People who are new to the world of torrent sharing often get confused with the jargon used such as Peer, Seeder, and Leecher etc. In this post I will try to explain these terms in some detail. For those who would like to know what BitTorrent is, please refer my earlier post on the same.
In a P2P (Peer-to-Peer) network especially a BitTorrent network any participating computer with a BitTorrent client like uTorrent installed on it forms the peer. What this means is that any participating node in a P2P network can be called a Peer. A peer in a BitTorrent network is capable of both uploading and downloading pieces of data from other peers. A peer need not necessarily have the entire set of data, it can theoretically consist of a part of the available data which it seeds or downloads.
In simple terms a Seeder is a node that seeds the data, or put simplistically a computer that has the complete data and which keeps uploading the data to the other nodes in the P2P network. Logically it is apparent that greater the number of seeders a P2P network has, more is the chance for completion of file sharing, and that too at a faster rate.
A Leecher is a computer in a P2P network like BitTorrent network that downloads often than it uploads. A leecher is a node that has a very bad file sharing ratio, meaning it consumes more than what it gives. It can also refer to those computer that doesn’t have complete data and which downloads more than it uploads, implying any computer that doesn’t yet have 100% of data. A Leecher can sometime refer to computer nodes where the internet connection favors higher downloading capacity than that of uploading capacity thereby causing an extremely poor sharing ration. Sometime when downloading is complete and the Torrent client is closed it can cause the behavior of a leecher because the node stops uploading to the P2P network.