Hive

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See also: Multi-Source | File sharing

A multi-source distribution method in file sharing where files begin sharing to other clients before being fully downloaded. The hive fuctions arising from a collection of users, operating a decentralized, p2p network for example, acting like worker-bees helping gather honey (bandwidth) for everyone in the "colony," progressively and continuously. This works by downloading different parts of a download from many sources, all checked by a hashing system that makes sure your download is complete and flawless.

In other words, a client can Hive if it can download pieces of a file from multiple peers, while simultaneously uploading pieces of the same file to other peers.

Hive downloading is generally higher performance than the original Napster-style upload where files are treated individually and not as a constantly exchanged and rebuilt system.

Protocols/clients that are "Hive" downloaders include Gnutella2, BitTorrent, Freenet and DirectConnect.