What is Torrenting and How it Works

What is Torrenting and How it Works

Torrenting is a distinguished file sharing process, which involves numerous individuals (peers) in the downloading process.

This whole procedure utilizes P2P technology to distribute the torrent file among thousands of users. However, a torrent file is a computer file, which contains metadata, related the files and folders to be shared. You might listen to torrent and BitTorrent as synonymous terms but they are a bit different.

The BitTorrent is a file transfer protocol, which helps to break down the torrent file into small bits to make the downloading process faster.

Similarly, there are numerous terms used to describe the torrenting process and you need to understand them before going to the working of the torrent.

  • Peers: The individuals (torrenters) who are involved in the sharing process of a torrent file in a peer-to-peer network.
  • Seeders: The ones who are uploading parts of a torrent file along with downloading it.
  • Leechers: The torrenters who are just downloading and not uploading anything in a file sharing process.
  • Swarm: A group of people involves in the downloading and uploading of the same torrent file.
  • Tracker: As implied by the name, the tracker in a torrenting process is a server, which locates the peers of the same torrent file present in different areas. They connect the torrenters (peers) and help to direct data packets between them.
  • Torrent Client: Torrent client is the program that enables and manages the file sharing process using BitTorrent protocol. These BitTorrent clients arrange the disassembled bits of torrent file handling its upload and download while providing the statistics about the torrent.
  • Indexers: The websites that have a collection of torrent files along with the information about them. Users get the torrent file link at these websites, which are shared by another torrent downloader. Therefore, it’s a channel to get, share and request a torrent file.
how torrenting works
Image credit: theglobeandmail.com

Why People Torrenting?

BitTorrent is the way through which people download music, videos, applications, games and images mostly of larger size. Not just downloading, but many individuals share files that are present on their computer.

Someone of you might be wondering that why people are using torrent instead of that traditional downloading. One of the major reasons is that the torrent files, which are present for everyone, are provided by anyone who has paid or who might have got it through hassling means. Due to this reason, the torrent files are generally present on conventional downloading.

Besides, there are few major perks of torrenting, which have boosted the use of torrenting extraordinarily.

  • The P2P means uses decentralized process means that the file you are downloading is not hosted on a main central server. Therefore, if one downloading source lefts or deactivates in between the downloading process, you can complete the downloading process with other sources. Besides, the regular downloading procedure involves only one main server and if it gets down, you could not complete the download.
  • You don’t need to restart the whole downloading from the start if your internet disconnects suddenly due to any reason.
  • It is a noticeably fast downloading way as compared to the regular downloading process.
  • You can easily find, download and even request any file.

Increasing the Legitimacy of Torrenting

As discussed before, torrent sharing is a fast and effective way of downloading and uploading large files. However, the name “torrent” most probably gives a general spring to mind that it involves something illegal or something that ignores the copyright laws.

But with the overwhelmingly increasing popularity and feasibility of BitTorrent sharing, it is steadily moving into the mainstream.

BitTorrent downloading mainly involves the illegal extraction of prominently music, films, and games. Therefore, the Blizzard Entertainment who are the creators of games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and Diablo III has adopted the torrent technology. They have incorporated the torrent process in the online version of their games so that it could be a default way of downloading for the individuals.

Another included feature is the option they provide to the players to choose if they want to take part in speeding up the downloading of others through contributing any of their bandwidth.

Similarly, the torrent websites (indexers) are now moving the video and music streaming to the mainstream. Now, many websites have numerous ready to download torrent files which are all legal and free from copyright issues.

How do Torrenting works?

Torrenting helps you to share a file of any type, while it is in the process of downloading. Thus, without waiting for the entire file to download, you can start the process of sharing and transferring, correctly when the file begins to download. In other words, torrenting divides a larger file into small segments while it is still in the process of downloading. In this way, user’s time is hoarded, and also it keeps on putting pressure on the computers within the network.

Previously, users download any file directly from the website. The major drawback of such type of downloading was when the connection fails so; the entire downloading also gets fails no matter how much percent was left. Moreover, the downloading rate also depends on the size of the file.

However, in torrenting things are not like that. The peers involved in P2P sharing can download or share the file or data concurrently amid each other. It is because when you are torrenting so, there is no central point of failure even if the connections fails peer can continue downloading from the remaining links. Furthermore, since the peers are allowed to download and upload parts of the torrent simultaneously, therefore, the entire process happens much quicker.

Torrent works excellent with VPN services. If you use a VPN service, then you will witness fast torrent downloads. A VPN not only increases the speed but also made our identity hidden.

Why Are Torrents Better Way To Download?

When a file downloads from a website, it is usually drawn from a single server. This technology is ancient and straightforward which results in slow downloads and also provides limited availability due to geographical restrictions.

On the other hand, torrent files are much innovation technology than the enduring file-sharing technology. While torrenting when a file gets downloads, so it is drawn by several users as opposed to servers. Each peer who is part of the file swarm benefits their bandwidth to make the file available for downloading. By doing, so speed increases instantly.

Also, if a user downloads a torrent file, so he/she has to upload it for other peers. It means the number of peers in a file swarm the stronger it will be. It is why this technology is not only popular but is also better than any other technology.

How to Torrent Safely?

The only thing which risks the users while torrenting is they don’t get caught by IP address getting exposed during seeding.

It is because torrenting laws vary from country to country. To perform torrenting securely, the most important thing to do is to hide your real IP address from the copyright trolls and encrypts internet traffic data. To do so, you have given two choices. You can either use a Proxy Service or use a VPN service. Both are known to hide user’s IP address and show them anonymous while torrenting.

How to Torrent Safely : Download With Anonymity

A proxy acts a gateway way between your server and the source you are seeking. A proxy hides the IP address but doesn’t offer encryption facility. However, a VPN hides the IP address and also encrypts the entire internet traffic by secured protocols and encryption keys.

Is Torrenting Regarded Outside the law?

Torrenting laws are different for different countries. In some states, torrenting is legal, and some view it as illegal.

For example, in Switzerland, torrenting is regarded as a legal process until the downloaded material is not used to make some profit. Thus, a Switzerland national can easily download every sort of content, and also they don’t have to worry about the copyright trolls.

Likewise, in Spain and Netherlands torrenting is banned and illegal to some extent. However, in Mexico, there are no laws regarding copyright protection making them a safe and secure place for torrenting.

Majority of the countries smirk upon the use of torrents and have regarded them as illegal. Generally, torrenting is considered to be unlawful where there are strict copyright laws. These countries have also imposed severe penalties in the form of money and imprisonment on anyone found guilty of copyright violations. The users at first receive warnings from service providers and DMCA and are later fined and even imprisoned.

Legal Vs. Illegal Torrenting:

Torrenting is both legal and illegal. The difference between the two are as follows:

Legal Torrenting:

  • Torrenting in which you download a file with expired copyright which is now in the public
  • Torrenting is legal when you download a file, and it gives a license which grants permission for file sharing and distributing.

Illegal Torrenting:

  • Torrenting is unlawful when you download a file which violates copyright and is not open to the public

Pros and Cons of Torrenting:

Like every other thing torrenting also has both positive and negative sides. The pros and cons of torrenting are as followed:

  1. Free and Easy:

Torrenting is an open process and doesn’t cost you anything. It is done by a simple set up and in return gives you access to a vast abundance of information.

  1. An excessive number of files:

The torrenting websites are in abundance. All these sites offer a large number of downloadable files making it easy for the user to find and download their desired file.

  1. No point of failure:

In torrenting, there is no central point of failure. Even if the connection fails so still, you can download the file from other servers.

  1. Exposure to Viruses:

Torrenting puts your system at risk of malware and viruses, and your system can easily be exposed to viruses because the contents of the file are hidden at the time of downloading.

  1. Risk of trial:

Downloading a copyrighted file can put you at risk of legal litigation. You can be fined and even sent to imprisonment in extreme cases.

  1. The possibility of getting exposed:

While torrent your IP address is public to everyone who is using the same torrent web. It increases the chance of getting detected by websites which block or trace torrent traffic.

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