Question: What is a download tracker?
Answer: A download tracker is a small program which can be written in a variety of programming languages and is used to track how many times another computer connects to a server to download a specific file or grouping of files.
Question: How does a download tracker work?
Answer: A download tracker is composed of many different parts, but for the ones we offer they consist of a line of code which gets embedded into the link to the downloadable file as well as a second bit of coding which receives the data from the link and monitors the number of times that link or file is accessed in total or even in a given time period.
Question: What does a download tracker look like?
Answer: That actually depends on a number of variables. The easiest way to describe a download tracker is to ask whether you have ever been to a web site and seen a program or file that can be downloaded and seen next to it, “This program has been downloaded X times”? When you see this it means they are using a download tracker.
Question: Why is a download tracker important?
Answer: A download tracker is important for a number of reasons. For starters, people who visit your web site can see if a particular file is more popular than others which can help them to make a better decision regarding downloading that file. The other reason is that just like there are people out there that send out spiders (internet robots) to steal people’s email addresses from websites or even steal an entire web site, there are other people that use spiders to look for particular file types. With a tracker you can see how many times a file has been downloaded and then you can compare that to how many visitors on the website to determine if someone is downloading your files maliciously and using up your bandwidth.
Download trackers are an important way of making sure that you are not using too much bandwidth by sharing a particular file as well as letting your web site’s visitors know that a particular download is a popular one. Not to mention the fact that when you decide to share a file on your website, it is nice to be able to look at your web page and see just how many times that file has been downloaded.
This will actually give you an exact number that is not usually available from the web site statistical information and therefore helps you to better watch your bandwidth usage. Furthermore, it helps you monitor external sites “hotlinking.”
Hot linking is when someone else uses a direct link on their website to the exact download address of your file. The difference is that you will be able to tell where the traffic is coming from via your statistical data since they will most likely remove the line of code that was added to track the downloads and ask them to stop or simply move the file or change the file’s name.
When using the download trackers we provide, it is important to remember that you must also use our counter as per our T.O.S. (Terms of Service). In order to keep our tracking service fully functional we send out a spider which looks for these tracking codes and in return when it finds the code it will check for the counter. If this spider fails to find the counter on the page with the download tracker it will automatically delete your account with us.