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BitTorrent
Episode 581st January 2023 • Tech Talk with Amit & Rinat • Amit Sarkar & Rinat Malik
00:00:00 00:49:43

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Imagine a file-sharing protocol that has lasted more than 20 years. It can be used to download all kinds of files, is resistant to network failures and can auto-resume. It doesn't put a lot of load on a single server and is dependent on how many people are downloading the file simultaneously. The speed of the download increases as more people are trying to download the same file. This is BitTorrent a decentralized file-sharing protocol created in 2001.

In this week's talk, Amit and Rinat talk about BitTorrent, how it works, what are its benefits and a lot more!

Transcripts

Rinat Malik:

Hi, everyone. Welcome to Tech Talk, a podcast where Amit and I talk about various technology related topics. Today, we thought we'll talk about a topic that would be familiar to some of you might maybe not all of you, but it's a very interesting topic. And it's torrents. So, torrents has a vast area of our vast web of existence within the web, which not all of you might have thought of. One of the things that, you know, the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about torrent is peer-to-peer, or sort of data sharing process in a way data sharing tool. You could say some of the some of the torrent websites and some of the torrent applications. But there are more things to do more, more places where torrent is relevant. And we're going to talk about or explore all of these areas today. And hopefully, as we talk we would learn something new ourselves, and hopefully you guys will enjoy this journey. So yeah, without further you do, let's start with a bit of introduction of torrents. What's your thought on torrents Amit?

Amit Sarkar:

So, first of all, Rinat , thank you so much for that introduction. Actually, it's the it's actually called the BitTorrent. So BitTorrent is the protocol over which the files get downloaded. And a lot of people are familiar with BitTorrent. If, if they have ever downloaded a pirated copy of a video, we don't approve that, but a lot of us have downloaded in the past. And basically, it's just a way to download a large file. It could be a pirated movie, or it could be a pirated audio software game, or it could be a operating system, very large video file or very large audio file, etc. So basically,

Rinat Malik:

pirated or non-pirated? It could be it

Amit Sarkar:

could be anything. Yes, exactly. But a lot of people are familiar that okay, if it is torrent or BitTorrent, then it means piracy. But it's that's not the fact. Because you can download the Linux operating system using torrent. So, using the BitTorrent protocol, so that's why it's very important to and that's why we want to educate people about the applications and how it actually works. And why is it still so relevant, like, even after so many years, even with so many issues of piracy, and even with so many cases, against a lot of torrent websites, it still survives to this day, because it's a protocol. It really works. So, I think the whole idea of this talk is to educate people about how the protocol works, and how you can actually send large files to people.

Rinat Malik:

Absolutely. So, what we need to distinguish and understand is torrent as a protocol is a technology. So, the technology itself is not neither legal nor illegal, because that's not a question about it, the file you share using the technology could be pirated or not pirated, and that's up to the user who decides to share whatever file they're using. And, you know, one shouldn't be distributing pirated copies anyway. So, it's up to the user. It's like a car, you know, you have a car, which is a, you know, a piece of technology. Now you drive on the road. But now if you decide to speed that's up to the users who decides to speed and become illegal drivers. But it's the car itself, as long as all the fitness tests and road tax are paid is not a question whether the car itself is legal or not. So, torrent as a technology is a technology, how you use it, and we would always encourage being away from piracy and any kind of illegal activities. But yeah, I mean, it's very powerful technology. That's why as you said, I mean that it still exists today with all the other alternatives there are for data sharing. The torrent is powerful enough that it's still relevant to this day, there has been many other you know, alternative technologies to share or receive data. There are, you know, ways to get you know, high bandwidth data for example, you know, YouTube before it was, you know, 360 pixels or 480 pixels. Now, we can even get 4k or even 8k videos, streamed with within YouTube. So, in terms of other alternative technologies, you know, streaming services and data sharing, there are many other options. But still, torrent remains relevant today because of its unique way of data sharing. And also, the reason why, you know, you might get a lot of pile why there is a bit of, you know, negative connotation of piracy attached to this technology is because you can use this technology without the sort of the obligation or the restriction of, you know, countries specific governments imposing some sort of restriction on the data sharing. So, there is that sort of benefit or advantage, if you'd like to call it as well attached to this technology, and that that could also make it very powerful, because a lot of the times, you know, data sharing the right kind of data sharing might be restricted in different countries. But, you know, the people might actually want to or need to receive or have access to certain kinds of data, for example, in the times of war, you might want to have unrestricted internet access, or an unrestricted data sharing, which might be restricted by the government. But you have that option to sort of enable that for a user. So, there are a lot of powerful enablement, that parent as a technology provider gives us or enables us, which is, which is quite important.

Amit Sarkar:

Well, I think, I agree bits of it Rinat. But I think some of the, I think the main reason why torrents became so popular, especially with movie piracy is because of the file size. So, say, let's go back 10 years, 10, may be 15 years. So, 10-15 years ago, if you wanted to download a movie file, from our location on the internet, or say, an operating system, say open to Linux, you want to download its 1.5 gigabytes, and you want to download it on your machine. Now, the problem is the internet speeds were very slow. And if it started download, and if it disconnects in between your download fail, so you have to start the download all over again. And suppose you're not the only person who's downloading it from a server, there are 1 billion people all across the world who are trying to download the same file from that server. Now the challenge is that that server has to send the file to 1 million people to their computers. So, the server takes a lot of load. And it's a 1.5 gigabit file. And that means that it takes a lot of time. So, the server is under a lot of load. And it has to distribute a large file and in case the connection breaks, then you have to start all over again. So, it's quite painful to transfer a large file when this protocol came into picture, because the speeds were very slow. And we didn't have Google Drive or OneDrive. And they were not that popular. I mean, they were still there. But they were not that popular. So now, and even if you wanted to share over Google Drive, or one drive, you had to upload the file. So, you have to upload 1.5 gigabytes to your Google Drive or OneDrive folder, and then someone and you have to share it, and then someone needs to download it. And you can share that file with multiple people. But it's all hosted on the Google servers, and you can distribute it, but the challenge still remains that the file is has to be uploaded and it has to be downloaded individually. Now what is BitTorrent do or what is peer to peer actually mean? Peer to Peer is there is no central server involved. You have a file, I have a file, someone else needs a file. Okay, so suppose you have file a File B, someone needs file a they talk directly to you using a common system. So you had Napster that was invented. And then there was other file sharing software that were created. So, people could go to that application. And you would share a directory or a folder on your machine and say that okay, any file in this folder would be available to anyone using this application if they search so suppose you have a file say ABC D dot jpg, and someone search for abc dot jpg, and your machine because you're currently online and you're using that application will show it on the search results. And then someone should be able to download it. This is peer to peer you are so we are all peers and we are able to share file among ourselves without the need of a central body like Google or Microsoft, any or any other body? Okay, go ahead. You want to say something?

Rinat Malik:

No, no, I was just I was just saying that. Yeah, peer-to-peer network is really powerful because it doesn't have a central body. But everyone else shares the data upload and download bandwidth. And I remember the very first even before BitTorrent or anything, there was a software called LimeWire, which I may or may not have used. You know, was that also a peer-to-peer network? And was it also using the BitTorrent technology? Or was it something or

Amit Sarkar:

LimeWire I'm not sure, I know about Napster? Because that was being used for transferring audio files. And you're right, peer to peer has the limitation that the system's bandwidth has to your bandwidth will be used. So, suppose 10,000, users suddenly decide to download one file from your machine. And that file is one MB, you suddenly generating a traffic of 10,000 into one MB. So, 10,000, that's

Rinat Malik:

the that's the benefit of a network, right? I mean, the day it's all in the name, it's a peer to peer network. So, it's very unlikely that only I have the file. And also out of those 10,000 people, say, for example, I only have the file and 10,000 people wants to download it, I am giving that Yeah, at the on the very first minute 10,000 people are, you know, I have, you know, using up all of my bandwidth, but the very second, one other person downloaded it, they will also start sharing with the rest of the 99,998 people. That's where the power comes. So within five minutes, you know, half the people will already have it. And then the we're on the sixth minute, all 10,000 people would have it. So that's how we could utilize the power of network. You know, if you imagine, you know, even big names like Google, Facebook, even then if 10,000. I mean, if we're talking about realistically big amounts of file, even then they would probably still struggle to distribute this much data so quickly. I mean, it starts slowly with a network, you know, peer to peer network, but very quickly, it gets so much more ability to share that data, because everyone is now having parts of the data and sharing. So, it becomes very powerful very quickly, I think,

Amit Sarkar:

yes. And that's what the BitTorrent protocol is also about. So, the moment you start having the complete file, so suppose you download say, I download a file from Rinat and Rinat has file A, I download file A, now, suppose my wife she, she needs file A. So, she will, she could download either from Rinat or me whoever is available online. So, the person who has the complete file is called a seeder. And the person who has an incomplete file is called lecher. So, you are leeching the file and someone is seeding the file. So the seed is a complete file, and the leech is an incomplete file. But the beauty of BitTorrent is that it goes beyond this. So, let's say that you want to download file a file is one gigabyte. Now file, a is one gigabyte. And what the torrent protocol does is, it first breaks the file into say, 1000 or 2000 pieces. So, one gigabyte is split into 1000 pieces. So, each piece is how much so one gigabyte is 1000 MB, so each piece is about one MB, let's make it 2000. So, each piece is about 500 kilobytes. Okay. So, each piece is 500 kilobytes. And each piece is numbered, because you can receive a piece in any order. And it has to be assembled in the correct order. And you can receive one piece from Rinat and one piece from Amit or one piece from my wife, or one piece from another person.

Rinat Malik:

Exactly, that's, that's where the power is with peer to peer networking that, you know, the what you mentioned, lechers, obviously, the name kind of suggests that, you know, you're kind of receiving but not necessarily, I mean, the half that you've already received, you're also sharing. So that's where it becomes really powerful, because everyone who has even part of the file is sharing. So the people who are receiving are actually, you know, sort of exposed to a lot more information available to receive, because not everyone has the same part of the file. Yes, that's where the beauty or the power of exactly,

Amit Sarkar:

exactly because the piece so one gigabyte 1000 MB file is broken down into 2000 pieces, each file 100 kilobytes. So, you have the piece number one, starting with number one. And the last piece is number 2000. And suppose you start downloading and you get PS 1500, someone gets PS 1600, someone gets 1700. But each gets individual pieces, and they slowly start downloading more and more pieces from everyone else. And the beauty of this protocol is that the more people are downloading the file, the more speed you can get. If only one person is seeding, and everyone is downloading from that person, then it's a bit slow. Of course, if that person's computer is powerful, then you will get good speed. But if the computer is not powerful, if the internet speeds are not that great, then you will get very poor speeds. But imagine, if there are 1000 people, out of 2000 pieces, if there are 1000 people who have the complete file, or who are downloading at the same time, then it means you're using 1000 different computers, you're connected to 1000 different IP addresses, from which you're downloading about 1000 different pieces. And your speed for downloading that one file suddenly increases tremendously. So that's how the network effect works. More people downloading a file, more quicker, you will be able to download, but of course, it's limited to the bandwidth of your internet provider. I will say if you have a 500 Mbps connection, then it should download very, very quickly. So one megabit per second, if you do that, then 1000 megabits could, you could barely download it in 1000 divided by 60. So how much would that be? About 10 minutes?

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, yeah, it's about

Amit Sarkar:

just over 10 minutes, maybe just 10 minutes. So, imagine, you can download this much data so quickly. And, and this is one gigabyte one gigabyte file, it's a huge file. And that is why this torrent protocol has survived. Because it has not got anything to do with piracy, it has got to do with how the whole system works. So, suppose you shut down your computer in the middle of the download, and you have to do some work, you're you want to sleep. So, you just turn off your computer, you don't trust the people who are going to connect to your computer. So, you just start you shut down the computer, you have downloaded part of the file, you come back next day, you switch on the computer, you switch on the application, and you can resume the download. That's the beauty, you don't have to download those parts. Again, you can download, you can start downloading whatever parts you don't have. So, it retains the file. It's like streaming, the file is being streamed from multiple sources and being assembled on your machine. So, you download one piece from here one piece from there, and then it gets starts getting assembled on your machine. And because each file has a number it knows in which order to connect those pieces. And once it has all the pieces, even if one 500 MB file is missing 500 KB file is missing the pieces missing sorry, from that file, the file might still work, but it will give you an error because it had 500 KB of data on available. So that's why till it's 100% available, never try to open the file or never try to install an application because it will give an error because it's not a complete file, it's still missing some data. So that's the beauty of BitTorrent.

Rinat Malik:

but interesting thing is that, you know, I mean, I've downloaded videos, and I've actually even as impatient I am, I tried opening the video as it is downloading. And it actually very interestingly starts playing until that missing piece and then windows media player throws up an error. So, it's very visible and transparent with the data sharing that exactly which piece until that piece you can still play sometimes in a lot of files, you know, until you get the 100% of it. You can't even you know begin it. But it that's not the case with torrent. And that I think, you know, that gives a level of transparency to the user. That's not available everywhere else. I mean, obviously with copyright material or sort of you know, the platforms that are, you know, private organization owned platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook, whatever, they control a lot of those things but with torrent data sharing, there is a level of transparency that you can't get anywhere else. So that's another sort of feature of this technology, I think,

Amit Sarkar:

yes. And when the technology was created, you had a central server or a tracker. So, it used to track who has what piece of that file. So someone needs to track what piece are available with whom. So you have a client. So that's called a BitTorrent client, or mute torrent. That's one of the clients. Currently there is a client called Cubitt torrent. So, there are various clients. These are like, your Windows Media Player, or VLC media player that is used to play an audio file. So, you use these clients to download torrent file. So, So you have to open something and someone needs to track who has what pieces. So, when you say you want to download a file, say the Ubuntu Linux, using a torrent file, what does it actually mean? So that torrent file basically contains a list of trackers who are tracking that particular file, and who are tracking who has that particular file and how many pieces they have, how many people are seeding how many people are leaching, so they keep track of the all that the torrent file also tries to tell your machine, what file to actually download. There are billions and billions of files, so it knows which file to download. The torrent file itself is a very small file, one to 200 KB, it's a very small file. And in order for you to open the torrent file, you need a torrent client. And that is where the BitTorrent client or the uTorrent or cubed torrent these type of clients

Rinat Malik:

I used to use is called Vuze. We use that yeah, that I found the interface was quite pleasing, I suppose a lot of information was given to me in terms of, you know, if I'm downloading a file, which countries where you know, where the data is coming from, and who actually has 100% of the data, or 30%? And how many people are seeding and how many people are leaving all of this information was there. But yeah, I mean, all of these other clients are also I suppose good. Yeah.

Amit Sarkar:

Yeah, I think the main difference with all these clients is because they are all open source, not open source, but they are free to download, they normally show some ads over a period of time, they become quite bulky, in the sense that it, the performance reduces. There are too many ads, it takes a lot of time to start open, etc, etc. So that's why I mean, I've used a couple of clients, I've not stuck with one client for a very long time, because they keep changing. And their policy keeps changing. So, it becomes difficult for me to start using them. But the whole idea of the client is to use. So, you basically go to a website, which has the torrent file, you download the torrent file, so you go to ubuntu.com, and you want to download the 64-bit, Linux edition for, x86 or x64 processors, these are Intel processors. So, you download that particular file, and you download the latest, maybe you can download the latest release candidate or you download the sorry, the long-term stable release, or you can download the everyday release the nightly builds. So, you can download either of them. So, once you start, once you download the torrent file, you open the torrent file in your client. And once the client opens, it then does ask you where to download the file which location you want to download the file to and the torrent file will tell you that what files are you trying to download. So sometimes say you want to download the operating system the operating system will come with a manual the operating system will come with a readme document, etc. So, there are not just one file, but there are multiple files when you want to download an operating system. So, when you are trying to download the file, the torrent, what is the file when you open it in the client, it will ask you which file Do you want to specifically download? Do you want to download the manual? You can select it or you can unselect then you can you ask? It will ask you do you want to download the readme file? Yes, you unselect it if you don't want it and then just the operating system with the installer. So, if you want to download just that, just select it and then the download starts and when the download starts as Rinat mentioned previously that you will be able to see what is the speed you're getting, what is the file, how much is it complete? How many CDs are available, how many leeches are available? Which IP addresses are you connected to which countries they are located, how much of the file I have I got Have I got the beginning or the end of the file or the middle of the file, etc, etc. So, all this thing you can see, plus. Now, we recently talked about ports, hardware ports, software ports. Now computers have more than 60,000 ports. So BitTorrent has to the protocol itself has to communicate over a port. So, all the transmission has to take place through in and out of that particular port. So, when you actually download the client install it, it'll ask you Do you want a fixed port or a random port. So random port means that every time you start the application, the port changes, fixed port means every time you start the application, the port remains the same. So, these ports should not be a standard port, like 8080, or 800, or some or a port 80, or some other ports that are used for other classes, by used by other clients. So, you should not use ports for FTP clients, you should not use ports for SMTP lines, etc, etc, or even telnet or SSH. So those ports are what is a pre allocated, and you should not be using it. And that is why you need to define a port. And then you can start the download. Now, what has happened recently is that there are magnet URLs. So now you don't even have to download the torrent file from a central location, like a directory. So, what you do is you go to the say you go to Obon to.com. And there, you they will ask you do you want to download the torrent file or you want to download the magnet? If you click on the magnet, basically it copies the URL. And the URL is basically somewhere in the cloud. In Saudi, not somewhere in the cloud, but somewhere in the internet. And what you need to do is you need to open the client and you said, download from a URL, not download from a file download from a URL. And that URL has all the description of what needs to be downloaded where it needs, sorry, and who has the file, what speak tried, et cetera, et cetera. So, this is the new innovation that has come where you actually don't even need the torrent file. So yeah, this is like an in-depth overview of how the client actually works.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah know that this was quite fascinating. I mean, I had some knowledge and I've used to torrent files before, but I had, I guess gaps in my in my spectrum of knowledge on this topic. And it's actually quite, quite interesting to know the rest of the rest of the story. But let's step back for the audience who are still with us, but don't have much idea on what torrent is, but hopefully listened. Till now let's give a more of a like a generic overview of what torrent is because I feel like we didn't start with that. So, torrent is a technology, or BitTorrent is the protocol. When we say protocol, it's the is sort of the method of connection by and torrent, or torrenting is a technology with which we distribute or share data. Now, we have many ways of sharing data. For example, when you watch something on YouTube, you were, you know, receiving data, YouTube is sharing the data. Or when you know, send a file from your phone to another phone using Bluetooth, you're also sharing data. So, there are many ways of sharing Data Torrent is just another way. And the way this is, is basically using the internet connectivity, which is the protocol basically, to share data within a network. Now, this is different from all the other types of data sharing, because it's sharing within a network of people who all wants that same data. And within that network, at least one person has a full copy of that data. Now, as long as one person has the full data, as you know, going back to your example, I made, you know, say a two-gigabyte file, and one person has it and 10 other people wants it. Now, if they create a 11 person, or 11 endpoint or 11 computer networks, and that one person starts sharing parts, you know, packet by packet, the data to the network, everyone will start having different packets of that file, different, you know, smaller pieces of that file. And then as soon as they start having one piece, that one piece is not necessarily the same as the other person who probably has another piece, and they all start sharing within each other of the pieces that they don't have in common. So what happens is because the first person starts sharing, and no one else has that copy, for the first minute or a few seconds, they're the only one who has to upload with high bandwidth, but very quickly, all the people in the network starts having unique pieces that the rest of the network doesn't have, and they all starts uploading and downloading. So sharing and receiving. And very quickly after I wouldn't even say the first minute but within a few seconds, everyone starts sharing as well. So all the 11 people in the network gets the desired data which is a two gigabyte file a one gigabyte file a lot quicker than if it was being shared by one server to everyone individually. So the streaming services that we have in YouTube and you know, these are big companies obviously using massive powerful servers and bandwidths of upload speed etc You know, you don't get lags when you were watching something but when it comes to data that's not necessarily sponsored, you know, without ads or without pay, and there might be you know, crucial or important data still and you know, these needs a quicker way of sharing and torrent is a lot of the time the answer to quick sharing between a network and everyone receives it very quickly. And obviously all the things that we sort of discussed just earlier was the different nuances of that data sharing how we receive it and what other benefits like for example, you can pause and then restart the sharing etcetera, etcetera. But torrent as a technology is mainly that that we share data within a network where at least one person has the full data full file and it's a lot quicker than a lot of other technologies. You don't need a very massive powerful server say for example you have a large file that you want to be created say for example our podcast for example this episode and we are not you know for example, we currently rely on hosting services to you know, up you know the this attribute that data amongst you guys. But say, for example, if we didn't have that, and we wanted to share the data, and then 1000, or 10,000, people wanted to listen to us, they wouldn't, you know, we wouldn't need a really big powerful distribution system, or server or bandwidth or upload speed, we could just share from our computers and very, very quickly within, you know, minutes or seconds, everyone else within the network will also start sharing, and it would be as if it's as powerful as a really, you know, powerful set of our upload speed. But, you know, actually, we're just uploading from our own computer. So that's the power of torrent. And hopefully, you can find many other useful ways apart from just pirated content. There are many other ways that it can be used. And, you know, I could be beneficial to society in many ways, which, you know, I'm keen to sort of find out from you guys when you when you give us or send us some feedback around how to use it in in more ways.

Amit Sarkar:

Yeah, so I think, coming back to the protocols, so as you mentioned that there are different types of protocols. So, one, one could be File Transfer Protocol, or FTP. One is real time streaming protocol, which is what we use for streaming videos, and audio, then you have the HTTP protocol, which is Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which is used to for the internet, so all the webpages that we see. And then you have the BitTorrent protocol, which is used for basically sharing files, which is similar to FTP. And then you have SMTP, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. So that's used to share emails. So yeah, so there are different protocols. And I mean, pirated content is what made maybe the torrent more famous, but actually, you can share different types of files. So operating system is one example. And why is it became so popular is because the servers that are sharing these operating systems, they these servers, or say Ubuntu, they don't make much money. So, they don't, they can't hire powerful servers, or even purchase powerful server. So, they request the people to download the file using torrents. So, because that means that people who are in actual need can download the file, but people who have or who can share the file, or who have good bandwidth, of internet speed can actually help Obon to and many other people in sharing the file of whatever they have downloaded. So that's one way, then you have video games, video games a large file, so you normally buy them in a DVD or a Blu ray Disc. And each DVD is about 16 gigabytes, Blu ray Disc is about 45 to 50 gigabytes. So that's a lot of data. And if you want to download that data from a central location, then you need to have kind of protocol. So I mean, we can talk about game distribution, but game distribution is somewhere where BitTorrent can also work. So, there is software, which are huge, there is audio files, which may not be huge, but if you say you want to download all the Taylor Swift albums, then it becomes a huge file, especially if it's a high quality. And then if you want to download video, so then that means movies, or animated movies, documentaries, etc. So that's huge file, then you have games are again, huge files. And that means that you need some kind of protocol to download it, then you have audiobooks. Again, they're huge files. And then you have courses now we all have been living in COVID for a long time. So, we have these video courses. So, you can download video courses. So that also will I mean, that also will take a lot of bandwidth if you want to download video course from someone so and then you have ebooks. So, suppose you want to download a ebook normally are not that big. So, you can still download it. But if you want you can still download it from a downloaded using a torrent. Normally eBooks are you can download from Kindle library. So, you have Kindle Unlimited, you it's a subscription service. And once you become part of that subscription service, you can download the file directly to your Kindle. And for games you have steam. So, steam is one of the largest distributors of games in the world. And with that, if you have steam, you can download any game that you purchase on that platform. And then you own it forever. And whenever you log in into a new machine, you can download the game that you've already purchased. So yeah, these are the different ways I think what are the what are the things that we have not talked about yet? is how to you actually start torrenting? yourself? So, suppose you have a big file. So, I have a big file and I want to share it with Rinat, how do I create a torrent? And that is where the I think the nuance lies again. Because if you go to the internet, you will find how to download files. But how do I actually upload a file is also important? How do I become the person who's the first seed and downloads?

Rinat Malik:

So, before you start, and I'm very curious to know this, and I would like you to explain as much as you know, but you know, obviously, throughout this talk, we've mentioned it many times that piracy is not good, we, in no way encourage it or actually discourage it, really. But, you know, as we said that, how do you become the seeder? So, you can distribute your own files for which the copyright you own or sort of a file that is available in the public domain? So yeah, in no way, are we encouraging that you start piracy, and also, just just in most of the countries, if you are downloading something, you're, you know, you're still pirating, but the charge for that is lower than if you're the person who's distributing it. So, you would be charged or fined, or criminally convicted? In many countries, if you're the person who was distributing pirated content. So, in no way, are we you know, we're very much discouraging it not only are we not encouraging it, but please don't do it. But yeah, let's, let's hear about how do you distribute it,

Amit Sarkar:

I think, arena, thanks for highlighting that, I think it's a very key aspect of like, file sharing, can be done, but distribution is highly illegal. So even if you by accident, download a pirated copy and you're not aware of it, you should not distribute it to others. That's part of the copyright. Of course, if someone comes to your house with a warrant, and they search your hard disk, and you have pirated content, then then of course, you have to pay a penalty, and there will be some legal proceedings against you. So that's why you have to be very, very careful the laws in most of the developed countries, the UK, US, they're very strict, and they're very clear, if you download pirated content, and if you are under the radar of the of the police, then you can be prosecuted. And then there could be a huge penalty, which includes a large fine, or you could be put behind bars for certain time. And you could be banned from using any computers maybe even banned from using the internet. So yeah, there are a lot of restrictions that are involved. So please, please, please don't download anything illegal, because that's not the right thing to do. Fee creators and someone has created a film or music file, etc. And they would like to be compensated for the effort that they've put in. So, it's very important that we value that and say by accident, you have downloaded pirated, copy, make an effort to buy the original so that way you are actually helping in paying the royalties to the artists who has created it. So, before we try to understand how to create a torrent file, we need to understand why we want to do it. So suppose you have a large file, say as I mentioned, we have this we have this video recording for a podcast we want to share this file we can do it in multiple ways we can use OneDrive, we can use Google Drive, or we can send the file via torrent and torrent files are again convenient way of sending it but if you don't want it you can always use OneDrive or Google Drive. Now in order for you to create a torrent file you need a torrent client so that could be you mute or and queue BitTorrent or BitTorrent client so you download one of these clients and there would be normally an option on creating a torrent and when you create a torrent will give you certain options and one of the options is that you need to do is what do you want to actually have that torrent file? Like what do you want in that torrent file? Like what files or do you want folders? Do you want files? What do you want to send? So you say that okay, I want to share everything in this folder say setups so all I'll say videos so anything in that folder which has which is named video at a particular location on your computer, you locate that directory and then you click that ok this is the directory from which I want to create a torrent file. So now that's done. Then you want to decide whether it for it has to be a private or a public torrent. Public torrent means anyone in the internet with that file will be able to download it from your computer private is anyone who has that file will be able to download it No one else. So of course, it's private. And it's only restricted, then the question comes about the tracker. So how do you distribute this file over the internet? How do you let people know that there is something available, so you need tracker URLs. So now there are open tracker URLs, which you can download from which you can find from various websites like torrent free and many other websites. And you can just quickly search for open tracker, torrent tracker URLs, and you will get a list and just try to put few of them or try to see which are the domains. If you're very skeptical about the domains, don't use them. If you are very clear, do your research. So, it's always a disclaimer that whenever you're trying to do something on the internet, try to do a research because you don't want to get at the wrong side of the law, or you don't want your computer to be in any way, get infected with a virus. So, you need to make sure that you're using the right URLs. So once you have the open tracker URLs, then you create the torrent file, you click on Create, it creates a torrent file, then, because the torrent file, as I mentioned, is about one KB to 200 300 KB, I then send it to say Rinat and not then opens the torrent file in his on his machine, and then it starts downloading the file. For Rinat, to start downloading the file. As Rinat mentioned earlier, someone needs to have the complete copy. And now only I have the complete copy. So, in case I turn off my machine, Rinat will not be able to download. But the beauty of the client is, whenever I turn on my machine, and if printer’s client is already active, it will know that my machine is ON, and it will start downloading the file again or resuming the download. Again, wherever it has stopped at this is the whole beauty of this protocol is that if the cedar itself goes down, but if they come back up at a later part of the day, or maybe after a couple of weeks, and if your torrent is still active, when it comes to download, you can split download the file even weeks later. So yeah.

Rinat Malik:

Yes, and more, I find it even more fascinating is say, for example, a third person. So, you know, person A, also has that URL and is downloading, but you as the complete file owner, you've turned off, I only have half the copy. Now with that URL, they can also have half the copy until you come back online. So, until you come back online, we all of us, rest of us in the network, have, you know, all the data we can have possibly, and then you come back online, and then you start sharing again. And we so it the network is really powerful. And you know, this is this is one I mean, you know, it's very, you know, an old proverb anyway, that, you know, if you, you know, if 10 People are doing the task, the task gets very easy or, you know, if you divide a piece of work in little pieces, it gets easier. It's not a you know, it's a colonized from a lot of from 1000s of years ago, but this is where the power of this is this part of network, this this sort of area of, you know, using the network or using many people, you know, as a contributor, we could sort of utilize this technology a lot better.

Amit Sarkar:

Absolutely. And that's why we wanted to share this information today as part of the podcast. And I hope you found some information from this podcast, and you found it quite useful. And please don't think that BitTorrent is just for piracy. BitTorrent is for many other legal things that you can do. And if you want, please do contact us. We have all the links in the description of this video. And we also share the links in the podcast, you please contact us and we are happy to help. But yeah, this is what torrenting is all about. And the protocol has survived many years, even decades. I remember downloading my first torrent file when I was in college. So that's almost 22,006 I graduated. So, if I say that I started downloading my first file in say 2004 or 5, so takes me about 17 years.

Rinat Malik:

Yes, absolutely. I think I started at the same around the same time. 2003 Four, you know, at that time I was I was a student. And I was kind of exploring all the new technologies computing itself was new internet was new, and we were just, you know, trying all the different technologies that are out there. And it was it was very interesting and the fact that it's still relevant kind of set as those are technology that is here to stay, and it provides some unique properties that are not available in elsewhere, you don't need a powerful server. I mean, you have many things available like Google Drive, or OneDrive or whatever. But as soon as you want to go commercial are big numbers, you need to pay for it. It's not free. But with torrenting, it's free, and it's powerful. It's as powerful if not more than the traditional, you know, platforms and the platforms have restrictions. And, you know, they might own some something, if you don't, I don't know, I mean, obviously, you have to agree to Google terms and conditions as you open your account. I've never read it. And you know, many of us haven't, but, you know, they might have closed that if you upload your content in Google Drive, they might have certain rights to that content. But with torrent sharing, you're not giving away your rights to anyone. So, there are there are many things to think about and, you know, in alternative technology that is just as powerful without the spend, or the cost. So, I'm very keen to get all of you guys's sort of ideas about how we can use torrent more without the piracy part. So yeah, very keen to get all of your messages, our contact details are in all of the platforms that were available. So yeah, looking forward to hearing from you guys. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this talk. I actually did very much it's a technology that we don't use very often but it's kind of laid up in my brain all the all the things that we have done in the past and how powerful it is. So yeah, hopefully you guys also enjoyed it and would be looking at different ways of using this technology more. We look forward to seeing you guys again in our next episode. Until then.

Amit Sarkar:

Take care everyone bye.

Rinat Malik:

Take care