Get Started with WebTorrent

WebTorrent is the first torrent client that works in the browser. It's easy to get started!


To start using WebTorrent, simply include the webtorrent.min.js script on your page.

<script src="webtorrent.min.js"></script>

This provides a WebTorrent function on the window object.


WebTorrent also works great with browserify, which lets you use node.js style require() to organize your browser code, and load packages installed by npm.

npm install webtorrent

Then use WebTorrent like this:

const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent')

Quick Examples

Downloading a torrent (in the browser)

const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent') const client = new WebTorrent() // Sintel, a free, Creative Commons movie const torrentId = 'magnet:?xt=urn:btih:08ada5a7a6183aae1e09d831df6748d566095a10&dn=Sintel&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fexplodie.org%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.empire-js.us%3A1337&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.leechers-paradise.org%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.opentrackr.org%3A1337&tr=wss%3A%2F%2Ftracker.btorrent.xyz&tr=wss%3A%2F%2Ftracker.fastcast.nz&tr=wss%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openwebtorrent.com&ws=https%3A%2F%2Fwebtorrent.io%2Ftorrents%2F&xs=https%3A%2F%2Fwebtorrent.io%2Ftorrents%2Fsintel.torrent' client.add(torrentId, function (torrent) { // Torrents can contain many files. Let's use the .mp4 file const file = torrent.files.find(function (file) { return file.name.endsWith('.mp4') }) // Display the file by adding it to the DOM. // Supports video, audio, image files, and more! file.appendTo('body') })

This supports video, audio, images, PDFs, Markdown, and more, right out of the box. There are additional ways to access file content directly, including as a node-style stream, Buffer, or Blob URL.

Video and audio content can be streamed, i.e. playback will start before the full file is downloaded. Seeking works too – WebTorrent dynamically fetches the needed torrent pieces from the network on-demand.

Note: Downloading a torrent automatically seeds it, making it available for download by other peers.

Creating a new torrent and seed it (in the browser)

const dragDrop = require('drag-drop') const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent') const client = new WebTorrent() // When user drops files on the browser, create a new torrent and start seeding it! dragDrop('body', function (files) { client.seed(files, function (torrent) { console.log('Client is seeding ' + torrent.magnetURI) }) })

This example uses the drag-drop package, to make the HTML5 Drag and Drop API easier to work with.

Note: If you do not use browserify, use the standalone file dragdrop.min.js. This exports a DragDrop function on window.

Download and save a torrent (in Node.js)

const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent') const client = new WebTorrent() const magnetURI = 'magnet: ...' client.add(magnetURI, { path: '/path/to/folder' }, function (torrent) { torrent.on('done', function () { console.log('torrent download finished') }) })

Creating a new torrent and seed it (in Node.js)

Note: Seeding a torrent that can be downloaded by browser peers (i.e. with support for WebRTC) requires webtorrent-hybrid.

import WebTorrent from 'webtorrent-hybrid' const client = new WebTorrent() client.seed('/seed-me.txt', function (torrent) { console.log('Client is seeding ' + torrent.magnetURI) })

where seed-me.txt is a text file which is going to be seeded as a torrent.

Complete HTML page example

Looking for a more complete example? Look no further! This HTML example has a form input where the user can paste a magnet link and start a download over WebTorrent.

Best of all, it's a single HTML page, under 70 lines!

If the torrent contains images, videos, audio, or other playable files (with supported codecs), they will be added to the DOM and streamed, even before the full content is downloaded.

<!doctype html> <html> <body> <h1>Download files using the WebTorrent protocol (BitTorrent over WebRTC).</h1> <form> <label for="torrentId">Download from a magnet link: </label> <input name="torrentId", placeholder="magnet:" value="magnet:?xt=urn:btih:08ada5a7a6183aae1e09d831df6748d566095a10&dn=Sintel&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fexplodie.org%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.empire-js.us%3A1337&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.leechers-paradise.org%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.opentrackr.org%3A1337&tr=wss%3A%2F%2Ftracker.btorrent.xyz&tr=wss%3A%2F%2Ftracker.fastcast.nz&tr=wss%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openwebtorrent.com&ws=https%3A%2F%2Fwebtorrent.io%2Ftorrents%2F&xs=https%3A%2F%2Fwebtorrent.io%2Ftorrents%2Fsintel.torrent"> <button type="submit">Download</button> </form> <h2>Log</h2> <div class="log"></div> <!-- Include the latest version of WebTorrent --> <script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/webtorrent@latest/webtorrent.min.js"></script> <script> const client = new WebTorrent() client.on('error', function (err) { console.error('ERROR: ' + err.message) }) document.querySelector('form').addEventListener('submit', function (e) { e.preventDefault() // Prevent page refresh const torrentId = document.querySelector('form input[name=torrentId]').value log('Adding ' + torrentId) client.add(torrentId, onTorrent) }) function onTorrent (torrent) { log('Got torrent metadata!') log( 'Torrent info hash: ' + torrent.infoHash + ' ' + '<a href="' + torrent.magnetURI + '" target="_blank">[Magnet URI]</a> ' + '<a href="' + torrent.torrentFileBlobURL + '" target="_blank" download="' + torrent.name + '.torrent">[Download .torrent]</a>' ) // Print out progress every 5 seconds const interval = setInterval(function () { log('Progress: ' + (torrent.progress * 100).toFixed(1) + '%') }, 5000) torrent.on('done', function () { log('Progress: 100%') clearInterval(interval) }) // Render all files into to the page torrent.files.forEach(function (file) { file.appendTo('.log') log('(Blob URLs only work if the file is loaded from a server. "http//localhost" works. "file://" does not.)') file.getBlobURL(function (err, url) { if (err) return log(err.message) log('File done.') log('<a href="' + url + '">Download full file: ' + file.name + '</a>') }) }) } function log (str) { const p = document.createElement('p') p.innerHTML = str document.querySelector('.log').appendChild(p) } </script> </body> </html>

HTML example with status showing UI

This complete HTML example mimics the UI of the webtorrent.io homepage. It downloads the sintel.torrent file, streams it in the browser and outputs some statistics to the user (peers, progress, remaining time, speed...).

You can try it right now on CodePen to see what it looks like and play around with it!

Feel free to replace torrentId with other torrent files, or magnet links, but keep in mind that the browser can only download torrents that are seeded by WebRTC peers (web peers). Use WebTorrent Desktop or Instant.io to seed torrents to the WebTorrent network.

<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8"> <title>WebTorrent video player</title> <style> #output video { width: 100%; } #progressBar { height: 5px; width: 0%; background-color: #35b44f; transition: width .4s ease-in-out; } body.is-seed .show-seed { display: inline; } body.is-seed .show-leech { display: none; } .show-seed { display: none; } #status code { font-size: 90%; font-weight: 700; margin-left: 3px; margin-right: 3px; border-bottom: 1px dashed rgba(255,255,255,0.3); } .is-seed #hero { background-color: #154820; transition: .5s .5s background-color ease-in-out; } #hero { background-color: #2a3749; } #status { color: #fff; font-size: 17px; padding: 5px; } a:link, a:visited { color: #30a247; text-decoration: none; } </style> </head> <body> <div id="hero"> <div id="output"> <div id="progressBar"></div> <!-- The video player will be added here --> </div> <!-- Statistics --> <div id="status"> <div> <span class="show-leech">Downloading </span> <span class="show-seed">Seeding </span> <code> <!-- Informative link to the torrent file --> <a id="torrentLink" href="https://webtorrent.io/torrents/sintel.torrent">sintel.torrent</a> </code> <span class="show-leech"> from </span> <span class="show-seed"> to </span> <code id="numPeers">0 peers</code>. </div> <div> <code id="downloaded"></code> of <code id="total"></code><span id="remaining"></span><br/> &#x2198;<code id="downloadSpeed">0 b/s</code> / &#x2197;<code id="uploadSpeed">0 b/s</code> </div> </div> </div> <!-- Include the latest version of WebTorrent --> <script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/webtorrent@latest/webtorrent.min.js"></script> <!-- Moment is used to show a human-readable remaining time --> <script src="http://momentjs.com/downloads/moment.min.js"></script> <script> const torrentId = 'https://webtorrent.io/torrents/sintel.torrent' const client = new WebTorrent() // HTML elements const $body = document.body const $progressBar = document.querySelector('#progressBar') const $numPeers = document.querySelector('#numPeers') const $downloaded = document.querySelector('#downloaded') const $total = document.querySelector('#total') const $remaining = document.querySelector('#remaining') const $uploadSpeed = document.querySelector('#uploadSpeed') const $downloadSpeed = document.querySelector('#downloadSpeed') // Download the torrent client.add(torrentId, function (torrent) { // Torrents can contain many files. Let's use the .mp4 file const file = torrent.files.find(function (file) { return file.name.endsWith('.mp4') }) // Stream the file in the browser file.appendTo('#output') // Trigger statistics refresh torrent.on('done', onDone) setInterval(onProgress, 500) onProgress() // Statistics function onProgress () { // Peers $numPeers.innerHTML = torrent.numPeers + (torrent.numPeers === 1 ? ' peer' : ' peers') // Progress const percent = Math.round(torrent.progress * 100 * 100) / 100 $progressBar.style.width = percent + '%' $downloaded.innerHTML = prettyBytes(torrent.downloaded) $total.innerHTML = prettyBytes(torrent.length) // Remaining time let remaining if (torrent.done) { remaining = 'Done.' } else { remaining = moment.duration(torrent.timeRemaining / 1000, 'seconds').humanize() remaining = remaining[0].toUpperCase() + remaining.substring(1) + ' remaining.' } $remaining.innerHTML = remaining // Speed rates $downloadSpeed.innerHTML = prettyBytes(torrent.downloadSpeed) + '/s' $uploadSpeed.innerHTML = prettyBytes(torrent.uploadSpeed) + '/s' } function onDone () { $body.className += ' is-seed' onProgress() } }) // Human readable bytes util function prettyBytes(num) { const units = ['B', 'kB', 'MB', 'GB', 'TB', 'PB', 'EB', 'ZB', 'YB'] const neg = num < 0 if (neg) num = -num if (num < 1) return (neg ? '-' : '') + num + ' B' const exponent = Math.min(Math.floor(Math.log(num) / Math.log(1000)), units.length - 1) const unit = units[exponent] num = Number((num / Math.pow(1000, exponent)).toFixed(2)) return (neg ? '-' : '') + num + ' ' + unit } </script> </body> </html>

More Documentation

Check out the API Documentation and FAQ for more details.