The Science Behind Torrenting – What Should Be Explained? A short guide to unveil the secrets behind the most used peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) communications protocol in the world

The Science Behind Torrenting - What Should Be Explained?

You must be aware of transportation nightmare called gridlock -streets are packed with cars and trucks, but do you know the world’s fastest phenomena – Internet – can also lock up the same way? Since the Net is a distributed architecture with no central point with thousands of carefully related systems working in parallel, that’s why the failure of necessary cables bring the Net to its knees.

More the online users, the internet gridlock grows; one of the solutions to avoid being the virtual gridlock is to use BitTorrent protocol for sharing files. Let’s have a closer look.

What is Torrent?

It’s likely that you have heard of a word Torrent, used it or at least exposed to this somewhere in the cyber world. Whether you’re a TorrentFreak or not, I can bet most of you has no idea what Torrent is? This blog is about Torrenting and the science behind.

Technologically, Torrent is a computer file contains metadata with the extension .torrent; the data holds the vital information but not the actual enough to be distributed. Then the contents scan through the BitatiTo software like uTorrent, Transmission or BitTorrent for real distribution; this allows us to share and download the torrent files using BitTorrent protocol in our respective OS.

Be it a movie, game, song, application or any other type of file, torrenting allows you to share any data, without having to wait for the file to download completely. So, with torrenting you don’t need to wait for the file to download before sharing, even you can also start resharing as soon as the file starts downloading. This way a larger file gets divided into chunks while downloading saves time and put no extra burden on the computers within the network.

The ease of use of BitTorrent technology, many times torrent users ends up downloading copyrighted material involuntarily. This is the reason why many countries strictly prohibit the illegal torrenting; don’t worry! Not all the torrents are illegal and unsafe for consumption.

Do you Know?

You might not be aware of the following facts:

  • 8% data transferred using P2P is copyrighted
  • Only 1 out 10,000 systems of OpenBitTorrent tracker is non-copyrighted
  • More than 75% pcs and at least one illegal application.
  • 95% of music downloaded illegally.
  • ⅔ of the available torrents are illegal

(source: go-gulf.com)

Before jumping into real torrenting, let’s explore some related concepts;

  • Indexers: websites with a huge collection of torrents. You can relate this to a or a channel containing a large number of torrent files. You start searching within an indexer to share a torrent file.
  • Trackers: servers act as a bridge that connects the peers of the network. They are like assistants to direct and help users maintain a smooth flow of network. A tracker is responsible for unzipping a file and avoiding delays while downloading and uploading a file for another user.
  • Seeders and Leechers: When you download a torrent file, you become a seeder, to remain a seeder, you need to upload the downloaded files continuously. Whereas, on the other hand, if you keep downloading a file without uploading, you become a Leecher. It’s a good practice to upload the downloaded files.
  • BitTorrent Clients: A ‘Client’ is just like a computer that performs multiple tasks for the user. The basic purpose of the client is to manage our torrents, helping us to connect with others within the network. And yes, it’s the client that helping us to download and upload a file. There are innumerable  free torrent clients; the most dominant are uTorrent, Vuze, etc.

How Does Torrent Work?

In a nutshell, torrent file initiates the downloading of the actual content. It starts like; you’re interested in receiving a shareable file – music, document, book, etc. you have to obtain a respective torrent file, by either downloading them directly from .torrent or using a magnet link. To open the necessary file, you need to have the BitTorrent Software, which scans the torrent link/file and find the seeders and their locations from an indexer. Doing this, you will be directed to the defined trackers from the file’s metadata and develop a direct connection. Transferring starts if the attempt gets successful.

Note: since torrenting is about downloading in bits, which need to be reassembled only if all the pieces are received.

Where can I find Torrents?

There’s a flock of favorite websites to find the torrent files, the most prominent ones are; The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents. Keep in mind these crazy websites shut down left and right, that help mirror sites to develop in the torrent community. To remind, technically torrenting is legal and been practiced for decades, this the abusive usage from a myriad of users sharing pirated content, that turning this technology into a menace.

We recommend you to download files from the sites which provide legal content and avoid DMCA notice by keeping yourself away from illegal downloading.

Is Torrenting dangerous?

Yes, torrenting is dangerous due to the nature of its services, while you share and download content with others over a network, your IP address also gets visible among the same network of torrenteers. Many production and record firms hire specialists to record the IP addresses of users and share them with ISPs then they liaise with law-enforcing agencies to suspend further downloads; this may also end up incarceration of the users or operators.

So, how to enjoy torrenting without sharing the IP addresses?

It’s simple, use a VPN that hides your torrent activities, a VPN merely turn you invisible in the virtual world by just replacing your real IP address with the non-traceable one. Once your IP address is hidden, then there would be no way for any authority to spoof into your actions, your torrenting gets anonymous and secure.

The Wrap-up

Torrenting is just like sharing of media content with other peers; it’s like giving back to the society by uploading the downloaded content but be careful with the pirated content, we don’t want to you in jail.

Anyways, we hope the information we shared in this article would be helpful for you. Feel free to share this useful information with others and share your torrenting experience with us.

 

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About Junaid Hussain

Junaid Hussain is a tech fancier who strongly believes that technology makes the modern world smarter. He’s a workaholic individual who never settles for anything less than great. Junaid is currently working for ReviewsDir to develop strong community for tech lovers. His passion is work-work-work-and-party – and to wander with his friends.

View all posts by Junaid Hussain