Basic Torrent Guide What is it? How does it work?

Torrent is a file format that stores information of the content shared in the BitTorrent protocol , surely the most popular today among the peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange systems available on the Internet and especially intended to distribute large files, as an alternative -very useful- to server based distribution system.

Although it is also used in, other applications such as VoIP communications, the distribution of large files is its main objective. For this reason and like the other file sharing systems from Napster, eDonkey to eMule, it has become synonymous with piracy by part of the industry and by copyright managers, although its usefulness for content distribution is evident .

Its use is as legal as any other application, but sharing copyrighted files on your networks is as illegal and penalized by law as doing it by other means.

Often some of Internet provider services have blocked and restricted the use of P2P services on their networks. It is as illegal and reprehensible as sharing pirated files.

Do not consent, report it or change your provider. Some copyright organizations have hired third-party companies to spread false, incomplete material, and even malware to disrupt their operation. Watch out.

There is no specific data on use but BitTorrent is used by tens of millions of users and many more if we add all the peer networks together. 2012 estimates from BitTorrent, Inc, the company that maintains the protocol, estimated 150 million active BitTorrent users.

It had a significant rebound after the closure of Megaupload and other direct download services, although in recent months streaming services such as Netflix  have gained users against P2P , confirming that the best strategy was not to criminalize P2P users and applications but to offer alternatives affordable.

Today we approach with a basic Torrent guide to the basic foundations of a protocol that moves many, many bits on the Net and that has important advantages to server-based file distribution.

What is a Torrent?

If you ask what is torrent? It is a type of file with a .torrent extension that stores the data necessary for a BitTorrent application to share the content. Its size is very small (between 10 and 200 KB) because it does not include the content itself but information about its files and folders , including the location of the different “pieces” of the destination file in which it will be divided, first in pieces and then in blocks.

Other essential information contained in a torrent file are encrypted hashes that are used to verify each chunk of the target file. They also include the URLs of many trackers and other additional metadata defined by BitTorrent.

Torrent Clients

They are the applications that allow to interpret the data of the .torrent files, connect them with the users, manage the upload and download speeds, perform multiple downloads and finally, check and mount the files and folders once the pieces of it are downloaded. has been completed.

Its basic operation is similar in all of them although they vary in their interface and in some additional options. The market presents a good offer for all major operating systems, including free and / or open source clients.

We recently reviewed the best ones , such as Deluge, qBittorrent, Transmission-Qt Win, Vuze (old Azureus), BitComet, Tixati or uTorrent.

For a user it is only a matter of downloading the client and installing it on their computer, although it is advisable to be careful in the choice because some include adware.

It is also mandatory to do a good review of the application configuration. As in any P2P file sharing network, it is a moral and practical obligation to be as “generous” as possible in the upload capacity that we offer to other users.

The ideal would be to approach a 1: 1 ratio in terms of download / upload but it is almost impossible because most users do not have symmetrical Internet access services.

As a general rule, set the upload capacity to the maximum allowed by your connection without penalizing the operation of your equipment or others connected to the network. And it continues to share the most requested files even if you have downloaded it to contribute to its distribution.

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