What is torrent? How to download? Basic terms and explanations

Most of us are more familiar with more conventional forms of file sharing such as email and
FTP. BitTorrent is just another file sharing protocol (a set of rules on how to do things) we
can use. Email and FTP rely on one computer hosting the file and transmitting it to another
connected computer. BitTorrent introduces a major difference – the hosting and the
downloading is spread out over many computers using a technology called Peer-to-Peer. We
can use BitTorrent to share or download any type of files – .exe, mp3, AVI, Jpeg, and Doc

Torrent – At the beginning of all this is the torrent file itself. The .torrent file is not the entire
file…it is extremely small and it just contains the information that points to the actual file and
the people who are sharing it. It is like a map which is used by the BitTorrent client to
assemble all the pieces together.

BitTorrent client – A Bit Torrent client is one of the most important parts of the torrent
process. It is a piece of software which takes the .torrent file, reads the information in it and
starts the download.
example: utorrent

Peer - A peer is any computer participating in the download and upload of a torrent file.
Seeder - A seed (or seeder) is anyone who has a complete copy of the file being shared
across the torrent network.

Leecher - A leech (or a leecher) is the person who does not have the complete file yet but
has joined the network to download it. A leecher becomes a seeder when he downloads the
entire file and then shares it across the network.

Share ratio – The ratio is the amount of data a user has uploaded divided by the amount of
data they have downloaded for a particular torrent (UL÷DL). A share ratio of 1+ has a
positive effect on the user‟s reputation because it means that the user has sent more data to
other users than he has received. Conversely, share ratios under 1 have a negative effect.

Swarm – The swarm is the sum total of all the leechers and seeders (i.e. all the computers)
participating in the torrent process.

Tracker – The tracker is a server which has the information of who has what files and who
needs which ones, thus acting as a bridge between seeders and leechers. Some trackers
are private requiring a registration where most are public.

Downloading torrents and sharing files

Users browse the web to find a torrent of interest, download it, and open it with a BitTorrent client. The client connects to the tracker(s) specified in the torrent file, from which it receives a list of peers currently transferring pieces of the file(s) specified in the torrent

For more information about torrent


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