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How Torrents Work

By  | 14, Sep 2009 | 29 Comments



Torrents have become very popular these days because of there extensive availability and advantage of bringing you everything for free of cost (We will discuss their legality in next part – for now, be informed that Torrents are Illegal). Torrents are everywhere on the internet with some advantages and disadvantages, here we will briefly try to explain what actually torrents are and how they work.

Torrent actually itself is a small file (.torrent extension) that you can say contains a link to the file to be downloaded. But here in this case, files to be downloaded are not hosted on web servers instead these files are downloaded from other computers (just like yours) connected with internet.

In simpler words, if you have got a file(s) – you can share it with others, and similarly you can download files shared by other internet users.

Key terms of this service are Seeder, Leecher, Peer, Tracker, Open Tracker, and Private Tracker etc.

Seeder is actually the first person who shares the file for download. And Leecher is one who downloads the file. While combining both the terms is named as a peer. As leecher gets his downloading completed he also becomes a seeder and starts uploading the same file whenever it is requested by any other leeche , while he also uploads when he is downloading but as that time he is a peer.

Tracker is the soul of Bit Torrent protocol. A tracker is actually a server which monitors the data to be transferred between peers. It has nothing to do with what they are uploading and downloading because those files are not hosted on that server but still it is a counter plus link between peers.

Counter in a sense that it measures how much data a user has downloaded and uploaded. On the other hand it is a link, as these days almost all sites have developed their own trackers. When a torrent is uploaded on some site, and user download torrent file to download the original torrent content, tracker automatically ads a Tracker URL also known as Passkey in that file, which is used to track the data transferred. This passkey is unique for each user so tracker individually monitors each and every user’s stats.

For example if a person wants to download something from a site via torrent, he has to register there, and download that torrent file and add it to his torrent client, most popular one is µTorrent. Then tracker links the user to the original uplaoder and lets him complete the download. Once connected to a peer, user can even download even if tracker stops responding or goes offline. But user needs to be connected to tracker to get updated about the new peer that comes online. Tracker updates every second and also updates the user about new seeder/leechers.

torrenoso Torrents   Know What They Are and How They Work

The Directory Server is Tracker, and all the Peers are connected to it, Tracker is monitoring all data transfered between them and all the peers are connected to eachother via tracker

One of the most effective feature of a torrent is that, if there are 10 seeders for the same file, worldwide, you can download from all of them at the same time, meaning that you will get one part of the file from one seeder and the other one from someone else. This goes on and when you are completed you get the original file.

Open and Private trackers are also very important these days, on some sites they have set RATIO RESTRICTIONS. Ratio restrictions are actually to force the user to upload for others as he has downloaded something for himself.

Private trackers are for this purpose, most of the sites have private trackers and user needs to register there, to download. While in case of open tracker, you just download the torrent and your files, they do not force you to maintain the download/upload ratio.

One of the popular Open tracker is that of ThePirateBay.org, they have millions and millions of seeders and leechers and they count download upload but still you can download torrent even without registration so they count stats on there own. While that of Private Tracker is IPTorrent.com. There are a lot of popular torrent sites which have huge amount of torrents, some of them are open and most are private ones:

  • MiniNova.org
  • Demonoid.com
  • IsoHunt.com
  • YouTorrent.com
  • SumoTorrent.com
  • BwTorrents.com

In a nut shell, main difference between and open and private tracker is that, to download a torrent from a site having private tracker, you need to be registered there and in case of open tracker that is not needed. And Private Tracker sites force you to maintain the ratio by uploading too otherwise they ban your account and in open tracker you are not asked to upload and to maintain your ratio.

But, private trackers are more reliable and effective as they are being run on big servers with constant monitoring. Most of the private trackers have faster speeds and safer downloads. Private trackers implement a strict set of rules, so generally files containing malware are extremely uncommon. Many private trackers keep in close contact with each other, so bad users (who trade invites or attempt to fake their ratio) can be quickly blacklisted. Almost all private trackers implement a passkey system, which is a key tool to measure stats of a user as well as to point out him in case of any wrong attempt made by him.

At the moment one can say that you can find everything on torrents, even those which are impossible to find as direct downloads. Torrents are becoming very popular day by day but still they are marked as illegal. Even though this service itself is not illegal but the content shared is illegal.

Torrent itself is not illegal but its use make it illegal because of piracy issues. We will discuss its legal status in detail in next part of this article.

To be continued…

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  • Usman

    Nice info….Keep it up

  • Abubakar Riaz

    writer, i am very eager to know the actions against piracy and illegal torrents downloaded in PAKISTAN, what is the plenty and charges,,, or police kush krti b hy k nae…. coz i dont think so…right!

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      There are very strict actions against piracy worldwide, but in Pakistan iam not sure a single piracy event was handelled by police which involved torrents. There some other matters regarding piracy, well managed by FIA like we covered take down of Mag4You
      http://propakistani.pk/2009/08/07/one-pirate-down-mag4you-com-more-to-follow

      But Worldwide there are many examples where even police raided datacenters, owners arrested and whole setup was closed down, but in Pakistan i dont think so we can pay heed to this case at the moment, because we have alot other crisis to fight with..

  • lifetyle

    Very nice Article but

    Please define us Why torrent Download speed is very slow????

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      Well torrent download speed is actually slow here in Pakistan beacuse most of the ports are blocked and tracker tries to refresha nd finds out another one so it remains busy most of the time, plus it also matters on quality and region of seeders, like you get download speed in MBs if you download anything from IPTorrents and some other quality sites, because in this case they seed for you from servers not from local ISPs at home.
      Have a look at screenshot of uTorrent speed, i am getting from IPTorrents
      http://imagefi.com/images/speed.png

      Now plz do not ask me to give an invite to IPTorrents because that is a Payed Registeration Site :D

      • عثمان

        What a speed. plz tell, which dsl provider you use, and ur connection speed.

  • Saqib Qureshi

    i would add one question more with lifestyle question that when torrent is being downloading why the single page Couldn’t be open even u are using DSL too?

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      That is not the case with Torrents, same happens if you direct download anything at full speed. Here i would like to share my experience, You get an avg of 100KBPS download @ 1MB connection.
      I myself have checked that at PTCL broadband if you limit the download speed for torrent to someweaht, say 50KBPS, so half of your internet speed goes for download while half is free and you can easily surf. While at LDN(Link dot Net) even if you are at 4MB connection, and you have limited the torrent download speed to 50KBPS, while an avergae of 350 KBPS is still free but you are unable to open a single site.
      This may be becuase of some port busy problems at LDN but i assure this is not the case in PTCL Broadband.
      And obviously if you are downloading something then browsing speed would go down becuase downloading gets more priority as compared to browsing because speed thrusts make them suck the surfing. :D

  • Brr

    Good One!

  • Azhar

    For u people Torrentz are new ,its a Old phenomenon, Grow up Kids

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      We didn’t LAUNCH anything new about torrents, it is for those who don’t know at the moment.
      If you know that is well and good.
      Be Happy :)

  • Fawaz

    Good Work.I am using torrents for over 2 years.remember if you use torrent first download a good anti-virus program.

  • Murtaza

    Torrents are not illegal, all the time. So don’t make stuff up dude. What if I download the latest Fedora distro?

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      Wait for the next version of series – Part 2.
      You will get your answer.
      As i already mentioned one can never cover each and every aspect in one article.
      So be calm :)

  • Saqib Qureshi

    unknown Writer. Sorry i would denied your perception that if u are using PTCL broadband you can’t face Browsing Problem with downloading torrent. i am using PTCL boradband and i have this problem…………..?

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      May be, but i mentioned as per my experience and a small survey among friends, moreover you may be surfing while torrent is downloading at full speed, then you have to face the slow surfing. its simple :)

  • http://www.tariqraheel.blogspot.com/ طارق راحیل

    y didnt u tell us ur name :)

    nice shearing

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      Not a special reason behind this, but somethings are better to be kept secret.. :D

  • http://twitter.com/rehanez Rehan

    I am not in favor to use Torrent .. they bring most of the authentic mess with the authentic data .

    • http://www.propakistani.pk Unknown Writer

      I am !!
      You know why ?
      Windows – all of us using would have been full of bugs and erros if we hadn’t got it from torrent.
      Moreover i dont like to pay for something when i get it free of cost :D
      thats why i love torrents.
      I dont know why you are not in favor but hopefully soon you will become fan of torretns when you will be entertained by them :D

  • http://www.hijazibrothers.co.cc Abdur Rehman Hijazi

    dear brothers i am using torrent service from last 2 years that is very good service through torrent you download everything with crack.

  • Anonymous

    I use both rapidshare and torrent but I love RS more than Torrent.

  • Usman

    well thnx 4 sharing..
    the torrents have only one thing best
    you can download leaked version of microsoft ,apple mac. linux softwares..like windows 7 is available on some torrent sites n release date of windows 7 is 22 oct 2009.but thses leaked versions may have some problems like thay are beta or there is sumthing change btween the original version of that software..but overall thay are correct and leaked by these companies or by their employers..
    now a days microsoft have serious concerned about their leaked version of windows 7..but now its out of time..windows xp sp3 leaked on some torrent sites before microsoft launched.
    frm my point of view somehow they are not legal..but not 100% illegal..

  • Usman

    same thing apllies on movies , games n application software..illegal recording of movies available on torrent sites..the full version of pc,xbox and playstation are available..softwares with cracks and full n final versions are available on most torrent sites..n also the porn content not commonly but on many of torrent sites.

  • http://www.nerdmodo.com Omair Khan

    Not all torrents are illegal. An example is the soundtrack for the game World of Goo. It was released by the games creators. Just like any other service torrents can be used to serve legitmate purposes.
    Besides that, good article.

  • Pingback: Torrents - Legal Issues Concerning Them - ProPakistani

  • mohsin

    guys i am facin a big prob in my linkdotnet dsl i am using 1mb connection but i receve torrent speed about only 4 to 8 kbps is der any way i can increase speed n got wat i derserve in 1mb earlier i waz a connect user 512kpbs connection….. used to get abt 40kpbs in torent plx help me …. how can i manage the things on torrent

  • http://kload.cphoster.com Keshav

    to get more tips tricks and answers to your questions over torrents and other file sharing websites go to kload.cphoster.com just post your question and you’ll get your answer

  • DON

    i m not able to download torrents in my university,is there any solution ?