Torrenting is used by many people on a daily basis, but few know what it is, how it works, how (or if) it is possible to use it legally, and if there is a possibility of being held in court for a pirated movie or game. in your computer. In this article, we explained what you need to know about torrenting, but didn’t have anyone to ask.
What is Torrent?
Torrent is the file extension compatible with the BitTorrent sharing protocol, a technology created by the company also called BitTorrent, introduced in 2001. It works by creating a P2P network between all users of the protocol, in order to distribute files among all users. from the Web.
It works like this: in a client-server network model, a computer or server is responsible for storing and distributing data on a network, while users, or clients, access it to use the information they are looking for.
Cloud computing is nothing more than the client-server model applied to the internet, where the storage provider acts as the data repository.
In the P2P ( peer-to-peer, or peer-to-peer) model, there is no dedicated server, because all users are also servers. Each of them holds the data of the shared files, and at the same time, they are downloading and keeping the files available to others on the network.
How does torrenting work?
In the BitTorrent protocol, the user who makes the complete file available on the network is the original server (or seed, which is the standard term), and those who start downloading the data are the first clients (or peers ). Over time, peers also begin to send file fragments back to the network, even if the download is not complete.
Once it finishes, the peer automatically becomes another seed, just sending the data back and not downloading anything else. The logic behind BitTorrent is that the more seeds a file have, the more users are making it available, and therefore, the download is faster and more efficient.
To use the torrent you need:
- BitTorrent software on your computer, Android phone or browser ;
- The .torrent file, which contains the data of the content you want to download, or…
- The Magnet link is an alphanumeric string available in some cases.
To download content via torrent, you can use either the .torrent file or the Magnet link, but not both for the same dataset. The difference is that with the Magnet link, you don’t need to download any additional files, and you can even just click on it, if your BitTorrent client is configured to recognize it.
On the other hand, opening a .torrent file allows the user to choose what content he wants to download, which is useful in cases of very large data packets.
Is BitTorrent legal?
Yes, but let’s go by parts.
The BitTorrent protocol was created to facilitate data communication between internal and external networks and is even used by large companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to exchange files between employees in the work environment.
There are several legal ways to use torrenting legally, such as providing Linux distributions, government files for public consultation, copyright-free internet archive data, and sharing academic articles between universities (as long as they are not protected by publication paywalls). ), and much more.
BitTorrent’s big problem, however, is its ease of use, which has allowed it to become a powerful hacking tool. There are numerous websites on the internet (including the Dark Web ), which provide torrent files with protected content of the most diverse, such as movies, series, games, books, music, paid computer programs, and confidential data leaked by hackers… the list is almost endless.
Torrenting is a cool program, but using it to download pirated content is not.