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Should I seed?

Sam Hobbs

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The concepts of seeds and peers are confusing. I assume I understand properly that a seed is like a host; it is a file to be downloaded and a peer is a file being downloaded. It is the part that is n parentheses that is difficult to understand.

I have a file that I am willing to "host"; to make available. It is actually a copy of an Android boot image, so there are no legal issues. Yet the "Availability" column says "1.000", which implies to me that my copy is the only available copy. Yet the seeds column might have "0(100)" and the peers "2(260)". Those numbers vary of course. The thing I do not understand is if there are 100 in a swarm for downloading then why does the "Availability" column say "1.000"? Also, if there is more than 200 in a swarm for the peers, then does that mean that there are more than 200 systems attempting to download the file? If so then why is there nothing being downloaded for an extended period of time?

The most important question is how do I know if my system helps anyone. I have the file; I can just close (not execute) BitTorrent and I will be fine. If however I am helping others by keeping it running then it helps to know I am helping.

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