Youth Voices

Sharing the Torrent Way

By Taimur Ahmad
The Professionals’ Academy of Commerce Pakistan/Dubai

Image source: dawn.com

Faisal was much tensed as he had been trying to send his assignment to his university through e-mail but the size of assignment was more than 100 megabytes and the e-mail could attach only up to only 10 megabyte file. He had to submit it till next day but he was getting hopeless about it. Suddenly he reminded of sharing a file through torrent. He created a torrent link of his assignment which was just few kilobytes and sent it to the university. It coasted him just few second.

What is a torrent?

Torrent is a link used to share a specific file between two or more computers. If anyone wants to share a file saved on his computer, he can create a torrent link of that file and send that link to the person to whom he wants to share that file. When that person will open that torrent link, it will create networking between his computers with yours. He will be able to access that file on your computer and download it.

Clients in this process

There are several clients in this process. All the parties sharing or downloading the file through torrents are termed as peer. The person who sends a torrent link of a specific file for the first time is initial seeder. When anyone has downloaded a file sent by initial seeder, he also becomes a seeder. The place where you can find a torrent of specific file is called tracker. So, it can be said that the Faisal was the initial seeder, his e-mail address was the tracker and the university computer became the seeder of his assignment.

How it is done?

When anyone creates a torrent of a file, he actually splits up the file into small pieces ranging from 64KB to 4MB. When anyone reaches the file through torrent, he downloads it in parts. There are several softwares used to download the torrents, the most famous of which is utorrent. These softwares arrange the downloaded parts of a file in a single file.
If you are downloading a file from torrent, it is possible that the software is accessing different parts of file from different seeders. In this way, the speed of downloading increases.

Benefits

Torrent technology was introduced in 2001. Since than, its use as a downloading agent has been increasing day by day. As mentioned earlier, it has become possible to transfer big files through internet. The torrents of every good movie, song, game, or any other entertainment file can be found on internet. Once you get a torrent of your favorite thing, all you need to do is to just add the torrent in the software like utorrent.

Drawbacks

It was mentioned above that Faisal sent the torrent link of his assignment to university. But one thing Faisal should keep in his mind is that he should remain his computer switch on until the file reaches the target. If he switches off his computer, the torrent will fail to access Faisal’s computer and there will be pause in downloading until he switch on his computer again. So, the seeders should remain their computers switched on.

The greatest drawback caused by torrents is the demolishing of software policy and copyright acts. If you buy a movie and send its torrent to the internet, you are actually breaching the copyright act of that movie. Similarly, downloading pirated softwares through torrents has been observed a common habit amongst most of the people. It has caused a significant increase in the cyber crime. Many steps have been taken to reduce this practice.

People also use torrents to spread virus as they send the torrents of virus infected files on internet with foul names and other people download it without knowing it. So it is recommended to have a good antivirus installed in your computer while downloading from torrents. I downloaded an antivirus from torrent.