Torrents.

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Cermage, May 21, 2010.

May 21, 2010

Torrents. by Cermage at 3:58 PM (1,800 Views / 0 Likes) 17 replies

  1. Cermage
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    Member Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    After that thread that OSW locked, just realised how many people don't know how torrents actually work.

    How they work
    Most people if not all should know what exactly peers and seeders are, but most aren't clear on how the system works. so the easiest example would be that you've come along and downloaded a torrent, left it seeding a good while until you're the last seeder. and 5 people come along wanting to download said torrent.

    [​IMG]

    so this is what its looking like right now, for reference, you're the black dot, the tracker is the yellow dot and the peers are the blue dots. Your upload speed is 100kb/s. what is actually happening is, your torrent client is telling the tracker that "i've got these files for people to download and i can upload at 100kb/s", the seeder's torrent clients have connected to the tracker asking "I'm looking for these files, are there any seeds out there that has them?". Naturally the tracker would split your upload evenly so each person would get 20kb/s. So, all the tracker is, is a middle man of sorts. the files you want aren't hosted on trackers, nothing is, if no one is connected to the tracker, then its blank, nothing on there at all, zip. imagine a service like craigs list or ebay, they aren't selling the items, other users are, all they do is act as the middleman.

    so lets change it up a little, using the same example as before.

    [​IMG]

    as you can see, #1 is at 90% downloaded and can upload at 300kb/s, #2 is at 60% and can upload at 100kb/s e.t.c Its not a very realistic example but it should suffice. So lets say #1 was downloading for a good while to get to 90%, #2 and #3 jumped on and now #4 and #5 are just starting. What's happened was #1 was the sole downloader for awhile, got to say..... 85% pretty easily with you uploading at 100kb/s, but then #2 jumped on board and communicated with the tracker, the tracker said "Look, there's a seed and a guy who's at 85%, you can download from both of them". so for awhile #2 got #1's full upload speed and the speed split from your connection. so if it was perfectly even (probably wouldn't be) , #2 would be downloading at 350kb/s, during that time #1 got to 87.5%, #2 got 30% and then #3 hopped on. same as before, #3 would recieve data from you, #1 and #2 at a split speed. and it just goes on.

    Lets take it back to when it was just #1 and #2 for a bit. most trackers now will allocate different portions of the data to different peers, so what would be happening is, #1 would be getting some data and #2 would be getting the rest or different data. This is so #1 can download from #2 and vice versa, this speeds it up a little for both of them. its also known as swarming. Tracker splits the data up into different sections and sends the peers all different sections, and then each peer downloads from each other whatever sections they need.

    Another thing some trackers like to do is split peers and seeders into smaller groups, also known as initial seeding, some trackers do it automatically, otherwise when you create the torrent, there's usually an option for it. Example situation, 1 seeder, 400 peers. the tracker would put the 1 seeder with 20 random peers, another 20 random peers for those 20 peers in the group and so on. So while, the original 20 peers would be getting the data (swarming) from the seed, they would also be uploading to their own 20 and each other. this method relies heavily on people having their upload opened up, otherwise you could be connected to a bunch of idiots and not actually get what you want for a lot longer. even though this is method is fairly chancey, it works out better for the uploader, less wasted upload.

    So from here you should be able to understand why torrent sites tend to stress leaving your torrents on and seeding them. if no one is seeding a torrent, its impossible to finish the torrent. its possible to get to 99.999999999% but not possible to get the remaining data. people can't get you what they don't have. the torrent system is very dependant on other users, most people think they can get away with downloading and leaving, but that just makes it worse. especially if you're part of the initial swarm or group of users. there's 1000 other people waiting for you to finish so that their speeds can rise a bit and finish but you pull out and then their speeds drop again because they have to connect to another seed/group.

    Private Trackers

    So you might ask, why are private trackers so much better?

    simply, everything on a private tracker is much more anal but not in a bad way, in guarantees your speeds as well.

    there's the matter of ratio's, most private tracks (read: good ones) have a ratio policy where you need to keep above a certain amount ( usually around 0.1-0.2), this forces you and everyone else to contribute back a certain amount, so it means everyone is going to be vying for upload. thus you'll be downloading at a good speeds.

    there's active cleaning of dead torrents, making sure you'll be able to get the files you want, albeit at a slow speed (seeder could be handling a number of other torrents at the same time or something).

    Smaller communities, they're harder to get into, unless you know people. This means there aren't as many "noobs", hitting and running or blocking up their upload.

    Some of the private trackers are where p2p groups do release their uploads, so some places you can get them before they come out anywhere else (e.g a cat that is black that also happens to own a few games often gets releases there.)

    Getting practically anything you want from what the tracker is based on. if its a tracker dedicated to music, its pretty likely that there will be v0, v1, v2, flac, CBR (192-320) e.t.c copies of whatever you want, if its not there, its free upload for you as there are collectors lurking the better ones.

    ________________________________________________________________________________
    _____________________

    hopes this clears things up for people. it won't change how deplorable public and some bigger name private trackers are, but this should at least give people a better idea of how they work and why they're in such bad conditions. I'll be happy to answer any questions people might have about torrents or torrent programs.
     
  2. beegee7730

    Banned beegee7730 ITS PAAFEKUTO!

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    Can you answer me this, I have a 4.2mb connection, yet the max speed I can get downloading is like 500kb/s, shouldn't I be getting like 4.2mb/s?
     
  3. Cermage
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    Member Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    nope, what ISP's advertise are bits not bytes. 8 bits = 1 byte. they also don't do a true bytes or bits, to them 1gb is 1000mb, not 1024mb. and so on. so 4200 kilobits/ 8 = 525 kilobytes. sounds about right
     
  4. beegee7730

    Banned beegee7730 ITS PAAFEKUTO!

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    Damn, that really sucks.
    Hard.
     
  5. Raki

    Member Raki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    well if both are bits (what connection speed is mostly measured in) then there's another factor. You could possibly download up to 4,2 Mb/s, but the server you request data from can only give you 500Kb/s upload speed, so your download isn't the bad guy, but the servers upload

    OT: Good work, cermage
     
  6. hunnymonster

    Member hunnymonster GBAtemp Regular

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    There is another explanation for the discrepancy between sync speed & torrent speed - traffic shaping by the ISP. Goes on a lot, in many cases totally unadvertised.
     
  7. Overlord Nadrian

    Banned Overlord Nadrian Banned

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    Nice guide mate! I knew everything already, but I think many people would think this is useful [​IMG] Sticky pl0x [​IMG]
     
  8. Lubbo

    Member Lubbo GBAtemp Traceur

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    sometimes i download fast sometimes slow, i hear that some people get up into the mb range where i vary from 100kb/s to 500kb/s, also what would be the best torrent program and site? personally i use uTorrent and this site or that site. Also i run peerguardian because its meant to protect your IP address so u can't get caught by government and that? pls explain
     
  9. tk_saturn

    Member tk_saturn GBAtemp Psycho!

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    PeerGuardian has been abandoned. They opensourced the code and PeerBlock was born from it, use that instead.

    Using PeerBlock still doesn't make you safe, it just makes you safer than someone who isn't.
     
  10. Lily

    Former Staff Lily One Scary Lady

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    No need for a sticky.

    BTW, PeerGuardian/PeerBlock/whatever are an absolute waste of space and system resources. Don't bother with them.
     
  11. DeMoN

    Member DeMoN GBAtemp Guru

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    So essentially, when you're using a torrent you are uploading as well as downloading at the same time. This was my hypothesis as to why my university busts people who use torrents but never the people who use direct downloads.
    Naturally, the question that needs to be asked is: Is there a way to only download and not upload (or "seed")?
     
  12. monkat

    Banned monkat I'd like to see you TRY to ban me. (Should I try?.

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    Well peer-to-peer downloading (tends) to be a bandwidth hog. You can change that, but still. As well, direct downloads have a huge selection of both legal and illegal substance. Torrents also do, but they have gained quite a bit of notoriety as a method of piracy, so it's much easier just to sift through p2p applications than it is to search through every single download ever. (Remember that to load a web page you have to download it temporarily)

    EDIT: To your question, yeah. Your torrent application should allow you to set limits on you upload /download speeds. Just set it to 0 if you don't want to upload. But that's just rude when it comes to legal things.
     
  13. dnniwa485

    Member dnniwa485 GBAtemp Fan

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    if you download but not upload... theres a higher chance that you might be ban on the tracker, so please seed as much as you can. Or mostly, you will get a drastically slowdown on your download.

    well im download about 200+kbps on my connection, with upload of 75kbps fixed. the 75kbps that i given is enough for me to support the leechers.

    I'm also registered on a semi-private tracker ... i rather priority to upload first than download. even while im downloading the torrent contents. But mostly, i have very very good ratio anyway, with a 17.89 ratio on my utorrent
     
  14. kirlac

    Newcomer kirlac Member

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    Wasn't the point of this topic (at least partially) how you SHOULDN'T only download without uploading as it kills the torrent and makes it harder for everyone. Direct downloads (Rapidshare, megaupload, mediafire etc.) are a more acceptable way to download without uploading.
     
  15. Knyaz Vladimir

    Member Knyaz Vladimir 3DS Hacker

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    Many torrent sites provide you be at 1.5 or over share ratio. I've reached a ratio of 72 on a 1.02GB file, it's good on my reputation. Torrents ARE helpful. (Note- this was an unlicensed GameRIP used for listening purposes which will NEVER be released here or anywhere, for that matter, so it is legal here)

    Downloading torrents in my country (as long as you don't scream "I'm downloading copyrighted material!" to everyone) is legal. Yay for me. [​IMG]
     
  16. tk_saturn

    Member tk_saturn GBAtemp Psycho!

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    But for how long?

    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5008/125/
     
  17. Raki

    Member Raki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well there are many many scenarios, where a torrent is legal. e.g. Nine Inch Nails released the high quality versions of their album "The Slip" (a free and good album btw) over torrents
     
  18. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Some countries have a clause similar to saying "it's OK if it's impossible to get through other means". That's largely interpretted as "it's OK to download movies if it's not in cinemas anymore and not out on DVD yet". The former is rarely ever prosecuted (but does raise a flag if your government/ISP is watching for such things), but the latter can lead to problems.

    Some torrent sites have also undergone a change in policy, trying to regulate their files to prevent possible breach of copyright. The torrenting world is slowly changing, although it still has a bad name from the liberal use of piracy over its networks. Bands like Nine Inch Nails and certain Scandinavian indie groups are trying to turn it around by giving it a good name (since P2P doesn't need someone to pay for a server with monthly bandwidth charges) as being easy and freely available to everybody.
     

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