What is Torrenting? How does it work?

Torrenting is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing system. Peers are connected to each other via torrent client which makes it possible to share files directly without the need of a central server.

Torrent downloads allow you to download a file from a group of users while direct downloads allow you to download it from a single source, therefore most of the time torrenting is faster than direct downloads.

Is torrenting legal?

Using a torrent client and downloading torrents is not illegal as long as you don’t download material that is protected by copyright.

Torrent terminology

Torrent
Torrent is a file type which contains the metadata about the source file such as size, name and the folder structure. It also contains a list of trackers. It usually comes with .torrent extension and a Torrent client is needed to open this file.

Torrent Client
This software is used to run the torrent file. You can create, download or share torrents using these clients. Without a client you can’t partake in the P2P protocol.

There are many clients to choose from, our favorites include:

Tracker A tracker is a special type of server that assists in the communication between peers using the protocol. In other words, it helps us connect to the source where the file can be found.

Magnet link
A magnet link is a link that contains all the information needed to start downloading the files from peers directly without the need of tracker.

Peer
Peers are the people who are also downloading the file and have not completely downloaded the file yet. They may have portions of the file or none at all. When they have downloaded portions of a file, these portions instantly become available
to other users in the swarm thus increasing the speed of the torrent.

Seed
A seed is any computer that has the full file, and is sharing it with other users in the platform. Once you have finished downloading a file, the client starts seeding automatically unless you stop or pause it.

Swarm
All peers that are sharing a torrent file are called a swarm.