How to download like a pirate!

A little insight into downloading from Torrents, and how it all works?

The first thing that amazes me; there is honour amongst pirates. Well most of the time!

If you don’t know how the torrent system works, then this is a quick run down! Basically you look for an illegal torrent file; this is a pointer to the latest movie/game/music/whatever. You double click, and it loads into your torrent client and away you go! It starts downloading, when you reach 100%, you can stop the torrent and you have the latest film on your hard drive.

It sound so simple, and it is. Basically the program is split into pieces and downloaded to the hundreds of people who want it. These people are called Leechers or Peers. Then there are people who have the file but share pieces out to those that don’t have it, Seeders. If everyone shares these pieces around, you can imagine how quickly the file would be downloaded.

Once you have gotten all the pieces from the internet there is no need for you to seed. It seems silly that illegal downloaders, who are fundamentally stealing a program, would hang around giving pieces of the files to others so they can steal it too! No it would seem more plausible that they would download and go, too play the latest game without being tracked! But it doesn’t work like that, and where the honour among thieves comes in.

This is what a lot of people don’t realise! That your information is logged, and I am not talking about your IP address because that really is not as important as you might think. But what is important, and often understated, is what kind of pirate you are!

On some sites, in the comments section, you’ll see:

How do you install the program? (noob!)
Please Seed!
Plz Seed..! (for coolness!)

These people don’t realise it, but they have just become a part of the unwitting joke of the P2P networks. And they are probably noobs too!

If someone seeds a program, they start getting a score which reflects that they share. The same with a person that doesn’t share, they become known as a leecher. Computers track this information and start shutting off seeders and peers on the network. Your connection gets slower and slower, but because it’s a gradual process and you won’t notice it. Even if there are thousands on the network, you’ll be scratching your head wondering why you have a 1kb download rate!

So what kind of pirate are you?

If you are constantly asking for people to seed, I think you have your answer!

So there are two types of illegal downloaders, the honest and dishonest! Who would have guessed there could be such a thing? Well its true, and even better, the sub groups within the P2P networks get even more complex. It’s almost like a community of people! For example there can’t be any more dishonest than a dishonest illegal downloader, can there? Can a woodchuck chuck wood?

You’d be wrong, for any action in life, there is always a reaction. So if people are going to start tracking your Leecher or Seeder life style, and if you are going to be a leech; then wouldn’t it be clever to have some kind of program to counter this. Of course there is, tonnes of them! From programs that directly edit the statistics file of your torrent client. So you edit the uploaded and download amounts. To programs that intercept packets, giving out a fake ratio. So it looks like you are constantly seeding, but in fact you aren’t.

Then there is the other side of the coin, the sharing illegal downloader, where people who seed can be invited to special groups. Called private torrents, these are almost exclusive clubs, which eliminate the riffraff from the P2P networks. So we have the elitist, the common man, and even the criminals! The more you look into the whole community, the more you realise, this world of computers is a human thing.

This stuff is all fascinating, and it seems odd that an anti-piracy group is talking so openly about it. But that’s the point, no one is! People, on the anti-piracy side of the fence, are blindly investing in products. They have no idea why the problem is there in the first place. WarFace is looking at illegal downloading and studying it, because to win a war, it’s as simple as the cliché, to know your enemy!

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