Surf turns Chrome into a BitTorrent app

BitTorrent's not the first to build a torrent-catching browser add-on, but it is the first to do so with the creator of the torrent protocol behind the wheel.

BitTorrent Surf is a new Chrome add-on (download) that turns the browser into a torrent client. While that's not an innovation on its own, this is the first time the company has built a complete torrent-manager for the browser.

In development for the past six months, according to the BitTorrent blog announcing the add-on, Surf lets you find torrents on the Web and download them.

Still in rough alpha, Surf goes beyond that. It allows for automatic torrent detection when you navigate to a site, and you can save favorite sites to "create your own combined engine," according to the blog.

Surf also tells you the "health" of the torrent, which means how many peers are sharing it, and it lets you download the files within Chrome. A Firefox version is in the works, according to TorrentFreak.

Editor's note: Using P2P and file-sharing software to distribute copyrighted material without authorization is illegal in the United States and many other countries. CBS Interactive does not encourage or condone the illegal duplication or distribution of copyrighted content.

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