What Are Magnet Links? How Are They Different From Torrents?
By on March 1st, 2012

So you heard about Magnet Links and were terrified? What Are Magnet Links? How Are They Different From Torrents? How to Download files using Magnet Links. Are Magnet Links Safe?

Magnet Links

In a world of peer-to-peer sharing, Torrents have come along a long way along. However, Torrents are being deemed as less safer these days because of people being able to easily track them. This has led several websites including "The Pirate Bay" from changing the way they allow users to download files.

Also Read: 6 Tools to Download Torrents Anonymously

The Pirate Bay recently switched from torrents to magnet links marking a big change in how it operates. In a nutshell, magnet links change how users download content. We’ll take a look at what has changed and what you will need to change in order to download files using Magnet links.

What are Magnet Links? What’s the Difference Between Magnet Links and Torrents?

Magnet Links change the fundamental way in which we download from peer-to-peer networks. Unlike Torrents, which needed a centralized server for tracking purposes, magnet links directly download content from other peers thus getting rid of the centralized server for tracking seeds and peers.

Also Read: What Are Web Seeds? 

Magnet links make use of DHT, which is a form of decentralized distribution which allows a group of users to share a file faster amongst themselves without having to rely on a server. There is not much difference between how a file is downloaded from a torrent vs how it is downloaded from a magnet link.

Do I Have to Change How I Download Using Magnet Links?

No. Magnet links are similar to torrent files and if you have a P2P torrent software installed, you will be able to download the content using magnet links without having to change anything. However, you might have to upgrade your P2P software to the latest versions so that the browsers are aware that they should handle those links.

How to Download Files Using Magnet Links?

There are couple of ways in which you can download content using magnet links. The first is pretty straightforward. Just click on the link that is provided and it will launch your default torrent software as shown below. You might want to check the checkbox next to "Remember my choice for all links of this type" or "Always use this software to open such links" so that it will automatically open magnet links in your favorite torrent client.

Download Magnet Links

Clicking on the "Get This Torrent" link in Pirate Bay will automatically launch your Bittorrent application.

downloading_through_magnet_links

Once you open the magnet link, your torrent client will start downloading the content just like a regular torrent. Alternatively, you can also copy the magnet link and add it directly to your torrent client just like you used to do for regular torrents.

Are Magnet Links Safe?

Downloading through magnet links is as safe as downloading a torrent file. However, make sure to download legitimate content and you will be safe. There have been several cases of infected torrents so the files you download through magnet links could be unsafe as well.

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Author: Keith Dsouza Google Profile for Keith Dsouza
I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

Keith Dsouza has written and can be contacted at keith@techie-buzz.com.

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