What is a torrent tracker? | Seeds & Peers Meaning 2024

What is a torrent tracker? | Seeds & Peers Meaning 2024

The tracker helps peers to find each other.

The peer sends a message to the tracker to register its interest in a torrent. The tracker responds with a list of other peers who have previously expressed interest.

Then, the peer connects directly to each of the peers it received from the tracker.

Things the tracker does NOT do:

  • The tracker does NOT act as a proxy or middle-man between the peers.
  • The tracker does NOT relay data between peers.
  • The tracker CANNOT see what pieces of the torrent each peer has.
  • The tracker CANNOT see the .torrent file (or any metadata contained within the .torrent file, like the list of file names).

This helps to clear up some of the misinformation in the other answers on this page.

Why do people seed torrents?

It is the right thing to do. You can only torrent through other people’s seeding, so you should give back whatever you took. A 1.0 ratio means you’ve uploaded 100% of what you’ve downloaded.

The only things to gain are a high/good ratio (which can be used to sell you into a private torrent site) and that general feeling of you giving back to society. The torrent society.

I seed until 150%. If the torrent took me an exceptionally long time to complete, I will seed for much longer. In an ideal world, everyone would seed everything they’ve ever torrented, forever. But that isn’t feasible.

What is the meaning of seeds and peers in torrents?

Seed is a person who has a torrent file open in their client (let’s say the same file you are trying to download). The only difference between you and them is that they have the complete file downloaded already and are now “seeding” – sharing the file with peers but not downloading any parts from others.

A peer is someone who is both downloading and uploading the file in the swarm. Files are downloaded in pieces. When a user downloads some pieces, he then automatically starts uploading it. A file will be downloaded faster if more people are involved in the swarm. A peer becomes a seed when he has completed 100% of the file and wishes to continue uploading.

What are seeds, peers, trackers, and pieces in uTorrent?

Torrents are peer-to-peer file transfer protocols. That means there is no central source for the files; people download files uploaded by others (in real-time).

Seeds: Number of peers who have already downloaded the files, and are currently uploading them.

Peers (or Leechers): A leecher is any peer who does not have the entire file and is downloading the file.

Trackers: A tracker is a server that tracks which seeds and peers are in the swarm (swarm: all peers sharing a torrent – uploading or downloading).

Pieces: This refers to the torrented files being divided into equal-sized pieces (e.g., 64kB, 128kB, 512kB, 1MB, 2MB, or 4MB). The pieces are distributed randomly among peers to optimize trading efficiency.

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Why don’t Indians seed torrents?

Most Indians don’t seed torrents because most Indians are middle classes living in Tier-2 cities or lower. This creates a problem – high speed/high FUP internet access is either unaffordably expensive or unavailable. 

Most of the aforementioned bracket of people are on plans that give about 2–4 Mbps speeds with an FUP limit of 30–40 GB. Can’t blame them for not seeding.

Why is there uploading and seeding in uTorrent when the downloading is enough for us?

To understand that, let me delve into the technicalities of how exactly a torrent works.

When you download a file, say a movie, using a torrent file, that file may or may not be available in a single location. If it is available, then that would be called a seed. The more seeds, the better.

When you have downloaded a portion of the file, this portion of the file may be used as a download source for another client who is downloading that exact portion of the file. In this case, both clients will be peers, viz., you and the other client.

So, you are uploading that portion of the file to that client. This is the upload you see when you are downloading. You may also download the subsequent portions of the file from other peers. In short, it’s all a give-and-take policy.

Now, answer to your question.

  • After you have completed the download, at one point in time, no single peer has a complete file or the one that had crashed for some reason, and all the multiple peers put together may not have the complete file.
  • So it’s always good to seed (uploading after completion) because you will have a portion of the file that no other peers have, allowing others to download the complete file.
  • It might slow down browsing only a bit. As usual, browsing only has a little uploading.

On a lighter note, people say seeding is a technical way of returning something to the world. 😛

Seeding is not prominent in India due to lower internet bandwidth than in other countries. So yeah, downloading is enough for us.. 😉

How do I create a public torrent tracker?

There is a whole, shiny Wikipedia article about BitTorrent trackers. If you look in the software section, I’m sure each one has information on running a tracker. You might also be interested in the information about distributed hash tables, where it says that trackers aren’t required anymore.

What are the benefits of joining private torrent trackers such as “Pass the Popcorn”?

Security. One of the best features private trackers offer is security. Users can comfortably download safely and privately without fear of being implicated in legal issues.

Quality torrents. Most sites have various high-quality torrents for download. If uploaded torrents don’t meet their standards, they are deleted. Most sites offering private torrent trackers have great selections of torrents that are hard to find.

Speed. Another best feature of the private torrent tracker is speed. Most private torrent tracker providers have fast internet connections, significant for great torrent seeding; aside from that, users are obliged to share and seed back. With more seeders, the downloading speed becomes better. Each seeder helps other seeders without compromising quality.

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Private and safe. It’s private, and no one’s looking over your shoulder as you download everything you want. Just like using a VPN, one can safely download with anonymity. Users are selected, and uploaded contents to the tracker are screened for viruses. It is to ensure quality torrent seeds.

A community. Most private torrent tracker users are helpful individuals in answering questions, keeping files seeded, and even uploading requested torrents. It becomes a community that gives value in sharing quality files over private BitTorrent clients.

Why is there uploading and seeding in uTorrent when the downloading is enough for us?

To understand that, let me delve into the technicalities of how exactly a torrent works.

When you download a file, say a movie, using a torrent file, that file may or may not be available in a single location. If it is available, then that would be called a seed. The more seeds, the better.

When you have downloaded a portion of the file, this portion of the file may be used as a download source for another client who is downloading that exact portion of the file. In this case, both clients will be peers, viz., you and the other client.

So, you are uploading that portion of the file to that client. This is the upload you see when you are downloading. You may also download the subsequent portions of the file from other peers. In short, it’s all a give-and-take policy.

What is a torrent tracker?
What is a torrent tracker?

Now, answer to your question.

  • After you have completed the download, at one point in time, no single peer has a complete file or the one that had crashed for some reason, and all the multiple peers put together may not have the complete file.
  • So it’s always good to seed (uploading after completion) because you will have a portion of the file that no other peers have, allowing others to download the complete file.
  • It might slow down browsing only a bit. As usual, browsing only has a little uploading.

On a lighter note, people say seeding is a technical way of returning something to the world. 😛

Seeding is not prominent in India due to lower internet bandwidth than in other countries. So yeah, downloading is enough for us.. 😉

How do I create a public torrent tracker?

There is a whole, shiny Wikipedia article about BitTorrent trackers. If you look in the software section, I’m sure each one has information on running a tracker. You might also be interested in the information about distributed hash tables, where it says that trackers aren’t required anymore.

What are the benefits of joining private torrent trackers such as “Pass the Popcorn”?

Security. One of the best features private trackers offer is security. Users can comfortably download safely and privately without fear of being implicated in legal issues.

Quality torrents. Most sites have various high-quality torrents for download. If uploaded torrents don’t meet their standards, they are deleted. Most sites offering private torrent trackers have great selections of torrents that are hard to find.

Speed. Another best feature of the private torrent tracker is speed. Most private torrent tracker providers have fast internet connections, significant for great torrent seeding; aside from that, users are obliged to share and seed back. With more seeders, the downloading speed becomes better. Each seeder helps other seeders without compromising quality.

Private and safe. It’s private, and no one’s looking over your shoulder as you download everything you want. Just like using a VPN, one can safely download with anonymity. Users are selected, and uploaded contents to the tracker are screened for viruses. It is to ensure quality torrent seeds.

A community. Most private torrent tracker users are helpful individuals in answering questions, keeping files seeded, and even uploading requested torrents. It becomes a community that gives value in sharing quality files over private BitTorrent clients.

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Is seeding safe?

Yup, seeding is safe, as per my knowledge. You are just uploading the files which you have downloaded. Beware of data use, as seeding is an infinite process. You are acting as a server for whoever wants to download the file. 

I don’t know backdoors, but hackers can connect to your system just like they can do with the help of any infected page. I use torrent regularly and have not faced any problems.

Why do torrent downloads top at 5 MBPS, even with many peers, when I have a 50mbps connection?

What you are experiencing is a common misconception.

To make connections sound “fast,” service providers decided to use the unit Mb/s — note the lowercase “b.”

Mb means 1,000,000 (+-) bits ( 1048576 to be precise )

MB means 1,000,000 (+-) Bytes

Since every Byte = 8 bits

48Mbit/s = 48/8 = 6MB/s

So speeds of 5MB/s are pretty impressive for your home connection speed. 🙂

What does the “tracker.istole.it:80” track do when downloading a torrent?

The tracker tracks all the peers in the swarm of the torrent. It helps your machine find other peers to connect to, download data from, or upload to.

The .torrent file is only for data transfer and doesn’t have anything to do with the file you download. You can remove it when all is done. You can also add or remove trackers from the file.

What is a torrent tracker?
What is a torrent tracker?

What happens when a torrent has 0 seeds?

A torrent with 0 seeds is called a dead torrent.

When a torrent has no seeds, it means no users are sharing the file.

This can happen for several reasons, including that the file is old and no longer popular or was never popular.

If you’re looking for a specific file and can’t find any seeders, your best bet is to try another source.

I hope this helps to clear up some of the misinformation in the other answers on this page.

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What are swarms in torrents? What is an example?

A swarm is just a group of people, including you, that own a particular file (or pieces of the file). Each swarm is per torrent.

When you open a torrent, it tells your client to log into a tracker and get a list of IP addresses of other users in the swarm for that particular torrent file/pack.

Then, you connect to those users directly to exchange pieces of the file until it’s been fully downloaded. When that happens, you become a seeder, no longer a leecher. Not to be confused with the uploader (the person who uploaded the original file.

Is there any trick to download Torrents with 0 seeds?

Yes, there is one trick…

Search for the latest torrent trackers in Google, including the month and year you are in. Copy the trackers from the site and add them to the torrent by going to properties → Add Trackers and then apply.

The torrent will work for a while…

In torrenting, what are private trackers and public trackers?

The “private” flag is used on individual torrents to indicate that peer requests should only be directed to the listed tracker(s). The absence of a private flag on a torrent means that the BitTorrent client in question may use DHT (Distributed Hash Table), PEX (Peer Exchange), or LPD (Local Peer Discovery) to find peers for that particular torrent, i.e., they are not tied to just asking the tracker directly.

A private torrent site generally will require the private flag on all its torrents. However, nothing stops one from setting the private flag on a torrent using only public trackers, though the reasons for doing so are questionable.

Why is the number of torrent seeds and peers so low when, in some cases, I would expect millions?

Firstly, I would like to clarify what seeds and peers mean.

Seeds refer to the number of people having a complete(100%) file.

Peers refer to the number of people downloading the file.

Usually, whenever the uploader puts out the torrent on the internet, it will take a certain time for people to notice it and start downloading. Hence, even a torrent in such scenarios is expected to have loads of seeds, and peers wouldn’t have any.

In another scenario, the torrent probably got old, and the seeders stopped seeding it, and nobody downloads it anymore.

Can you share a file via BitTorrent without a tracker?

The answer is theoretically yes – but no.

DHT works through central nodes that find peers for you; through those peers, you may get connected to torrent downloads.

The problem is that you are the only node if you create a torrent without a tracker.

You need a significant number of nodes accessible before a trackless torrent becomes downloadable because of its decentralized nature.

You can add a torrent to a tracker ( or set up a tracker on your PC using the uTorrent built-in tracker ) and remove the tracker when enough people are downloading after a while.

That way, you get a trackless torrent

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What does a torrent file contain in itself?

Torrent files are entirely metadata,”data about data.” It does not contain the contents of the file you will download but rather information about it, such as the structure, size, and hash values of the files and folders in that download. 

It also contains information about the network locations of the trackers. A tracker is any server that facilitates the communication between peers of that torrent.

What is a torrent tracker? | Seeds & Peers Meaning 2024

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