If you are a big fan of file-sharing software Torrent, you should have the most primary knowledge about it and how it works.
What is Torrent?
Torrent downloading is the quick and unlimited sharing of large files between internet users – it is also, by name, a software company that facilitates this.
It uses a small amount of internet bandwidth and works in a similar vein to old schools peer-to-peer sharing services such as Napster and Kazaa.
Torrent is faster because the file is broken up into small segments and downloaded from multiple people also hosting these pieces.
The company BitTorrent is trying to encourage the legal use of the technology to get music published, such as with musician Thom Yorke who today announced he is releasing his second solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, via BitTorrent for £3.68.
How does Torrent work?
Torrents work is in a decentralized manner. Every user downloads and uploads the torrent file, making the entire process more efficient. Here is an illustration (courtesy Wikipedia) showing how torrents work:
The figure shows seven clients (users) and one seed (the large system in the bottom). The original file is initially transferred from the seed to each client only once. The file is then transferred piece by piece between different clients. Each color represents a specific piece of the file being transferred; showcasing simultaneous upload and download.
For all torrent newbie’s, there are certain terminologies that you will come across when you use torrents. To help you out, here are some of these terminologies explained:
Peers: It is a generic term used for any client (user) that is involved in file sharing in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.
Swarms: A collection of peers that are sharing (downloading & uploading) the same torrent are called swarms.
Seeders: When you are downloading and simultaneously uploading a torrent, you are a seeder.
Leechers: When you are only downloading but have disabled uploading, then you’re a leecher. Many trackers ban users who disable uploading. From an ethical standpoint, it is a good practice to upload the same amount that you download.
Indexers: Websites that compile torrents and provides information about torrents are called indexers. They also act as a forum where you can find, share, download, or request for torrent files.
Trackers: They are the servers that help to direct data packets between peers and also aid in finding other peers in the network. You can imagine them as bridges between different torrent users, helping in the smooth and fast transfer of data by routing small pieces of files between each torrent downloader and uploader.
BitTorrent Clients: Programs that enable file transfer using BitTorrent protocol are called BitTorrent clients. You can use them to manage your torrent files while the clients handle all the download and upload, connecting to peers, and providing you statistics about the torrent.
Step by Step Guide to Use Torrents
Using torrents is very simple and not complicated as it may sound. To demonstrate how easy it is to use torrents, we have created this step by step guide just for you: