Beginner’s Guide to Torrenting

In this article, you will be able to understand and learn all about torrenting. Torrenting has always been misunderstood as something illegal. We do not blame you if you think so too since there are numerous torrent-related crimes that are being mentioned on the news. Furthermore, torrenting has been publicly seen as being associated with piracy. However, though torrenting has encourage the act of piracy, torrenting itself is legal. As a matter of fact, there are some places where you could share huge files legally.

Through this article, we shall show you the process that goes behind torrenting. We shall also discuss how you could increase your torrent speed.

What is Torrenting?

Torrenting is where you could put huge files in and share it with numerous people. It works better and well when many people are involved. But, before we dwell into that topic, let us first discuss some of the common ways you could download files.

1. File Transfer Protocol (Single Download Point) –Whenever you download a file from a website, this action is known as File Transfer Protocol or FTP download. This type of protocol is something that could regulate transfer of files through a network on different computers. In browser FTP download, all you need to do is click the download button and the site will download it for you. High downloading speed happens whenever the FTP server has a huge bandwidth and there are little users downloading. However, there are instances where there are numerous users trying to download all at once and when this happens, your FTP server might have to divide its bandwidth to its thousands of users. Hence, if the server has small bandwidth, this could cause of slow download speeds.

2. Peer-to-peer sharing (multiple download points) – this is different from FTP in terms of downloading from a single FTP server, peer-to-peer is where torrenting has based its idea. In P2P, there are no FTP servers used but rather they download pieces of the files from other people who own the file. In other words, the file is split into different pieces and is spread across different people. To put it simply, when you download, you download the file from many different people rather than downloading from a single source. Hence, this is the opposite from what was mentioned in File Transfer Protocol. Instead of the more the number of people downloading the more it gets slower, for P2P, it is the reverse. But even though that is the case, it also works well if there are only a few users.

Now that we now know what are FTP and P2P are, we shall now discuss deeper and go into the torrenting system.

Seeding and Leeching

In the concept of torrenting, swarm means it is a group of computers. It is often known as peers. The swarm within a torrent network would interact through a specific file. This action includes seeding and leeching. Seeding is uploading a file while leeching is considered as downloading a file. With torrenting, you could be both seeder and a leecher. In other words, you could upload a portion of a file and download other portions of the same file which you do not have yet. Through this, you contribute to the fast downloading speeds.

Seeding or uploading- as mentioned earlier, seeding is uploading some parts of a file. While you are seeding it does not mean that you are also leeching. The ideal situation is you seed even after the file has been downloaded completely. This is what you call giving back and increasing the health of the overall swarm.

When you are seeding, you will be able to choose and control your upload bandwidth except if you are leeching too. Take in mind that swarm provides faster downloading speed.

Leeching or downloading- the speed of downloading depends on the health of the Swarm. You could have a download speed of close to 0kbps or higher than 50mbps. With that said you could have a speed of 10mbps which will allow you to download a 10gb file under 20 minutes. After you have downloaded all the pieces of the file you wish to access, your torrent program will put them all together and will provide you the file which you could use.

The question now is how will your computer know which computers have the file you need. Thus, in the next part of this article, we shall discuss how it happens and how does torrenting able to track them.

Tracking and DHTs

Before you are able to download a specific file, you would need to get a Torrent program or more commonly known as torrent client. The file that you wish to download all starts as a torrent file. It comes with information on all the pieces of your file such as where to find them. Your torrent client will interpret the file and then it will connect with peers and will start downloading. In other words, it is your torrent client who knows which peer you should connect to.

Tracking- as mentioned earlier, before you are able to download a file, your torrent client will find you peers. This act is known as tracking. Your torrent client communicates with the swarm and peers who are currently interacting with the file. It will know which users have the piece for the file that you would like to download and then it will connect to them.

Distributed Hash Tables (decentralized directory)- is an alternate method in finding peers. It bypasses tracking and focuses on decentralized system. This is where all computers interact with each other for a specific file. It keeps and updates a directory which increases torrenting’s reliability.

With all the information that a torrent file has, the question now is where shall or will you go to find a torrent file?

Indexers

What are indexers? Indexers are actually websites that cater torrent files. They make it easier for people to access torrent files you would like to download. Aside from that, these indexers come with forum or a place where you could request for files you would wish to have.

People think that torrenting come from websites that are shady and are providing copyrighted content without permission from the owner/s. Though there are really sites like that that exists, there are sites like Internet Archive or Public Domain Torrents that ensure that the files on their sites are legally obtained.

Gearing up for your Torrent Adventure

There are two important things that allow you to be able to downloading torrent files and they are torrent client and torrent file. You could check Google for good torrent clients which is offered for free. Some clients even use Bittorrent. As mentioned earlier, we recommend Public Domain Torrent or Interactive Archive.

Increasing your Torrent Speed

There are different factors that could affect your torrenting- this could be torrent seeding or torrent leeching.

1. Port Forwarding – For you to be able to get rewards of seeding and leeching speed from swarm, you will need to do some Port forwarding.

Port Forwarding will allow you to access the services in your internal network to your external network. For you to be able to forward your port, you will need to go to the settings of your torrent client and check which port your client is using. Then, access the dashboard of your router and enable the port on port and forwarding option.

Take in mind though that port forwarding could impose some security risks as it involves accessing your internal network which means your home network could be at risk.

2. Choose a health torrent – as mentioned numerous times in this article and guide, having numerous seeders would mean the swarm gets healthier. The healthier the swarm the faster your downloading speed will be. There are some indexers that would post the number of seeders and leechers. This means, you will be able to tell which swarm is healthy and which is not.

3. Ensure you have a healthy upload and download speed – of course your internet speed also matters and it could also be affected by different factors such type of connection, broadband type and even your router capabilities. Be mindful of the stability of your internet speed especially whenever you are torrenting.

Torrenting is a great alternative option to traditional downloading. It is based on swarm approach and with this whenever you download, take in mind that torrenting your preferred file is circulated actively. This means you could save time as downloading will be much faster compared to the traditional downloading.

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