How to create a torrent without tracker using only DHT

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The BitTorrent protocol is quite handy when transferring large files. It also helps to alleviate the bandwitdh of the one sending the files since other clients can also share what they have downloaded. When this protocol started in 2001, you needed to have a tracker to use it. It’s an address of a specific server which tells clients where to connect to download the files they want. The idea is great but if the tracker’s server is down and there’s no redundancy, every torrent using that specific tracker cannot be use anymore since nobody knows where to connect to download files. On top of that, since the tracker’s server is managing all the connections for everyone, the load imposed on it can be quite heavy.

So a few years later, they created the distributed hash table (DHT) and it’s now fully implemented in pretty much every torrent software. The concept is even better, there’s no tracker anymore and just like the BitTorrent protocol, everyone share the information for managing all the connections. There’s still what we call the bootstrap node which is a server used in accepting new clients so we’re still relying on a server, however since it’s only adding client to a DHT’s swarm and there’s nothing illegal in it, it is quite unlikely the bootstrap node can go down at all.

DHT is also made to be decentralized, so it’s a bit more secure than using a tracker (read: a bit more harder to track clients using DHT instead of a tracker). Last thing, if you’re going to use your torrent file on a site, only on public torrent site will this work, it will not work on a private torrent site. But if you’re just creating a torrent to share with friends, this is the easiest way to create a torrent.

I recommend using Deluge as it works on Windows, OS X and Linux, is open source, has no publicity in it like uTorrent and their interface is clean and easy to use. Note that I tried with KTorrent and the DHT didn’t work, I couldn’t upload anything so it’s not perfect with every torrent software.

After having installed Deluge, open it, click on File, Create Torrent then on File or Folder if what you want to share is either a file or a folder. Select what you need and click Open. That’s actually all you need! Now just click on Save and it will ask you where you want to save the .torrent file which you can send to people.


After someone opens the .torrent file in their torrent software, like Deluge, it takes about 3 minutes for the file to start sending, so you do have to be a bit patient. Note that you do not have to open ports in your router nor do you have to do any configuration in Deluge since it’s working right out of the box.

For even more information on DHT, here’s a great article available on torrentfreak which is call Busting Common Trackerless Torrent Myths.

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