Proper torrent etiquette?
June 21, 2004 8:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm just getting into Bit Torrent with the official Mac OS X client. Although I've had little problem finding good torrents, I am still unaware of proper torrent etiquette (torrent training?) (more inside).

I understand that after finishing a download, one should leave the torrent open in the client. However, how do people usually handle these in the longterm? Does one drop the uploads after a day or two? Or does one keep a number of their favorite uploads available?

After a completed download, can the extracted files be moved around the hard drive while the torrent continues to send information to other users? Or can they even be deleted entirely?

(Sorry for the vagueness-- Bit Torrent FAQs keep it techincal and nonspecific)
posted by themadjuggler to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're using Azureus, you can have it automatically relocate the file once it's done. I have mine collecting its torrents into a single directory along with the incomplete downloads, and then moving them off to a better place.

My personal etiquette is to start those torrents with the lowest peer:seed ratio first, but ignoring those torrents with better than a 1:5 seed:peer ratio, giving the highest priority to those files I've shared the least. I allow multiple connections from a single IP.

Because my up bandwidth is limited to around 40kbs, I've limited the number of connections to any one torrent to 10, but no global maximum. In reality, based on my disk space, I only have a half-dozen files up for share anyway, so I figure it keeps things moving alright.

I have no idea if these are rational settings. They just "feel right" to me.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 PM on June 21, 2004

It depends on the people but it's usually expected to provide at least a 1:1 download/share ratio.
posted by holloway at 9:01 PM on June 21, 2004

i dont know about everyone else, but bittorrent kills the traffic for my in-home network no matter how many upload peers i limit the client to, so it's a pain to keep them up for large peer groups. I say, if there's 20+ seeders, drop the upload after you're done, they've got it covered. if however, there's only 2 or 3 seeders then you should keep it up for a few days so it can catch up. That is, if it's a new torrent. If its an old one (week+) then it's most likely dead, drop it.

also, play it safe and don't move or delete downloaded files. it varies from client to client but overall, dont move.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:16 PM on June 21, 2004

A lot of the time I just leave the torrent running overnight, or sometimes during the day while I'm out, and this gets me to a better than 1:1 ratio by the time I get back. If I had trouble getting a complete download (if the number of seeders went to 0, which it often will temporarily) then I'll leave it up longer, or start it again several nights running, or whatever, in order to help any other stragglers along.

Like 5FF, I don't know if this matches any widely-accepted etiquette, but it seems like a good way to operate.
posted by hattifattener at 9:31 PM on June 21, 2004

Overnight is Good. Less net traffic on the whole then, so ISPs are less likely to get upset.

The newest Azureus (today's) claims to have bandwidth limiting built-in.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:43 PM on June 21, 2004

and finding them?
posted by rhyax at 9:43 PM on June 21, 2004

finding them? suprnova of course! that's where i get all my torrents.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:02 PM on June 21, 2004

Wouldn't mind knowing of a few other torrent-feeds, though. Suprnova can't possibly be listing everything.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 PM on June 21, 2004

MVG is focused and good.
posted by stbalbach at 11:15 PM on June 21, 2004

I ran across this weird little article the other day. File under "good to know."
posted by scarabic at 11:27 PM on June 21, 2004

IsoHunt is a torrent search engine. Includes everything at suprnova, plus some.
posted by gleuschk at 4:14 AM on June 22, 2004

Sharing the Groove for live concerts.
posted by Gortuk at 5:13 AM on June 22, 2004

To be a bit of a dissenting voice here, the idea of BitTorrents is that people who want them to be available seed them, and then everyone else only uploads while they are downloading, giving a speed boost to the other downloaders. The whole leaving-the-window-open-to-upload thing isn't really the way it's meant to be done, no matter how many people decide to get upset about it. That goes double if you're on dialup, or uploading significantly impairs your downloading ability.
posted by reklaw at 5:32 AM on June 22, 2004

But reklaw, if people keep seeding once they're done, it goes quicker for everyone. It's the way it should be done IMO and is good "netiquette".
I like to aim for a ratio of 1:1. I use "Another BitTorrent Client" which automatically shuts down the torrent when that ratio is reached and moves to the next in the list.
ABC also allows you to limit number of uploads and upload bandwidth. I have 256Kb upstream bandwidth and limit my total torrent upload speed to 18kb/s and a maximum of ten uploads. This seems to be a good balance between a good upload speed that doesn't hamper download speed, and me actually being able to use the internet.
posted by chill at 6:03 AM on June 22, 2004

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