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How torrents work - Explained

#1
BTT has been interesting for a lot of people but bittorrent has been working without BTT for years. Here is an explanation of Bittorent -
The whole purpose of the torrent protocol is to get a file or files to as many people as possible in as efficient a way as possible.
The file in question is internally divided into smaller chunks called blocks. In order for you to get all of the file, you need to aquire all of the blocks, kind of like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
The idea is there are many users in the "swarm" (the swarm is the set of all users).
Those users who already have all of the file are called "seeders", and their job is to send some of these blocks to users who don't have them. This is what seeding is, sending blocks to users who need them to complete the puzzle.
Those who don't yet have all of the blocks are called leechers, and they can actually do both things: They get blocks from people who have them already (leeching) and send the blocks they already have to people who don't (seeding). So leechers can also seed, they just can't seed ALL the blocks yet. Also, the can simultaneously get many blocks at once from many seeders.
There's also a 3rd component in play, the tracker. The tracker is a server that all users (aka peers) connect to, and its job is introducing peers to each other. If I need to get a block, the tracker will tell me where to find a seeder that has that block. 

There is a method used called " rarest piece first" (or something like that) that looks for, you guessed it, the rarest piece of the file according to the tracker. When you join you will eventually become "optimistically unchoked" by a seeder and start receiving blocks. Soon you will become a seeder and may even give back blocks to people you were/are seeding. If you happen to be wondering what the magnet links are, my understanding is that it makes the trackers more efficient by collecting all the files with the same hash-sum. So even if a file is reuploaded under a different, as long as it wasn't modified then you will get those seeder/leeches too. 

All of this is done automatically without you realizing, of course. Everyone wins!


Link to Official Protocol
www.bittorrent.org/beps/bep_0000.html
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#2
Thank you for your contribution, welcome back .
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