What's the Best Way to Download Files— Torrent or File-Sharing? by@kanny

What's the Best Way to Download Files— Torrent or File-Sharing?

Francesca M. Nichols HackerNoon profile picture

Francesca M. Nichols

Best Tech Writer Award Winner

Often there are disputes on the Internet about how best to download files — with a torrent tracker or through a file-sharing site. A torrent tracker is a simple site with user registration and a directory of links (torrents), structured according to the content of files. Torrents contain information about the file, users’ posts about it, and the address for downloading. There is a page of requests where you can ask to put certain
information on the network.

File exchangers also exist specifically for a quick file share, but they function on a different principle. File sharing is a service that provides the user a place to store files and access them via the Web around the clock.

The user uploads a file to the file-sharing server once, and the file-sharing gives the user a permanent link, which they can post in blogs and forums or send to their friends by email. By following that link or entering it into the address bar of a browser, any other user can download that file.

Let's discuss the pros and cons of torrents and file sharing sites so that you can compare these two types of resources and choose the most suitable for yourself.

Pros of Torrents

1. Maximum download speed. If at least a few people share the file you're downloading, the download speed will be as close to the max threshold of your provider as possible.

2. Convenient search. You only need to know the addresses of several torrent trackers or use the global search by trackers, and you will quickly find what you're looking for.

3. On torrent trackers, descriptions of films and games are usually much more complete than on file-sharing sites. In addition, torrent files are carefully checked by moderators to ensure they do not contain different or broken files, and you can also read comments on and reviews of the file.

4. Download the whole file. You start your torrent client and go to sleep in peace, not worrying about downloading the next piece of the file.

5. Adjustable download and upload speed. With one click, you can set the download and upload speed in your torrent client. This is needed to free up your Internet connection for other needs without interrupting the download.

Cons of Torrents

1. Most torrent trackers require registration and a rating system, which means that you must give away a certain number of gigabytes to be able to download the following files.

2. It is impossible to download a file or download it quickly when no one else gives it away. But this happens very rarely. In that case, look for a similar file on another tracker.

3. The use of torrent clients can be closed by the administrator or prohibited by your provider. Sitting in the office, you probably can not use these resources.

4. Torrent clients can hamper the work of other programs such as games, video editors, and other specific applications.

5. The safety of using torrent clients is sometimes questioned, even though it is easier to "catch" a virus by downloading from file-sharing sites.

Pros of File Sharing Sites

1. Uploading files to a file exchange, in theory, you can make money, although it will result in a maximum of several dollars in practice. But if you need to transfer a file to someone quickly and can’t do it via email or ICQ, a free file upload site is the best way out.

2. Some sharing sites allow you to perform downloads at maximum speed.

3. There is no need to worry about rating and counting the number of megabytes given, which is a great advantage if your Internet traffic is limited.

4. No registration is necessary to download a small file from a file exchange.

Cons of File-Sharing Sites

1. Most file-sharing sites do not support downloading by popular download managers, which complicates the process.

2. Limiting the file size: The most common way to upload a large file to file sharing sites is to upload it in parts by first archiving them. Because of this, one often has problems: for example, if you’ve downloaded a damaged archive or one of the links has turned out to be unworkable, then all your efforts are in vain — the whole file will not open.

3. On many file exchangers, you can't download several files at a time.

4. Most free file exchangers have limitations on downloading speed. You have to pay for a gold or VIP account to remove all the restrictions.


Now that you’ve read about torrent trackers and file-sharing sites, you can make informed decisions about using them. Both of them have a place in today’s world. Which of them you will use in this or that situation depends on rational analysis and habit in equal measure.


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