File extension torrent files are one of the most popular methods of sharing files across the Internet and is used to store information generated by BitTorrent clients. BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution tool written by programmer Bram Cohen.
Torrent files usually contain metadata information about files you’d like to share and about the computer which coordinates data distribution which usually called ‘tracker’. Files shared over the BitTorrent network are split into parts to allow clients to upload and download data simultaneously hence reducing the load on the original source, or seed. The location of these parts is needed by a client to download the complete file, and the resources needed to gather this information are stored in a torrent file.
Technically you should be able to open file extension torrent file with a text editor but ideally you need to get a BitTorrent client. Torrent files can also be opened using any compatible BitTorrent client application, such as BitTorrent, BitComet, uTorrent and Azureus.
The concept of torrent files and P2P networks are entirely legal and many publishers use the network to promote free games, movie trailers or software. However, the file extension torrent has become synonymous with piracy due to the large numbers of illegal software, movies, games and music available via P2P networks. Therefore, it is advisable to check the contents of a torrent file before opening it in a BitTorrent client as it could prompt the download of illegal, copyrighted material.