You might have heard the word Torrent before, but you are not exactly sure what it means? Here’s a short introduction to the world of torrenting and the related terms and situations.
What are Torrents?
Torrents are a particular Peer-To-Peer (P2P) file sharing service provided by a protocol known as BitTorrent. These files are stored on various instances of users available for others to take. The service relies on its users for both download and upload, which means the user itself participates in uploading the files others might request.
The common programs used for torrenting are nTorrent, qBitTorrent, and FreDownloadManager.
The use of Torrenting clients itself doesn’t pose any issues. There are many of you, however, who have concerns about using torrents, and we are here to explain the why and how.
It’s often wrongly thought that Torrents are there for piracy only, which is wrong. Yes, some users illegally download movies, games, and software without legal rights, but torrents are much more than that.
Torrents offer a fast download of any file without the need of renting a powerful server juice. Being decentralized, it allows thousands of downloads simultaneously without spending resources for providing a very expensive server that would provide the same amount of speed.
Torrenting saves the bandwidth. The more users are connected and contributing to sharing the requested files, the network is more powerful and faster, saving money and time for maintaining a server.
How dangerous are Torrents?
A legitimate and authorized-for-distribution material sharing and downloading is perfectly safe and legal. Some examples are downloading open-source programs, apps, and even operating systems, such as Linux.
So, downloading a file via torrent is legal, but the file might not be legal. This applies to the pirated content that often also contains malicious software that might damage your device in some way, or pose other inconveniences. To check if the content is safe for download, you can just check with the community on social media and such.
The strength of torrents and their weakness is tightly related – a network needs to be large to operate properly. If the network is too small, it doesn’t have the momentum to allow for fast and convenient download.
Setting up and using Torrents
Downloading a client like μTorrent or qBittorrent is the first step.
Then, the two ways for starting a torrent download are:
-Downloading a .torrent file and opening it once it’s downloaded from a website (such as torrentz), or
-Clicking the Magnet URL which opens the client and gives you an option to download the file.
Once the file starts downloading, you will notice the two tabs above it, called Seeders and Leechers. The common word for these is Peers. While Seeders provide the content uploading and giving it away, the Leechers download the content from Seeders. The peer ratio determines the download speed.
A few more terms you should know are the swarm – the sum of peers connected around a certain file; and trackers – servers that might track the users connected to the network.
Downloading files via torrents doesn’t in itself pose a particular threat – what can be dangerous is the files themselves and whether they are legal by copyright and if they contain malware. Downloading files P2P can be faster if the number of users gains momentum, and using torrent clients is easier than it initially seems.