TORRENT, BitTorrent File (.torrent)
The TORRENT Misc file format
Torrents are used by people to download large files (and often bootleg copies of programs or other files) through the internet. Used by programs such as BitTorrent, TORRENT files contain metadata and a list of network locations of trackers which help participants to find one another, or to distribute groups called swarms. These files do not actually contain the downloaded content, but serve as a means to obtain and download the requested files. TORRENT files serve as keys to download the file it speaks of. TORRENT files are small but make downloading large amounts of data possible. Pieces are defined, listed, and given metadata to help users find the right folders and download speeds.
Technical details of TORRENT files
TORRENT files are divided into information chunks, or pieces, and those pieces are downloaded with high speeds by requesting the information from various sources, decreasing the burden of one network sending the file. The numbers of peers (who make downloading the file possible) changes but it does not affect the download speeds unless the number of peers drops drastically. Generally, higher numbers of peers means faster download speeds. Once all pieces are received they are assembled into the proper order and pieces may be shared with others seeking to download or upload the same set of files. BitTorrent Enhancement Proposals may include additional metadata not found in the basic TORRENT files.