Anyone who has been following the BitTorrent scene would know that PiratesBay has switched to Magnet links, instead of providing links to the BitTorrent tracker system. Magnet links have been around for many years however, it is only now that users are switching to them in large numbers. The reason for this is because of lack of choice, in most cases. Since The PiratesBay is only providing Magnet links, therefore, anyone looking to download content from the website, has to use them. Let’s take a look at the applications that you can use to download Magnet links and analyze the mechanism that makes Magnet links work.
Disclaimer: Some Magnet and BitTorrent links may be linked to files that violate copyrights. The WML Cloud Team does not encourage the use of such Magnet or BiTorrent links. The reason for this post is to provide information about the usage of Magnet and BitTorrent links and not to encourage copyrights violation.
For years, BitTorrent trackers and indexers have relied on the .torrent files to find files shared with the p2p (Peer-to-Peer) protocol. These files are saved by indexing websites and are used by BitTorrent clients for connecting to tracker sites. They contain the URL belonging to the tracker site, names of the shared files and the has code of the files.
BitTorrent indexers save the .torrent files on their servers, which has resulted in legal issues for a number of websites lately, including Torrent-Finder and The PiratesBay. The websites are left vulnerable to legal threats, if the shared content results in infringing copyrights, despite containing no actual infringing data in the file itself.
Magnet links on the contrary, are mere links, which have no files associated with them. The links are different from URLs because they don’t hold information about the location of a resource. Instead, they contain small amounts of information about the content of the file or files that they are linked with.
Indexer websites can use Magnet links to make it harder for them to be accused of copyright infringement. This is because unlike BitTorrent links, they often do not hold data such as the hash value, or file name. When using Magnet links, BitTorrent indexers do not require saving any file, it merely require a few snippets of data leaving the individual client apps to do the rest. You can even copy, paste Magnet links and share them via email, instant messenger, etc.
Advantage of Magnet Links
Magnet links can be quicker than BitTorrent links , since they enable the supported clients to download from peers which have similar files, but are marked with different names.
Disadvantage of Magnet Links
Magnet links are directly downloaded by client applications, without showing the contents of the torrent file or files. This prevents users from selecting the files that they wish to download.
Torrent Clients That Support Magnet Links
Until recently, not many BitTorrent clients supported Magnet links. however, all that has now changed. Following are the BitTorrent clients that you can use to download Magnet Links.