http://geekblog.tv/398 – News: A Judge ruled that an IP address is not enough to convict a pirate recently, citing wireless network having no reasonable expectation of privacy or security.
With all of the controversy surrounding torrents, magnets and filesharing in general, we thought it would be helpful to break down the essential differences between magnets and torrents, and what they mean to you, the consumer.
Currently filesharing is dominated by 3 popular ways of distributing files: Torrents, which rank first, Magnets, which are newer to the scene, but gaining speed, and third, cyberlockers, like wupload, rghost, or mediafire, which we will cover in a more relevant article.
Torrents work like this:
A user wants to distribute a picture of a sandwich, mmmm! She uses her BitTorrent Client (uTorrent, Transmission, BitTorrent, Vuze, etc) to create a .torrent file, with a filesize of about 10kb. The .torrent holds different types of info; a URL of the tracker site, names for the files it shared, as well as hash codes, or unique identifiers of files. This .torrent file is so small, it can be uploaded to what is called a Tracker, which acts like a coordinator telling people where to stand in line to view this picture. Once the .torrent file is uploaded to the tracker, assuming all is configured well, and enough people in fact want to see this picture, a user will start to download the torrent. This is where the magic happens! Each downloader downloads a piece of the sandwich at a time, and once there is one complete photo of the picture uploaded to a user, this user becomes what is referred to as a “Seed”. At this point, it is common courtesy to “seed back” an equal amount, if not greater, to ensure that there will always be a file for the “peers”. The peers are the other downloaders in the swarm.
Magnets work like this:
Although new on the popular filesharing scene, magnet links have been around for a few years already. A magnet link hold just a few bits of data leaving the client programs to do all the work. This is why some magnet links, on a slower connection with a slower PC will show a somewhat noticeable hesitation at the first start of a download. After that, however it is off to the races. Magnet links are different in that it calculates the hash, or the unique identifier, on the server, sending that data within the magnet link. You may already do this without noticing if you use Spotify, which uses magnet links to get you your latest Ke$ha single.