What Is a Bit Torrent Tracker?

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A Bit Torrent tracker centrally coordinates the P2P transfer of files among users. BitTorrent trackers are software server "toolkit" applications that typically run on websites. BNBT and CBTT are names of common BitTorrent tracker toolkits.

Tracker software serves up torrent files for download from a Web site. The tracker maintains information about all BitTorrent clients utilizing each torrent. Specifically, the tracker identifies the network location of each client either uploading or downloading the P2P file associated with a torrent.

It also tracks which fragment(s) of that file each client possesses, to assist in efficient data sharing between clients.

BitTorrent clients connect to a tracker when attempting to work with torrent files. The tracker notifies the client of the P2P file location (that is normally on a different, remote server). If the BitTorrent tracker fails or is taken offline, clients will be unable to continue sharing those P2P files. A tracker normally utilizes TCP port 6969 for network communications.