To understand the world of streaming you must first understand the process of how files are downloaded and shared.  This article will take you through the basics of what a Torrent is and how it works, what a Kodi Add-On does, and what are the different stream qualities out.

First we will discuss the difference between a Torrent and a download.  A Torrent file contains metadata that points a user to other users who have the files you are searching for.  You pull a portion of the file from many users at once (up to 100 peers) as this utilizing much less bandwidth.  A download is when you pull a file from a single source/pc.  Torrents are typically pulled from p2p (Peer2Peer) programs where a download can be from a third party program or from a website.

Terms to know:

  • Seeder: Those who have the entire file and share the portions peers are missing to complete the download.
    • A seed (file) is broken down into smaller bits or pieces and then are distributed to peers trying to download the file.
    • Once a peer completes the download of a portion of the file, they can then immediately share the piece of the file for others to download.
      • It is imperative to have more Seeders than Leechers in a community to continue to feed the masses.
      • Think of it as shared wealth and the more money in the economy the more people are willing to spend and everyone benefits from this.
    • Leechers: Those who do not have the entire file and are actively downloading bits or pieces of the file.
      • Leechers are able to download and upload at the same time to feed the community.
      • A Leecher can also describe a member who does not share or upload the completed portions of the file after they have downloaded it.
    • Peer: A system connected to another system in a specific network that shares files (peer-to-peer).  If you have a network of peers, this is referred to as a “swarm”.

BitTorrenting is the peer-to-peer sharing of bits or pieces of a large file to complete a download rather quickly.  As mentioned above you can download from up to 100 sources all at once which dramatically cuts the download time as compared to downloading from a single source.  One thing to note is you cannot view the file until all “bits” have been downloaded as the file is incomplete.

To download Torrents anonymously you need to utilize a VPN.  Please check out Tekto’s article Why You Should Avoid Free VPN's and for more information on this.  Below you will also find more information on VPN’s.

What is a VPN?

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is exactly what it sounds like a private network that allows you to connect to public networks.  This allows those connected to share data remotely and is widely used in the corporate world to allow employees to access data on servers while protecting the integrity of the data.  This is also widely used in the torrent world because of the anonymity it can provide.

The way a VPN works is by replacing your IP Address by an IP Address associated with the VPN Company.  For example:  you could be in London and connect to a VPN server in New York City.  If you were to search the connected IP Address it would show you in New York.  This is a great way to get around geo-location when trying to use services such as Netflix or Amazon Movies that only work in your home country.  VPN’s are critical to use when torrenting because it allows you to hide your identity and even if someone were to get information from the VPN server they could never pin-point the exact origins of the files due to levels of encryption.

What is Kodi (XBMC?)

Kodi is an open source media player that plays different digital media streams including podcasts, slideshows, and tv/movies.  Kodi is available in over 65 different languages and can be added to different platforms such as Windows, Mac OS X, Android, Raspberry Pi, Linux, etc.

Kodi Add-Ons are exactly what they sound like; they are similar to apps you would put on your phone but are created specifically for Kodi to enhance your viewing.  These are features and functions that are not stock or standard on Kodi and are written by third-party developers/coders in python.  Kodi Add-Ons will include video website streams, playlists, scrapers, and scripts.

  • Video Website Streams: Kodi has the ability to search out streams on the internet by utilizing scripts to search for specific metadata.
  • Scrapers: A scraper is a tool that goes to the internet and pulls metadata from websites for information and artwork.  This is used to import thumbnails, posters, fanart, and covers for music, movies, and TV shows.
  • Scripts: Lines of code that tell Kodi Add-On exactly what it needs to do.

Types of Kodi Streams

HD:  High Definition Stream

SD:  Standard Definition Stream

HQ: High Quality Stream

MQ: Medium Quality Stream

LQ: Low Quality Stream

CAM: bootleg taken at the movie theater from the seats

TS: Telesync is a bootleg taken at the movie theater from the screening booth.

The majority of the year you will not find HD content for movies still in theater.  The reason why is because most the time you cannot get your hands on the digital copy and the best we can do is Cams and Telesync.

Screener Season

There is a special time of year that typically takes place around late December to mid-February where you can find special DVD quality copies of movies in theater; this is referred to as Screener Season. The reason why you are able to find them during Screener Season is because the movies are being considered for awards such as the Oscars.  Special copies are sent out to the voters so they can view all movies up for an award and vote properly.  Luckily for the streaming world these Screeners always happen to find their way to BitTorrent sites and become available to the general public.

URL Resolver

What is a URL Resolver?  This is an add-on that works in the shadows to click through Captcha’s to prove you are not a robot and pulls the streams when you search for a particular movie or tv show.  It is coupled with video add-ons to scrape streams from websites for your viewing pleasure.  While many are happy with the streams they receive from their popular video add-ons and are content with the quality there are others that turn to third party companies such as Real Debrid.  Real Debrid is an unrestricted downloader that allows you to download files quickly.  In terms of Kodi it also allows you to stream HD quality streams at faster speeds which cuts down on buffering.  This will be covered in further detail in an upcoming article.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to let us know by visiting Ares Project.