What is torrent?
Torrent is a client program that allows sharing information on the Internet. The system is quite new, because it appeared April 4, 2004 when an unknown American programmer Bram Cohen wrote a new protocol called BitTorrent. That is why it will be more correctly to name the system BitTorrent. BitTorrent is a bit stream, which is known as peer to peer (P2P) networking protocol for sharing and exchanging files on the Internet. Simply defined, BitTorrent protocol is used for usersâ€™ file sharing on the Internet.
Before considering torrentâ€™s functions and going into detail about torrent system, letâ€™s have a look at the basic terms used here:
Torrent â€” or BitTorrent is a protocol which is developed for the Internet file sharing. BitTorrent is considered as P2P protocol too. Torrent is identification or a file that contains all the desirable information on size and quantity of the segments and the sum of them for the downloading file; on a tracker that gives data on seeders and leechers who distribute the file.
Torrent file can be made by anyone and be downloaded to a tracker. After the file is downloaded by others they â€˜knowâ€™ where to find the file, which has been already downloaded.
Peering nets (peer to peer/p2p) â€” from-user-to-user net.
Seeder â€” a user that has already downloaded a file and prepared it for further distribution or he/she can be an initiator of a new file sharing.
Leecher â€” a user who is downloading a file at the moment and sharing the segments of this very file that has been already saved. As soon as a leecher has downloaded a file, he/she becomes seeder.
Trackerâ€” a site or a part of a site the main function of which is storing and sharing the saved files with other participants. Itâ€™s a so-called link between seeders and leechers.
Ratio â€” is an attitude of the downloaded information to the shared one. If you want to download information from others you should share what you have.
Announce â€” is a URL, which is contained in torrent files and used by clients. Clients use the address to share the information with tracker. You need it only when you make a torrent file.
Why do you need torrent?
Torrent is the most popular file-sharing method for users from all over the world. More valuable data can be found on the Internet with the help of P2P BitTorrent protocol. The amount of available information data is extremely large for Torrent users. So, you can find whatever you want and download it.
Such data as films, music, games, distributions of different software, educational materials can be found there and downloaded using torrent for free. Moreover, the process of downloading canâ€™t be interrupted, because the process is supported by many peers, thus the more participants share the same file, the better it will be for your deviceâ€™s system.
How does torrent work?
There are several computers (or other devices), which have the file you need. With the help of BitTorrent this file is split into segments and distributed to all the participants. Each segment is received to different users and after saving continues distributing to others. If there is a connection break, another distributing participant will be chosen for substituting the missed segment. A participant with the highest speed performance is chosen as a main seeder by the system. Each participant is a seeder and a leecher simultaneously, which is implied by a P2P technology.
After a file is downloaded by you it is shared with other users, which is the purpose of BitTorrent. While downloading a file your connection can be broken but the downloading process will be started from the moment it has stopped at. At the time when a file is being downloaded, one of the peers (participants) can be disconnected, then another peer with the same segment of a file is chosen by the system to displace the segment. The more peers with the same file in the network the less intensively your computer works and the faster the process goes.
To get all the material presented on Torrent net you need a Torrent client. Having chosen a Torrent client, an appropriate language and version should be chosen before downloading. Different torrent clients are compatible with different torrent client versions (just the same as with any other app). After downloading a program, the installation should be made. On this level all the settings can be left by default or you can chose them manually if you are an advanced user of torrent technology.
The most popular torrents review:
There are quite many Torrent clients that can be installed on your device. The most popular Torrents are described here.
As of today, uTorrent, also known as micro Torrent, is considered to be one of the most popular torrent client programs. The uTorrent client is the most optimized variant for OSâ€™s and userâ€™s demands. After its installation system resources are used economically as the program is comparatively small (1MB). uTorrent works fast and well and contains settings for advanced users, which can enhance the process of torrent client operation. But the default settings work well enough too. Download location is the only setting that should be made by any user for torrent client. The largest section of your hard disc should be chosen for future downloads. In this case two folders are needed: one folder is for downloaded files and the other one is for those files, which are being downloaded. Which is also important, both these folders should be placed in one section of a hard disk to simplify its work. As any sort of files can be shared through uTorrent you can use some additional programs for your online anonymity, privacy and security. A VPN, proxy service, anonymizers and other methods will be useful for those who are tired of being traced and tracked online.
Nevertheless, uTorrent as any other software program has its problems. Some of the new uTorrent versions are not counterchecked and there are some troubles with their operation, such as malfunctions, for instance, which can be experienced. Although a new version of any application is known to be more secure, donâ€™t hurry with the torrent client new version installation. Also, youâ€™d better switch off an automatic updating at your settings. The torrent client contains advertisements, which can be switched off or ignored as the quantity of ads is far from being interfered. Moreover, the new versions of the program are disabled of ads switching off.
uTorrent is a free program, but the company has a paid content for uTorrent Plus. uTorrent Plus is known to present several additional bonuses:
- antivirus protection in torrents;
- more formats are played;
- files are converted to play on popular devices;
- your files can be accessed remotely in a secure way.
Some basic characteristics of uTorrent:
- OSÂ – Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android.
- StreamÂ – having started downloading a film, you can watch it from the first seconds of the process, because the download goes successively.
- Languages – uTorrent was bought by BitTorrent Inc, the languages are the same.
The program comes from BitTorrent developers, here hence the name of the torrent client. Today the original program can be met in UNIX and alike systems. After the incorporation has bought uTorrent, all the current versions of BitTorrent for Windows are built on uTorrent initial code. It has led to the result that uTorrent and BitTorrent for Windows look like twins. The interfaces of two programs have much in common and BitTorrent has a paid version too. A little advertisement can be met while using BitTorrent. BitTorrentâ€™s new versions are released more rarely and tested more thoroughly than uTorrent ones. So, if you donâ€™t want to experience any malfunctions, use the BitTorrent client.
Some basic characteristics of BitTorrent:
- OS – Windows, MacOS, Android.
- StreamÂ – a new â€˜play nowâ€™ function is added in a paid BitTorrent Pro version.
- LanguagesÂ – the program is available on more than fifty different languages.
BitComet is one of the oldest and strongest torrent clients. Before uTorrent appearance BitComet was considered to be the most popular torrent client on the market. Besides BitTorrent protocol, FTP network and eDonkey can be supported by BitComet. As well as other up-to-date clients this torrent client allows watching streaming content while downloading it. FLV player is built in the version and a special chat where you can communicate with the peers of the torrent client is settled too.
But BitComet has a notorious side as well as any other technology. Too much advertisement is there on the client. The part of the ads can be switched off but the main quantity will remain the same. The interface is supplied with multiple options, which make your work harder especially if you are a newbie. Moreover, the overloaded interface menu uses more system resources.
BitComet is not recommended for making torrent-files for new sharing, because the client puts in too many unnecessary things in such file (puddings), which are visible for other peers. But in some new versions the function can be switched off.
The nastiest fact is that you can have a passkey leak, which can be given to the first comer while using DHT (distributed hash table). (Passkey is a unique userâ€™s identification, which saves all the statistics concerning closed torrent-tracker). For solving the problem, DHT is recommended to switch off by BitComet developers. But today when censorship is followed by many governments itâ€™s practically impossible to use torrent client without DHT. In addition, BitTorrent is not recommended for a newbie, because it is developed for advanced users who are able to set all the options manually.
Some basic characteristics of BitComet:
- OSÂ – Windows.
- StreamÂ – itâ€™s not permitted on some trackers.
- LanguagesÂ – the program is available on fifty two languages.
The torrent program is also popular among clients and has both pros and cons. The interface is convenient if compare it to BitComet. The BitSpirit functionality is every bit as good as uTorrentâ€™s. Advertisement is practically not supported by this torrent client. BitSpirit also has a chat for peers. With the help of the â€˜masterâ€™ option you can make a primary program setting, which is extremely useful for average users. Moreover, if you have some difficulties, a magic button â€˜autoâ€™ can be used in the case. In another case (you are an advanced user) you can choose â€˜advancedâ€™ option and make the settings of the client manually.
Powerful manager with detailed time settings of work and clipboard monitoring make the torrent client comfortable to use. A prankish â€˜Bosskeyâ€™ button is known to hide you from your â€˜bossâ€™ when you decided to torrent files at work or in any other case when you need anonymity while working with the torrent client.
User-agentâ€™s IP shift is considered to be the main advantage of the torrent client, which gives peers a possibility to use it for those closed trackers where itâ€™s banned. Thus, neither any third party nor a tracker administrator will prevent you from using anyÂ software you like. After having looked through the permitted torrent clients for tracker, you can choose any from the list using your user-agent.
Although itâ€™s a pretty good program, there are some defects too. In some other versions than with English interface the operation of the client can be slowed down. In addition its promiscuous port is not recommended to be switched on in the settings, otherwise the program may have conflicts with some firewalls. But some ISPs control these ports, so that they limit your Internet traffic or simply block it. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s better to fill the gap with some original port number.
Some basic characteristics of BitSpirit:
- OS – Windows.
- Stream – it supports Unicode and can be integrated with IE.
- Languages – the program is available on many languages.
Halite is one of the commonest torrent clients. The interface is flat and isnâ€™t overloaded with additional functions. Halite has everything one may need for file sharing but it doesnâ€™t provide any additional bonuses. But still it has one particular feature, which differ it from other torrent clients. Many BitTorent clients have a remote-program-control function through browser web-interface, thus Halite can control downloads through a mobile phone too. Any mobile phone or smartphone that supports Java will give you a chance to work remotely with Halite.
Some basic characteristics of Halite:
- OSÂ – Windows
- StreamÂ – it supports Unicode and UPnP
- LanguagesÂ – the program is available on many languages
Mediaget is not such a popular torrent client among average users but it has its fans. Itâ€™s popular for its â€˜aggressiveâ€™ methods of sharing, which are widely popularized by many trackers. Some specialists and antivirus companies consider Mediaget as a malware. But there are some statements that the program is absolutely safe and absolutelyÂ professional. One of the main minuses of the torrent client is that its usage for most closed torrent trackers turns into blocking of your client.
If talking about the interface of Mediaget it is balanced and easily usable. It has a pleasant design, but what for the functionality it might have been bettered. There is only a minimum number of options there but some of users will be satisfied even with such set of options and functions.
The main advantages of Mediaget are the built-in search system and the so-called catalogue where you can find and choose the most popular files for sharing at the moment on a tracker. Even being a newbie you will be managed to deal with the system easily. But the catalogue doesnâ€™t contain all the needed data, which you can find manually on your favorite trackers. Besides this, sometimes the program and service malfunctions. The catalogue changes the data pretty regularly, but the problems are solvable through the regular settings.
Who often uses the torrent and downloads a vast amount of data from the Internet this client wonâ€™t suit well. But for those who donâ€™t want to deepen their knowledge in the sphere of BitTorrent and the details, the torrent client will be a totally satisfying service. It will also be normal for those who download files from time to time.
Some basic characteristics of Mediaget:
- OSÂ – Windows, Android.
- LanguagesÂ – the program is available on many languages.
How to use Torrent?
In order to use Torrent you have to make several steps:
Having chosen a torrent program you have to download an appropriate version that is to be compatible with your OS or a torrent client. Make sure the program wonâ€™t take too much space of your system memory.
#2 things to control
Being an advanced user you can make some settings manually. If you are a newbie at the sphere it will be better for you to leave everything by default until you start using it and understand what you want to change exactly.
Having made all the steps you can start using your program. Some additional functions, such as peersâ€™ chat, can be digested by you a bit later. You should also know that the process of downloading canâ€™t be interrupted, because it is supported by many peers, thus the more participants share the same file the better it will be for your system. Such data as films, music, games, distributions of different software, educational materials can be found there for free.
The practical part of the program is easy enough. For getting it you should remember how torrent program works. As some devices have the file you need, with the help of BitTorrent this file is split into segments and distributed to all users who need it. Each segment is received by you and other users and after it is saved by your device it continues being distributed to others.
But sometimes our Internet connection can undergo a break. If there is a connection gap, another distributing participant will be chosen for substituting the missed segment to you, which enhances the operation a lot. Usually a seeder with the highest speed performance is chosen as a main distributer by the torrent client that reduces the period of transmission.
So, you are, as well as others, a receiver and a distributer simultaneously, which is the basic mean of P2P technology. Having downloaded the file it is shared with other users, which is the main function of BitTorrent. While a file is being downloaded one of the peers (participants) can be disconnected then another peer with the same segment of a file is chosen by the system. The more peers with the same file in the network the less intensively your computer works. So, as you see the practical part is as easy as that.
P.S. Is it legal to use Torrents?
All we know that copyrighting piracy is illegal. But piracy is misunderstood by many people and especially whether a pirated material downloading is illegal or not and can it be referred to crime or not. Torrent client programs are used every day for sharing different data that also means that torrents are used by millions of Americans to share files. This technology has been historically provided with anonymity. A small segment of file is downloaded from many hosting devices simultaneously. This type of sharing makes it difficult to analyze who has shared the file and who has received it and also it makes sharing a vast amount of data in a short time. But it is known that torrent sharing is not so confidential any more.
The so-called â€˜download trollsâ€™ (the companies that deal with tracking and violating copyrighters) and governmental agencies are known to be able to spy on the torrent users and intercept the files while revealing IP addresses. Having become a seeder your IP address gets reordered automatically. In addition, some ISPs are known to see after those torrent users and block a vast amount of data transferring. Fortunately, there are some definite ways how to avoid being traced and caught and many users know about them. Such tools as proxy servers, Tor, anonymizers, VPNs and others are used to hinder userâ€™s traffic and IP address.
If you download something that has been copyrighted and you do not pay for, it is illegal. The number of disputes has been already challenged the question and the issue is still not closed. The views have been changed by some state courts and now file sharing to a large amount of users such as torrent, for example, permits has been viewed as illegal if infringing the rights of a copyright. However, the question of legacy remains opened thus unsolved, because if speaking about Internet freedom on the whole no one will agree that Internet is a free and safe place for any user.