What are torrents? Torrents are just a method to distribute files. Now to understand WTH is seeders and leechers , first let’s have a look at a simpler approach to sharing files?-?Hyper Text Transfer Protocol i.e. HTTP. HTTP is used when you download files from a website using your web browser, or something like Internet Download Manager. (For example, when you download some Software, or drivers from manufacturer’s website, it’s usually done via HTTP).
How HTTP works is fairly simple. Let’s say Jetbrains would like to distribute a 30-day latest trial version of WebStorm. They purchase a personal computer, hook it up to the net, place a duplicate in the WebStorm image on its hard drive, and configure some software (like Apache web server) to enable people to download the photo.
Whenever a user would like to download the picture, he sends a request to Jetbrains’ web server. The internet server starts replying using the WebStorm’s image data as fast as the Internet link between the two of you permits.
When the image will be transferred involving the two (server and user), two things are happening simultaneously?-?upload from the image through the server, and download of image to the user’s device. (You can consider upload process as being a person speaking on the phone, and download process as a person on the other end taking notes).
It is a relatively easy and convenient approach to file sharing. However it has some drawbacks as:
Someone needs to set up a server and purchase an extremely fast Internet access. If the server’s Internet access is 500 kb/s?-?either one client can download at 500 kb/s, or if perhaps two clients are downloading, the rate will be divided one of them?-?and each of them can get 250 kb/s.
If one of many clients has a slow Internet- let’s say capped at 50 kb/s, one other client can download at 450 kb/s.
On the other hand, if 15 clients with fast Internet connections are downloading, none of them will get a speed of more than 33 kb/s (500/15). Suffice it to state, Jetbrains’ servers possess a fast Internet connection.
It’s vulnerable and easy to block. In the event you don’t want your users to download Webstorm images, you just have to block Jetbrains’ sites. I can’t think of why non-programmers would want to block Webstorm’s image downloads, however in case of censored content (like Government crimes), or illegal content (like pirated movies), or both (NSA leaks), we can see why the federal government would like to block it.
Now let’s see how torrents solve these complications: Let’s say you are a person with accessibility evidence of government crime (1GB of files). You made an effort to host it online, however the government blocked it. You want to share it using the rest of the world.
What you do is? You develop a torrent of the file! A torrent is actually a very small file containing information on the files (names, file sizes, MD5 hashes etc.) which can be shared using that torrent file. You can create it easily using your torrent client (uTorrent, Azureus, Transmission etc). You might also need to add tracker details for the torrent file. A tracker is a server whose job is to distribute peer lists to new peers.
You host this tiny torrent file on some torrent sharing website. People who want to download your government crime proofs can proceed to the torrent website and download the torrent for it.
Then they tell their Mac Torrents to download the files described within the torrent. Since there is no server (like Jetbrains’ server for Webstorm’s image) to download the torrent, using their torrent, client talks for the tracker explained as:
Your torrent client goes toward each of the individuals this list so obtained, and asks them should they be thinking about sharing the files. Let’s say out from the 48 people in a list, 4 say they have got File 1, 3 say they have File 2, and 6 say they have both files. 9 say that they don’t possess files, but would like to download any files you have. The rest may or may not respond.
So that you start downloading File 1 from those 4 6 people who have it, and File 2 from all of those 3 6 those who have it. Since you’re downloading the file, they may be uploading it on the other end in the web connection. Now since you downloaded it and used other people’s internet (along with your very own), it really is your moral responsibility to enable others to download it from you.
Thus a torrent is a group of (100s or 1000s or more) people collaborating and giving the other person items of the file until everybody has a duplicate of the entire file. It starts off with the one who created the torrent simply uploading it until many individuals download, and they upload it in turn and also the torrent spreads.
So if the file is 1GB in dimensions, the creator needs to upload a minimum of 1GB because of it to spread. Ideally, he’d upload about 3-4GB, and that gives him 3-4 more friends, who’ll help spread it further.
This is why your torrent client is both downloading and uploading the torrent file. Downloading it?-?so you can use, and uploading it so that others can also access the file.
Benefits of torrents: Central servers (i.e. the website that you upload the torrent, as well as the tracker) don’t must share a lot of data. Both torrent files and peer lists are extremely small in size, hence qoflgk servers don’t cost so much to set up and keep. Difficult to block?-?since no central server is active in the actual distribution and sharing in the files, it is sometimes complicated to bar given its distributed nature.
Thus you may realize why uploading (seeding) is so vital that you the idea of torrents. It is possible to download only because another person was uploading it to suit your needs. A torrent dies quickly if people refuse to upload. It may also happen that no one wants to download the torrent any more, and people who are able to upload don’t find any takers, and as time passes they give up and quit uploading that specific torrent.