Bittorrent, commonly known as torrent, is the one internet element where you are able to enjoy all sorts of content for absolutely no price tag and there are millions of users out there who take advantage of this service (For the discussion on illegal downloading, here’s another dedicated article). Nearly the whole globe has an application running on their computers or mobile device that gives them access to a wide range of movies, TV shows, games and myriad amounts of data through these torrents. Still, how knowledgeable are you on the workings of torrents?
What are torrents? How do torrents work?
In a single word, torrents are simply ‘files’ that hold information related to other files and folders that are to be distributed. When you download a movie torrent, this ‘torrent file’ contains necessary information which will let you get that movie.
When you start downloading the files associated with that torrent, you might also see a file that is not familiar with those other chunks of data. That are values which are used to verify a file. Now that we’ve helped separate fact from fiction, it is time to explain how these torrents work.
While understanding the working of Bittorrent, that a torrent is a file that has a size that is not bigger than a few kilobytes of data. However, these tiny files are able to commence the downloading of even bigger files and this is done through one system or another.
In short, when you’re ‘torrenting’ a file, it pretty much means that you are transferring a file over a P2P or Bittorrent network. A P2P network in the simplest explanation means a network that is created when two or more computers are connected to share resources without going through a separate server computer. Think of this like an adhoc network but a lot more complex.
The files are then transferred in tiny bits but they are completely downloaded on your system after going through a verification process. The end result is the files present on your storage.
If you want to get your hands on the files through torrenting, those files should be present completely with one person (which is also known as a seed) or in bits and pieces divided among other people. To aid this, Bittorrent clients are running on the user’s system or smartphone.
Torrent clients help to transfer files from one system to other. Here is how they work!
Torrent clients ranging from the likes of uTorrent, BitTorrent, and several others are a bridge that helps you get the files from other seeders and download them to either your mobile device or computer.
During this process, you do not have to move a single muscle as the torrent itself has all the necessary information where the bits and pieces of the ‘to be downloaded’ files are present on different computer systems. In simple terms, if you do not have a torrent client, then you will not be able to download the larger data associated with that torrent.
What is the difference between seeds, peers, and leechers?
Before downloading any file, you will come across three terms that are very important inside the realm of torrenting; they are seeds, peers, and leechers. Just like we’ve explained the basic terms before in this discussion of how torrent works, we are going to clear the dust and differentiate between these three terms.
What is a seed?
A seed is a person that has the complete file with them and not bits and pieces lying around.
What is a peer?
Peers are people who do not have the complete file but bits and pieces of them instead.
What is a leech?
Leechers are individuals that download the actual files but do now allow other users to download those files from them, whether those files are in bits or in their complete form. In short, they do not share the love with others.
Should you continue to download torrents? Is it legal?
From a legal perspective, downloading a TV show, movie, or even a game without actually paying for it is considered a crime. But, as torrenting is an activity that is widespread across the globe, users believe it to be harmless. Several countries do not have strict and concrete laws to prevent the downloading of torrents and their respective files. Even torrent uploaders occasionally encourage users to purchase those specific files if their experience with that data has been positive.