FAQ

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What is BitTorrent ?

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (or P2P) protocol widely used to distribute large files. A way for file distribution in the internet when a user's computer simultaneously downloads chunks of the same file from many different computers.
One analogy to describe this process might be to visualize a group of people sitting at a table. Each person at the table can both talk and listen to any other person at the table. These people are each trying to get a complete copy of a book. Person A announces that he has pages 1-10, 23, 42-50, and 75. Persons C, D, and E are each missing some of those pages that A has, and so they coordinate such that A gives them each copies of the pages he has that they are missing.

Get The BitTorrent client?

What is .torrent file ?

This is a small metadata file. Metadata here means that the file contains information about the data you want to download, not the data itself. The .torrent file is needed to connect to the tracker and download the actual data.

What is a torrent tracker?

A server on the Internet that acts to coordinate the action of BitTorrent clients. When you open a torrent, your machine contacts the tracker and asks for a list of peers to contact. Periodically throughout the transfer, your machine will check in with the tracker, telling it how much you've downloaded and uploaded, how much you have left before finishing, and the state you're in (starting, finished download, stopping.) If a tracker is down and you try to open a torrent, you will be unable to connect. If a tracker goes down during a torrent (i.e., you have already connected at some point and are already talking to peers), you will be able to continue transferring with those peers, but no new peers will be able to contact you. Often tracker errors are temporary, so the best thing to do is just wait and leave the client open to continue trying.

What kind of files are all .rar, .r01, .r02?

These files are RAR archives. You need to install WinRAR or 7-Zip to extract the data of the files.

Is downloading torrent files illegal?

Taking into account the fact that torrent files are not copyrighted, it is not considered a crime. But it is to be noted that when you open a torrent file in your BitTorrent client the process of downloading copyrighted content may start automatically.
In some countries with some types of content it may be illegal. Please, mind special restrictions of different countries in order not to have problems with law. In any case, to save yourself it is better to avoid downloading any copyrighted content.

What are seeders?

A seeder is such a client which has a complete copy of the data of a certain torrent. When BitTorrent client finishes the process of downloading, it remains open till you click the Finish button. This is called a seed or seeding.

What are peers?

A peer is another computer on the internet that you connect to and transfer data. Generally a peer does not have the complete file, otherwise it would be called a seeder. Some people also refer to peers as leeches, to distinguish them from those generous folks who have completed their download and continue to leave the client running and act as a seeder.

What are leeches?

A leech is such a client which is currently downloading the data of a torrent. If a leech had the complete file, it would be called a seeder.

What's downloading?

Receiving data FROM another computer.

What's uploading?

Sending data TO another computer.

What's share rating?

If you are using the experimental client with the stats-patch, you will see a share rating displayed on the GUI panel. This is simply the ratio of your amount uploaded divided by your amount downloaded. The amounts used are for the current session only, not over the history of the file. If you achieve a share ratio of 1.0, that would mean you've uploaded as much as you've downloaded. The higher the number, the more you have contributed.
If you see a share ratio of "0", this means infinity, which will happen if you open a BT client with a complete file (i.e., you seeder the file.) In this case you download nothing since you have the full file, and so anything you send will cause the ratio to reach infinity. Note: The share rating is just a number that is displayed for your convenience. It does not directly affect any aspect of the client at all. In general, out of courtesy to others you should strive to keep this ratio as high as possible, of course.

What if I stop a download? Can I resume?

BitTorrent fully supports stopping and later resuming a partial download. You don't have to do anything special. If you cancel a download before it's finished, the partial download remains on your hard drive. To resume the transfer, just click on the same torrent link again and when asked where to save the file, select the same location as last time. BitTorrent will see that the file exists and check it to see how much has already been downloaded. It will then pick up where it left off the last time. See also the section regarding file size.
Note: To resume properly, you must make the same selection when prompted as you made the first time. For torrents consisting of a single file, this is rather straight-forward: simply select the file. However, torrents that consist of a folder of multiple files can be a bit more confusing. To resume, you must select the folder that contains the BitTorrent folder.

Can I improve the speed of downloading?

The speed of downloading depends on the leech ratio (SLR). Poor download speed is mainly a problem with new and very popular torrents where the SLR is low.
However, you may try to do something to improve your speed:
First of all, do not do it if you have a slow connection. The best speeds will be found around the half-life of a torrent, when the SLR will be at its highest. (The downside is that you will not be able to seeder so much. It's up to you to balance the pros and cons of this). Just give it some time.
As explained above peers favour other peers that upload to them. When you start leeching a new torrent you have nothing to offer to other peers and they will tend to ignore you. This makes the starts slow, in particular if, by change, the peers you are connected to include few or no seederers. The download speed should increase as soon as you have some pieces to share.

What is seeding? Why should I seed?

First, you may want to review the answers to the question on terminology. A seeder is a client which has a complete file. Seeding is the process of connecting to a torrent when you have a complete file. There are two ways to do this:

It's generally considered a good idea to leave your client open as long as possible, since it helps other users. Some communities have guidelines on when it's permissible to disconnect, typically after the ratio of bytes received to bytes sent reaches 1:1, or 24 hours after the download completes. Please be nice, and do what you can to contribute to other users.