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What is and how does a torrent work?

What is and how does a torrent work?

What is and how does a torrent work?

We have all used torrents to download something but, do you really know how this technology works?

The BitTorrent protocol It has become one of the favorite ways for Internet users to download content; both legal and not so legal. In 2015, the traffic generated by this protocol generated 8.44% of connections in Europe, accounting for 21% of all uploads made to the Internet on fixed connections, and even reached 2.14% of mobile connections in Europe, surpassing iTunes, Skype and Instagram

It is true that BitTorrent has earned a bad reputation for being one of the most widespread means of downloading illegal content, but BitTorrent has two great advantages that can be applied to many cases on the Internet: decentralize content so that it is not on a single server, and consume the least possible bandwidth of the user’s connection. But how does BitTorrent work to achieve all this?

How the regular network works

When you connect to a web page, or download something through a direct download, you are accessing a single server to get the information you need.

For example, to access this web page you have requested that a single server (which, in this case, would have the IP94.23.247.147 address) send you the information necessary to load this page. And like you, there are other Internet users who make the same request to the server, and who receive the same response as you.

How the BitTorrent network works

networks-internet-bittorrent

The fun of BitTorrent is to make sure that when you order something, don’t ask a single server, but ask a network from computers and servers that already have the file downloaded. Instead of asking a single IP for all the content, you request small parts of the file from many IPs, including servers and computers of other users who downloaded the file before.

For example, if you load this page on such a network, one server could give you the text while another would give you the images.

Cal is the process of downloading a torrent

seed-leech-utorrent-bittorrent

The steps that are usually followed To treat BitTorrent content are the following:

  1. You run a Torrent program (like Transmission or qBittorrent) and tell it which file you want to download with a .torrent file or with a .magnet link
  2. The Torrent program locates other computers that have the same program open, and that have the file that we want to download.
  3. Once you find a computer that has the file, start downloading a portion of the file. While looking for other computers that have it to download more parts of the file.
  4. Meanwhile, other users can also find our computer and download the files that we have (and want to share).

It is also convenient to know some terminology if you are going to download or upload files with BitTorrent:

  • Seed: provide files to other users by uploading data
  • Seeder: a user who uploads a lot of data for other users
  • Seedbox: a server specialized in downloading and uploading data goes BitTorrent
  • Leech: get files from other users by downloading data
  • Leecher: a user who downloads a lot of data from other users
  • Ratio: the ratio of what you have uploaded (seed) versus what you have downloaded,
    • Many private trackers take it into account: more uploads than you upload can be kicked

Images | How-To Geek