We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

In Computing, what is a Leech?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A leech is a person who sucks data, resources or bandwidth away from a network or website in a way that’s considered ethically questionable or shows poor netiquette. This usually means placing a burden on the target without reciprocating something of equal value. Leeching has an additional meaning in the world of torrents, and again in USENET binary newsgroups where being a leech is perfectly acceptable. So what are the differences?

In the wireless world, a leech is someone who steals bandwidth by stationing himself outside a wireless café, for example, so he can use the service without patronizing the café. A neighbor who uses her neighbor’s network without permission is also considered a leech.

Another type of leeching occurs when a website links to an object located on an unaffiliated site. For example, Bob builds a website and links to an image on Jean’s site. When someone visits Bob’s page, it looks like the image is located there, but actually Bob’s site requests the image from Jean’s site with every visitor to his page. Bob is stealing bandwidth from Jean, as the server hosting her site uses her bandwidth allotment to serve the picture to Bob’s site. Bob is a leech.

In the world of torrents everyone who downloads a file is termed a leech until he or she receives the entire file and begins seeding it back to others. In this sense being a leech is a function of the network. However, successful torrent networks are based on equal sharing, so anyone who takes more than they give over a period of time is considered a leech in the negative sense. Torrent software discourages leeching by throttling back bandwidth to those with low share ratios.

In USENET binary newsgroups where files get posted for download, leeching does not have a negative connotation because newsgroup protocol does not rely on equal sharing. People can download all the files they want without a responsibility to reciprocate. Hence, a USENET leech is not a bad thing, as evidenced by one of the most popular binary newsreaders, NewsLeecher.

Aside from USENET and the necessary function of torrent downloading, being a leech is a tag to avoid. Everyone benefits when people practice good netiquette, which is the reason the concept exists.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.