Common BitTorrent Terms
- - same as scrape (see below), but the client also announces that it wants to join the swarm, and that the server should add it to the peers in that swarm.
- - describes a peer to whom the client refuses to send file pieces. A client chokes another client in several situations:
- The second client is a seed, in which case it does not want any pieces (i.e. it is completely uninterested)
- The client is already uploading at its full capacity (ie. the value for
max_uploads has been reached)
- - the program that enables p2p file sharing via the BitTorrent protocol. Examples of clients include µTorrent and Vuze.
- - a downloader is any peer that does not have the entire file and is downloading the file. This term is used in Bram Cohen's Python implementation, and lacks the negative connotation attributed to leech. Bram prefers downloader to leech because BitTorrent's tit-for-tat ensures downloaders also upload and thus should not be unfairly branded leech.
- - hash is a string of alphanumeric characters in a .torrent file that the client uses to verify the data that is being transferred. It contains information like the file list, sizes, pieces, etc. Every piece received is first checked against the hash. If it fails verification, the data is discarded and requested again. The 'Hash Fails' field in the torrent General tab shows the number of these hash fails.
- - an index is a list of .torrent files (usually including descriptions and other information) managed by a website and available for searches. An index website can also be a tracker.
- - describes a downloader who wishes to obtain pieces of a file the client has. For example, the uploading client would flag a downloading client as 'interested' if that client did not possess a piece that it did, and wished to obtain it.
- - a leech is usually a peer who has a negative effect on the swarm by having a very poor share ratio - in other words, downloading much more than they upload. Most leeches are users on asymmetric internet connections and do not leave their BitTorrent client open to seed the file after their download has completed. However, some leeches intentionally avoid uploading by using modified clients or excessively limiting their upload speed. The term leech, however, can be used simply to describe a peer - or any client that does not have 100% of the data.
- - a lurker is a user that only downloads files from the group but does not add new content. Unlike a leech, a lurker will seed what he has downloaded.
- - stands for "peer to peer" which is the technology used for file sharing among computer users over the Internet.
- - a peer is one instance of a BitTorrent client running on a computer on the Internet to which other clients connect and transfer data. Usually a peer does not have the complete file, but only parts of it. However, in the colloquial definition, "peer" can be used to refer to any participant in the swarm (in this case, it's synonymous with "client").
- - this refers to the torrented files being divided up into equal specific sized pieces (ie 512Kb, 1Mb). The pieces are distributed in a random fashion among peers in order to optimize trading efficiency.
- - this is when a client sends a request to the tracking server for information about the statistics of the torrent, such as with whom to share the file and how well those other users are sharing.
- - a seeder is a peer that has a complete copy of the torrent and still offers it for upload. The more seeders there are, the better chances are for completion of the file.
- share ratio
- - a user's share ratio for any individual torrent is a number determined by dividing the amount of data that user has uploaded by the amount of data they have downloaded. Final share ratios over 1 carry a positive connotation in the BitTorrent community because they indicate that the user has sent more data to other users than they received. Likewise, share ratios under 1 have a negative connotation.
- - an uploading client is flagged as snubbed if the downloading client has not received any data from it in over 60 seconds.
- - when a file is new, much time can be wasted because the seeding client might send the same file piece to many different peers, while other pieces have not yet been downloaded at all. Some clients, like ABC, Azureus, BitTornado, TorrentStorm, and µTorrent have a "superseed" mode, where they try to only send out pieces that have never been sent out before, theoretically making the initial propagation of the file much faster. However the super-seeding becomes substantially less effective and may even reduce performance compared to the normal "rarest first" model in cases where some peers have poor or limited connectivity. This mode is generally used only for a new torrent, or one which must be re-seeded because no other seeds are available.
- - together, all peers (including seeders) sharing a torrent are called a swarm. For example, six ordinary peers and two seeders make a swarm of eight.
- - a torrent can mean either a
.torrent metadata file or all files described by it, depending on context. The torrent file contains metadata about all the files it makes downloadable, including their names and sizes and checksums of all pieces in the torrent. It also contains the address of a tracker that coordinates communication between the peers in the swarm.
- - a tracker is a server that keeps track of which seeds and peers are in the swarm. Clients report information to the tracker periodically and in exchange receive information about other clients to which they can connect. The tracker is not directly involved in the data transfer and does not have a copy of the file.