What is BitTorrent and torrent files?

In this page is gathered the main information of frequently asked questions about the BitTorrent protocol and its files – torrents, to give insight and support of how to use them.


Frequently asked questions:

Find your interested answer to question about torrents.

Biežāk uzdotie jautājumi par torrentiem

What is BitTorrent?

BitTorrent is a file exchange system or file spreading protocol. This protocol was developed in order to spread unlimited amount of data for a great number of people, notwithstanding the power of the server and internet connection’s speed restrictions. After several researches, BitTorrent network’s downloadable files-torrents make 1/3 of all internet’s data streams.


What’s the principle of torrents’ exchange?

At first, a description of the file is to be transferred or torrent file is created. All the data is to be transferred, like games, movies, and music, is split in certain size several smaller parts where for each part exchangeable data size is calculated. Bigger files are split into bigger parts to reduce the size of the torrent, but smaller files can be split into smaller parts. Metadata (or .torrent file) file contains all to be transferred files parts’ information. Torrent file also contains to be transferred file’s title and tracker’s address. For all the users who download or upload in torrent file’s described data, this file has to be available on the used computer. These files are usually distributed by corresponding trackers’ websites.

Before starting to download the torrent, user connects to the tracker and from it he obtains all the other users’, who need the necessary file or its parts, IP addresses. After that, clients already join others and exchange with missing torrents’ file parts without tracker’s participation.


Is it safe to download torrents?

There are various BitTorrent network’s trackers. In some, in order to start to use them, you have to register. In this case, probability of downloading fake or virus-containing files is relatively low since most of the files’ suppliers are checked individually by the administration. However, torrent sites without registration are more popular. In this case, it is recommended to check the files with the antivirus program before using them.


What are the requirements for downloading torrents?

To start using the BitTorrent file exchange protocol, 3 things are required:

  1. Constant internet connection,
  2. Place or torrent tracker’s website where to search for the newest movies, cartoons, music, games, etc.,
  3. BitTorrent client – program that is capable of processing files with .torrent extension.

Which BitTorrent client to choose?

BitTorrent client is a program that has to be set up on user’s computer to be able to operate on the BitTorrent network. There are several programs, each of them in slightly different, but the principle of downloading the torrents remains the same. These are some of the most popular BitTorrent programs: uTorrent, BitTorrent, BitComet.


I have decided to try downloading the torrent, what should I do?

In order to begin operate on the BitTorrent network, you have to install one of BitTorrent programs and you have to start browsing for one of world’s best torrent sites which offer torrent files. When the preferred file is found, the corresponding .torrent file has to be saved on the hard disk and opened by the BitTorrent client. There you have to choose the folder in which you want to save the new movie or other file, and press on the button “OK” or “Start”, depending on the client. At this moment, the torrent has started downloading.


Where to search for the newest movies, music, games, and other files?

First of all, the content of most of the freely available torrent files are related to copyright infringements, therefore, you have to understand that you are taking a risk since further use or distribution of these files can cause unpleasant surprises or consequences. Secondly, newest music and movie torrents can be found on various websites and by using the Google search, as well. In many of the torrent trackers’ sites you have to register to download torrents; that’s necessary to control how many (megabytes and gigabytes) certain user has downloaded and how many - uploaded. If this ratio is too low, then the user’s account can be forbidden of obtaining new files until the situation improves.


What are seeders and leechers?

These are BitTorrent related designations in English. Seeders stand for the users that already have the entire file and that can let others download this file from them in pieces. At first, for each .torrent file is only one seeder (the one who offers this file for the others) but gradually everyone who have downloaded the corresponding file, become the seeders. Leechers are all the rest – they who are downloading the corresponding file, but have not finished, yet.


What is Up/Down ratio?

This is your megabytes’ ratio among uploaded and downloaded torrents. Ideally, this ratio is above 1, namely you have uploaded more than downloaded.


I want to download a movie but I can’t find it anywhere. What should I do?

For movie that can’t be found, could be several reasons: movie is too old and on torrents it’s not requested, either it’s available with small amount of “seeders”, or the movie is too new and not yet available in digital format, therefore, nobody is sharing it, yet. The only way how to get your desired movie is to continue to search in different global torrent trackers’ sites.


What options do BitTorrent clients offer?

Different clients offer different options, but almost in all of them can be seen all the open torrents. Usually, for each torrent corresponds one line where can be seen the file’s title, size, how many times it’s downloaded, how many times others have downloaded it from you, how many seeders this torrent has, etc. Also, there are buttons which can stop the torrent, pause it, start it (if it was stopped), delete it or look at the torrent’s information, and indicate the priority (high, medium or low). For each torrent, you can also limit the upload and download speed.


Can I set a slow upload speed limit, so nobody can download anything from me?

Yes, but that’s not conventional because if everybody would do like that, torrents’ network couldn’t exist.