Everything a Beginner Needs to Know About Torrents.
Torrents make up 43% to 70% of all internet traffic. And I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the word torrents a lot. Some of you may be using it right now. But do you understand what a torrent is?
Is it a site or a protocol? How does this torrent work? Is it legal?
First of all, what is a torrent?
When we use the word “torrent” we mean – BitTorrent; popular peer-to-peer file exchange protocol. In simple terms, it is a method in which computers communicate with each other and exchange bits and bytes of data among themselves.
Now the difference between torrent and BitTorrent is similar to the difference between America and the USA. We know America doesn’t exist. There are either two continents – North and South America, or a country called the United States of America.
Usually, when they say “America”, they implicitly mean the United States. Likewise, when people use the word torrent, they mean the BitTorrent protocol.
There are several others now who refer to torrent file as torrent .
So, the next time you hear the word “torrent”, assume it’s about BitTorrent (file sharing protocol) or a torrent file.
So what is BitTorrent?
Now that we know torrenting is a protocol called BitTorrent. The next question is: what is BitTorrent?
Well, these are peer-to-peer file transfer protocols that are used to exchange big data over the internet, such as movies, audio tracks, TV series, software, etc.
I know this might sound too technical for newbies. So let’s keep it simple.
What is Peer-to-Peer Protocol?
Traditionally, when we download something from the Internet, it is hosted on the same server. (the server is nothing more than a very big one always on the computer)
But in a peer-to-peer network, users download files from multiple computers, and while they download a file, they also download it to other users.
Let’s understand this with a simple example.
Take a hypothetical person and call her Alice. Now, if Alice wants to download VLC to her computer, she will go to the VideoLAN websites and get the program from there. In this case, it is downloaded from one server.
Now if Alice wants to download a 1GB movie via torrent. It will use the BitTorrent protocol. And in this case, she will download this movie from multiple computers. This is done by breaking up movies into smaller parts and then downloading them separately from another source.
And when Alice downloads a small 1GB portion of that movie, she will also start downloading them to other users on the same network. This is how peer-to-peer file sharing works.
This is how peer-to-peer file sharing works.
But wait, you said BitTorrent is a protocol, but I’ve seen BitTorrent as a program like uTorrent.
Yes, this is another confusion. Let’s look at another example to clarify this.
HTTP is a protocol for accessing web pages and Google Chrome is a client for reading those web pages. Likewise, BitTorrent is a file-sharing protocol, and there is also a client (or program) with the same name – BitTorrent.
uTorrent is another popular torrent client like BitTorrent. Both are interesting: uTorrent and BitTorrent are owned by the same Bit torrent INC.
However, in recent years, the quality of these clients has dropped dramatically. Their download package has adware like ask toolbar and some advertisements in the program itself. This is why I suggest you use open source clients like transfer and flood. They are available for all platforms.
Ok, I got it, but is there any difference between BitTorrent and another peer-to-peer network?
Good question, BitTorrent is part of a peer-to-peer model, but somewhat better than other similar services like Limewire and Napster.
â— In Torrent, a single file is split into parts, which are then uploaded to other nodes. This increases the overall download speed
â— Torrents are reward based. That is, the more you download, the higher your rating and the higher the download speed will be, and vice versa.
â— Torrent sites contain a .torrent file which contains only trackers and a path file from the downloader hard drive.
I’ve heard of seeders, peers and leeches! Who are they?
Again, these terms are very important to know as they will help you find the best torrents to download.
Seeders are those who seed, that is, the computer that downloads a given file even after they have downloaded the complete file.
Licers are those who only download, not upload. They disable or delete the torrent file after they have downloaded the file. And so leeches are considered bad.
A peer is simply not a person who is running a torrent client on their computer at a given point in time. Thus, those who sit are equal, and the leeches are also equal.
In short, seeders are good for communication, but teachers are not. So always download a torrent that has a seeder number and less. leeches.
Is it illegal to download torrents?
Yes and no.
Torrent is just like any other tool, no matter how you use it, make it legal or not.
Some people (well, many) use torrents to pirate copyrighted material like movies, music, paid software, etc. And that makes it illegal. But if you use it to download a copy of Ubuntu, then it is perfectly legal.
Am I going to jail for torrenting copyrighted material? Well, it depends on the law of your state. Although there are piracy laws. But for now, this is more theoretical than practical. You usually receive a warning email from your ISP.
Now tell me how best to download a file from a Torrent
Downloading a torrent file is easy, but if this is your first time doing it, follow these steps and you’re done.
To download a torrent for the first time, you need two things: a torrent client (such as uTorrent and BitTorrent) and a torrent file.
1. To download a file from a torrent, go to your favorite torrent site. Or use a torrent search engine like torrents. And find what you want to download.
In this case, I will be using Ubuntu.
2. You will see a couple of options in the search results, choose the best file. This will take you to a new torrent site. Click the link that says download magnet.
There are a lot of misleading advertisements popping up right now, so make sure you only download the file with the .torrent extension.
3. Once the file is downloaded, open it with a torrent client.
If you don’t already have it, download BitTorrent from here.
4. Open the torrent file in the torrent client and it will automatically start downloading.
I was able to download the torrent, but can I somehow increase the speed of the torrent download?
Your download speed depends on your data plan. But there are some tips and tricks that can
But there are some tips and tricks that can help.
Look for other seeders
Always choose a torrent with more seeds and fewer leeches. As I said earlier, the seeds are the ones who sow / load, and the leeches are the ones who don’t. Thus, more planters will increase your overall loading speed.
Your bandwidth is limited. And it consists of upload and download. Thus, if you increase your download speed, your download speed will suffer, and vice versa. It is best to download torrent at 85% of download speed and download at 20%.
Encrypt the download
If you are in doubt that your ISP is limiting your download speed when using a torrent, then you are not alone. VUZE has compiled a list of ISPs that throttles bandwidth. So if you find your ISP on this list, use torrent encryption and prevent ISP regulation.
Learn more about how to increase torrent speed on the Pradeeep blog.