How to stop seeding in uTorrent?

William Downhill
September 9, 2019

What is uTorrent Portable?

Utorrent, stylized “uTorrent’ or now uTorrent Portable for the app, is one of the leading download clients on the Internet today. It offers a service known as “magnet link’ which is an easy and often anonymous way of downloading a file without signing up to a website. Like so many torrent download clients, uTorrent uses a file-sharing system that relies on its users to work together to make the data available to everyone in the community. uTorrent facilitates this by serving as a host on the network, linking various computers together over the net as the same file is continuously downloaded and uploaded by different users.

Seeding a file

Once a user has selected a file for download it will appear in Portable uTorrent main dashboard. Here it will display the speed at which it’s being downloaded, the size of the file and the estimated time it will take for the download to complete. Once this time has elapsed and the file is downloaded, it will then start the process of “seeding’. This is when the download client, for example, uTorrent itself, starts the process of re-uploading the file back to the file-sharing platform. This ensures that the next user will be able to download the file. Leaving the file to seed will see the file uploaded again and again. In the torrent community seeding is perceived as correct etiquette, the argument being the original uploader has gone to the trouble to acquire the file, therefore, every downloader has a duty to re-upload to keep the file active and available for all.

What is a leecher?

“Leecher’ is a deliberately derogatory term in the torrent community to describe someone who downloads a file then does not seed it. This is seen as a selfish act and considered damaging to the file-sharing world. If every user did this practice torrents would not be able to continue. However, there are reasons why someone would want to stop seeding a file.

uTorrent Portable itself is a completely legitimate platform intended for legal downloading and file sharing but is often employed as a host for illegal downloads from websites such as Pirate Bay and others. Whether illegal or legal the same seeding and leeching etiquette applies. In some countries interestingly, seeding is considered a bigger crime than leeching. Simply downloading a file illegally is frowned upon but seeding it makes you a facilitator. The one seeding is then seen as one of the people uploading the file, potentially profiting from it, breaching trading laws. Essentially it’s a bigger crime to upload a file illegally than it is to download it. Naturally, this is a deterrent to many people using torrent sites and they choose to not seed for this very reason.

Another reason why someone may choose to not seed a file is Internet speed. Not everyone can afford to do this, and going their data allowance can cost money. They may live in a rural area and uploaded a large file could completely cripple their Internet. The choice is also something to consider. While the torrent community may have etiquette that they observe that doesn’t mean everyone needs to subscribe to these views. uTorrent users are under no obligation to do so.

How to stop seeding?

uTorrent Portable is incredibly helpful and user-friendly in this regard. As mentioned above, once the timer on a file has completed it will be fully downloaded. uTorrent will ping loudly to inform the user the file is downloaded. It will also create a pop-up in the right-hand corner of the screen to confirm this. If one looks at the dashboard it will have changed to a bright light green colour. The timer will also be replaced with a column saying “seeding’. All the user needs to do here is to right-click on the file and select “stop’. This will sever the file’s connection to the network but leave the file intact and ready for use. To be completely sure the user can open the file and move it to a folder of their choice then delete the file in uTorrent. The completed file will then be safely on the user’s computer but no longer in uTorrent. This is the best way to make sure you don’t seed a file once it has completed downloading in uTorrent.

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