Why Fast Uploading speeds are important for Fast DOWNLOADING in BitTorrent

This may seem counterintuitive at first, but is very essential to the bittorrent protocol:

You MUST have good upload speed to have the fastest download speeds.

Download Torrents Fast

Why is this? Because the bittorrent protocol was designed to minimize “leechers”, or clients that download a lot, but don’t upload anything, or contribute in the most minimum. If no-one is sharing, who can receive anything at all?!

So, in the protocol, which is the way the torrent network works, those clients that also upload as much as they are asked to, are “unchoked”, or permitted to download more pieces they need. Peers communicate to each other how others are contributing, so if no-one reports that you are uploading, you will not get any cooperation from any peer.

But, If I just started, and I don’t have any pieces, and no-one is willing to give me anything, how on Earth will I be able to contribute and get the file? Well, to permit that, every client allocates a bit of bandwidth to new members, or to choked members, to permit them to get a good start. But be aware this is just a little part, if your client just depends on the “kindness” of the others, you will not be able to get the fastest.

Now, most Internet links are full-duplex: that means that it is able to download and upload at the same time without interfering. So, no matter if you are downloading at max speed, you still have available upload bandwidth. So, if you use this spare bandwidth to allow your client to upload, you will see better and faster speeds on your downloads because the peers do notice, and they send more to you.

This is of course all automatic, you normally are not in there programming the protocol into your software. But most clients have some settings that allow you to specify how much bandwidth you allow for downloading and uploading. Setting these wrong can mean you could be blocking yourself.

Are you Connectable?

Also, there’s the connectivity issue. Many users are not aware that they are crippled by an Internet link that does not allow incoming connections. This is critical for bittorrent because it means that other users may not be able to connect directly with you, so they cannot help you sending you pieces. They also may be behind a NAT link, which means they cannot receive connections either. If both cannot receive a connection, direct communication is impossible!

How can  you fix this? Normally, you would need to connect to your local Internet router, and “open” up a port, or “redirect” a port to your client computer. This is a bit difficult and out of scope of this article. An Internet search may help if you are in this case. Another way to fix this is to enable uPNP (which is mostly on by default), which is a protocol that opens ports automatically. You might want to check your software and your Internet router if there is a setting for it and having it turned on.

The Fastest Way!

The fastest way to download a torrent is by downloading it in a high-speed Internet server! TransferCloud.io can help you with it! Normally, an Internet server runs in the hundreds of dollars a month, and is way overkill just for downloading! But for just a fraction of that cost, TransferCloud.io can download it for you: we have optimized the bittorrent software to download the pieces in the fastest way possible, also uploading to others to achieve better speeds. Big files are downloading in seconds and you can transfer them to your personal drive space, be it Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud and others! That way you can continue downloading without having to worry about it getting filled.

Register now for a free trial to check it out!

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 https://TransferCloud.io, 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 TransferCloud.io, 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!

Exactly WHAT are Seeds and Peers?

So you’ve downloaded quite a few things, but you’ve noticed that everyone insists on getting torrents with lots of “seeds”. And maybe you’ve seen the count of “seeds & peers” on your download software or webpage? So exactly, WHAT are those?

It’s actually very simple. Seeds are other computers that have that torrent that have the full set of files and have it 100% downloaded and is connected and offering the files to others. Peers are the same, but DON’T have the full set, they are still downloading the parts they need.

Still not clear? Ok, let’s go through it again.

The Bittorrent protocol is a server-less system. That means everyone is running the same software and everyone is the same to each other, no-one is more important or less important.

So, somebody decides to share a file, and share the initial .torrent file so others know he is sharing it. Then he ‘start’s the torrent, and he becomes the first ‘seeder’, because, as the name implies, he is planting the first data that will ‘grow’ (or copy itself) onto others.

Now, others, that don’t have anything at all will begin transferring this initial data, and save it locally. As soon as they have a full ‘piece’, they will also begin sharing it with other ‘peers’. So now, all ‘peers’ are sharing the pieces they’ve gotten and sharing between themselves.

So, even torrents that have only 1 seeder can be transmitted quickly, because the peers are also pitching in.

Seeds are also called ‘uploaders’ because they only upload, or send data, they don’t need to download because they already have all the pieces:

Seeders & Peers

Also, any peer or downloader that finishes all its pieces will convert itself into a seeder, and the seeder count will increase.

So, when you select a torrent, be aware that if it DOES NOT have any seeders, the torrent will NOT finish, until at least one peer finishes and becomes a seeder. No matter how many peers there are, at least one has to finish getting all the pieces together.

Also, if a torrent has many, many seeders, it will most probably download much faster than others with less seeders.

On Transfercloud.io we display how many seeders & peers the torrent module detects, and will try to connect to the most possible to download fast. On popular torrent with hundreds of seeders is very common to see it download in seconds. Try it out and see!

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.

Torrents and Cloud Storage

Downloading files by using the filesharing protocol ‘bittorrent’ has become wildly popular in the last few years. Also, having a personal “file locker” space up in the “Cloud” is also very common. But are these two technologies incompatible or is there an easy way to use one to the other?

First, let’s clear up on what’s exactly what on each one. Are you clear on what is ‘bittorrent’, ‘torrents’, ‘magnets’ and ‘links’?

Bittorrent is a new way to share files, but it’s name applies to the “protocol”, or in layman’s terms, the way they are transferred, and how the computer knows how to download the files. It was invented by a programmer called Bram Cohen, when he focused on how would be the best ways for multiple users to share a files between themselves, and trying to do that in the fastest way possible!

Now, “Torrent file” is what we named some small files that have just the fewest necessary information to download the final files. It has all the technical info, like how many files, their sizes, and other technical stuff designed to verify that you download the right files. These are small files, usually less than 5 megabytes (the size of a common photograph file).

Now, magnets are like the the “torrent file”, it lets you tell the software which file you want, but it’s reduced to just a unique string of characters… like a web-link! But instead of using “https://www”, etc. , it begins with ‘magnet:’. Usually you find them on torrent sites with a small magnet icon, which is easy to identify.

Now, if you have not downloaded torrents, before, it’s actually quite easy. You just provide the software the ‘torrent file’, or the magnet link, and it downloads to your computer.

But what if you want to download it elsewhere, like your ‘DropBox’, or ‘Gmail Drive’ account?

So those are what are known as “Cloud Storage”, and you can get quite some space for free. But what exactly are they?

Cloud is actually just another way to say “On the Internet”, or more precisely, “On a Server available on the Internet”. So Cloud storage is just that, disk space that is on a server on the Internet. Obviously, your private files are just not there for anyone to browse through, so they are protected with a password you defined when you registered.

Most of these cloud storage spaces are designed to be a “Backup”, or a copy, of your local computer files. The software just uploads them whenever you add or change them. But there’s a few other advantages on having them on the cloud: You can access them from any computer or device that can connect to the Internet; You can download and edit files or documents; You can keep Music and Movies and see them from any device like tablets or phones; You can share files or whole folders with family and friends!

Transfer Torrents to your Cloud Drive

So now, how would you mix the two? Normally you couldn’t: You would have to download your files first to your computer, then take those files and upload them again, wasting both your upload and download bandwidth. Also, most ISPs limit their uploads speeds, so you are limited by the slowest one!

So, the best way to do this is to use a server that is on the Cloud (connected all the time to the Internet on a high-bandwidth link) that does it. But you would have to configure it, install it, and it’s actually a bit technical to have it working (and you need to send all those commands via the ‘command-line’, and how to install software by typing in commands!).

But there’s an easy way, use https://TransferCloud.io . This website allows you to download the torrents to it’s servers, and then it transfers them back to YOUR personal cloud! As it’s connected by high-speed links, this can be done even in less than a minute, for files that are quite big, like the size of a DVD!

You register first, then just paste in a magnet link, or a URL link to a torrent file… or you can upload a .torrent file. The server passes it to a Bittorrent Client and saves your files to your space. You can then download it directly from the server, or you can specify a “Save Point”. This save point is on which Folder of you Cloud Drive would you like the files put in. After transferring, it then frees the server space so you can continue downloading more.

Also, if you get an unlimited drive space, like Amazon Cloud Drive or OpenDrive, you can continue downloading indefinitely! Just paste all the links you want, and with a “Power” account, you can leave queued all the links you have!! It will download them at the fastest speed possible, and save them all for you to download later.

We’ll see that in another post, but for now, if you have any questions, please contact us.