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Friday, 10 August 2012

Introduction to Torrents and Torrent terminology !

Lets begin this post with a brief discussion on how Torrents work.

How does a Torrent works?
Well, a torrent works quite differently as compared to ordinary client-server download module.  A torrent downloads different pieces of the file you want simultaneously from multiple computers.
You download or get a torrent file (essentially a file containing meta data about all the files that are download able, including their names and sizes and check-sums of all pieces in the torrent. It also contains the address of a tracker .)
Torrent client software(like u torrent,bit-comet etc) communicate with a tracker to find other computers running torrent that have the complete file (seed computers) and those with a portion of the file (peers).
the client software with the help of the tracker trades the pieces of the file needed with other computers in the swarm. Thus enabling us to download multiple files simultaneously.

Why to use a Torrent?
Unlike other download methods, Torrent maximizes transfer speed by  downloading the pieces of the files you want simultaneously from people who already have them. This process makes very large files, such as videos and television programs, games download much faster than is possible with other methods.
Which Torrent client to use?
Well, there are a lot of torrent clients available for download and here’s a list of few that I have shortlisted you may choose from the list.
ĀµTorrent : This is perhaps the best choice for Windows, Mac or Linux users as it’s just around 235 KB in size, light on resources and is completely free. Though I love Vuze !
Transmission: This the best torrent client i have come across for Mac users .
SymTorrent: It’s the first and currently only Bit Torrent client for Symbian OS. It supports downloading multiple torrents at the same time, is capable of both downloading and uploading and can save the status of your unfinished torrents.
For a comprehensive list of all available torrent clients you may visit this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_clients
Alright! But What is a Seed, Leech, and all those terms in Torrent:
Well torrent has its own set of terminology.
Seed: A “Seeder” is a user who has successfully downloaded the file and is now sharing it with peers.

Peers: Every person or user who’s downloading. A peer does not have the complete file. Once a peer has completed the download, they can become a seed.
Leech: Quite same as peer except that they don’t share the files once they have completed the downloads.
UD ratio: It’s the Upload to Download Ratio. Since the original principle behind torrents is to share, you try to keep your UD Ratio close to 1.That is you upload what you download.
Tracker: A server that coordinates all of the torrent downloads and users.
Swarm: Anyone and everyone connected to the tracker.

Are Torrents legal to download?
Well that’s something that you will need to understand. Torrent technology is perfectly legal. So why does torrent clients like piratebay and limewire face legal notices from time to time, Well actually its the content that is being downloaded legal or illegal if you tend to download the latest movie released last week then it is perfectly illegal as it promotes piracy. So as long as you know that the content being shared doesn’t breach any laws it’s perfectly safe to use torrents.


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