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What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent is a protocol designed for transferring files.

It is peer-to-peer (p2p) in nature, as users connect to each other directly to send and receive portions of the file. However, there is a central server (called a tracker) which coordinates the action of all such peers. The tracker only manages connections, it does not have any knowledge of the contents of the files being distributed, and therefore a large number of users can be supported with relatively limited tracker bandwidth.

The key philosophy of BitTorrent is that users should upload (transmit outbound, also called seeding) at the same time they are downloading (receiving inbound, also called leeching). In this manner, network bandwidth is utilized as efficiently as possible. BitTorrent is designed to work better as the number of people interested in a certain file increases, in contrast to other file transfer protocols.

BitTorrent Quick Start
GET A CLIENT In order to use BitTorrent you need to download a Bittorrent client. This will allow you to grab the files described in the .torrent. There are many clients currently available that can be downloaded for free of the web. Azureus and uTorrent are the most popular clients. These are the official clients for Desitorrents. Make sure to read the client startup guides so you setup the client settings correctly. CONFIGURE Once you have downloaded one of the above eventually check the configuration options in order to tune it to your bandwidth (some clients like Azureus have a configuration wizard):

1. Your upload speed shouldn't be set to more than 80 to 90% of your maximum upload speed. For example, if you have a max upload of 25Kb/s your BitTorrent upload speed shouldn't be more than 20 to 22Kb/s. Using all of it would cause your download speed to be severely lowered, this because a small upload percentage is needed by BitTorrent to communicate with the tracker and the other peers.

2. Don't be too generous and restrain the maximum number of uploads -- how many simultaneous leeches will benefit from your seed -- to a reasonable number. Let's say you have one active torrent and 20Kb/s of total bandwidth. With 4 max uploads, 4 people will receive 5Kb/s from you, which is nice. But if you have 3 active torrents and allow 8 uploads, 24 sad guys (3 torrents with 8 connections on each) will only get less than 1Kb/s which is poor...

3. When zero means unlimited you shouldn't leave any values anywhere at zero. Indicate high numbers, like 99 or less, according to your tastes. It's just a precaution as some clients experienced memory overload while reaching their unlimited limits. Furthermore, zero seldom means "no connections from peers", ie. no seeding... Don't try that unless you want to be banned from our tracker.

4. Your firewall if you have one, should have ports 6881 to 6889 open. Check the (future) firewall topic for more information.

SEED! you'll see this printed in large and friendly letters all over every BitTorrent sites. It means you should at the very least upload the same amount you downloaded. BitTorrent relies on sharing: if you don't share why do you expect other will?

Now you can click on a .torrent file and start downloading!

What BitTorrent Client should I use?
List of Clients (RECOMMENDED)

Rest are considered as "Bad Clients". If you're using a client which is not enlisted in our recommended list, we urge you to switch to our recommended torrent clients asap. If you choose to keep using a non-recommended client despite our warnings, we do not take any responsibilities in case your torrent stats show bad/wrong info then.

Torrent Makers/Extras

What exactly happens when I use BT?
Bit Torrenting consists of three parts:
  • The Torrent File
  • The Tracker
  • The Client

The Torrent File

The torrent file, (created with Maketorrent), contains all the necessary information on what the file is, what tracker it uses to connect people, (or what tracker to announce to), and is essentially a schematic shell of what you want to download, including all file-checking information to ensure that downloaded files match hash checks.

The Tracker

The tracker is the backbone to the whole system, your client will announce to the tracker at a designated interval, your current status of the transfer. The tracker will then send you a list of all the people/clients it is tracking, and their status, your client will then decipher this list and contact all the other clients and ask for the pieces you need to complete your download.

The Client

The client is the program that completes the file for you, it will contact the tracker it a designated interval and receive a list of peers, your client will then communicate to each of those peers on the list and ask for the needed parts.

How do I Create A Torrent?
Here's a step-by-step guide to making torrents.

  • First tool you need to get is MakeTorrent, you can get it here. Now you need to open up MakeTorrent, it should look like this:

  • Now you need to type in the announce you are going to use, which for DesiTorrents.com is http://tracker.desitorrents.com:6969/announce

  • Now you need to click on the "classic view on top" as seen above.

  • Now click on (dir) or (file) button depending on what you would like to seed.

  • Now select the folder or file to be seeded and hit OK.

  • Once you've done this you can hit the Create Torrent button, a dialog box will open up to ask you where to save the torrent file. Select the folder location and click on save.

  • After hitting save button, you will see the program creating the torrent, like this:

  • Once that has finished, you should have a torrent file in the directory you selected earlier. Open your torrent file in your BitTorrent client and start seeding the file.

  • Now upload the torrent on DT. Have fun!

    Also, read important rules of making a torrent.

Important Rules In Making A Torrent

Both in the torrent filename and the files and folders you intend to seed, you should avoid totally some characters:

  • : - semicolon
  • ? - question mark
  • / - slash
  • * - asterisk
  • They have been known to prevent users on other platforms to get the files. In fact, your bittorrent client should handle those, but it may not do so and return (in the best case) a transfer error.

    You should only use basic ASCII chars: a-z A-Z 0-9 . - _ [ ] and eventually space. You shouldn't use any accented or funny character which may not display properly or even prevent the transfer.

    For this reason it is always safe to archive any number of files in .rar or .zip as extractors are known to handle filenames correctly. It should also prevent memory overflow sometimes occurring with large amounts of files (like few mp3 albums or worse images libraries).

What is a PassKey?
A passkey is a 32 characters key associated with a specific torrent which was downloaded with your account. In general you can say that the passkey uniquely identifies you as a DT user.

When a .torrent file is downloaded from your account, the passkey is automatically added to the announce URL in the .torrent file: (http://tracker.desitorrents.com:6969/PASSKEY/announce)

Therefore make sure you keep your passkey private at all times.

Since the passkey uniquely identifies you, if someone finds out about it they can leech from your account and bring down your ratio. However now this is only limited to one torrent, this means if a user finds out about your passkey he can only leech a file which is associated with that passkey. This has been done to increase security.

Passkey compromised?
This can only happen if you have posted a torrent outside DT or if someone has access to your account, in both cases DT can't be held accountable.
You have to make sure that you have a good password and that you don't share it with anyone, there's also a Password strength checker in UserCP > Edit Mail & Password which you can use to check your own password's strength.
And you definitely shouldn't post DT torrents outside DT.

Reset your torrent passkey?
This option is no longer provided due to the fact that the passkey is now file associated as well and no longer solely linked to your account as before.

What do all these words mean? (seeding, uploading, share rating, etc.)

Here is a brief list of words associated with BitTorrent and their meanings.

Usually this refers to the small metadata file you receive from the web server (the one that ends in .torrent.) Metadata here means that the file contains information about the data you want to download, not the data itself. This is what is sent to your computer when you click on a download link on a website. You can also save the torrent file to your local system, and then click on it to open the BitTorrent download. This is useful if you want to be able to re-open the torrent later on without having to find the link again.
In some uses, it can also refer to everything associated with a certain file available with BitTorrent. For example, someone might say "I downloaded that torrent" or "that server has a lot of good torrents", meaning there are lots of good files available via BitTorrent on that server.
A peer is another computer on the internet that you connect to and transfer data. Generally a peer does not have the complete file, otherwise it would be called a seed. Some people also refer to peers as leeches, to distinguish them from those generous folks who have completed their download and continue to leave the client running and act as a seed.
A computer that has a complete copy of a certain torrent. Once your client finishes downloading, it will remain open until you click the Finish button (or otherwise close it.) This is known as being a seed or seeding. You can also start a BT client with a complete file, and once BT has checked the file it will connect and seed the file to others. Generally, it's considered good manners to continue seeding a file after you have finished downloading, to help out others. Also, when a new torrent is posted to a tracker, someone must seed it in order for it to be available to others. Remember, the tracker doesn't know anything of the actual contents of a file, so it's important to follow through and seed a file if you upload the torrent to a tracker.
When there are zero seeds for a given torrent (and not enough peers to have a distributed copy), then eventually all the peers will get stuck with an incomplete file, since no one in the swarm has the missing pieces. When this happens, someone with a complete file (a seed) must connect to the swarm so that those missing pieces can be transferred. This is called reseeding. Usually a request for a reseed comes with an implicit promise that the requester will leave his or her client open for some time period after finishing (to add longevity to the torrent) in return for the kind soul reseeding the file.
The group of machines that are collectively connected for a particular file. For example, if you start a BitTorrent client and it tells you that you're connected to 10 peers and 3 seeds, then the swarm consists of you and those 13 other people.
A server on the Internet that acts to coordinate the action of BitTorrent clients. When you open a torrent, your machine contacts the tracker and asks for a list of peers to contact. Periodically throughout the transfer, your machine will check in with the tracker, telling it how much you've downloaded and uploaded, how much you have left before finishing, and the state you're in (starting, finished download, stopping.) If a tracker is down and you try to open a torrent, you will be unable to connect. If a tracker goes down during a torrent (i.e., you have already connected at some point and are already talking to peers), you will be able to continue transferring with those peers, but no new peers will be able to contact you. Often tracker errors are temporary, so the best thing to do is just wait and leave the client open to continue trying.
Receiving data FROM another computer.
Sending data TO another computer.
share rating
If you are using the experimental client with the stats-patch, you will see a share rating displayed on the GUI panel. This is simply the ratio of your amount uploaded divided by your amount downloaded. The amounts used are for the current session only, not over the history of the file. If you achieve a share ratio of 1.0, that would mean you've uploaded as much as you've downloaded. The higher the number, the more you have contributed. If you see a share ratio of "oo", this means infinity, which will happen if you open a BT client with a complete file (i.e., you seed the file.) In this case you download nothing since you have the full file, and so anything you send will cause the ratio to reach infinity. Note: The share rating is just a number that is displayed for your convenience. It does not directly affect any aspect of the client at all. In general, out of courtesy to others you should strive to keep this ratio as high as possible, of course.
distributed copies
In some versions of the client, you will see the text "Connected to n seeds; also seeing n.nnn distributed copies." A seed is a machine with the complete file. However, the swarm can collectively have a complete copy (or copies) of the file, and that is what this is telling you. Referring again to the "people at a table" analogy, consider the case where the book has 10 pages, and person A has pp.1-5 and B has pp.6-10. Collectively, A and B have a complete copy of the book, even though no one person has the whole thing. In other words, even if there are no seeds, as long as there is at least one distributed copy of the file everyone can eventually get a complete file. Meditate on this, the Zen of BitTorrent, grasshopper.
This is a term used in the description of the BitTorrent protocol. It refers to the state of an uploader, i.e. the thread that sends data to another peer. When a connection is choked, it means that the transmitter doesn't currently want to send anything on that link. A BT client signals that it's choked to other clients for a number of reasons, but the most common is that by default a client will only maintain --max_uploads active simultaneous uploads, the rest will be marked choked. (The default value is 4 and this is the same setting that experimental client GUI lets you adjust.) A connection can also be choked for other reasons, for example a peer downloading from a seed will mark his connection as choked since the seed is not interested in receiving anything. Note that since each connection is bidirectional and symmetrical, there are two choked flags for each connection, one for each Tx endpoint.
Another term used in the protocol specification. This is the corollary to the choked flag, in that interested refers to the state of a downloader with respect to a connection. A downloader is marked as interested if the other end of the link has any pieces that the client wants, otherwise the connection is marked as not interested.
If the client has not received anything after a certain period (default: 60 seconds), it marks a connection as snubbed, in that the peer on the other end has chosen not to send in a while. See the definition of choked for reasons why an uploader might mark a connection as choked. The real function of keeping track of this variable is to improve download speeds. Occasionally the client will find itself in a state where even though it is connected to many peers, it is choked by all of them. The client uses the snubbed flag in an attempt to prevent this situation. It notes that a peer with whom it would like to trade pieces with has not sent anything in a while, and rather than leaving it up to the optimistic choking to eventuall select that peer, it instead reserves one of its upload slots for sending to that peer. (Reference)
optimistic unchoking
Periodically, the client shakes up the list of uploaders and tries sending on different connections that were previously choked, and choking the connections it was just using. You can observe this action every 10 or 20 seconds or so, by watching the "Advanced" panel of one of the experimental clients.

Whenever I download something my bandwidth goes to hell, and I end up uploading/downloading too fast I canít even surf the net, what can I do?
This sometimes happens, if itís uploading to fast or sending to too many connections you can adjust the amount of computers you connect to at any given time and how much kb/s any one person can get from you, however, this will decrease the rate at which you download, as the two work in tandem with each other to promote faster downloads and anti-leeching. To adjust the uploads just change the numbers on the BT client itself. If youíre downloading too fast this is a bit more of a problem. You can try limiting your downloads with Net-Limiter. Just install and run the program before you start using BT. It is recommended that you adjust upload speeds to as near to your uploaded capacity as possible. Setting this number too low will reduce your download rate further.

If a torrent goes down on one tracker and I have a partial file, can I still resume if I see the file on another tracker?
It is possible to get a torrent from another tracker if your original tracker crashes mid-download, but the files you are downloading must be the same in everyway [straight down to the naming of the files, if even a single letter is off or switched it will not resume], and the torrent file for what you are trying to download must have the exact same hash or [SHA1 string]. If you have the torrent file stored on your hard drive then you can switch the announce URL for that torrent file yourself using MakeTorrent. You cannot simply open the torrent file using a text editor and change the announce URL or the SHA1 string. This will not work.

Am I behind a firewall? Will it work with a firewall/NAT?
Many of you don't know it but download and moreover upload speeds are closely related to the configuration of your firewall.

What a firewall does is mostly closing your computer from the "outside" world, ie. the Wild Wide Web, preventing malicious individuals to screw up with your machine. But BitTorrent needs to be able to communicate freely with this outside in order to give its best potential.

Don't worry: if you do it correctly, setting your firewall will not endanger you in any way: it's only opening a small harmless door into it -- and that's what a firewall is made for.

The little doors it has are called ports and have numbers. Every kind of internet communication has its doors, like 80 for the Web (HTTP) or 25 and 110 for your mail. BitTorrent ports are usually 6881 to 6889.

If you have your firewall manual at hand, try to open them and watch your speed...

The quick summary: You need to forward your ports if you have NAT in order to get the fastest speeds. This is probably the most common thing that people fail to do when using BitTorrent. Read on for more details of what all this entails, and if it's something that you need to do.

Prior to version 3.2, BitTorrent by default uses ports in the range of 6881-6889. As of 3.2 and later, the range has been extended to 6881-6999. (These are all TCP ports, BitTorrent does not use UDP.) The client starts with the lowest port in the range and sequentially tries higher ports until it can find one to which it can bind. This means that the first client you open will bind to 6881, the next to 6882, etc. Therefore, you only really need to open as many ports as simultaneous BitTorrent clients you would ever have open. For most people it's sufficient to open 6881-6889.

The trackers to which BitTorrent must connect usually are on port 6969, so the client must have outbound access on this port. Some trackers are on other ports, however.

BitTorrent will usually work fine in a NAT (network address translation) environment, since it can function with only outbound connections. Such environments generally include all situations where multiple computers share one publicly-visible IP address, most commonly: computers on a home network sharing a cable or xDSL connection. If you are unsure of whether you have NAT or not, then try this link which will try to determine if you are behind a NAT gateway.

However, you will get better speeds if you can accept incoming connections as well. To do this you must use the "port forwarding" feature of whatever is performing the NAT/gateway task. For example, if you have a cable or DSL connection and a router/switch/gateway/firewall, you will need to go into the configuration of this device and forward ports 6881-6889 to the local machine that will be using BitTorrent. If your device makes it hard to enter a range of ports (if you must enter each one separately), then you can just do the first 10 or so ports, or however many simultaneous clients you plan to ever have open. If more than one person behind such a gateway wishes to use BitTorrent, then each machine should use a different port range, and the gateway should be configured to forward each port range to the corresponding local machine.

If you have one of these broadband router/NAT devices (such as the Linksys BEFSR41, D-Link DI-701/704, Netgear RT311, SMC Barricade, 3Com Home Ethernet Gateway, etc.) you will usually need to enter the web configuration of the device. If you're not sure, try or sometimes If you can't figure it out, try the manual for the device -- they are often on the manufacturer's web site in PDF form. You can also try the forums at places like Broadband Reports or Practically Networked. To see an example of what you're looking for, this is a link to the Linksys BEFSR41 manual. Look at page 55, under the section "Port Range Forwarding."

If you are using Microsoft's ICS (Internet Connection Sharing), this article on mapping ports might be useful.

If you are using a software firewall, then you must also enable incoming connections to be answered by the BitTorrent client program. Note that Windows XP includes a primitive firewall ("Internet Connection Firewall" or ICF) which you may have to configure for BitTorrent. Here are the directions for opening ports in the Windows XP firewall:

  1. Open the 'Network Connections' folder (click Start, then Control Panel, then Network and Internet Connections, then Network Connections.)
  2. Click the shared connection or the Internet connection that is protected by Internet Connection Firewall, and then, under Tasks, click Change settings of this connection.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click Settings.
  4. For each port you wish to forward, (i.e. 6881, 6882, ... 6889) do the following:

    1. On the Services tab, click Add and enter all of the following information:
    2. In Description of service, type an easily recognized name for the service, such as "BitTorrent".
    3. In Name or IP address of the computer hosting this service on your network, enter (this means "the local machine.")
    4. In both External and Internal port number for this service, enter the port number, e.g. 6881.
    5. Select TCP, then OK.

See this link or this link for more information about the XP firewall.

If you are running another type of software firewall (such as Zone Alarm Pro, Norton Firewall, McAfee Firewall, BlackICE Defender, etc.), you may have to do something similar to allow inbound access on ports 688x to the BitTorrent client (usually btdownloadgui.exe.)

For example, in Zone Alarm Pro, in the Program Listings, click on the program's name (btdownloadgui.exe) and then click the Options button and then enter the ports to use. If you're having trouble connecting, you might try giving BitTorrent access to all ports.

To open ports in the Mac OS X firewall, do the following:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Sharing.
  3. Select the Firewall tab.
  4. Click the New... button.
  5. Click the popup menu in the dialog that appears, and choose Other....
  6. In the Port Number, Range, or Series field, enter 6881-6999.
  7. In the Name field, enter BitTorrent (or any other identifying string.)
  8. Click OK.

Can I use a proxy server with BitTorrent?

First, note that there are two types of connections that the BitTorrent program must make:

  • Outbound HTTP connections to the tracker, usually on port 6969.
  • Inbound and outbound connections to the peer machines, usually on port 6881 and up.

A web proxy can only be used for the first type of connection, since the second type is not HTTP. Theoretically, you could use the HTTP CONNECT command to tunnel them through an HTTP proxy, but this would require additional code support in the client. There is a possible workaround for this scenario, however; see the final point below.

That having been said, here is how to configure an HTTP proxy for the tracker connections:

  • If the proxy does not require authorization, the system-wide proxy configuration should work. For Windows, open the Control Panel select Internet Options, click on the Connections tab, select your connection and click Settings... (or Lan Settings... if you have a direct connection.) Make sure the Use a proxy server option is selected and enter the proxy's address and port.
  • If your proxy requires basic authorization, set the http_proxy environment variable to http://username:password@hostname:port, where username and password are your login and password, and hostname:port is the address and port of the proxy server. If you don't know how to set environment variables, there are instructions for Windows on this page by Mike Ravkine (krypt).
  • If your proxy requires NTLM authorization (a Microsoft-proprietary scheme), you may have to use a third party program. Fortunately there is a utility called NTLM Authorization Proxy Server. It is a program you run on your local machine that acts as a proxy for your proxy. In other words, it takes the (unauthenticated) proxy requests from the application (BitTorrent) and forwards them on to your organization's proxy, adding the necessary NTLM authorization. It is written in Python and available as source, so you must install Python on your computer before running it. Refer to the home page for more information.
  • If you are in a firewalled environment where NO outbound connections are allowed except those through an HTTP proxy, you will have difficulty using BitTorrent. One method which might work is as follows: The desproxy program can serve as a SOCKS 4 or 5 server than tunnels requests through the proxy server. Then use SocksCap to "socksify" (intercept the network calls and redirect them to the SOCKS server) the BitTorrent program. See below for a few notes about SocksCap. Note: If you get this method to work, please report your steps and results so that I can improve this part of the FAQ. Thanks.

Why is my torrent stuck at 99%?
Three usual reasons for torrents to stop at 99% are:
  • There's a thumbs.db file in the folder you're downloading.
    If this is the case, you won't ever have a 100%: this file is a system file and change as the system sees fit, so probably even the initial seeder doesn't have a 100%.
  • some piece got scrambled and cycle.
    Force re-check of the torrent. Often the last piece finally fits after that.
  • No one has the last 1% a seeder is needed -- sometimes the case but other two should be checked first...
Azureus is a good client for all cases, as it gives information about what's left to download file by file and allow rechecking of torrents whenever you want to.

Furthermore, only 1% missing in a file isn't a big deal: unless it's a the very beginning it won't prevent you from playing it. There'll only be a glitch somewhere.

When creating a torrent of files within a folder in Windows XP an extra file maybe added to your torrent called:


This additional file may cause problems with peers getting stuck at 99%.

The solution to this is to either delete this file prior to creating the torrent ~ or disabling the creation of it in the first place.


Stop Windows from saving the thumbnail cache (THUMBS.DB)

Intended For Windows XP only

Windows XP, by default, shows the thumbnails view of certain folders, whether you want it to or not. Even if you choose Details (or some other view) as your default by going to Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab and click Apply to All Folders, Explorer may still revert back to the clumsy Thumbnails view. It does this for any folder in which it finds the THUMBS.DB file; naturally, if you delete this file, it won't happen again.

The problem is that Windows seems to repeatedly recreate the THUMBS.DB file automatically. Here's how to stop this from happening:

In Explorer, go to Tools -> Folder Options or open the Folder Options icon in the Control Panel.

Choose the View tab, and tick the Do not cache thumbnails option.

Click Ok.

You can also change this setting in the Registry: Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.

Double-click the DisableThumbnailCache value, or go to Edit -> New -> DWORD value to create a new value by that name.

Enter 1 for its value.

Click Ok and close the Registry Editor when you're done; you'll have to log off and then log back on for this to take effect.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

Hope this helps

Credit goes to oOoopS at Digital Update.

What are common BitTorrent Errors?

What if I need to use SOCKS to access the Internet?

Look into a program called SocksCap. It can be used to socksify any normal program. The complication here is that you have to give SocksCap a command line to run, and the btdownloadgui command line will be different for each torrent. One suggestion would be to setup a command line in SocksCap of btdownloadgui.exe --responsefile "c:\downloads\file.torrent". (Substitute any suitable directory in the command.) Now, when you want to open a torrent, save it as "file.torrent" in "c:\downloads" (or whatever you used) and then run the command in SocksCap.

BitTorrent says I'm uploading, what files am I sharing? What's being sent?

Don't worry. When you are downloading a particular torrent, you are also uploading that torrent at the same time. The parts of the file(s) that you have already downloaded are uploaded to other peers. This is normal, and it's how the protocol works. There is no "shared directory" setting as with other peer-to-peer applications. If you have a certain file (or files) that you want to make available to others, you must first create a .torrent file and upload it to a server, and then seed the file. See the section creating a new torrent for the detailed procedure.

What happens if I cancel a download? How can I resume?

BitTorrent fully supports stopping and later resuming a partial download. You don't have to do anything special. If you cancel a download before it's finished, the partial download remains on your hard drive. To resume the transfer, just click on the same torrent link again and when asked where to save the file, select the same location as last time. BitTorrent will see that the file exists and check it to see how much has already been downloaded. It will then pick up where it left off the last time. See also the section regarding file size.

Note: To resume properly, you must make the same selection when prompted as you made the first time. For torrents consisting of a single file, this is rather straight-forward: simply select the file. However, torrents that consist of a folder of multiple files can be a bit more confusing. To resume, you must select the folder that contains the BitTorrent folder.

Here's an example of resuming a folder-type torrent. Let's suppose that you downloaded a torrent called SomeCoolBand, and selected to put it in the folder Downloads. So your directory structure resembles something like \Downloads\SomeCoolBand\file1, \Downloads\SomeCoolBand\file2, and so on. The important part of this example is that should you resume this transfer, when asked to select a destination folder you must select the \Downloads folder and NOT \Downloads\SomeCoolBand. It may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but just remember to always make the same selection as the original choice. When you first started the transfer there was no SomeCoolBand folder; you instead selected \Downloads and BT created the SomeCoolBand folder.

Why is my downloaded file huge even though I only downloaded a small bit?

When BitTorrent starts, it allocates space for the entire file(s). That is what you see at startup as the progress bar moves across the screen and the disk drive goes crazy. The reason it does this is because it downloads the file in pieces, and those pieces arrive in an arbitrary order. Unlike http or ftp, which download the file from start to finish, BT downloads it in random order.

Why does my hard drive go crazy at the beginning of a resumed download?

When you open a torrent and give BitTorrent a filename/directory that already exists, it must check the file to see how much of it is useful data and how much is junk. (Recall that BT allocates space for the entire file when you first start a torrent.) To do this it must read the entire contents of the file, and generate what's known as a hash for each piece of the file. A hash is a cryptographic function that creates a small summary or digest of a large amount of data. BitTorrent uses the SHA hash function to determine which parts of the file are good and which are bad.

What is seeding? How do I do it? Why should I leave the client open after it finishes downloading?

First, you may want to review the answers to the question on terminology. A seed is a client which has a complete file. Seeding is the process of connecting to a torrent when you have a complete file. There are two ways to do this:

  • ...by leaving your client open after the download completes. Once you have the entire file you become a seed, and the BitTorrent client remains connected to the swarm, sending to other users until you close it.
  • ...by clicking on a torrent link (or opening a saved .torrent file) and selecting a filename of a file that has already completed. BitTorrent will check over the file and realize that it's already complete, and continue to connect to the tracker and serve as a seed.

It's generally considered a good idea to leave your client open as long as possible, since it helps other users. Some communities have guidelines on when it's permissible to disconnect, typically after the ratio of bytes received to bytes sent reaches 1:1, or 24 hours after the download completes. Please be nice, and do what you can to contribute to other users.

What can I do if I get a blue screen error, spontaneous reboot, or lockup?

Some network cards and DSL modems have buggy drivers. Common symptoms include a blue screen (with a DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error) or a spontaneous reboot. Here are some common culprits:

  • Linksys LNE100TX model 5, Linksys NC100, Skymaster SK1207E, Planex FNW-9803-T, or any other network card based on the AN983B chipset by ADMtek, sometimes also sold under the no-name "Asound" or "Fast" brands. Note that this includes some motherboards' built-in Ethernet controllers, such as: MSI (Microstar) MS-6378, DFI NS70-EL & AZ30-EL, USI PM-845, Fujitsu D1451. The solution seems to be to install one of the following drivers from ADMtek: Windows XP, Windows ME/2000, Windows 98. These are drivers from the chipset manufacturer and are Microsoft certified. Use these drivers in place of any other driver for those cards, including the latest version from Linksys.
  • Netgear FA311 - Try this version (1.30) of the drivers from Netgear.
  • Netgear FA312 - Seems to have the same problem as the FA311, but try this version (1.8) of the drivers instead. (Note that this driver should work with both the FA311 and FA312, so also try it if you have the FA311 and the above driver doesn't work.)
  • Alcatel Speed Touch USB DSL modem - Install these drivers.

If your network interface card (NIC) or DSL/cable modem were not listed above, then check with the manufacturer's website and make sure you have the latest drivers.

My internet connection drops, often during very fast downloads. What can I do?

This issue is still unresolved, but my guess is that it's due to buggy firmware in the xDSL/cable modem or router. Reports on the mailing list seem to indicate that transfers complete without issue if the download rates are low. It seems that some people have come up with some very creative workarounds to deal with this, such as stopping the transfer if it gets too fast and restarting.

Limiting the download rate is much harder than limiting the upload rate, because one can only really control the rate at which packets leave the system. The rate at which they arrive is determined by the originating systems and any routers, gateways, or traffic shapers along the path. However, there are several ways that software can achieve the effect of limiting the download rate -- they amount to basically dropping some packets if they're coming in too fast, which will cause the TCP/IP stack of the sender to back off somewhat.

For those having these sorts of problems, here are the methods of which I'm aware to limit the download rate:

  • For Windows, the Netlimiter program claims to be able to limit both the download and upload rate of individual programs or connections. The program is still in beta-testing, and it shows. My initial trial of it was not positive: it reported vastly wrong figures of its estimation of the BitTorrent program upload rate, its sockets wrapper broke Apache and rsync-over-ssh on my cygwin system, and its installer was ill- behaved. Finally, it is not free software, in both the "free speech" and "free beer" senses of the word. Not recommended at all.
  • For Linux, *BSD, and Solaris, there is trickle, which is a userspace traffic shaper that uses the dynamic library preload facility. This has the advantages of requiring neither root privileges nor a recompiled kernel, and a simple command line e.g. trickle -u 20 -d 80 btdownloadgui.py --responsefile "%1".
  • For Linux, you can try using the QoS features of the kernel to set an ingress filter. A recent mailing list post gives an example script that uses the tc (traffic control) command. Note that for this to work you will need root access and you may have to recompile the kernel (for netlink sockets and QoS.) See this page for information about configuring the kernel, this page about the ingress queueing discipline, and the Linux Advanced Routing & Traffic Control HOWTO as well as the Advanced Networking Overview for more information. The BSDs surely have traffic shaping as well, if anyone would like to contribute some links I will update this section.
  • For Mac OS X (10.2.x only), Carrafix claims the capability to limit both upload and download rate for each port.
  • Finally, another option is to limit the number of connections that BitTorrent makes. The number of connections does not directly correlate with download speed, however, since a client may be connected to a number of slow peers or just one or two very fast peers.

I just downloaded a file ending in .xyz, how do I open it?

Below is a list of common file types you will encounter with BitTorrent, and how to handle them.

.R00, .R01, .Rnn If you find a directory with a bunch of files ending in .Rnn, it's a RAR archive split into multiple parts. This is commonly done for posting to Usenet newsgroups. Open the .RAR file and extract the contents with WinRAR (Windows) or UnRarX (OS X.) Either program should automatically see all the parts if they are in the same directory.
.CBR, .CBZ These are comics in a compressed archive. For Windows, download the free program CDisplay. Or simply rename them (CBR to RAR, CBZ to ZIP) and open with your usual archive program, such as WinRAR or WinZIP. For OS X, try Book Image Viewer after extracting with unrar or unzip.
.PAR, .P01, .Pnn These are parity files, used to reconstruct any missing parts of the archive. Ordinarily you will not have to do anything with them -- they are extraneous unless a part is missing or bad, in which case the torrent's creator should have fixed the archive before distributing the torrent. If WinRAR does give you a message about a missing or corrupt part, then get SmartPAR (Windows) and open the .PAR file. The program will then check all the files and recreate any missing or damaged parts. For OS X, UnRarX should also process the PAR file.
.NFO Files that end in .NFO are plain text files that often contain very useful information about the files you have just downloaded. Always read the NFO file if you are having a problem! Unfortunately, the .NFO extention also has another meaning to Windows, so sometimes when you try to open these files you will get an error from MS System Information about a corrupt file. If this is the case you will also probably see the file listed with a type of "MSInfo File" or something similar. You should open the NFO file in Notepad, or any plain-text editor. More info here.
.SFV Simple File Verification file - used to verify the integrity of a set of files, this is a text file containing file names and typically CRC32 checksums. For Windows, try a program such as QuickSFV or fsum to verify the integrity. Mac OS X users should try MacSFV. Normally these files should not be necessary with BitTorrent, since the BT protocol has its own error checking method (on top of TCP's checksumming.) If you find some file that doesn't match the checksum in its SFV file, blame the torrent's creator, since he or she should have fixed it before creating and distributing the torrent.
.BIN, .CUE, .ISO These are images of a CD. If the file is a movie, they are most likely VCDs or SVCDs. There are several ways to deal with these. For Windows:
  • Use a program such as Nero to burn the images to a CDR and then view them in your standalone DVD player, or your DVD drive with your DVD player software. Some instructions for burning BIN files with common software applications can be found at this link.
  • If you know it's a VCD/SVCD, you can use a tool such as VCDGear to extract the MPEG data. VCDs will be MPEG-1 type files, and SVCDs will be MPEG-2 type files. Usually the easiest way to view these is with a DVD player such as PowerDVD which can read input from a file.
  • Use a program such as Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120% to 'mount' the file as a virtual disk. Then you can use PowerDVD or whatever application is appropriate to view the data from that drive.
For OS X:
  • Use FireStarter FX to burn (S)VCDs from CUE or BIN files.
  • Play (S)VCD files, and most others, with VLC.

Is there a way to preview a file before it's finished?

There is no good way to do this. Because the BitTorrent protocol downloads pieces in arbitrary order, there is no guarantee that the part of the file necessary for previewing (usually the beginning of the file) is present. To further complicate matters, some torrents are packaged as an archive, which would be quite difficult to extract until it's complete.

Still, if you want to attempt to view the file periodically, you may eventually get lucky. First, make sure the file you are downloading is not an archive. If it's a ZIP or RAR (R00, R01, ...) file, forget it. Next, you'll have to interrupt the download, since BitTorrent locks the file in an exclusive mode until the file is complete. You can now try opening the file in whatever application is meant to be used to view it, but don't be surprised if very strange things happen. Finally, you'll want to resume the transfer, unless you've determined that you no longer want the file.

This is bogus, I donít want to upload to anyone canít I opt out?
No you canít. If you donít want to give back and help people out then BT is not for you. If people took this attitude than no one would ever get a file ever. We are not leecher-friendly, there are tons of alternatives for BT, maybe one of them is better suited to your needs. Of course, you can always use a firewall to reduce your upload speed to nothing, but your download speeds will be terrible, if existent. And - no - there's no hack to get around that fact because it's all controlled by the tracker. So be nice and share!

Is BitTorrent Legal?
The technology itself is legal. Torrent files, the files posted on DesiTorrents, are also legal as they are only text files. The files distributed with BT may not always be because there is no inherit copyright-protection technology or usage tracking technology built into BT. Since all of this legality stuff also depends on your country and its laws, the onus is upon the BT user to check and verify what exactly youíre distributing, and to be aware of the laws in your area. The actual users of BT can be held accountable for violations if laws apply in your area.

The Complete Guide for Uploaders
You will need the following programs:

a BitTorrent client (DesiTorrents recommend ABC or tAzureus)
b .torrent creating tool (DesiTorrents recommend MakeTorrent or you can use Azureus)

Step 1 - Make the .torrent (with MakeTorrent)

1. Organise the files you want to share
At this stage it would be smart to put the files you want to distribute in a temporary folder and make sure everything is complete and ready for distribution.

2. Start the program to create the torrent
Use this guide to create the torrent file.

3. Tracker Announce URL
One mistake that a lot of newbies do while creating torrent file is use a wrong announce URL. When creating a torrent file, please use DT's tracker announce URL:

Step 2 - Upload a .torrent to a tracker

After creating the torrent you will have to share it by uploading it to DesiTorrents.

1. Go to the correct forum
'Forum' is section under which users can write/post threads with the torrent files regarding a particular interest. 'Threads' are messages like emails except other ppl can put their reply under the same title/subject and so a list of messages is formed called a 'thread' . On desitorrents.com(when you click on Home) you will find main categories like News, Movies, Music etc . Under these are two sections - _______ Releases & ______ requests & _______ discussions . Use your common sense, and click on the most appropriate forum. Then click on "New Thread". This is where you fill out all the information regarding your release. Click on the "manage attachments" button to upload your torrent file. If this is a movie file, dont forget to upload the screenshots (.jpg or .gif).

2. Create new thread
Use your common sense, and click on the most appropriate forum. Then click on "New Thread". This is where you fill out all the information regarding your release. Click on the "manage attachments" button to upload your torrent file. If this is a movie file, dont forget to upload the screenshots (.jpg or .gif). You can only upload one torrent file per thread. Dont divide your movie into 2 torrents. Instead put them in one torrent file and then upload the torrent file.

Step 3 - Seeding a .torrent file

Now the .torrent is on the website you will have to start working on uploading the data to the other people.

1. Open the .torrent file in the BitTorrent client
Seeding is done by opening the .torrent file in your BitTorrent client, and selecting the location of the directory or files that you have created the .torrent of earlier. Typically you can just double-click on the .torrent file and select the proper location.

After opening the .torrent and selecting the files, the existing files will be checked to see if they are correct. Of course they are, but normally you would use this method to resume a torrent you have interrupted earlier.

2. Seed, seed, seed!
When the checking is done, the uploading starts. Other people will connect to your BitTorrent client and the uploading will start. Your job is finished! Keep the BitTorrent client open so that people can get the full file from you and the other peers until everyone who wants the file(s) get their copy.

The client will show you some statistics of all that's going on.

When people complete their download and leave the client open, they will become seeds as well and the distribution will continue and improve.

More BitTorrent Help