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A Much-Needed Glossary for ‘Torrent Freaks’

This article will focus on torrents and their usage in downloading files. Find the complete details below.

Torrent is one such word that’s hugely popular across the web and most of us very well know why we need it but ironically, it is among those words in the tech glossary, that the general public feels most perplexed about.

Users know what the core purpose of a torrent but they hardly have any idea about its actual meaning and fundamental concept behind it. Surrounding the word torrent, there are several other words being regularly used but the literal meaning is not yet clear.

This write-up sheds light over the most common keywords used in torrent world but hardly known in the literal sense. Let’s get started !

What is a torrent ?

A small file that carries the necessary information, required by the BitTorrent Client, for downloading the desired file. Torrent files are generally obtained from a torrent indexing website, dedicated for the purpose of indexing torrent files.

Torrent Indexers do not host or generate the content being shared. They merely index the torrents, which enables BitTorrent Client download the content being referred by the torrent.

What is BitTorrent ?

A peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, which was developed by Bram Cohen back in 2001 and is now maintained by BitTorrent Inc. BitTorrent was developed for the purpose of providing end users with a pathway to transfer and share large sized files on the Internet in a decentralized manner.

BitTorrent, also known as Peer-to-Peer protocol, doesn’t follow the conventional Client-Server file hosting mechanism but actually distributes the responsibility of hosting and sharing files across all the connected peers(network nodes). Such a distributed mechanism reduces the dependency and network load on any single machine and helps distributing large sized files without any infrastructural need.

What is a BitTorrent Tracker ?

BitTorrent Trackers are servers that provide assistance in the inter-communication between peers, whenever data download through a torrent initiates and periodical communication during the downloading process as well. As more and more peers(leechers) download the data sections of the file from the original source, these peers start behaving like sources(seeders) for other leechers. Hence, regular communication with Torrent trackers ensures that newly added seeders are also utilized by the leechers.

What is a Torrent Indexer ?

Torrents indexers are websites that work as search engines for torrents. They keep looking around for newly created torrents and index them on their site, to get found easily by the end users. Again, similar to Torrent trackers, Indexers do not participate in generating the content being shared via BitTorrent. They merely play their part in P2P networking by providing an easy-to-access aggregated torrent resource.

What is a BitTorrent Client ?

Just like we need a desktop application(web browser) to access internet using http protocol, we need a desktop application to download and share data using BitTorrent protocol. This desktop application is known as BitTorrent Client.

What is P2P ?

P2P or Peer to Peer is referred to the networking configuration used in BitTorrent protocol, to enable distributed data hosting and sharing across multiple peers. Just like we have a Client-server configuration for data hosting and sharing via http protocol, there is Peer-to-peer configuration for BitTorrent protocol.

Here you will find some of the most popular torrent trackers on the web.

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