Know what your Torrent client says

qBittorrent Client

Torrents are the best source to download anything and everything shared online. And the client mostly used for such purposes is BitTorrent (or its derivations). But do you know the terms it uses to describe various data related to the torrent file..? Well these terms I present with their meanings:

Torrent: A torrent means the .torrent metadata file which contains data about all the files it makes downloadable, like their names and sizes. It also contains the address of a tracker that coordinates communication between the peers in a swarm.

Tracker: A tracker is a server alotted to any client which keeps track of the seeds and peers in the swarm. A tracker assigns information about different clients from where data could be downloaded. It does not store a copy of data or help in data transfer.

Peer: A peer represents a BitTorrent client running on some other computer from where other clients can connect and transfer data. It refers to a downloader, a client with only parts of the file.

Swarm: All peers and seeds are collectively known as swarm. This is a holdover from the predecessor to BitTorrent, the program Swarmcast.

Seed: A seed is a kind of peer which possess some parts of data. A peer becomes a seed when it starts uploading the already downloaded data for other peers to download from. Seeding refers to the process of leaving a peer’s connection available for other peers to download from. If possible, one should seed more data than download.

Client: Client is a program that enables p2p file sharing via BitTorrent protocol. (eg. utorrent and qBittorrent).

Downloader: A downloader is a peer that does not have the entire file and is downloading the file. A downloader also upload simultaneously thus differing from leeches.

p2p: Stands for ‘peer to peer’. It is the technology used for torrent file sharing among computers over the net. In such a network, each node (i.e. the computer connected) act as both a client and a server simultaneously.

Leech: A leech refers to a downloader with very poor share ratio. They download much more than what they upload thus causing a negative effect on the swarm. Leeches may be on asymmetric Internet connections or intentionally limit the uploading process to bare minimums.

Lurker: A lurker is a user that only downloades files from the group, but does not add new content. It seeds the downloaded data but does not add anything new.

Magnet Link: Magnet links use a mechanism different from a .torrent metafile which can be used to identify a set of files for BitTotternt based on content, as opposed to referencing any particular tracker.

Health: Health of a .torrent file shows whether all pieces are available to download. A 50% health means only half of the torrent is available. It has nothing to do with viruses or infections.

For a larger collection of such terms I advise to look here.


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