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dudeboyz

Seed / Peer count explanation

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I'm asking a simple question about what the SEEDS and PEERS displays mean, and there are CONFLICTING ANSWERS all over the place on this forum.

So, I ask the question but the MOD keeps on deleting the thing and not letting anybody actually answer it.

How am I supposed to learn anything if the MOD won't even let the question stay up on the board?

He provided 4 links - all 4 of them give DIFFERENT ANSWERS to the question!

If the mod doesn't want to help - that's fine - but PLEASE will you let others at least answer the question in a way that I can understand?

Ultima (2008-08-11): Renamed thread for clarity... Was "ARGH! Would the mod PLEASE stop deleting my question?????"

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If you were at all confused, it must've been from reading descriptions of the numbers for different parts of the µTorrent interface -- there are descriptions for the torrent list, and descriptions for the General tab littered throughout the forum, sometimes only coming with subtle indications as to which part of the interface they're describing.

If you have any questions about what something does in µTorrent, check my µTorrent User Manual in the second link in my signature -- Appendix A contains a description of the entire interface.

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Thank you. This is what I found in the utorrent.chm file linked in your sig in the Appendix A, Main Window, Torrent Jobs List:

Seeds displays the number of seeds you are connected to, and the number of seeds in the swarm in the parentheses. The number in the swarm is collected from the tracker and other methods of exchanging peers, such as DHT or Peer Exchange.

Peers displays the number of peers you are connected to, and the number of peers in the swarm in the parentheses. The number in the swarm is collected from the tracker and other methods of exchanging peers, such as DHT or Peer Exchange.

UNDERSTANDING THE DISPLAY WHILE DOWNLOADING

Please bear with me - so on SEEDS, if my display says 0 (36), that means that there are ZERO completed seeds that I am connected to, and 36 "in process" seeds that are not yet completed. So I'm downloading pieces from 36 torrents, none of which are 100% done and seeding, correct?

If as I was downloading, eventually that number changed to say 15 (104), that would mean I am connected to and downloading from 15 completed copies of the torrent content and also from 104 "in process" seeds that are not yet completed, correct?

In regards to PEERS, if my display says 38 (391), it means 38 people are actively downloading "in progress" from my Utorrent feed as I download the torrent, but there are 391 total people that are trying to access that same "in progress" feed, correct?

If this is so, for purposes of this discussion assuming a temporary "static" amount of downloaders, as people on that list of 38 drop off, some of those 391 may get the chance to connect directly and become part of the list of 38?

I do realize the numbers will change constantly, but I'm trying to refer to each side (left and right) of the ( character (left parenthesis) to avoid confusion.

Reasons people might drop off the left side could be that they close Utorrent and stop downloading, or they finish downloading completely and start seeding, or maybe some how they got bumped off due to some internet glitch or connection quality issue, etc., correct?

UNDERSTANDING THE DISPLAY WHEN DOWNLOAD HAS COMPLETED

So when the torrent I am downloading is completed, the status column will change to SEEDING, which means I am showing up on others SEEDS list as a value of 1 added to whatever is shown on the left side? The number they see may be 3 or 4 or 10 or whatever, and that means that their are either 2 or 3 or 9 others seeding in addition to the 1 I am seeding, correct? Or, is my "1" reflected in the PEERS area on the left side of the Parenthesis?

Since I am not downloading but only SEEDING, my Down speed should drop to almost nil and my Done percentage should be at 100.0%, right?

Say the size says 421 MB and my Uploaded says 613 MB, that means I've shared more than I've downloaded, and that is what you are SUPPOSED to do with Torrents, right?

I really appreciate the help. Some concepts I'm just very slow on the uptake.

Sincere thanks

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"so on SEEDS, if my display says 0 (36), that means that there are ZERO completed seeds that I am connected to,"

Yes, that means you're connected to 0 seeds.

"and 36 "in process" seeds that are not yet completed. So I'm downloading pieces from 36 torrents, none of which are 100% done and seeding, correct?"

No. The 36 is the number of completed seeds the tracker saw possibly in the last day, many of those are actually no longer connected or firewalled or already have max connections for that torrent...in any of those cases you can't connect to them.

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Hm, actually, I might need to update my definition of the Seeds and Peers column a bit... For the torrent jobs list, it displays tracker scrape data ONLY IF the torrent is stopped and the option to scrape stopped torrents is enabled. Otherwise, the list displays the number of seeds/peers that µTorrent has personally seen in its peer cache within the parentheses -- it's µTorrent's estimate for seed/peer counts as long as the torrent job is started.

Seeds displays the number of seeds you are connected to, and the number of seeds in the swarm within the parentheses. The number of seeds in the swarm is an estimate based on the number of seeds µTorrent has encountered within its peer cache. If the torrent job is stopped, and bt.scrape_stopped is enabled, µTorrent will show the number of seeds in the swarm as collected from the tracker.

Peers displays the number of peers you are connected to, and the number of peers in the swarm within the parentheses. The number of peers in the swarm is an estimate based on the number of peers µTorrent has encountered within its peer cache. If the torrent job is stopped, and bt.scrape_stopped is enabled, µTorrent will show the number of peers in the swarm as collected from the tracker.

@dudeboyz: All peers are seeds in the making if they're all aiming to download 100% of the data. Indeed, as Switeck explained, the number in the parentheses is the number of actual seeds seen in the swarm. So if, under the seeds column, you see X (Y), then what it's saying is that out of the Y number of seeds seen in the swarm, µTorrent is connected to X of them.

Regarding the questions for when you're seeding... The seed count in the parentheses should increase by 1, but the seed count outside the parentheses should drop to 0 (seeds don't need to, shouldn't need to, and won't connect to other seeds). Yes, your download should drop to almost 0. And yes, to the last question -- you uploaded more than you downloaded, which is good for BitTorrent.

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[ Post 1 (02:50:21) ] --------------------------------------------------

Thank you very much, both of you.

I'll read through this and try to digest it. If I have any more questions, I will post and ask for clarification.

For some reason, the whole thing seems "abstract" to me - kind of ethereal - so I'm having a bit of a hard time grasping it.

But I greatly appreciate the explanations. Thank you for taking the time. :)

[ Post 2 (03:09:59) ] --------------------------------------------------

OK, so here is another approach (mentally) for me.

SEEDS = 0 (35)

The ZERO means that I am NOT directly connected to the seeding data, correct?

The 35 means that I am INDIRECTLY connected to 35 folks also seeding the data, correct?

Direct connection would be faster, but I can still get the data, it will just bounce around a bit and eventually find its way to my client, is that right?

Thanks

[ Post 3 (03:17:42) ] --------------------------------------------------

PLEASE TEMPORARILY DISREGARD THIS POST - until I get an answer to the modified one above. I'm not sure this question would be relevant, depending on the answer. Thanks

Ultima Said: @dudeboyz: All peers are seeds in the making if they're all aiming to download 100% of the data. Indeed, as Switeck explained, the number in the parentheses is the number of actual seeds seen in the swarm. So if, under the seeds column, you see X (Y), then what it's saying is that out of the Y number of seeds seen in the swarm, µTorrent is connected to X of them.

Is it possible for the SEEDS column to have a 0 on the left side the entire time they are downloading?

If so, am I only downloading from the seeds in the parenthesis? Or is the left column just not updated constantly to show I'm connected to a completed SEED? Like having a display of 0 (34) - that means Utorrent is connected to ZERO SEEDS out of 34? If so, how am I able to download? I thought you HAD to be connected to at least ONE SEED in order to be able to download?

When I switch from downloading to seeding, the SEEDS column basically becomes irrelevant?

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Regarding post 2... No, 0 means you're not connected to any, PERIOD. When µTorrent is first provided with the peer list from the tracker, it checks every one of them. To µTorrent, everyone in the peer list is a peer unless the peer tells µTorrent otherwise (if it tells µTorrent it has all the pieces, it will then be considered a seed). Keep in mind that this is still just client communication, nothing more. It doesn't mean an actual connection with the peer/seed was established. The number outside the parentheses only increases if, and ONLY if, you actually connect to the peer. There is no "indirect" connection by which you can still receive data "indirectly."

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let's try some ascii art....

0 / 123

/|\ /|\

| |

/ \

/ \

/ \

_________ /_______ \

| # of seeds/peers| \

| you're connected | \

| to | \

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯______\_________

| total # |

| of seeds/peers |

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

better? it's not hard. let's say your seeds 'display' reads: 0/0. it means there are no seeds present. in other words, you're not getting whatever you're trying to get until a seed connects.

I don't know how much more obvious I can make this.

IF 0/0

THEN no seeds present

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

IF 0/x (where x≠0)

THEN seeds present

stop me if I'm going too fast...

edit: this post took me 30 minutes to fab. lmao :P

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@dudeboyz: You're not connected to anyone unless the number on the outside of the parentheses for either the seeds or peers column is above 0. Inside the parentheses means nothing in terms of who you're connected to. It's just counting how many seeds or peers there are in the swarm. It's connected versus the potential number of people you can get connected to (but aren't necessarily connected to). As anoxan is showing it, it's simply a fraction ;o

You have 500 people, 2 of them have pink hair, so the fraction of the total 500 people that have pink hair is 2/500. You have 500 peers, 2 of them you're connected to, so the fraction of the total 500 peers that you're connected to is 2/500, only in the case of µTorrent, it's written as 2 (500). The connected people are the ONLY people you can possibly transfer data with at any given time. The people you're not connected to, you'd have to connect to them first before you can possibly transfer data with them.

I've really attempted to explain it as simply as I can now =\

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Ok - is it possible to get downloads if the value on the left is at ZERO, as in 0 (340)

Or does that value on the left HAVE to be above ZERO for me to be able to download?

I really appreciate your patience. I'm mad at my stupid brain for pulling a Homer Simpson. Doh!

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Being able to download isn't entirely a simple matter of how many people you're connected to -- the dynamics of it all is more complex than that. But yes, you need to be connected to at least *someone* (the number outside the parentheses must be greater than 0 on at least either the peer or seed column) for you to be able to *possibly* transfer data.

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Ok. Now that starts to make sense.

So if I load a torrent and it always reads 0 (number), where number is the only value that changes, I will not be able to download that torrent, correct?

The ONLY time I can actually download data is when that ZERO changes to a positive number, right?

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Actually, it's even more complex than that due to super-seeding/initial seeding sources.

THEY won't show up as a 'true' seed, yet over time may/should provide all the missing parts that the rest of the torrent swarm lacks.

The Seed column need never go over ZERO -- what matters is availability MUST BE greater than 1 for you to finish a download! If all the seeds left on a huge torrent but enough people had different parts of it then availability might still be over 1 and you could still (in theory) complete the torrent. However if someone with a KEY piece that nobody else has leaves, then everyone else cannot complete the torrent till someone else restarts that torrent that has that missing key piece.

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Oh man! No wonder I get so confused!

I mean, logically, you'd think "Hey, if the thing is Zero, I can't get it, if it is above Zero, I'm golden" but it don't sound like that works.

It's like that I before E thing - except after C and oh yeah, some other sound like weigh and other exceptions... Oh my.

I have searched Google like crazy, and it seems like there are conflicting explanations on what they actually mean in comparision to what is displayed.

That's one of the reasons I wanted to ask HERE - cause I only use Utorrent and I figured, who better to truly explain what they mean than the guys who wrote the thing in the first place?

From the search, it looks like I'm not the only one, recently or not, to ask this question. It would be SOOOO cool if there was an effort to write a fully comprehensive explanation in laymans terms and put that right up there on the FAQ page or something.

It's good to know I'm not alone in being a bit "dense" when it comes to this.

Thanks for taking the time. I need to go read up on SuperSeeding and turn on that darn Availability column in Utorrent... Oy!

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I know this is an old thread but it really is a common question that only just clicked in my mind today and I wanted to share my view of things in case it helps others. This is how I think of things:

Parenthesis peers or seeds => Information from the tracker about what numbers would be in an ideal world. Since this is not an ideal world and the numbers are updated infrequently you can safely ignore these.

Outside parenthesis seeds => Number of people that have 100% of the file. You are currently connected to them and downloading. When seeding, this should be 0 because people with 100% of the file don't need the file anymore.

Outside parenthesis peers =>Number of people that have less than 100% of the file. You are also connected to them and either downloading from or uploading to them. When seeding, it is the number of people that don't have the file that are getting it from you.

Hopes this helps anyone that is still confused about the numbers.

-Serial007

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I know this is an old topic but it seems I may be as dense as dudeboyz because I'm confused also. One particular connection of 3.95 gig in utorrent shows SEEDS = 0(0)..PEERS = 35(65)..DOWN SPEED = 120kB/s..UP SPEED = 12kB/s..ETA = 12 hours..AVAIL = 0.554. If 0(0) SEEDS means I am NOT able to download then why am I still downloading at 120kB/s with an ETA of 12 hours? I'd appreciate someone enlightening this old dude as I am not too savvy when it comes to computers but I am willing to learn.

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0 seeds doesn't mean you can't download. 0 seeds means µTorrent doesn't see anyone who has a full copy of the data. That doesn't mean you can't download from peers that don't have the complete data set.

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Availability means that @ 55.4% you will stop downloading unless a seed shows up OR the remainder of the pieces show up on another peer who joins the swarm, pushing availability higher.

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Man...This is a great thread if only because it illustrates just how difficult it can be for folks to explain something technical in a bulletin board. I came here seeking the same answer as dudeboy but as I read this thread there was something that kept driving me nuts. So I figured I'd register just so I could add my 2 cents.

The question posed is: What do the Seed and Peer numbers mean in uTorrent?

First let's do some definitions.

Peer: (aka leech) someone who does not currently have the completed file.

When a peer is connected, he downloads the pieces he does not have and uploads the pieces he does have. You are a peer if you do not have a complete copy of the file you're trying to get.

Seed: A Seed is someone who already has the complete file but is still sharing. If there are no Seeds, the only way to get a complete file is if all the pieces of the file can be found amongst the peers that are connected. In most cases, when there is no Seed, you probably won't get the whole file.

Note that the term leech used to be common in bulletin boards and usenet groups. We used it to describe someone who downloads things but never uploads. With torrents, as soon as you get your first piece, you're sharing. So we call everyone a peer. Of course, I still use leech when I talk about about people who never Seed a file.

As a rule of thumb, you should always try to Seed a torrent before for at least 1 full copy. You can see this in the Ratio column. 1.000 or higher means you have seeded at least 1 full copy of the file.

Tracker: The tracker is a server that has all the info about the people that are down- and uploading the file. The tracker itself does not have a copy of the file, it only tracks the people who have the file (seeds) and the people who have part of the file (peers). Torrents can be tied to a specific tracker, but most clients now support trackerless torrents, making it less likely that you will be hurt if you can't find the original tracker.

Scrape: When your BitTorrent client asks for info from the "tracker", we call this scraping. The data you get from scraping tells you how many Seeds and Peers there are for each torrent. This is not limited to just the active Seeds and Peers. It could also include Seeds and Peers that are not currently connected.

Swarm: Together, all the Seeds and Peers who are using the same torrent on the same tracker with you. For example, six Peers and two Seeds on the same tracker make a swarm of eight. So your Swarm is NOT the users you are connected to. It's perfectly normal NOT to connect to ALL seeds and peers in a swarm. In a minute, we'll even see how the opposite is true.

First, when you look at the numbers in the Seeds and Peers columns, we see 2 numbers in each column: x(y).

SEEDS

x = the number of seeds from which your client is currently downloading pieces.

y = the total number of seeds in the swarm

So, if you see 5 (14) under Seeds, you are connected to 5 out of 14 seeds. The tracker knows about 9 more seeds to which you are NOT connected. This could be because these seeds only allow a limited number of connections or there could be other reasons.

Once you get the complete file, you will no longer connect to Seeds because, as a Seed yourself, you don't exchange any data with other Seeds. Your client still shows you the Seeds in your swarm so you see something like 0(14).

If you see something like 12 (4), it usually means the tracker only knows about 4 seeds in your swarm, but thanks to a feature called DHT you were able to connect to seeds outside your swarm.

DHT stands for Distributed hash tables. You don't need to understand DHT. Just know that DHT makes allows trackers to share the burden of tracking swarms for torrents. If your client only sees the swarm attached to your tracker, if your client supports DHT, it might connect to Seeds and Peers that are connected to another tracker.

PEERS

x = the number of peers with which you are currently sharing pieces (downloading or uploading)

y = the total number of peers in the swarm

This works very much like Seeds.

5 (12) means you are connected to 5 peers but the tracker knows about 7 more peers to which you are NOT connected.

0 (12) means your client knows about 12 peers but you are not connected to any of them. If your file is not complete, this might mean that none of the Peers needs any of the pieces you have.

12 (4) means the tracker knows about 4 peers in your swarm, but DHT is helping you connect to seeds outside your swarm.

I hope this answers all the questions and help folks in the future.

One last tidbit: Trackers are Not Web Sites

A tracker helps clients to connect to each other and collects data about your swarm. It is basically a "dumb pc" that only knows how to connect your BitTorrent client to other BitTorrent clients that are downloading the same torrent. An indexer is a website that hosts torrent files for download. So piratebay is an indexer, but not a tracker.

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Hey Legolad, mind not jewelisheaven's comment.

You post is much needed and appreciated.

As we can see above, there was few stabs at explaining the matter, but none of them was as elegant as yours (elegant, as in presenting fairly complex ideas in simple manner / terms)

The main mistake here was that the man asked about the fundamentals – what seed / peer / leech + numbers mean and original answers he got contained another geeky terms he dose not comprehend.

Am myself fairly geeky and didn't ever got around finding out what some of the P2P / torrents terms exactly stands for. So your time and effort wasn't by any means wasted - I'm sure more people find your post very helpful.

Kudos form New Zealand!

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I have a problem and i thought this is right place to ask.

The problem is :

I am not able to connect any one of the seed 0(2) but i am abie to connect to peers 7(10).

Here i am able to download data from peers due to this i am getting low speed download.

I don't think that there are no seeders online bcoz the peers ratio is increasing time to time this means the some of other guys who are leeching are able to connect to seed but i am not.

My question is what i need to do to connect to seed? is i need to make any changes in my client to connect to seed? and why i am not able to connect to seed?.

I am using 1.8.1 version.

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I think you have a very mixed up idea of the definitions in your head...

Ratio does not increase just because there are seeds in the swarm. Availability may, not ratio. Ratio is what you get when you divide the amount of data you've uploaded by the amount of data you've downloaded -- it has nothing to do with what other peers there are.

Just because a peer is a seed doesn't mean he's faster than any other peer. Just because you're downloading slowly can't be blamed on the fact that you're not connected to any seeds -- it can only be blamed on the fact that you're connected to slow peers, or peers whose upload slots/bandwidth are saturated (taken up).

How do you connect to a seed? You be patient and wait.

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