How to Create a Torrent File

February 12, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the most common uses for the web is peer to peer filesharing, something that occurs most commonly on the BitTorrent network. Torrent files are created that contain information pertaining to the video clip, audio file (or indeed any other type of data) that the originator wants to share, and then these files are indexed on a BitTorrent tracker index site, such as www.mininova.org.

How to create a torrent file

Anyone browsing the files might spot the torrent file and download it to their computer where it is run in a BitTorrent client such as uTorrent – this application will then download the originator’s data, with the torrent file determining where to get the various data packets from. Because this is a peer to peer network, many people might be downloading (leeching) the file at any one time, with as many, more or fewer sharing (seeding) the data. Eventually the originator can stop sharing the file if enough data has been uploaded that he or she can be confident that it has been shared with enough people.

Identifying Data to Share

Before you get into the business of sharing data you will need to identify what files you want to share, and who you want to share them with.

For instance let’s assume that you’re in a band and have been working on some songs. Other members of your band live in different cities and for whatever reason you can’t get together for a while to lay down tracks. However thanks to the power of the web you can send data to each other.

Using a BitTorrent client you can create a file that you can then email to your collaborators – when received, this file can be opened in software such as uTorrent to download the data from your computer to theirs. The more simultaneous users, the faster the data will transfer.

While some websites can track torrent files thanks to the peer to peer torrent software you’re using, in most cases if you’re just sharing specific data with a small group of people it shouldn’t take too long and you can ask the recipients of the data to delete the torrent file to prevent anyone else sharing the data.

When you’re choosing data to share via BitTorrent, remember that sharing the intellectual property of other users is not advised – it is illegal in most countries.

Creating a Torrent

To create your own torrent you will need a useful BitTorrent utility – uTorrent is a good option, available free from www.utorrent.com/downloads.

Once downloaded and installed (which shouldn’t take too long – the installer is under 1 MB) run the software and go to File > Create new torrent.

If you have multiple large files you wish to share, compress them into a ZIP or RAR file – once you’re ready, however, use Add file to select the data to share or use Add directory to share a folder. Next, tick the Start seeding option to allow the files to be shared straightaway and the Create and save as… in order to create the data. You might be asked to enter a tracker URL – as explained above, only do this is you want the data to be made available to other users.

(if you do want to list your torrent file, use one of these tracker URLs:

  • http://open.tracker.thepiratebay.org/announce
  • http://www.torrent-downloads.to:2710/announce
  • http://denis.stalker.h3q.com:6969/announce
  • udp://denis.stalker.h3q.com:6969/announce
  • http://www.sumotracker.com/announce

)

Then all you need do is email the .torrent file that you have just created to your collaborators and then they can use their won BitTorrent clients to download the data!

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