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How does DHT work, in laymen's terms?

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agreenbhm    29

Since the Pirate Bay is now a magnet link site that relies on DHT to operate, I'd like for someone to explain in simple terms how DHT works.

Here's what I get:

DHT allows trackerless torrent downloads by having each peer essentially be the tracker, pointing you at other peers to download from.

That being the case, when you download a magnet torrent, what does that file do? There needs to be something to connect me to the first peer, who will then connect me to the second, etc. How does the magnet file connect me to any peers?

Please don't point me to Wikipedia, because the article about DHT is way too confusing for this simple question.

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+Xinok    294

The DHT uses the peers you're already connected to. All you need is to connect to one peer. Then that peer will connect you to more peers, and so on.

Magnet links are not files. Rather, it's a link which contains a hash of the torrent. The torrent client uses the DHT to find peers who have that torrent. It then connects to those peers and downloads the torrent from them.

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The_Observer    293

thanks

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halcyoncmdr    4

The new torrents, if not all of them, on TPB have been updated with the openbittorrent tracker now from my experience. So the initial tracker allows you to connect to at least one peer and DHT takes over from there in cooperation with any other tracker provided peers to create a massive web of peers to utilize.

You have to have a tracker to connect to at least one peer however to get the ball rolling.

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+BudMan    3,446

they just wrote an article on this..

http://torrentfreak.com/common-bittorrent-dht-myths-091024/

They go over how DHT works.

Was posted on /. this morning -- how do you keep up with tech stuff if your not reading /. ;)

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Rudy    457
The new torrents, if not all of them, on TPB have been updated with the openbittorrent tracker now from my experience. So the initial tracker allows you to connect to at least one peer and DHT takes over from there in cooperation with any other tracker provided peers to create a massive web of peers to utilize.

You have to have a tracker to connect to at least one peer however to get the ball rolling.

it actually doesn't need to connect to the initial tracker. Your client has it's own "server" that has a list of some peers (related to your torrent or not) and things get started from there.

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Raa    1,548

I found that using DHT it wont be long before you pickup peers and seeds anyway. It's a great system and doesn't on "central point" trackers to function.

Is OpenBT any good? Sounds relatively new...

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agreenbhm    29
they just wrote an article on this..

http://torrentfreak.com/common-bittorrent-dht-myths-091024/

They go over how DHT works.

Was posted on /. this morning -- how do you keep up with tech stuff if your not reading /. ;)

I read that before originally posting but it did not clear up my question. Believe me, I read plenty. I still don't get how DHT connects you to the initial peer without a tracker. Can anyone explain?

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The_Decryptor    1,105

The article mentions it (it connects to a "Bootstrap" server and gets some DHT nodes that it can use to connect to other nodes)

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+BudMan    3,446

You read it?? And did you just skip over this?

"When DHT is enabled (certainly in uTorrent) it connects to a bootstrap node (such as router.utorrent.com or router.bittorrent.com for mainline, or dht.aelitis.com for Vuze) and uses that to enter the DHT ?swarm?. It?s handed a set of DHT nodes and uses that to build up a small group of connected nodesThose nodes are then used to get peers.s. No tracker is required at any time."

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agreenbhm    29
You read it?? And did you just skip over this?

"When DHT is enabled (certainly in uTorrent) it connects to a bootstrap node (such as router.utorrent.com or router.bittorrent.com for mainline, or dht.aelitis.com for Vuze) and uses that to enter the DHT ?swarm?. It?s handed a set of DHT nodes and uses that to build up a small group of connected nodesThose nodes are then used to get peers.s. No tracker is required at any time."

I read that but don't follow. How is the bootstrap node any different than a tracker?

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The_Decryptor    1,105

The tracker manages torrents and peers, the bootstrap DHT server only helps you find peers.

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Si    11

Sounds just like the old Gnutella to me, just with file hashes?

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