Intro: Torrents have been around for a long time, and they continue to be one of the most popular file-sharing methods. Though there are many myths and misconceptions, torrents are very safe and secure. In addition, there are several interesting facts about torrents that you may not know. Here are six of the most intriguing ones.
Torrents are a great way to share large files with others:
Torrents are a decentralized way to share files, which means that there is no central server where files reside. Instead, the files that you want to download from a torrenting site are broken into many pieces and stored on different computers all over the world. When it comes time to download the file, your computer downloads these pieces from various sources and reassembles them into the file. There is no central server, making torrents difficult for law enforcement to monitor and shut down. There are over 100 million active users of torrents every day: In the past several years, as broadband speeds have increased and more software has been developed to make it easier to work with torrents, the number of people who use them has increased daily.
You can use a proxy:
While many people believe that torrenting requires you to go “out in the wild” and expose your IP address, the truth is there are several ways you can protect your identity while using torrents. One method uses a proxy service like a pirate bay proxy for the original; these services will funnel all traffic through an encrypted tunnel, making it difficult for anyone to reverse lookup your IP address or discover what you’re doing. As such, it’s essential only to use these services when needed and be sure to get a good proxy list so you can separate the scams from the accurate proxies. It is an advantage over VPNs, which generally route everything through a single endpoint, usually in a location of the user’s choosing.
You can use them for legitimate purposes:
Almost half of the people who use torrents for illegal purposes said they would stop if they knew how to do so safely and legally. Although there is a large amount of copyrighted material shared via torrents, you can also use them for entirely legitimate purposes. For example, if you’re an independent filmmaker and want to get the word out about your new release without spending thousands of dollars on marketing and advertising, uploading it to a torrent site might be one way to do so. It’s not the easiest or most cost-effective method, but for a limited release by an up-and-coming director, it might just work. You can use it for sharing academic papers or software applications.
It’s not anonymous:
Of course, like most aspects of the internet and technology, there is a dark side to torrents as well. For example, even though it may seem that you’re anonymous when using torrents because your IP address isn’t visible to others on the network. Law enforcement authorities can monitor the information exchanged on a torrent network and track down infringing content and those who download it (especially in countries with strict copyright laws such as the UK, US, and Australia).
They do not have to be slow:
If you’re used to downloading files from a torrent site, you probably have a specific picture in your mind of how long it will take. Maybe you imagine the movie or TV show on the screen while you wait for it to download. In reality, though, some of the newest torrents are incredibly fast. The reason they appear slow is that many sites only update their content every few minutes (though some do it on an hourly basis) and will refresh your browser window to make it look like nothing’s happening. It breaks up the file into multiple parts; then, your downloader (for example, uTorrent) automatically finds other people sharing the pieces of that file and gets those parts from them. You don’t have to wait for one single server to send you the entire file, you don’t have to wait for others to send you pieces of files, and the more participants there are in a torrent swarm (that is, other people downloading or uploading articles), the faster your download will be.
The technology behind torrents:
The technology behind torrents is quite simple. It’s built around the BitTorrent protocol, breaking large files into pieces and reassembling them through peer-to-peer sharing. When you download a torrent, your computer becomes part of the network described above; when you’re uploading data, you also help other users download. There are two participants, seeders and leechers;
Seeders: A seeder is a computer that has finished downloading a file and still offers it for upload.
Leechers: On the other hand, a leech is someone who never finishes downloading or uploading but takes pieces of each piece to complete their download.
Conclusion: Torrents are a safe and secure way to share files, and now you know how they work and how you can use them with security. Use torrents freely, and be sure to protect your privacy while doing so. Just be sure to take precautions when downloading files to don’t inadvertently download something malicious. Happy downloading!