If you are a person who likes free content, then you have certainly used torrents or torrenting websites. Torrents provide a way for people to distribute files over the internet using a protocol known as BitTorrent to facilitate peer-to-peer or P2P file sharing. There are several advantages that come with this form of sharing files compared to conventional methods. You do not need costly server equipment in order to send files to multiple people at once and slow or low-bandwidth networks can just as easily facilitate the downloads of large files.

The most common way of using torrents is via a special file that utilizes the .torrent file extension. This file contains instructions on how to share the specific data with other parties.

Torrents are Not Always Safe

Before we dive into the ins and outs of torrenting, it is imperative to bear in mind that they pose a bigger risk compared to other methods of sharing files. Torrents are not inherently dangerous to create or use, but unless you use a trustworthy source, you can easily download files that contain malware and other harmful files.

So, if you intend to torrent, whether it is sharing files or downloading them, ensure you have a solid antivirus program and only get your torrents from a reputable or trustworthy site such as this one: 1337x.

So, What Sets Torrents Apart? 

Torrents are not that much different from other forms of downloading files to your device. However, the manner in which you get the files is not as straightforward and makes it is way easier to share your own data over the internet.

Let us take a look at how conventional file sharing functions over the HTTP protocol:

-Go to a page using your web browser

-Click the download link to initiate the process and save the file on your device.

That file was stored on a server with a lot of space and system resources that are designed to serve numerous people at the same time. The file only exists on one server and anyone with access can download it.

Torrents, on the other hand, work a tad differently. Web browsers use the HTTP protocol to connect to websites, but torrents utilize BitTorrent. In this case, a program capable of communicating over BitTorrent is required and the process is as below:

-Open a torrenting program

-Open the Torrent file in order to initiate the download process and save the file to your device.

In this case, the date you are getting via the torrent may not exist on many servers at once, but in most cases, the servers are a standard computer just like yours. You do not need advanced equipment and everyone can participate in this form of file sharing. As a matter of fact, anyone who gets a part of the file can act as a torrent server.

How do Torrents Work? 

The process of torrenting might sound confusing at first, but the idea is quite simple. As earlier mentioned, torrents depend on peer-to-peer networks. This simply means that the file data, whether it is a movie, TV show, game or application can be accessed from multiple servers at once. When you download a file via torrent, you acquire it in bits and pieces from other servers or computers.

For instance, if I make a torrent to share an application I designed, I will enable the torrent and share it on the web. Then many people, including you will download it. In the process, your torrenting program will pick the server to download the file from, depending on the person currently sharing it as well as the servers that host the part of the file you currently require.

In a conventional form of sharing, a 200MB application downloaded by 1000 individuals would consume all my bandwidth, particularly if people request the file simultaneously. Fortunately, torrents get rid of this issue by letting people scrape just a bit of the data from multiple users until they have the entire file.

Once multiple parties have the whole file downloaded, I can then stop sharing the file without limiting access to any other person who might need it. The file will stay available for other torrent users due to the decentralized nature or the P2P BitTorrent foundation.

How are Torrents Distributed? 

When a torrent has been made, it can be shared in two forms, the .torrent file or a magnetic link which is a hash of the torrent. The latter is simply a way to identify a torrent on the network without the need to deal with a .torrent file. It is distinct to that particular torrent, and so, even if the link is a string of characters, it is just as good as having the file.

Torrent files and magnetic links are usually listed on torrent indexes, which are websites designed specifically to share torrents. Also, you can share torrent information through mediums like text, email, dropbox, direct messages, etc.

Given torrent files and magnetic links are simply instructions for a BitTorrent program to comprehend how to obtain the data, they are usually small files that can be shared fast and easily.

Common Terms Used in Torrenting

You may want to become familiar with the following terms if you intend to use torrents:

Seed- this entails sharing a torrent. This number tells you the number of people sharing the full file. No seeders mean nobody can get the whole file.

Peer- this represents the party downloading the file from seeders.

Leechers- These are people who download but don’t contribute to uploading once they are done.

Tracker- This is a server that tracks all connected parties and helps in linking them.

Client- This is the web service or program utilized by a magnet link or torrent file to download or upload files.