Torrenting has gained so much popularity in the recent years that approximately 3.35% of the total internet traffic is handled through BitTorrent bringing around 170+ million monthly users. The method is used to download files such as movies, books, songs, games etc through the torrent client.
It is a widespread technique used by torrenters to get the files all across the world. Most of the people think of it as a usual download process. However, there is more to torrenting than what a usual person using it would understand.
In torrenting, the file rather than being downloaded from a single source or server is transferred by numerous users who already have that file in their computer.
What is Torrenting?
Torrenting is a kind of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology where a number of users can connect and share their files rather than being dependent on a single website or source for downloading files.
A user can not only download the file from the direct source but also from other users of the same torrent facilitating a smoother transfer among the users. Each of the peers acts as a mini-server and significantly reduces the network load.
It is easy to search a file of your choice on the internet and download it through a torrent. However, the torrenting experience might improve to a surprising extent once the users get to know the techniques that take place every time a file is downloaded.
How Torrent Works
To understand the Peer-to-Peer process, it is essential to clear out a few terms.
- Peers: All the users that are involved in the sharing for files through torrent P2P sharing are called peers. They are said to be peers as long as they keep sharing files on the network.
- Seeders: A user who is downloading a file from a torrent and simultaneously uploading it to be used by other users is known as a seeder.
- Indexers: There are certain websites which work as a search engine for the files and content to be downloaded through a torrent. These are known as indexers. Some famous indexers are Piratebay, Extratorrent or Torrentz which are widely used.
- Trackers: Trackers are servers that act as bridges between the peers. They direct the packets from user to user and also help find peers on the network for a particular download.
- Swarms: A number of peers downloading or uploading the same torrent files are called swarms.
- Leechers: The peers who download a file but restrict uploading from their server or stop the torrent as soon as their file is downloaded to prevent the upload are called Leechers. Their intention is not to help the other peers for download.
- BitTorrent Client: One of the main requirements for torrenting is the presence of a client. Usually, ‘uTorrent’ which enables the process by combining the fragments from many seeds, assembling them and managing the download.
Why Do People Use Torrent?
There are always too many options for any certain task. There are certain options for downloading files from the internet among which direct downloading and torrent are the used ways.
When having an option for downloading a file from the source. The interest of people towards torrent makes us wonder what the main reasons are for which people prefer torrent over the regular download option. Here are a few reasons that make torrent outshine the latter option.
- The most prominent reason for using torrent is it is free. The requirement is uTorrent and the downloading begins with no charge.
- More, the download server will never be down. As the file is not fully uploaded on a single server, there will always be other servers supporting the download process.
- Managing downloads is far much easier with torrent as it can pause them and resumed.
- A faster download is possible through torrents those which are better seeded.
- Torrent also entertains the download of several files at once with no hassle of giving the users much ease.
How To Use Torrent?
Step 1: Download a Torrent Client:
The first step towards torrenting is the download of a torrent client. The most common clients used are uTorrent and BitTorrent which are easy to use and also free.
These clients facilitate the download of torrent files by connecting to peers and managing the upload and download.
Step 2: Search for a Torrent to Download:
After downloading a torrent client, the next step is to look for the file you need to download on the websites (indexers). Upon finding the desired file make sure it has many genuine seeders and has good reviews on the website. This makes sure it does not corrupt the file and carries none viruses.
Step 3: Download the Torrent File:
The torrent file can be download either by clicking the download button or the magnet icon next to it. The magnet button promotes the download without having to download the ‘.torrent’ file.
Step 4: Add the Torrent File to Client:
Once the .torrent file is download, the next step is to open the file in the torrent client. Add the .torrent file to the client and select the desired destination for your download. This will start the download in the client.
The features of a uTorrent client include the pausing and resuming of the download along with adding or deleting the torrent files.
It displays information about the number of peers you are connected to, the seeders of the file and the upload and download speed.
Is Torrenting Safe?
Yes, it is safe, the uTorrent is free from all malware and viruses. The risk of torrenting being unsafe lies with the files downloaded.
The files available on the internet can be safe or unsafe. It is important to know the file and the data it contains. Some files may contain toxic content which can damage the user’s machine badly.
It also shares your information and IP address to other peers and your personal information can be easily tracked down by the copyright trolls and ISPs.
Is Torrenting Legal Or Illegal
A confusing debate may always catch up our mind regarding whether torrenting is legal or illegal. For understanding this, it is important to know torrenting is a way of file sharing among users and the act of torrenting may not be called as illegal.
The legal aspect of torrenting though depends on the file which is being downloaded. If the file shared through it is not restricted or copyrighted, then torrenting it is legal however the download of unsanctioned and copyrighted files is illegal and thus sharing or such files has its own consequences.
Keeping Safe While Torrenting
It is important to do torrenting through a channel where you can avoid the copyright trolls and do it without falling into the legal risks and trouble, also to keep your security and privacy as the priority.
- Use of VPN
A VPN is the smartest way to protect your personal details and IP address when going for torrenting. Since it hides your actual IP address and changes it to another IP address, by which it becomes impossible for the copyright trolls and ISPs to track you down.
Another way in which a VPN operates as solution to this issue is by encrypting your internet traffic so you cannot be kept track of by your ISP. It covers all your internet activities and thus provides a secure and private internet experience.
- Avoid Downloading Illegal Content
To avoid any legal consequences and trouble, it is necessary not to download copyrighted files and materials from a torrent. These are the files that originally may not be shared without permission or certain charges but torrent still provides them.
Therefore it is better to keep yourself away from downloading such material. If in case it is still your priority, then use of VPN is mandatory to avoid getting caught by the legal authorities.
- Use Private Trackers
It is very important where you are downloading your torrents from. The trackers are the main place where hackers and copyright trolls interfere to interrupt your download or to gain access to your information. If it is a public tracker, use a renown one with lesser risks attached or register for a good private tracker.
Torrenting is, therefore, a revolutionary technology for transferring files and used throughout the world. The detailed knowledge about the structure and working behind torrenting is provided in the above blog. It covers all the terminologies important to understand torrenting.
Also, covers the legal and illegal aspects of torrenting in this blog. It provides the ways to perform safe torrenting in both security and privacy terms by using a VPN.