantly greater than that of BitTorrent. Usenet connects to a dedicated server that is optimized 24 hours a day, exclusively for downloading large files. On the other hand, BitTorrent uses a peer to peer networks of ordinary users’ personal computers. So, seeding is done only when the user has his computer and internet turned on.
Downloading: Usenet Vs BitTorrent
While downloading files, Usenet utilize the newsreader servers fully for the purpose of downloading. For BitTorrent, this is not the case. BitTorrent servers act both as servers and clients and hence full concentration can never be given to downloading. BitTorrent collects pieces of data from here and there, that is from different users’ computers and then amasses all the information together. Thus, downloading process is neither as simple as that of Usenet nor flawless.
Availability of Files: Usenet Vs BitTorrent
Files are broken into several file chunks for both BitTorrent and Usenet. What makes the difference is the availability. Usenet breaks a file into smaller chunks, but all the pieces are consolidated extremely well because everything you need to download that file comes from a single Usenet server.
BitTorrent collects pieces of data from here and there, that is from different users’ computers and then amasses all the information together. Sometimes, this remains incomplete if users stop seeding for that file. In this aspect, Usenet outdoes BitTorrent.