What are Seeders, Peers, and Leechers in the language of Torrent?

A majority of young internet users living in Saudi Arabia use Torrents to download movies and other stuff. Yes, it is illegal and we have shared a case where a Torrent User was jailed for 6 months and fined with SR 50,000. Whenever you download a torrent file from a website, the website shows you some information about the file. It is about seeders, peers, and leechers. What does this information mean? We have explained it in easy language below.

Peer to Peer Network: Before explaining what seeder, Leecher, and Peer means, it is important to explain what does peer to peer P2P network means. We download files from Torrent but torrent does not have a server. How do we download it if it does not have a server? We download it from other peers, other people (seeder, leecher) who have the torrent file in their computer and they are sharing it with others.[irp]

Seeder –A seeder is someone who has downloaded the file completely on his computer and now he is sharing it with others. Hence these seeders affect the complete availability of the files or applications on any P2P network. If a torrent file has more seeders, it guarantees that the file will be downloaded quickly.

Peer – A peer is someone who has not yet downloaded the complete file but still sharing whatever file has been downloaded on his computer. As soon as you start downloading the file, you become a peer if you are sharing some part of the file with others on the P2P network.

When you download a file completely and don’t delete it from the Torrent, you become a seeder. A good amount of peers also mean that file will be downloaded quickly. Whenever a peer downloads the file completely, it becomes one more seed. This eventual shift from the peers on to seeders determines the total health of the file.

Leecher – A leecher is someone who is downloading the file from other peers and seeders but doesn’t want to upload or share it back to them. For example, if you are downloading a movie from torrent but you have restricted the upload of the movie to others, you become a leecher.

The only disadvantage of leeching is that you get a very low download speed. The number of leechers negatively affect the download speed of the file as they are using the upload speed of other peers and seeders and making it difficult for others to download it from the seeders and peers.

Bit Torrent – Bit Torrent is a protocol which is used for the practice or activity of peer to peer file sharing, which is often referred to as P2P networks. These are used in order to distribute huge amounts of data over the internet from one user or PC to another.

The protocol of the Bit Torrent may also be used in order to reduce the impact of network and server of the distribution of such large files. Rather than simply downloading one single file from one single source or server, the protocol of the Bit Torrent allows the numerous users to join a multitude of hosts in order to download and upload them from each other almost simultaneously.

The Bit Torrent protocol acts as an alternative to the older and historic source and multiple mirror source technique for the distribution of data from one user to the other. The protocol can also work over the networks which have a lower bandwidth.

By using the Bit Torrent Protocol as well as several basic computers such as those found in our homes, we can replace the large servers while also efficiently distributing the numerous files onto several recipients. 

This usage of the lower bandwidth also helps in the prevention of major spikes in the traffic on the internet in any given area, by keeping the speed of the internet higher for all of the internet users in general, without regard to whether or not they use the protocol of BitTorrent.

Any user who wants to upload the file for the first time creates a small descriptor file of the torrent which they will be able to distribute by the normal means such as email, websites etc. they also then make the same file available through the BitTorrent node by acting as a seed. Those users who have a torrent descriptor file which can give it to their own nodes of BitTorrent.

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.