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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.
Other Guides:

  • The official BitTorrent web site (http://www.bittorrent.com/)
  • Brian's BitTorrent FAQ and Guide (http://dessent.net/btfaq/)
  • The Wikipedia BitTorrent page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent)

Get The BitTorrent client?

  • uTorrent - a lightweight and easy-to-use client (http://www.utorrent.com/)
  • The official BitTorrent client (http://www.bittorrent.com)
  • Azureus - a more advanced BitTorrent client (http://azureus.sourceforge.net/)
  • BitComet - a user-friendly BitTorrent client (http://www.bitcomet.com/)
  • Transmission - Native Mac, GTK+ and Qt GUI clients (http://www.transmissionbt.com/)
  • Overview of more BitTorrent clients (http://www.zeropaid.com/software/file-sharing/bittorrent/)

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 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?

This is a service that assists in the communication between BitTorrent clients. When you open a torrent file, your machine contacts the tracker and asks for a list of seeds and leeches to connect to.

What are seeds?

A seed 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 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 seed.

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.

What's about ratio value?

You need to distinguish between overall ratio and the individual ratio. The overall ratio takes into account the total uploaded and downloaded from your account since you joined the site. The individual ratio takes into account those values for each torrent.

You might have seen two symbols of a number : "Inf.". This is just an abbreviation for Infinity, and means that you have downloaded 0 bytes while uploading a non-zero amount (ul/dl becomes infinity); "---", which should be read as "non-available", and shows up when you have both downloaded and uploaded 0 bytes (ul/dl = 0/0 which is an indeterminate amount).

Why do sometimes downloads stuck at 99%?

The more pieces you have, the harder it becomes to find peers who have pieces you are missing. That is the reason for the downloading slowing down or even stalling when there are just a few percent remaining. Be patient and you will get the remaining pieces.

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 seed 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 seeders. The download speed should increase as soon as you have some pieces to share.