Torrent Files: What they Contain

At their core, torrent files (.torrent extension) serve as detailed blueprints for facilitating peer-to-peer (P2P) file transfers utilizing the BitTorrent protocol. Think of them as multi-faceted maps that guide torrent clients in their quest to download and share content.

Key Components Within a Torrent File

These files are encoded using the Bencoding format (a simple data serialization technique) and contain the following vital components:

  • Announce: This is the URL of the tracker – a specialized server that coordinates communication between peers involved in the torrent swarm.
  • Info: This dictionary is the heart of the torrent file, housing core metadata:
    • name: The name of the torrent (usually the filename or a directory name).
    • piece length: The size of each piece the file is fragmented into (common values are powers of 2, e.g., 256 KB, 512 KB, 1 MB).
    • pieces: A list of SHA-1 cryptographic hashes, one for each piece. These hashes ensure that downloaded data remains intact and uncorrupted.
    • length (single file mode): Total size of the file in bytes.
    • files (multi-file mode): A list of dictionaries detailing each file in a multi-file torrent:
      • length: Individual file size in bytes.
      • path: A list representing the file’s subdirectory path.

Optional Fields

  • comment: Arbitrary commentary by the torrent creator.
  • created by: The name and version of the program used to generate the torrent file.
  • creation date: Timestamp indicating when the torrent was created (often in Unix time format).
  • httpseeds: (Web Seeding) Contains a list of URLs of web servers where the file can also be obtained, supplementing P2P sources.

The Torrent Workflow in Action

  1. Creation: A torrent client generates a torrent file. It divides the content into pieces, calculates SHA-1 hashes for each, and assembles the metadata.
  2. Distribution: The .torrent file is shared on tracker websites or distributed directly.
  3. Tracker Interaction: A user’s torrent client contacts the tracker listed in the “announce” field, providing its own IP address and a unique peer ID. In turn, it receives a continuously updated list of peers currently holding pieces of the desired content.
  4. Peer Exchange: The torrent client builds direct connections with peers on the received list. It utilizes a sophisticated “tit-for-tat” system involving choking/unchoking peers based on their reciprocation of upload bandwidth, thus incentivizing sharing.
  5. File Reconstruction: Pieces are downloaded (potentially out of order), their SHA-1 hashes are verified against those listed in the torrent file, and the complete, error-free file is reassembled.

Technical Considerations

  • Bencoding: Torrent files employ a simple yet efficient method of encoding data structures. A deeper understanding of Bencoding is helpful for advanced analysis.
  • Tracker vs. Trackerless: Trackers played a more crucial role in the early days of BitTorrent. Nowadays, the Distributed Hash Table (DHT) allows for trackerless torrents, further enhancing decentralization.

What Are Magnet Links

Magnet Links and Beyond

Magnet links represent a remarkably clever concept within file sharing. These seemingly simple links streamline the entire process while introducing significant advantages over their traditional torrent file counterparts. Let’s break down their underlying components and the broader technology they interact with.

Inside a Magnet Link: Essential Ingredients

  • magnet:? Prefix: This simple prefix flags the link as a magnet link, triggering your torrent client to use specialized protocols for its handling.
  • Content Hash (infohash): At the core of a magnet link is the content hash. Calculated using powerful cryptographic algorithms like SHA-1 or the newer SHA-256, the hash establishes a mathematically unique identifier for the desired content. If any element of the file is altered, the hash changes, guaranteeing integrity and weeding out corrupt or modified versions.
  • Optional Parameters: Magnet links often expand upon the hash with various parameters, further guiding torrent clients:
    • xt (Exact Topic): This specifies a more structured identifier using a URN (Uniform Resource Name) format, typically derived from the file’s content itself. This offers an additional layer of precision when locating the right data across networks.
    • dn (Display Name): The filename of the content appears here, clarifying what you’re about to download.
    • tr (Tracker URL): While less central to magnet links’ philosophy, tracker URLs can sometimes be added, offering fallback channels for locating peers.
    • as (Acceptable Source): A more esoteric parameter, it hints at content available through web servers as opposed to traditional P2P sources.

The Distributed Hash Table: Foundation of Decentralization

The Distributed Hash Table (DHT) is the engine underpinning magnet links. Envision it as a sprawling, peer-maintained index of shared content. It adheres to the Kademlia protocol, facilitating efficient searches and communication among the swarm of participants in peer-to-peer networks. Here’s why the DHT stands apart:

  • Decentralization: Without single, centralized servers acting as gatekeepers, the DHT removes potential failure points.
  • Fault Tolerance: Due to its distributed nature, even if many nodes in the network become unavailable, the network as a whole remains functional and data generally retains accessibility.
  • Content Permanence: Unlike torrent files relying on active trackers (prone to failure and shutdown), magnet links leverage the DHT for lasting content discoverability.

The Seamless Workflow

  1. After encountering a magnet link, your torrent client deciphers its components and extracts the content hash.
  2. It launches a query across the DHT network, using the hash as its query term. This is effectively a broadcast asking, “Peers, who possesses the content matching this unique fingerprint?”
  3. Nodes throughout the DHT with the appropriate data respond directly to the torrent client, facilitating direct communication between peers.
  4. Fragments of the file are requested and transferred among them, eventually reconstituting the completed file on your machine.

Magnet Link Supremacy: Key Gains

  • Minimal Footprint: They occupy far less storage compared to bulkier torrent files, making transmission and handling a breeze.
  • Streamlined Sharing: A single magnet link can circulate with ease, empowering users to directly initiate downloads from it.
  • Adaptability: Even when websites hosting traditional torrent files or their associated trackers disappear, magnet links retain functionality by using the DHT as their primary backbone.

Magnet links elegantly transform peer-to-peer file sharing. Their unique structure, interaction with vast DHT networks, and inherent resilience present undeniable advantages in securing the content we seek online.

Torrent Straight to Cloud: The Ultimate Downloading Solution

Hey fellow downloaders! If you’re like me and have embraced the convenience of cloud storage, then you’ve probably wished for a way to streamline your torrent downloads. We all know the drill: locate the torrent, fire up your torrent client, WAIT for the download to finish, and then manually transfer the files to your cloud. Let’s be honest: it’s a lot of steps!!

Well, what if I told you there’s a better way? Imagine your torrent downloads zipping directly to your cloud storage – no hard drive space wasted, no tedious file transfers. It’s a total game-changer, and for me, it’s become the ultimate way to manage my downloads.

Why Should I Put My Torrents in The Cloud Anyway?

  • Save space: Those bulky files eating up your hard drive? Gone! Torrent directly to the cloud and free up local storage.
  • Access anywhere: Grab your files on any device. You’re no longer tied to the computer where your torrents downloaded.
  • Faster long-term access: Cloud services often offer lightning-fast download speeds when you need to retrieve your files later.
  • Improved organization: Say goodbye to chaotic download folders. Easily sort and manage your files within the organized structure of your cloud storage.

How It Works

The magic lies in our web-based torrent service. works as the middleman between the torrent and your cloud storage. Instead of downloading to your computer, the files go directly to your chosen cloud service (think Google Drive, Dropbox, Mega, etc.).

Setting it up is a breeze. You’ll need to connect your cloud account to the list of your clouds, paste in your torrent magnet link or upload the .torrent file, and bam – the cloud downloading begins!

Level Up Your Downloads

If you’re a heavy torrent user with cloud storage already in your life, this is a no-brainer. Give it a shot – you’ll wonder why you waited so long!

BitTorrent Primer: What IS BitTorrent and Torrents?

To a layman, sometimes technical terms may seem very daunting, especially about things of the Internet. But that’s not a reason to fear them, or be baffled by strange words, it’s just a thing to understand, which can be done clearly without needing to know programming or being a computer expert!

So you might hear a lot about “P2P”, “Bittorrent”, “Torrent files”, “Magnet links” and other similar terms. So let’s understand clearly what these mean, and how you can use them to your full advantage.

A little bit of Internet History

Let’s go a bit back, to 1999. In that “long ago” era, if you wanted to download file, you had to locate a Website that would have the file so you could download it. That meant it had to be from a full blown Internet server that had to have a 24-hour Internet connection and somebody (person or company) had to pay to keep it alive and serving those files. These we tend to call “servers”, because that computer is dedicated to only doing that.

But along came Napster, and “Peer-To-Peer” (or P2P) was created. Napster allowed the USER’S computer to share their local music files. This user computer is like any personal computer, most likely the one you have home on a desk (remember this is before tablets and smartphones were popular). They call them “peers”, because they are all used as a receiving and sending computer, so they are all alike in that they are not dedicated to the task like servers. As a personal computer, this may be turned on and off as the user preferred. While using Napster, in fact, if the user got tired or had to go and turned off his computer, the files he was sharing also went offline. If you were copying a file from him, your download stopped and you were left with an incomplete file. This was very annoying!

But Napster had a big flaw: It used a central server to keep track of which files were available. This made them easy to take down and sue Napster for copyright infringement, because they had a server that was helping distribute them.

P2P Takes Off

So there were created other programs like Napster: eDonkey, Kazaa, LimeWire, etc. But like Napster, you could only exchange whole files from other users. They added some other features, that helped p2p, like distributed servers and file hashing (not important to understand right now what those are), which helped, but it still was a bit slow and you were often left hanging, especially with big files, like Movies.

Creation of BitTorrent

So this very smart programmer, Bram Cohen, worked very hard on what would be the best way to distribute files on a Peer-2-Peer way (remember, without a central server). He actually implemented a technology, a protocol, that has these important characteristics:

  • It is P2P without a Central Server (although it MAY use a “Tracker” which we will see later on another article)
  • Breaks up Files into Pieces
  • Can manage a Collection of Files and Folders
  • Everybody Pitches In: All Computers Download and Upload
  • You MUST help. If you don’t contribute, nobody will send you data.

The name actually is very descriptive, it’s like a “RAIN TORRENT”, but with bits! (a bit is a “bit” of data!) Like rain, it sometimes drizzles slowly, then it just pours down in a big water torrent! And that’s what usually happens, a torrent starts slow, but then picks up speed and is inundated by data from different computers!

How It Works

So someone gets hold, or creates a new file, which nobody else has, and wants to share it with the world. So let’s say he creates a folder:


In it, he puts in his masterpiece:

700 Megabytes           C:\MY_MOVIE\Greatest_movie_ever.avi

(Most movie files have an .avi extension, but there are also .mkv, .mpg, .mov, etc!)

Then, he runs a “BitTorrent” software, and tells it to create a special file called a “torrent file” (which has a .torrent extension), based on that folder. So now, he has a new file, which he places on his hard disk like so:

1,759 Bytes               c:\new_movie.torrent

As you can see, this torrent file is very small, even less than a thumbnail photo! But it has all the information on how to share the movie he made. This file is then uploaded to a Torrent Website, which hold all the torrents people are sharing.

So now, another person has heard all the hype of this new movie, and is very interested in downloading it. So he goes to the Torrent website, downloads the small torrent file, and loads it into his BitTorrent Software. (Or sends it to, where it is downloaded automatically and saved to a personal cloud space!)

So now, the bittorrent software of the new user checks the tracker, to locate which computer has this file, and then makes a direct connection to the user that is sharing it. But it doesn’t ask for the whole file! It asks very politely to the “seeder” (that’s the peer that has all the complete files, for more see our “Seeds & Peers” article) if he can have a piece, and chooses a piece at random.

This is so that when other users also connect, they all don’t just go downloading the very first piece! Because then, when they also talk to one another, they all wouldn’t have different pieces to exchange!

And that’s what happens, another users comes along, sees 1 seeder and 1 other peer. So he connect to both, and asks them if he can have a piece each. So now, he’s downloading from two sources at a time! And so on, new users that connect, have more available download options that if they’re just downloading from the seeder. Of course, there are bandwidth limits for each peer, but if there are enough users, it’s very common to see torrents speed up to your maximum available bandwidth!

Now, if you’re using an online service, like, the server uses a very-high-speed bandwidth to download from the most users at a time (while at the time, also cooperating with others, uploading what it has), so it downloads at blazing speeds. From there, you can download the torrent directly (and sequentially, so you can “stream”, or play directly to your Media Player or TV!), or let TransferCloud upload it to your personal cloud drive, where you can store all the files up to your maximum cloud space!

All this downloading and uploading seems like a lot of work… and it is! But to the software! You normally just point it to the torrent you want, and let it connect and download everything automatically. When it finishes, it saves the file to your desired location, where you can open and view it.

Have any questions? Feel free to leave comments!

How to Download with a Magnet Link on TransferCloud

So you found some nice thing to download, and it’s offered via Bittorrent, and they give you some .torrent files, say, like these:

Linux Torrent
Linux Torrent

Well, you can do two things here, either:

  • Right-Click on the .torrent file and select ‘Copy Link Address’
  • Click on the torrent file, and it will download the .torrent file to your computer.

If you copied the address to you clipboard, you just paste it here:

Paste Link Here

And click on the immediate left button: “Magnet or Link of Torrent”.

But if you downloaded the .torrent, and want to use that, you got to upload the file.

So, click on this this button:

Click 'choose file' button

Select the torrent from where it was downloaded:

Choose File

And press the immediate left button: “Upload Torrent File”.

Sometimes, some links seem to point to the torrent file, but they do not. Or it has some type of DDoS proteccion and it checks your browser first, so in those cases it’s most probably going to work only with the second method.

And that’s it! Wait for it to download and transferred to your Cloud Drive.