Host and share your torrents
- You will need to know whether your IP address is Static or Dynamic. Ask your ISP, they will be able to tell you. But first, some definitions:
- Stands for Internet Protocol. It is the name for the technology standard that is used throughout the Internet to make it possible for everything to be able to communicate with everything else.
- IP Address
- Your IP address is the number separated by dots that identifies you to other Internet users. For example, 200.345.9.23 is an IP address.
- Static IP
- Is an IP address that never changes unless it is deliberately changed on purpose.
- Dynamic IP
- Is an IP address that changes every time you disconnect and reconnect to the Internet. For example, this may happen whenever you reboot or shut down your computer.
Let's say I am an ISP. I own a block of (say) 256 IP addresses, and I have 2000 clients that connect to me using a modem. In that case, when a client dials in I assign them an address. OTOH, if I am a telecom provider and install a pipe to your wall socket that will be in use 24/7, I'll most likely give you a permanent number.
- Your ISP, or Internet Service Provider, is the organization or company which provides you with your Internet connection. (and hopefully maintains it, and keeps it running!) They are the ones you pay every month for your Internet service.
Setting Up Your Tracker
Your tracker needs to be accessible from the Internet. Its address will be http://hostname:port where hostname is your current IP address and port is a number between 1024 and 65535.
- You must choose a port for your tracker, using the criteria described in PortIsBlacklisted and open it using the methods described in Port_forwarding and RouterConfiguration .
How to get a static Hostname when you have a dynamic IP
You can use a dynamic DNS service to achieve that:
- If you do not already have a free account at dyndns, then it will be necessary for you to create one.
- Go to that website, and at the top right corner of the page, select Sign Up Now
- Choose and enter your Username, valid email address, and password according to the instructions on the screen.
- Click on the Create Account button at the bottom. You will then need to validate the account you have just created by following the instructions in the email that dyndns.org will have sent you. Usually this means simply clicking on a link. So click on it.
- Click on the yellow Account tab near the top of the screen.
Now, you will see some options displayed, but the ones you will be concerned with for these purposes will be Dynamic DNS (Add Host) and Static DNS (Add Host). Depending on whether your IP address is static or dynamic.
- Click on the relevant Add Host link for your type of IP address.
You will now see a page with a field to enter a Hostname. This is the name that will appear on your tracker, so it is a good idea to choose something short and easy to remember. This page looks exactly the same whether you are setting up for a Static or Dynamic IP address, so please be very sure you have clicked on the correct link. The differences will come after.
- Choose a domain name from the drop down menu next to the Hostname. A domain name is anything like, domain.com, dyndns.org, etc. There is an extensive list in the drop down box, so choose one that is easy for you to remember.
Your current IP address should be already entered in the "IP Address" field.
IF for some reason IT IS NOT: Run Azureus, go to Configuration, click on Tracker, and click on the "Check Address..." button. A wizard window will appear, click the button that currently (in version 184.108.40.206_CVS) says "Finish" and your IP address will appear in the Tracker External IP Address box. Make a note of it, and input it into the IP Address field on the dyndns site. I am reliably informed that a soon to be released future version of Azureus will Auto Discover your external IP address.
- Leave every other field and box on that page untouched. When your Hostname is entered as you'd like, and you have selected the domain from the choices in the drop down box, and your IP address is filled in,
- Click on the Add Host button.
- Please, make a note of your complete new hostname
If you have a dynamic IP address, click on the yellow Support tab near the top of the screen. You now need to go to the left side of the page and click on the link labeled Clients. Select an update client, install and configure it.
- Download DNSUpdate
This is a free program that automatically updates your IP address every time it changes, and sends that information to the tracker. For every other OS, browse the list there for a suitable app for your system and needs.
- A tracker
- is a place on the web where you, or others can host torrents for people to come and download from.
If you have a Dynamic IP address, and you do NOT download this app, or a similar one, then you will need to enter your IP address manually into the dyndns site in your account, every time this changes. I can pretty much guarantee that manually entering your IP every time it changes will be a PAIN.
- Unarchive whatever app you have unloaded, and run it.
You should now be able to ignore both the app, and your changing external IP address, at least in terms of your tracker.
Now you need to go to Configuration>Tracker, just where you were before, and enter the Hostname you chose earlier, in the format of nameyouchose.domainyou.chose
You are now ready to host a torrent.
Tracker Security (Passwords and SSL)
Access to the tracker web pages and the tracker announce process can be controlled by password settings specified on the Tracker configuration panel. This supports basic authentication and as such the user name and password values are transmitted in plain text. This can further be protected by using SSL (below). Note that password protecting the tracker announce process requires a BitTorrent client capable of handling authentication, such as Azureus. Communication with the tracker can be encrypted using SSL, again this requires a suitable client such as Azureus.
Configuration of SSL is required for both the Azureus downloader and tracker:
Tracker configuration: It is necessary to generate a public/private key pair for the SSL framework and store this in a file called ".keystore" located in Azureus's home directory (where it stores the "azureus.config" file). It currently must have a keystore and key password of "changeit". Such a key pair can be generated via the following Java command ("keytool" can be found in the JRE bin directory).
keytool -genkey -keystore %home%\.keystore -keypass changeit -storepass changeit -keyalg rsa -alias azureus
Various questions are asked during the key generation process. The important one is the first one, "What is your first and last name?" Respond to this with the dns name (or IP address) of the tracker. The certificate required for clients can then be exported via
keytool -export -keystore %home%\.keystore -keypass changeit -storepass changeit -alias azureus -file azureus.cer
Note that it is the certificate, NOT the private key that is distributed for client use. Also note that it is possible to directly obtain the certificate from the SSL protected tracker if using Internet Explorer, as it allows you to save the certificate when contacting the site.
Downloader configuration: The client must trust the certificate in order to communicate with the site. The certificate must be imported on the client into a certificate store called ".certs" in the same place as ".keystore" above. The command to do this is:
keytool -import -keystore %home%\.certs -alias azureus -file azureus.cer
assuming the certificate is in file "azureus.cer". Again the password must be "changeit". When prompted say "yes" to "do you trust this certificate".
A good way to test that the tracker and downloader setup is going to work is to seed a torrent on the SSL tracker. Note that this requires Azureus to be set up as both Tracker and downloader above, and hence the ".keystore" and ".certs" files must both be populated via the three steps of key generation, certificate export and certificate import.
When creating a torrent to host using SSL, check the SSL checkbox on the "create torrent" wizard. This ensures that the announce url starts with "https" (as opposed to "http") and also that the SSL port number is used (as opposed to the non-SSL port, again see the Tracker configuration).
How To Host A Torrent With Azureus' Embedded Tracker
- Choose File>Share>File OR File>Share>Folder. A directory browsing dialog (depending on your OS) should come up.
- Choose your file, or folder and confirm the dialog. A Hash window will appear, making a torrent of your file or folder. When it is finished, the window will remain, so just
- Click on Hide, and it will disappear.
- Please note: It is very important to leave the file/folder exactly where it is, otherwise your torrent can't be seeded
- This torrent that you have just created is also called a "Share". You can view it from the drop down menu at the top of your screen: View>My Shares. If you wish to remove the share from your tracker, you must remove it from My Shares.
- If you wish to view your tracker yourself, you may do so by opening your web browser and typing in: http://domain.you.chose:portnumberyouchose/ You may also download the .torrent file this way by clicking on the filename displayed on your tracker.
- To tell other people how to access your tracker, give them the url: http://domain.you.chose:portnumberyouchose/
For some more advanced options have a look at CreateTorrentWizard