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Glossary of BitTorrent terms

This is a glossary of jargon related to peer-to-peer le

sharing via the BitTorrent protocol.

change in the set of participants causes a minimal

amount of disruption. This allows a DHT to scale
to extremely large numbers of nodes and to handle
continual node arrivals, departures, and failures.

Downloader A downloader is any peer that does not
have the entire le and is downloading the le. This
term, used in Bram Cohens Python implementation, lacks the negative connotation attributed to
leech. Bram prefers downloader to leech because
BitTorrents tit-for-tat ensures downloaders also upload and thus do not unfairly qualify as leeches.

Availability (Also known as distributed copies.) The

number of full copies of a le (or set of les and directories) directly available to the client. Each seed
adds 1.0 to this number, as they have one complete
copy of the le. A connected peer with a fraction of
the le available adds that fraction to the availability,
if no other peer has this part of the le.

Endgame / Endgame mode Any applied algorithm for

downloading the last few pieces (see below) of a torrent.

Example: a peer with 65.3% of the le downloaded increases the availability by 0.653. However, if two
peers both have the same portion of the le downloaded - say 50% - and there is only one seeder, the
availability is 1.5.

In typical client operation the last download pieces arrive more slowly than the others. This is because the
faster and more easily accessible pieces should have
already been obtained. In order to prevent the last
pieces becoming unobtainable, BitTorrent clients attempt to get the last missing pieces from all of its
peers. Upon receiving the last pieces a cancel request command is sent to other peers.

Sometimes distributed copies is considered to be

availability minus 1. So if the availability is 1.6
, the distributed copies will be 0.6 because it is only
counting the copies of the le.

Choked Describes a peer to which the client refuses to

send le pieces. A client chokes another client in Fake A fake torrent is a torrent that does not contain
several situations:
what is specied in its name or description (e.g. a
torrent is said to contain a video, but it contains only
The second client is a seed, in which case it
a snapshot of a moment in the video, or in some
does not want any pieces (i.e., it is completely
cases a virus).
The client is already uploading at its full capacity (it has reached the value of max_uploads) FreeLeech Freeleech means that the download size of
the torrent does not count towards your overall ra The second client has been blacklisted for betio, only the uploaded amount on the torrent counts
ing abusive or is using a blacklisted BitTorrent
toward your ratio. As a rule, any torrent that is set
to FREELEECH should be seeded back 1:1 or to
a minimum of 7 days. All other torrents should be
Client The program that enables peer-to-peer le sharseeded back 1:1 or 48 hours
ing via the BitTorrent protocol. See Comparison of
BitTorrent clients.
Grab A torrent is grabbed when its metadata les have
been downloaded.
Distributed Hash Table A Distributed Hash Table
(DHT) is a class of a decentralized distributed sys- Hash The hash is a string of alphanumeric characters
tem that provides a lookup service similar to a hash
(typically hexadecimal) in the .torrent le that the
table; (key, value) pairs are stored in a DHT, and
client uses to verify the data that is being transferred.
any participating node can eciently retrieve the
Hash is the shorter form of the word "hashsum".
value associated with a given key. Responsibility
for maintaining the mapping from keys to values is Torrent les contain information like the le list, sizes,
pieces, etc. Every piece received is rst checked
distributed among the nodes, in such a way that a

against the hash. If it fails verication, the data is
discarded and requested again.


A lurker is a user that only downloads les from the

group but does not add new content. It does not necessarily mean that the lurker will not seed. Not to be
confused with a leecher.

Hash checks greatly reduce the chance that invalid data

is incorrectly identied as valid by the BitTorrent
client, but it is still possible for invalid data to have
Magnet link A mechanism dierent from a .torrent
the same hash value as the valid data and be treated
metale which can be used to identify a set of les
as such. This is known as a hash collision. Torrent
for BitTorrent based on content, as opposed to refand p2p les typically use 160 bit hashes that are
erencing any particular tracker. The method is not
reasonably free from hash collision problems, so the
limited to BitTorrent data. See Magnet URI scheme.
probability of bad data being received and passed on
is extraordinarily small.
Overseeded In private trackers using ratio credit, a torrent is overseeded when its availability is so high that
Health Health is shown in a bar or in % usually next to
seeders have diculty nding downloaders.
the torrents name and size, on the site where the
.torrent le is hosted. It shows if all pieces of the
torrent are available to download (i.e. 50% means p2p Main article: Peer-to-peer
that only half of the torrent is available). Health does
not indicate whether the torrent is free of viruses.
In a p2p network, each node (or computer on the netHit-and-run To intentionally leech a le; downloading a le while seeding as little as possible.

work) acts as both a client and a server. In other

words, each computer is capable of both responding
to requests for data and requesting data itself.

Peer A peer is one instance of a BitTorrent client running

on a computer on the Internet to which other clients
connect and transfer data. Depending on context,
An index is a list of .torrent les (usually including
peer can refer either to any client in the swarm or
descriptions and other information) managed by a
more specically to a downloader, a client that has
website and available for searches. An index webonly parts of the le....
site can also be a tracker.

Index Main article: BitTorrent index

Interested Describes a downloader who wishes to obtain pieces of a le the client has. For example, the
uploading client would ag a downloading client as
'interested' if that client did not possess a piece that
it did, and wished to obtain it.

Piece This refers to the torrented les being divided up

into equal specic sized pieces (e.g., 64kB, 128kB,
512kB, 1MB, 2MB or 4MB). The pieces are distributed in a random fashion among peers in order
to optimize trading eciency.

Ratio credit A ratio credit, also known as upload credit

or ratio economy, is a currency system used on a
number of private trackers to provide an incentive
for higher upload/download ratios among member
le-sharers. In such a system, those users with
Leech has two meanings. Often, leecher is synonymous
greater amounts of bandwidth, hard drive space
with downloader (see above): simply describing a
(particularly seedboxes) or idle computer uptime are
peer or any client that does not have 100% of the
at a greater advantage to accumulate ratio credits
versus those lacking in any one or more of the same
The term leech also refers to a peer (or peers) that has a
negative eect on the swarm by having a very poor
share ratio, downloading much more than they up- Scraping Main article: Tracker scrape
load. Leeches may be on asymmetric Internet connections or do not leave their BitTorrent client open
to seed the le after their download has completed. This is when a client sends a request to the tracking
However, some leeches intentionally avoid uploadserver for information about the statistics of the toring by using modied clients or excessively limiting
rent, such as with whom to share the le and how
their upload speed.
well those other users are sharing.

Leech Main article: Leech (computing)

Lurker Main article: Lurker

Seed A seed refers to a machine possessing some part

of the data. A peer or downloader becomes a seed

when it starts uploading the already downloaded
content for other peers to download from. This includes any peer possessing 100% of the data or a
web seed. When a downloader starts uploading content, the peer becomes a seed.

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

Seeding refers to leaving a peers connection available Tracker Main article: BitTorrent tracker
for downloaders to download from. Normally, a
peer should seed more data than download. How- A tracker is a server that keeps track of which seeds and
ever, whether to seed or not, or how much to seed,
peers are in the swarm. Clients report information to
depends on the availability of downloaders and the
the tracker periodically and in exchange, receive inchoice of the peer at the seeding end.
formation about other clients to which they can connect. The tracker is not directly involved in the data
Share ratio A users share ratio for any individual tortransfer and does not have a copy of the le.
rent 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 1.0
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 negative connotation.
Snatch A torrent is snatched when its data les have
been downloaded.
Snubbing An uploading client is displayed as snubbed
if the downloading client has not received any data
from it in over 60 seconds.
Super-seeding When a le is new, much time can be
wasted because the seeding client might send the
same le piece to many dierent peers, while other
pieces have not yet been downloaded at all. Some
clients, like ABC, Vuze, BitTornado, TorrentStorm,
and Torrent have a "super-seed" mode, where they
try to only send out pieces that have never been sent
out before, theoretically making the initial propagation of the le much faster. However the superseeding becomes less eective and may even reduce
performance compared to the normal rarest rst
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.
Swarm Main article: Segmented downloading
Together, all peers (including seeds) sharing a torrent are
called a swarm. For example, six ordinary peers
and two seeds make a swarm of eight. This is a
holdover from the predecessor to BitTorrent, a program called Swarmcast, originally from OpenCola.
Torrent A torrent can mean either a .torrent metadata
le or all les described by it, depending on context. The torrent le contains metadata about all the
les it makes downloadable, including their names


Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses



Glossary of BitTorrent terms Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary%20of%20BitTorrent%20terms?oldid=640822098 Contributors: Damian Yerrick, Arpingstone, Emperor, Robbot, Beland, SimonEast, Blonkm, Keron Cyst, Grutness, Alansohn, Ringbang, Eyreland,
Toussaint, Yurik, Charmii, DrHow, Rjwilmsi, Vegaswikian, Jling, Emmapimusim, Rurik, SmackBot, Roma emu, Urukagina, Marcus
Brute, Ace Frahm, GhostInTheMachine, Rory O'Kane, Rdunn, Hemlock Martinis, Cydebot, Sadharan, Alaibot, Esemono, E. Ripley, Seth
Nimbosa, Kremmen, Kevinmon, Avicennasis, Gyurika, Anonywiki, Daniel77o, Moonsell, X-Fi6, Smaug123, Smilesfozwood, Mr. Stradivarius, ClueBot, Eriksiers, Kl4m, Kl4m-AWB, Mild Bill Hiccup, Infernodeath, OmegaWiki, FiendishDemon, Rhododendrites, Technobadger, Lunboks, XLinkBot, JohnLM, Addbot, Ocrasaroon, ACookr, Socother, LaaknorBot, Casperinfo, Ben Ben, Kuzetsa, AnomieBOT,
Ibraheem alex, Samwb123, Dan6hell66, Ashokponkumar, Reconsider the static, MxDenis, Suusion of Yellow, Cognoscente72, Enauspeaker, HiMyNameIsFrancesca, Bernard Teo, Sunnyisnothere, Muntoo, F, Philsfan1234, Hyblackeagle22, Sabrinamagers, ClueBot NG,
Titodutta, Wbm1058, Aoirovolts, Jehanavan, Achowat, Onrandom, Tkbx, ChrisGualtieri, Jethro B, Gus Hecht, Raptures Sander Cohen,
MRAY (WMF), Ginsuloft, Clinton30, Pcfan500 and Anonymous: 110



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