Torrenting is perhaps one of the favorite ways for internet users to download copyrighted material for free. It involves downloading a .torrent file and loading it into a torrent program, which then finds users around the internet (thanks to "trackers") who have the necessary files stored on their computers. These "peers" then serve the files to the downloaders without a middle-man server, hence the term peer-to-peer networking.
While they can be used legitimately, torrents are largely used for piracy. As of the time of writing, popular torrent search engine IsoHunt has indexed 8.25 million torrents with a combined size of 13,635 TB (or 13.6 petabytes). With 33.58 million connected peers, this gives a rough average of 4 peers per torrent. This also means the average size of a torrent indexed on IsoHunt is 1.64 GB.
Note: When talking about torrent file sizes, we're not referring to the actual .torrent file size, which is usually a few kilobytes, but rather to the size of the files the torrent enables you do download from peers.
Here's where it starts to get interesting. Public torrent aggregator Torrentz is currently indexing a larger 11.70 million torrents (without duplicates) across 33 domains, which provides for a good statistical base.
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This article is brought to you in partnership with Neowin.
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