What Is a BitTorrent Tracker?

Trackers manage the transfer of peer-to-peer files

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A BitTorrent tracker is server software that centrally coordinates the peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer of files among users. BitTorrents have a bad reputation because they have been used for piracy, but they aren't illegal. In fact, they have many legitimate and legal uses, including downloading open-source software and public domain files.

About BitTorrent Trackers

BitTorrent tracker software serves up torrent files for download from a website. The tracker maintains information about the BitTorrent clients using each torrent. Specifically, the tracker identifies the network location of each client that uploads or downloads the P2P file associated with a torrent. It also tracks which fragments of that file each client possesses to assist in efficient data-sharing among clients.

qBittorrent - Free Torrent Software
The qBittorrent Project

BitTorrent clients connect to a tracker when they log on to the server to work with torrent files. The tracker notifies the client of the P2P file location, which is on a different remote server. If the BitTorrent tracker fails or is taken offline, clients are unable to continue sharing P2P files. The tracker normally uses TCP port 6969 for network communications.

BitTorrent Tracker Software

Several BitTorrent software programs are on the market. They include the following:

qBitTorrent

qBitTorrent is a lightweight but efficient tracker software. It doesn't have the features of other tracker software, but most people don't need all those features.

qBittorrent - Free Torrent Software
The qBittorrent Project

BitTorious

BitTorious is open source software with an integrated web-based management portal.

Bittorious screenshopt

BitStorm

BitStorm, which is written in PHP, doesn't require a database server and runs on any PHP-compatible web server.

Hefur

Hefur is based on C++.

Hefur screenshot

Vuze

Vuze has been referred to as "ridiculously full-featured." This makes it a bit bulky and resource-heavy, but if you want all the bells and whistles, Vuze is a good choice.

Screenshot of the Vuze torrent client

Before you download BitTorrent software, check that it works on your server and platform.