If you have downloaded large files like Movies, TV Series, and Games before, without paying, then you probably have used BitTorrent.
If you do not know about BitTorrent and for the first time you are listening, then don’t worry, you will get to know about everything in this article.
The internet speed in the early 2000s was very slow compared to nowadays. The size of the files was also increasing rapidly, and transferring those large files over the internet was the biggest issue.
An American programmer Bram Cohen, a University at Buffalo alumni, designed a protocol to overcome that issue. And the protocol is called BitTorrent.
What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent is a decentralized, peer-to-peer file transfer protocol that enables users to share files, Data over the Internet. It is one of the most preferred protocols used to share large files like Movies, TV Series, Musics, Video Games, etc.
Why is it Required?
As our technology improves, the size of the files to store the information also increases. As you know, the minimum size of a Full HD movie is greater than 2GB. If a person wants to download that movie from a centralized server(where the website is Hosted), it will take so much time and Bandwidth to download.
And if many people will download that file at a time, then there is a probability of getting that server crashed. So, in that case, we can use BitTorrent.
How BitTorrent Works?
Let me describe by giving you an example.
let’s say you have a large file that you want to share with the public. You normally can use HTTP(HyperText Transfer Protocol) or FTP(File Transfer Protocol). But if you are using these two methods then you have to use a centralized server, which may go down if more requests are coming simultaneously. So these methods are not feasible to transfer large files.
The BitTorrent protocol is used to reduce the servers and network congestion for distributing large files. Rather than downloading a file from a single server, the BitTorrent protocol allows users to join a network or “swarm” of hosts to upload to or download from each other simultaneously.
When BitTorrent client was first released, it had no search engine built into it and no peer exchange, so users who wanted to upload a file had to create a small .torrent descriptor file that they would upload to a torrent index site(Like The pirate Bay ). The first uploader acted as a seed, and downloaders would initially connect as peers (see diagram below ).
Those who wish to download the file would download the .torrent file which their client would use to connect to the trackers which had a list of the IP addresses of other seeds and peers in the network or swarm. Once a peer completed a download of the complete file, it could in turn function as a seed.
What is a Torrent File?
In the BitTorrent file distribution system, a torrent file or meta-info file is a computer file that contains metadata about files and folders to be distributed.
And it usually also a list of the network locations of trackers, which are computers that help participants in the system find each other and form efficient distribution groups called swarms.
A torrent file does not contain the content to be distributed, it only contains information about those files, such as their names, folder structure, and sizes obtained via cryptographic hash values for verifying file integrity. The term torrent may refer either to the metadata file or to the files downloaded, depending on the context.
All people engaged in the activity of sharing the torrent are called peers.
The people who are uploading are called seeders.
The people who are downloading are called leechers.
How to use BitTorrent To Download and Upload files?
Inorder to use BitTorrent you need a BitTorrent client.
Some of the best BitTorrent clients are…..
Is it Safe?
Torrenting should be used with caution.
Torrent is safe to use if there is no virus present in the files.
But some time hackers exploit those contents by uploading viruses.
As torrent is a peer-to-peer network, IP addresses of computers connected in the network or swarm can be visible to everyone on the network.
So it is recommended to use a VPN(Virtual Private Network) while torrenting.
Is Torrenting Legal?
BitTorrent is a legitimate file transfer protocol. It is legal as long as the files can be uploaded and downloaded legally.
The reputation of BitTorrent is very bad because this platform is used to share copyrighted material like Movies, TV Series, Musics, snd Games, etc.
Sometimes ISP(Internet Service Providers) Block those websites or IP addresses that try to upload or download copyrighted materials. That’s why It is recommended to use a VPN while Torrenting.