How to Protect Your Torrent From Failing Trackers

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Nothing is more frustrating than your download getting stuck. The fact that a torrent has stopped downloading can have several reasons. One of these reasons is that the tracker has stopped functioning.

BitTorrentHere are some of the common causes of a failing tracker:

Torrents are deleted from trackers
Some trackers, like have policies that require them to remove torrents from a tracker if they are older than a year. This way they save server resources, because a lot of the older torrents are unseeded, but still indexed by some sites, which means that the tracker is bombarded with unnecessary requests.

Trackers Die
Unfortunately BitTorrent trackers don’t live forever.

Trackers experience Downtime
A lot of BitTorrent trackers go down every now and then. Most of the time they return after a few minutes or hours, but still, the torrent won’t work when they’re down.

So, how do we solve this problem? Basically, there are two things you can do to guarantee that your torrent will stay alive. Of course these tips will only work with public trackers.

1. Use Multi-tracker Torrents
Several BitTorrent clients allow you to add multiple trackers to a torrent upon creation. So, if you add three trackers, the second one will take over if the first one fails. The multi-tracker feature was first proposed by John Hoffman, and is now supported by several clients including Azureus, BitComet, BitTornado and uTorrent.

2. Enable DHT
DHT stands for “Distributed Hash Table”. If a web based tracker goes down, the torrents stay alive because peers can act as “nodes” keeping the swarm intact, and the torrent alive. So you could say that the DHT layer serves as a peer-to-peer tracker. The DHT feature is available on Azureus, Bitcomet, uTorrent and several other BitTorrent clients.

Do these two things and your much less likely do develop a headache when you’re favourite Linux distribution stops downloading. ;-)


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