This small FAQ explains some of the questions rised by BitTorrent -- the P2P content distribution system.
What is bittorrent?
Bittorrent is a content distribution system that distributes the downloads among peer downloaders.
In essence, when you're downloading with Bittorrent, you are simultaneously uploading the same file to other downloaders.
If you remember Hotlink or Usenet, it was based on connecting to a server that had the file.
With bittorrent, the server coordinates the clients so that they can download in a p2p style similar to Napster, or Kazaa, but not completely...
Why should I ALWAYS "seed" files?
To say it in the easiest, most understandable way possible, someone or something has to have the file first in order for you to be able to get it.
When you use bittorrent, you download, or rather - leech - from a seeder, a person who has the file already and is uploading it to you.
In order for you to finish a file, there needs to be seeds in place with the original file, otherwise, you may not complete the torrent.
A good example on how be a good seeder goes as follows:
- Say you have a file thats 20MB.
- If you upload exactly 20MB, you have seeded exactly as much as you have leeched, which is fair game in any situation.
- You should aim for this 'ratio system' each time you download a file. Otherwise...there wont be a file there for very long.
- Private trackers especially require of this - otherwise the user may be banned for not sharing as much as theyve taken.
- Its considered a hit-and-run when someone intends on not seeding, only a real douchebag would do something like this.
What do some some of these funny terms mean?
: A file that holds "meta-info" about the files in question.
: Technical term for the overall .torrent protocol.
: A person who has the file already, aka the uploader.
: A person who is trying to get the file, aka the downloader.
: The computer/server that is coordinating the seeders + leechers.
Whats a register/private tracker?
A private tracker is a torrent tracker that allows for only members to leech their files.
This ensures that there are LOTS of seeds, but sometimes these trackers are INVITE ONLY! We label these trackers with that little icon.
Whats this plus sign looking thing?
This little icon means that the content is expandable, as well as contractable.
It is "wired" with ajax, so its quick and executes very nicely as well.
Whats this magnet/DHT thing?
is the only current program that supports the 'magnet' feature.
When you open a magnet, it connects to the Azureus DHT network and downloads the torrent from another user instead of from us.
When theres no users to grab the torrent from, then obviously the file isnt floating around anymore.
A DHT string is generally the same thing, and is compatible with a few clients (those that have a built in DHT network, such as Azurues or uTorrent).
How do I make my own torrents?
Serving files over BitTorrent is a bit more complicated, and won't be covered here.
In essence you need a tracker (ie: http://tracker.prq.to/announce)
to announce the torrent, and a web server
such as our website to host the .torrent file itself.
Read more here
if you are interested in learning how to create your own torrents.