Torrents are so popular amongst everyone who uses the web frequently. But I can tell most of you people don’t know how torrents work. Well not to worry. We can help you with that.
What is Torrent
Torrents are file sharing tools. Your email is a file sharing utility but the file sharing is done between two computers i.e, one computer hosts the file and the other computer downloads it. But in the case of Torrents, the file sharing takes place between multiple computers. In other words, the hosting of a file is done by multiple users and so is the downloading. The Torrent downloading is done using a technology called Peer-to-peer. Torrents can be used to share any type of files over the internet including mp3, exe, avi and jpg files.
A single Torrent file is downloaded by thousands of users around the internet. If you have even a part of that file, then you are a part of that family. All users have small fractions of that file. And all they are doing is sharing the file with each other. This is where your Torrent client comes into play. The Torrent client identifies the users who have the file that you need and the client downloads the files for you. This will become clear to you after we go through some Torrent lingo.
Terms use in Torrents:
1. Torrent: A Torrent is the basis for the download that you are going to perform. A Torrent is not a complete file, it is just like a map that guides the torrent client to the files on the internet and who are the people who are sharing them.
2. Torrent Client: A torrent client is one of the most important parts in this process. The client identifies the torrent file and detects the users who are sharing the file that you require on the internet and downloads the files from those users.
3. Peer: A peer is any user who is participating in the download and upload of a file. If you are downloading a file, then you are one of the peers for that file.
4. Seeder: A seeder is a user who has the complete copy of the file that is being shared across the network.
5. Leecher: A leecher is someone who doesn’t have the complete file but has become a part of the network to download the complete file. That leecher later on becomes a seeder once he has a complete copy of the file.
6. Share Ratio: Share ratio is the ratio of the amount of data shared by a user to the amount of data downloaded by the user. A Share ratio of 1+ has a positive effect on the user’s reputation because it means that the user has shared more than he has received. So, if you want to increase your download speed, remember to keep sharing the files that you download.
7. Swarm: The total sum of the leechers and seeders participating in the entire downloading process is known as a swarm.
8. Tracker: A tracker is like a bridge between the downloader and the uploader. The tracker keeps track of who has the files and who needs the files. So a tracker helps direct the files to the ones who need them.
9. Index: An index is a list of all the torrents and files available on the internet that are displayed on a website.
Is Torrent Legal
Downloading files from Torrents is usually legal. A country’s laws permit users to download the files for personal use unless they are not distributing the files to others. But when it comes to peer-to-peer and torrent downloading, this becomes a bit tricky. As you download a file, you are uploading it as well which means you are a downloader as well as a distributor. So it is recommended that you read the copyright policy of a website before downloading any content from there. All legitimate websites have a copyright policy.
Best Torrent Clients
Now lets get back to the good things. As we discussed a torrent client can be quite important in determining the speed at which your files are downloaded. Some torrent clients download files slower than others. So it is very important in identifying which client is best for you.
It is basically impossible to determine which client is the best amongst the lot for downloading torrent files. The main downloading process depends upon the leechers and seeders who are sharing the files on the web. So, some files will have more seeders and leechers while some will have lesser. And this number will keep on varying from time to time as you can never determine for how long a user chooses to share a file. But some tests performed by experts have revealed some stats and here are some clients that can help download your files quickly:
QBitTorrent is arguably one of the best torrent clients you might find on the internet. The speed and stability of this application make it one of the best at what it does. It even comes with its own search bar which you can use to search for torrents directly from the app. The installation is quick and does not involve any annoying toolbars being installed on your system. The speed at which the files are downloaded are of course dependent on the number of seeders and leechers. But qBitTorrent helps squeeze out the most out of your internet speed to get the maximum speed available.
uTorrent is another client that is neat and good at what it does. Downloads are fast and the interface is stable and easy to use. There are no reported crashes and the app works perfectly on any system configuration. The resource used by the client is low. So RAM and CPU load is less. uTorrent is by far, one of the most popular and widely used torrent clients on the web today. So that gives it an edge when compared to other clients.
Tixati is a fairly new client that has been introduced when compared to older, more established ones like uTorrent and BitComet. But Tixati has impressed a lot with its built in features and stability in terms of functioning. The load on RAM and CPU is slightly higher than that of uTorrent or qBitTorrent. But even then, it does not create any problems when it comes to your computer’s performance. The varied GUI and easy to use interface has made this application quite popular amongst frequent users.
Even the name has the word lite in it. So it is understandable what the creators were focusing on when they made this client. Halite is a lightweight torrent handling utility that performs fast downloads without causing any issues with the system performance. With no addons or any other annoying toolbars being installed in addition to the application, this makes it one of the most popular and most frequently used clients. The client is accepted on most of the torrent websites so the application will download your files quickly without issues.
Last but not the least, we are forced to include this client on our list. BitComet is one of the most popular clients in use today for downloading torrent files. The most unique feature of the application is the increase in the speed as you keep downloading files using the application. You will have to register to the client at first. But as you go on using the application and as your rank keeps on increasing, you will see a substantial increase in your download speeds. The main logic behind this being that the higher your rank on the website, the more are the chances of you accessing the file to download when compared to lower ranked users. So, if your rank is higher, you will be given preference over users having a lower rank. But the main issue with this application is the frequent crash reports that this app has received. But the upside is that they are continuously trying to improve the client and release updates frequently to avoid having such complaints again and again.
Where to Download Torrent Files
There are many websites on the internet from where you can download torrent files. Some of the most popular ones are listed below:
1. Torrentz: This is the most widely used torrent site out there right now. The website will display a list of files available on all other torrent indexing sites. So it’s a one-stop shop for all that you will need.
2. ThePirateBay: With more than 3.5 million users, this site boasts of being the most widely used torrent indexing site after Torrentz. The website also displays little icons showing which files are from VIP users and which ones are from trusted users. This is a sign of quality assurance.
3. Mininova: Mininova is known for its quality in terms of filtering out junk torrents. Mininova is one of the oldest torrent sites out there and has been in use since this whole revolution began.
4. Vertor<: In an attempt to find clean and verified torrents, Vertor does a good job of displaying only the cleanest and verified torrents on its website. This website is recommended for users as it shows snippets of the file that you want to download which removes the aspect of downloading fake torrents.
5. Fenopy: Fenopy is a relatively new torrent indexing site when compared established websites like Mininova or PirateBay. But the website has a unique feature that separates it from the rest. Fenopy displays a list of all the TV shows torrents that are going to be released in that month which will help users to keep track of all their favorite shows and never be a day late in downloading them.
How to Increase Torrent Download Speed
1. Check your ISP:
“Your Internet Service Provider or ISP is where it starts. Check the maximum download and upload speeds allowed by your ISP. Of course, your torrent client will not go beyond the limit set by your ISP. But what you can do is fine tune your upload speeds so that your download speeds are at an optimum. Check the maximum upload speed allowed by your ISP and set your torrent client’s upload speed to about 80% of that alloted speed. This will increase your download speed as well as keep your upload speeds stable and continuous.
2. Windows Firewall Exceptions:
Your Windows Firewall is something that limits your torrent clients speed. Firewalls block incoming data from seeders and leechers that the firewall doesn’t trust. This can reduce your download speed considerably. So, always keep your torrent client in the exceptions section of your Windows Firewall so that it does not interrupt with your downloads. Most torrent clients that are installed these days come with an automatic check ensuring that it is added to the exceptions menu of your Windows firewall before being installed. But if it still hasn’t been done, then go to the Windows Firewall option in the Control Panel in Windows. On the left side panel will be an option “ allow a program through Windows Firewall”. Click on it and check if your client is in that list. If it is not there, add that application to the list.
3. Choose files with healthy seeders to leechers ratio
Choose a torrent file which has a healthy number of seeders and leechers. As discussed earlier, Seeders are those who have the complete copy of the file you are attempting to download and are sharing it on the network. So they will not hinder your download from taking place. But when it comes to leechers, they are also trying to download the same file as well as uploading them. So if a file has more leechers than seeders, then the download will be slow. So it is recommended to check the ratio of seeders to leechers. It is always better to download files which have a higher ratio of seeders than leechers.
4. Choose a different port:
The default port for any Torrent client is anywhere between 6881-6999. ISP’s throttle traffic between these torrent clients as the bandwidth usage is high when it comes to downloading torrent files. It is easy to change the port for a torrent client. Just go to the settings and change the value to anything above 10000. This will help torrent clients to get around ISP’s and also to avoid problems and issues with other applications. Set a specific port by disabling the Randomize port setting.
5. Increase the number of max half open TCP/IP connections:
This figure refers to the number of connections the torrent client is allows to make at one instance. For a Windows XP Service Pack 2 Operating System, this value is limited to 10. This number is too low when it comes to downloading torrent files. A patch has been released by lvllord that will modify the TCP/IP.sys file in Windows to allows the torrent client to connect to more users at any given point in time. This should help increase the download speed to a large extent.
6. Experiment with your protocol encryption settings:
Some ISP’s constrict data coming from P2P connections. Protocol encryption in torrent clients helps to override this issue in most cases. Go to the settings for your torrent client and enable Protocol encryption and check the box next to the “allow incoming legacy connections”. With Protocol encryption enabled, ISP’s find it difficult to trace the connections coming from torrent sites. So this will increase your download speeds. But in some cases, downloads are faster if Protocol encryption is disabled. This happens when the torrent client is trying to connect with someone who has their encryption disabled. But this option allows the ISP to easily detect connections coming from torrent sites. So there is nothing wrong in experimenting with this option.
In the end, it all comes down to the settings and the speed of your internet connection when comparing download speeds. Always download from trusted users and configure your torrent clients to the right settings to squeeze all that you can from the internet connection you have. Any queries and suggestions are always welcome through our comments section.
So this was the ultimate Torrent guide. Hope you liked it. Torrent is interesting topic for those who regularly download stuff from internet. I am sure there are so many other things which are not covered in this article but I tried to collect most useful tips and tricks related to Torrent. If you know any useful tip which is not covered in this article then feel free to mention it in comments.