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General question about how torrents work


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When you download a torrent from a site and start getting/sharing the file are you doing it with all people at once or just the people who also got the torrent file from that site. Meaning are there multiple groups of peers/seeders of say the same [specifics removed] at once.

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Classically, it was determined by the tracker pointed to by the URL in the .torrent file. You downloaded the .torrent file, your client connected to the tracker, and the tracker responded with a list of peers for your client to connect to. But these days the answer is complicated by things like DHT and peer exchange. You can have trackerless torrents.

What it boils down to is that a torrent is uniquely identified by the hash of the "info" section of the .torrent file. That hash does NOT include the URL of the tracker (if any) listed in the .torrent file. You can have two different .torrent files which point to two different trackers but as long as the hash of the "info" section is the same, it's still considered the same torrent. That hash is what your client uses to identify the torrent to a tracker or to the DHT network.

Someone please correct me if any of the above is wrong.

You can read more about this stuff here:



There used to be a great description of the protocol at the URL below but it seems to have vanished. Anyone know if it has been posted somewhere else?


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