Sometimes we want to share big files on the Internet, pictures or material with other friends. We can easily do this by creating torrent files and allowing our friends to download them through the bittorrent network.
The bittorrent network is a network of computers that share files. This files are called torrent files. There are services that offer different files and will point your computer to the computers that are serving this files. When you start downloading a file, these computers will send it to you, and you can also start sending to other users the parts you have. This way the bittorrent network balances itself and can escalate really quickly and dynamically. Each one of these computers are running some torrent client with torrent files, waiting for you to download them. This computers send the info of the torrents they have to the trackers.
That’s why you always have to put at least one tracker URL on your torrent for it to work. This way the torrent client you run will send to the tracker a message saying “hey, I’m here and I have this file”. There are private and public trackers. When you look for torrent files you are actually browsing the trackers information, because they keep track of the files shared by the computers.
You can add more than one tracker to your torrent file, so it appears on more servers. Sometimes you have to create an account in a tracker before being able to use it, sometimes they are open like the open tracker of the pirate bay: http://open.tracker.thepiratebay.org/announce
Seeders and Leechers: karma on the bittorrent network
If we look at the users connected to a torrent file, we can see that they are divided mainly in two groups: Seeders and Leechers. The seeders are the users that already downloaded the whole file, but they still leave it on the hard drive (and on the torrent program) to share with the next users that look for it. It is really important to share back the files you have downloaded, as you will this way contribute to the next downloads to be quicker, and release some pressure from the main sources. When you create a torrent file, you have to seed it on the systems.
If you are downloading a file, then you are a leecher of that file. And if you don’t share enough you are a leecher in general, which is one of the uncoolest things to be in the Internet. A good copyfighter will try to have a general ratio of at least 5, which means that has uploaded and given to other users five times more than downloaded.
Creating the torrent file
Is really easy to make a torrent file.
A torrent file is nothing but a folder. It can have information about the contents, a small picture for an icon, maybe translations or any kind of information that you can add. The more information you add in files like .txt or .nfo, the more indexed your torrent file will be on the torrent searches, and the more downloads is gonna get.
Is really easy to make a torrent file. Specially a bad torrent file. Once you put the torrent online, you have to make a new one to change any little thing, so check it out several times before creating it.
Once you are comfortable with the contents of the folder, rename the folder with as much information as possible, like: Music For Machines – This Month in Minimal Electro Tech (07-08/2009)
Then go to your torrent client (the one you use to download torrents) and click on File/New Torrent or any similar option, select the folder you prepared, add the tracker addresses and the comments you want to add… and create the torrent! If the trackers allows it you will be able to seed this file.
More detailed explanations according to different programs can be found here.
Seeding the torrent file
Ok, you have the torrent but nobody asks for it… this is because you need to upload your .torrent file to a torrent site if you want it to appear on the sites. Most of the torrent sites have an “upload” box. You can submit your torrent there for the torrent to appear on searches.
If you don’t want to submit your torrent to a public server you can send to your friend the .torrent file and she will be able to download from you, and then also seed.
Now we need to become seeders of our content.
To do so, we will:
- head to the folder were our torrent folder is located
- open the torrent file with our torrent client
- tell it to download it on the same directory were our torrent folder is
- voila! now your torrent should appear totally full and ready to seed.