How to use BitTorrent v2 and Hybrid Torrents in Transmission 4.0

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In this tutorial, I will explain how to use BitTorrent v2 and hybrid torrents in Transmission 4.0. Here I will also explain what these two are and how you can use them now in Transmission. In the new updates, the developers introduced these two new features that you can use. If you know what they mean, then you can use them in Transmission. And if you don’t know what they mean then you can just keep reading as I will explain these two features in detail.

Transmission is a popular open source BitTorrent client that you can use download and seed torrents. It has almost all the features that you can expect from a fully functional torrent client. And now they have released the latest version of Transmission with Hybrid Torrents and BitTorrent V2.

But first let’s see what these two features are.

What is BitTorrent and BitTorrent V2?

BitTorrent is a P2P (peer to peer) file sharing protocol that allows users to distribute large amounts of data efficiently. BitTorrent v2 is the latest version of the BitTorrent protocol that was released in 2018.

BitTorrent v2 introduces several new features and improvements over previous versions of this same protocol.

  • Enhanced Swarm Performance: BitTorrent v2 uses a new peer(nodes) selection algorithm which aims to enhance the overall swarm performance with stability. This is especially useful in large swarms.
  • Uses New Cryptographic Hash Function: BitTorrent V2 uses a new hash function, that is BLAKE2b. It is considered to be faster and more secure than SHA-1 that they were using before.
  • Metadata Size: BitTorrent V2 increases the maximum size of metadata that a torrent can have. It has increased the limit from 2 MB to 8 MB, allowing more information to be shared.
  • Opt-in DHT Protection: BitTorrent V2 also introduces an optional feature that protects the Distributed Hash Table (DHT) from malicious peers.

These changes and improvements aim to enhance the overall efficiency and security of BitTorrent file sharing. This in turn makes it easier for users to distribute and access large data.

What are Hybrid Torrents?

A hybrid torrent is a type of torrent file that combines the features of both public and private torrents. Public torrents are the torrents which are available freely on the internet. Anybody can easily download public torrents. On the other hand, private torrents, are only available to a specific group of people. Hence, they are not publicly available or accessible.

A hybrid torrent combines the best of both worlds. By making a torrent publicly available for download, but only for people who already have the right decryption key. This paradigm guarantees better security. It also makes sure that only authorized people can access the torrent file and its contents.

To simplify it further, in a hybrid torrent setup, the torrent file itself is publicly available, but the data in it is encrypted. The data can only be decrypted with the correct description key. This key is typically available within a specific group of users. Those users can be members of a private torrent trackers.

The main use case of Hybrid torrents is in scenarios where you want to share a large size data within a specific group of people. At the same time, you can keep it private from the other general users.

Using Hybrid Torrents and BitTorrent V2 in Transmission:

There is no noticeable difference in the UI for these two new features. But you can easily spot them by adding the BitTorrent V2 file or a hybrid torrent file.

In the previous version of Transmission, say in version 3 if you try adding a hybrid torrent file or BitTorrent v2 file then it will raise an error. It will not read it and you will have to eventually switch to some other torrent client. To understand it better, see the following screenshot. Transmission v3.0 refuses to open the hybrid torrent file.

Transmission Hybrid Torrent and BitTorent V2 Not Supported

Now, see the screenshots below from Transmission v4.0. The new torrent files will start downloading without any problems. This is the clear indication of that now it supports hybrid torrents as well as BitTorrent v2.

Transmission Hybrid Torrent and BitTorent V2 Supported

In this way, you can now use Transmission 4.0 to download files from hybrid torrents as well as BitTorrent V2. Just get the latest version from the official website and start using it right away. The version 4.0 of Transmission is available for all the major platforms.

Closing thoughts:

As a transmission user, this news may excite you. There was already a demand from the users in the community forum to have these two aforementioned features in Transmission. And then the developers have fulfilled that wish. So, grab the new Transmission release and get the whole new experience of dealing with hybrid torrents.

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