What are Torrents? How do Torrent Works? A beginner’s guide to BitTorrent

What are Torrents

In this article, we are going to provide the answers to your questions by providing all the information that you need to know regarding torrents.

Torrents are a very popular source of sharing large files, movies, songs, TV series, games and software around the world. It’s a well-known fact that at a time more than 27 million users are active on BitTorrent and you might be one of them. People use it to download content on their phone, laptops and desktop systems from anywhere around the world free of cost. But most of the users are not familiar with what are torrents and how do torrents work. If you are reading this article you might be interested in understanding the torrenting process in detail.

What are torrents? How do torrents work?

Torrent is “Peer to peer” P2P network, it is a complex ad-hoc network in which computers are connected to each other via the internet and there is no central server for file sharing. Each computer acts both as a client and server so the file sharing is done directly between computer systems. A file containing metadata about another file or content that needs to be downloaded is called a torrent. The extension of a torrent file is .torrent and that file is used by Torrent Clients(Utorrent, BitTorrent e.t.c) for downloading the actual content on your PC. When you download a TV Series torrent file, it contains the information necessary for downloading the TV Series that you can watch on your PC.

If you want to download a shared file like a Movie, a book or a software you have to get its .torrent file that will initiate the process to download the huge shared file. Once the .torrent file is downloaded on your PC, the Torrent Client software scans that file and finds the location of its seeders who are sharing that file. Once the location is found the Torrent Client software tries to create a direct connection to any of the available trackers and then starts downloading your desired content. Your file that can be divided among multiple people or a single seeder has that file. It is initially downloaded in small fragments that are then assembled together to create a complete file that is saved on your hard disk.

How does BitTorrent Client work?

BitTorrent clients are the programs that enable file transfer using BitTorrent protocols. Some of the important tasks that are performed by the client are downloading and uploading your files and connecting to other peers. The client also provides statistics about the torrent. When you load a .torrent file into your client, the tracker specified in the .torrent client is contacted. The task of a tracker is to keep track of all the computers that are connected. The IP addresses of all those computers are shared by the tracker with other BitTorrent clients so that they can connect with one another. After the connection has been established, now the BitTorrent client downloads all the data of the file that you have to download in chunks and pieces. The client can begin the uploading process just after it has downloaded some data.

Best Free Torrent Clients That You Can Use

There are many torrent clients that are available online and all of them have their own unique features. Here are best free torrent clients that we are recommending you to use for torrenting.

What is The difference between seeds, peers, and leechers in Torrents’ language?


Seed, Peers, and Leechers are important terms in torrent’s World. We are going to clear the difference between seeds, peers, and leechers in Torrents’ language.

What are Seeds?

A seed is a person who has the complete torrent file that you are downloading and they are seeding (or sharing) that file with other peers (you seeder). If multiple people are uploading the files they are called seeds.

What are Peers?

A peer is a person who is downloading the file in small chunks and pieces, he does not have the complete file. File sharing within a network is done by peers.

What are Leechers?

Leechers are those torrent users who download the actual file but they don’t allow others to download the same file because they disable the uploading of that file. These torrent users are often banned by the trackers, so you should upload the file that you have downloaded.

What are Pieces?

The torrent files that are divided into specific bits or chunks are called pieces. These pieces are distributed among peers in a random fashion.

What are Trackers?

Trackers are servers that are considered as a bridge between peers by directing data packets between peers. They route small chunks of data between both, the downloaders and uploaders. Trackers also ensure the smooth transfer of data between peers.

What are Swarms?

Peers that are involved in downloading and uploading the same content are called swarms.

Is torrenting illegal? i.e Is It Legal To Download Torrents?

Torrents can be considered as both legal and illegal, as the laws vary from country to country. Some countries have strict rules and regulations for torrenting while other countries even don’t have any laws that can be imposed. If you are interested knowing the legal perspective, it states that if you are downloading a game or a TV show without paying for it that is a violation of copyrights. Unfortunately, most of the sites that we use to download torrents provide only pirated content (including games, TV shows, movies, songs or books) to its users. But some torrent sites only provide the content whose legal copyright they have or that is legally purchased content.

So it depends on your country or region like in Switzerland torrenting is considered as legal while in Netherlands and Spain to some extent torrenting is considered as legal. But the majority of the regions or countries consider torrenting as an illegal thing because the content that is downloaded by the users is copyrighted by the owners and there are laws that protect the copyrighted content. Some countries have strict laws to protect their copyrighted content and they even impose strict penalties for copyright infringement.

Torrenting is generally considered as legal by most of the users. In short, that is up to you to check for copyrights on the content you are downloading because at the end you are going to face the penalties. The owners of the torrent websites are not going to face penalties for copyright infringement.

Is it safe to use torrents? What are the risks?

From a downloader’s perspective, torrenting can be considered both safe and unsafe. Some files might be infected with viruses that can be passed on to the to the torrent downloaders. It is also seen that people deliberately spread malware or malicious files for various purposes. Most of the sites usually scan the content for malware, and viruses before uploading it to be available for download. Moreover, torrenting exposes your original IP address that can be traced by the production companies whose copyrighted content is being pirated. They usually hire firms to trace all the IP addresses that are involved using torrents to download their TV shows, movies, and songs. You might face a huge penalty for copyright infringement.

From an uploader’s perspective, you might get caught because your IP address is being exposed to the seeders. So the production companies can easily trace your IP address and file a lawsuit against you or can take appropriate actions in order to prevent further downloading of the files.

Solution For Safe Torrenting

The only solution is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for uploading and downloading torrents. A VPN allows you to change your IP address and uses secure keys protocols and encryption keys to encrypt your web traffic and hide your true identity. You can use ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access to hide your identity.

We have covered almost everything in this article that you wanted to know about torrenting, starting from the basics: What are Torrents? how do torrents work? is it safe to use torrents or not? We have also shared about how to perform safe torrenting using VPN. If you are using any other torrent client that we missed out on the list please let us know in the comments section below.

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