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This artricle is based on the TechNet article of the same name, last updated March 2009:

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2
Current Version: 4.0
An update package for BITS is now available for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and for Microsoft Windows XP. This update is a required component for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and for Microsoft Security Essentials. The new features of BITS 2.5 help improve security. If you use BITS to transfer data, the new features also improve flexibility.


BITS is a protocol that transfers files between a client and a server. BITS provides a simple way to reliably transfer files over HTTP or over HTTPS. BITS supports both downloads and uploads. Unlike other protocols that transfer files in the foreground, BITS transfers files in the background by default. Background transfers use only idle network bandwidth in order to preserve the user’s interactive experience with other network applications, such as Windows Internet Explorer. Foreground transfers are also supported. 

BITS has two role services: 

  • Compact Server: a stand-alone HTTP or HTTPS file server which allows applications to host files for BITS clients to download, and allows the asynchronous transfer of a limited number of large files between computers.
  • IIS Server Extension: an Internet Information Services (IIS) plug-in that requires a server running IIS. It allows BITS clients to perform background, resumable file uploads to IIS virtual directories. On completion of a file upload, the BITS Server can notify a Web application of the newly uploaded file. This allows the application to process the uploaded file. The Web application can then optionally reply to the client responsible for the upload.

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