How Does Torrenting Work? Learn The Basics In 10 Minutes!

Last updated: August 9, 2021

For the post-2010s world, torrenting may come off as a historic term. However, a huge number of torrent users still exist today, most of them are those who either cannot afford streaming services such as Netflix or just those who prefer it for P2P file sharing.

Nevertheless, many still fail to understand the term and all the technicalities associated with it. For their ease, the article lists down some of the specifics, some technicalities, and some easier ways of torrenting.

What is Torrenting? How Does Torrenting Work?

A Torrent is a very small file, measuring no more than a few bytes (kilobytes at the very most) containing metadata for the files that you wish to download. They themselves do not contain the actual file whether it is a movie, song or software, etc.

Torrent is often mixed with the term ‘BitTorrent’, which is a file transfer protocol not torrent itself. It powers torrents by breaking the large file into small pieces and reconnecting those pieces into large files for storing in your computer.

Understanding the basics of torrenting 

Next up, how does torrenting work? To understand this, we need to get familiar with a few terms, which include:

  • P2P Network; a network of two or more computers, connecting for sharing resources. This is different from a local server and can be considered as an ad hoc network instead.
  • Peers; users involved in downloading and uploading the files in a file-sharing (P2P) network. They have bits and pieces of the files and not the complete files themselves.
  • Seeders; users who have downloaded the complete files on their computer (or mobile). By seeding files, it means that other users are taking bits of data from the seeder.
  • Leechers; users downloading the file but not allowing other users to download the files from them, unlike with seeders.
  • Indexers; the torrent sites where you can browse for all sorts of media you wish to torrent.
  • Trackers; bridges between members or ‘peers’ of a P2P network. In actuality, they are URLs and assisting in the file transfer by routing small bits of data.
  • BitTorrent clients; specialized applications for downloading and using torrents.

Now that we have discussed the relevant terms, it is time to understand the working of torrents.

When you torrent a file, you transfer a file over a P2P network. The files, which are transferred in tiny bits, go through a verification process before their download marks completion and you receive them on your computer.

The files are entirely present with one person or the ‘Seeder’ or they can be present in the form of bits and pieces among several people. If you had the question ‘ how does BitTorrent work?’ this is where BitTorrent clients come in and help in file transfer by acting as a bridge between the network.

If you understand browsing on the internet then learning to torrent is no hectic task either. The actual effort goes in understanding the right type of sites to browse from.

Some of the most trusted and commonly used websites are:

  • PirateBay
  • Kickass Torrents
  • LimeTorrents
  • to
  • BG
  • eu

Next up, how do torrenting sites work? All torrent sites tend to come with their own search bars with the relevant filters. You can choose to download music torrent or a movie for a particular keyword. To avoid getting lost in irrelevant search results, it is best to choose a filter. While we are on the subject, many torrent sites are repositories for adult and 18+ content too. You can avoid getting them in your results too by choosing your filter.

How to start torrenting? Learn in 5 easy steps!

  • Step 1: Download and install any trusted torrent client

BitTorrent and uTorrent are the most trusted torrent clients among the 5 best torrent clients list. Research before downloading as some tend to come with adware and malware too.

  • Step 2: Download and install any VPN

This is an optional step, depending on your usage and geographical region. Many countries do not now allow browsing on torrent sites. Moreover, you may not find it comfortable sharing your identity with any trackers during the torrenting process. You can get free access to VPNs for torrenting safely.

  • Step 3: Go on any trusted torrent site

Emphasis on ‘trusted torrent’ sites as again, you can end up with lots of adware and malware on your device. Most sites tend to have distracting ads so make sure not to click on them instead.

  • Step 4: Search for the content you want to download

As listed previously, choose the relevant filters and search for the content you want to download.

  • Step 5: Download the file directly or via magnet link

Depending on your convenience, download the torrent file and open it via your installed torrent client, or, click on the magnet link (literally shaped like a magnet) to start the download. In both cases, the torrent client will open and ask you where you want to save the file.

There is more to the world of torrenting. Hereinbelow you will find the answers to some commonly asked questions, with regards to the world of torrenting.

  • Is torrenting safe? Is it legal to download through torrents?

Torrenting is considered an unethical practice since it deprives the creator (of the file) of their share of the profit. However, a large populace worldwide is involved in torrenting, which has made it a harmless practice. It is best to check with the laws of your country like laws of torrenting in Germany is strict, as some come with restrictions and severe penalties for torrenting.

  • How does VPN torrenting work?

A VPN will encrypt all your traffic so that your internet service provider (ISP) or anyone cannot monitor your activity. This is useful for keeping your identity safe and not letting anyone know if you are torrenting. For torrenting always use reliable and secure VPNs like ExpressVPNSurfsharkVPN, NordVPN,  WindscribeVPN, etc. for safe downloading.

  • What is the difference between Torrenting and downloading?

Downloading does not involve the installation of a client application and instead involves direct download. For torrenting, you need a torrent client and can only download from trusted torrent sites.

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