What Is BitTorrent – And How Do Torrents Work?

Bittorrent Vs Utorrent
Bittorrent Vs Utorrent

As some of you might know that bittorrent covers 12% of total Internet traffic in North America and the Asia-Pacific region it covers 36% of total traffic.

To understand it simply, the BitTorrent protocol is the world’s largest Peer-to-Peer file sharing protocol on the internet. To understand the working of BitTorrent, let us see what a peer-to-peer network is and how it helps BitTorrent clients.

P2P is the abbreviation of Peer-To-Peer. It is a communication mode and network setup that allows every system connected to the network to start communication sessions and share files in the network.

Unlike conventional client/server networks where the client system always starts the communication with the server by sending a request and the server responds. However, in the P2P network, all the systems have equal privileges.

BitTorrent may be famous for the method of piracy of movies, games, and other software, however, the BitTorrent is not just for piracy. It is quite a useful, decentralized peer-to-peer network with particular advantages over other network protocols on the internet.

In this article, we will help you to understand how the BitTorrent network works and why it’s not just a piracy tool.

Bittorrent Search
Bittorrent Search

How The Bittorrent Network Works?

Whenever you download something from a website your computer will connect to some web server somewhere in the world and it will download the file directly from that particular server. Each PC that is downloading some data is downloading it from that website’s main server. This is how the internet works and most of the traffic on the web flows.

Typically, when a computer joins a BitTorrent network by getting a torrent file in the torrent client. The torrent creates contact with the “tracker” that is specified in the torrent file for tracking the torrent download. The tracker is essentially a server that records the track of every connected computer to the server.

Once the computer is connected to a bittorrent server, the torrent client starts to download small bits of the torrent file in tiny pieces. Once the client has downloaded some data, it will start to upload that data to other clients connected to the network. In this way, everyone downloading a torrent is also uploading the same torrent. This process speeds up the download. For instance, If 1000 people are trying to download the same thing, it doesn’t create stress or speed distribution for the central server. Instead, in the torrent setup, each client who is downloading the file is contributing to others with his/her upload speed.

Seeders In Torrent:

As stated earlier that torrent is a peer-to-peer setup and every computer has equal privileges as they are not the downloaders but also the uploaders. The original downloader works as a peer with the entire file to contribute the download. It is the duty of the seeder that it must keep uploading the file until the copy of the file has not been completely distributed among other downloaders. So long, there is a copy present among the peers collectively the download will continue for everyone.

Leechers In Torrent:

Simply put, leechers are the new downloaders of that file. The peers or the systems that do not have the complete copy of the particular file are known as leechers. The way torrent works for Leechers is that the downloader or leecher will get a complete list of trackers that the leecher requires for download. The leecher downloads all the required pieces from the peers. A leecher can upload the pieces that have been downloaded to the remaining peers. If Leecher has downloaded all the pieces of the file then it becomes the seeder.

Trackers & Tracker-Less Torrents

Recently, a localized tracker-less torrent downloading system that allows BitTorrent clients to communicate to other Peers without any central servers. BitTorrent clients always use a distributed hash table (DHT) Protocol with each BitTorrent client behaving as an independent DHT node. Whenever you add a torrent to download using a magnet torrent link, your DHT node will contact the immediate nearby node and all the nodes will connect to other nodes until they find out all the information about that particular torrent.


Bittorrent protocol is mostly considered as the piracy software or network. The torrents have become very useful when downloading free stuff for different purposes like education, art, downloading games, movies, and other amazing stuff.  Don’t be mistaken for piracy of torrents, however, it is restricted in some countries but still can be used as a safe downloader.