Everything is on the Internet: movies, television, music, programs, books, photos and much more. Anything you want will be easy to obtain. There are many ways to download everything for free, and torrenting is perhaps the most popular method of doing so.
Part 1 of 3: Download a torrent file
Step 1. Find a torrent tracker website
There is a wide variety of websites that display torrents. Some are more reliable than others. There are two main types of trackers: public and private.
- Public trackers are available to anyone. These are the sites that you will find if you do a search for them on the Internet. Due to their public nature, copyright owners follow many torrents, so downloading them could result in the user receiving legal action from their Internet service provider.
- Private trackers require invites. These sites will not be accessible to you until you have been invited by another member. They often have requirements, such as exchanging the same amount of data that you download. Private trackers are much less likely to receive ceasefire orders from copyright owners.
Step 2. Find the desired file
Most of the public trackers have all the popular new shows, movies, albums, games and also old files.
Use popular abbreviations to find the file you want. For example: if you need the second episode of the third season of a show, search for: s03e02
Step 3. Download a very populated torrent
The speed with which you can download a torrent file will be determined by the number of "seeders" available. A seeder is a torrent user who has the entire file for download.
- Most torrent sites will allow you to organize your search results by the number of seeders. Searches for files with a large number of seeders. Thus, in addition to downloading them faster, it will be less likely to be a fake or virus-infected file.
- The number of leechers will also affect download speed. A leecher is a user who is downloading but not sharing yet. A "leecher" will become a "seeder" when it has downloaded the entire file. If there is a big difference between leechers and seeders, the amount of bandwidth you receive will be less, so the download will be slower.
Step 4. Pick a torrent with a good size as opposed to quality
It will be important especially for video files. Because compression may affect quality, small files will generally not look or sound as good as the same video of a larger size.
- But the downside to downloading a larger file is that it could take significantly longer depending on your connection.
- Read as many comments as possible to determine if other users consider the file quality to be good and worth your time. Some crawlers have a scoring system that allows users to vote on whether the file is good or not.
Step 5. Download a magnet link, if available
These files are a bit different from conventional torrent files. They match content based on a unique identifier that can then be accessed without the use of central trackers. A magnet link is a single line of text, so there is no need to download a torrent file.
Step 6. Make sure you can play the content
Torrents can be used to transfer any type of file. Because of this, the file you download might be one that you are not familiar with. Read the description of the file and make sure you have the necessary programs to play it after downloading it.
- VLC Player is a free and open source player with which you can play almost any media file you download.
- ISO files are disk images, so you won't have to burn them or mount them to a virtual drive to be able to play them.
Step 7. Beware of viruses
Because torrents are in a legal gray area, there is no control over the types of files available, that is, hackers can insert viruses into torrents in order to contaminate other users. Viruses are generally found in popular searches to target as many victims as possible.
- Pass an antivirus to each file you download.
- Try to download files from trusted sources in the community.
- Always check comments and ratings to see if anyone has experienced torrent virus attacks.
Part 2 of 3: Get the content
Step 1. Install a torrent client
The BitTorrent protocol allows data to be exchanged or distributed over the Internet. It does not have a central server, because the data is downloaded from other users (the seeders). You will need a client application that will connect you to the host and handle the download. You will be able to find many free clients online, among which the most popular are:
Step 2. Open the torrent file
The file you downloaded from the crawler site is very small, usually only a few KB in size. This file does not have the content of what you are going to download. This file only serves as a guide for downloading parts of the file from other clients. Use the BitTorrent client that you installed in the previous step to open the file.
Your torrent client is supposed to be set to open torrent files automatically. If not, you can drag the torrent file to the client window to add it to the queue
Step 3. Set the download location
Depending on the configuration of the torrent client, it might ask you where you want to download the content when you want to open the torrent file. Select a location that you can remember.
Step 4. Monitor the download
You will be able to check the download progress in the torrent client. Most clients will allow you to see the number of seeders you are connected to. Torrent clients will try to download automatically at the fastest possible speed that your connection allows.
- Downloading many files in one go will slow the overall speed for each file.
- If you don't want to use all your bandwidth in one download, right click on the client and select “Bandwidth Allocation” (the name will vary depending on the program). There you can limit the download and upload speed, which will be useful if you want to watch a movie whose file is being downloaded.
Step 5. Add more trackers to the torrent
If you have trouble connecting to the required number of seeders to download the file, you can try adding more tracers to the torrent. If you are going to use a private tracker, don't try it, or you could get kicked out.
- Find a list of active trackers online. There are several sites that show active trackers. Copy the list of trackers to the clipboard.
- Right click on the torrent in the client. Select "Properties" from the menu.
- Select the "General" tab. You should see a list of trackers in a box (there may be only one). Paste the list you copied into the box. You will have to leave a blank line between each tracker you enter. Hit "OK" and the torrent will automatically try to connect to the new trackers.
Step 6. Access the downloaded content
When the download is complete, you can use the downloaded files as usual. If you move or delete the files, you will no longer be able to seed them.
You won't be able to use the file before it's finished downloading. For example, you will not be able to view a video file before it is complete. The reason is that the file is downloaded in separate parts that are not in order
Part 3 of 3: Seeding a torrent file
Step 1. Sow after finishing unloading
When you have finished downloading the content of a torrent file, you will become a seeder, which means that you will upload your data to other clients connected to the tracker.
Sowing or sharing is what keeps the community alive. Without the seeders, no one could download the files
Step 2. Keep a good proportion
If you are going to use a gated community, you will most likely have to maintain a good proportion in the community. In other words, you will have to upload almost the same amount of data that you download.
Step 3. Let your torrent client keep running in the background
Most internet service plans have slower upload speeds than download speeds. This means that uploading to maintain your ratio could take much longer than downloading the equivalent amount. Leave your torrent program running in the background while you continue with your daily tasks, so you will see that your upload totals will increase considerably.
Leaving the torrent client open is not supposed to affect Internet browsing or word processing programs much. However, more intensive applications, such as streaming videos and video games, could benefit from exiting the torrent application first
- A practical tip is to use a download torrent that has a large user base. This means that you will have to download only those torrents that many people have downloaded and uploaded or that have been active for a long time. Obviously, no one will seed a torrent that has a virus, therefore the torrent will not be very popular and will not be shared. Beware of torrents a week shared by one or two people.
- There are torrent search engines looking for popular torrent clients. This will save you a lot of time by not having to search each one individually on a customer site.
- You can configure the options in your web browser to download a specific folder and then you can use the options in your torrent client, enable torrents to automatically load from the same folder that you have chosen. This way, torrents will automatically load with minimal effort.
- When looking for torrent files, look for those with many seeders so that the files will download quickly. When looking for them, you can often choose the results based on the seeds, you just have to click on them in the main column.
- You can leave the torrent program active overnight to download while you are not at the computer, otherwise you can close it and turn off your computer to save energy. Most torrent programs will have an option in "Preferences" to start at the start of your computer, which you can enable or not by opening "Run …" from the Start Menu and typing "msconfig".
- Most torrent programs will automatically resume the download process when you restart it. If the download doesn't seem to restart automatically, there should be an option to start it, either by clicking on the file and hitting "Start" or some other button somewhere in the program.
- Downloading torrents could slow down your computer. The recommended specifications for each client will vary, but in general you should have at least 512 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz CPU. You will also need space for the files you want to save.
- Keep your antivirus program up to date. Software downloaded from unknown sources on the Internet could contain some very nasty viruses. There are free antivirus applications, as well as top-of-the-line applications, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG, and Avast. If you have a virus, remove it (read the following article to remove a virus).
- In most countries, torrenting to download copyrighted material is illegal.
- As with any bandwidth intensive application, make sure you know how much data you have transferred if your ISP implements a monthly limit (90GB / month). Remember that finished torrents are being shared (uploaded for others) when torrent work is underway, so you could go over your limit without realizing it.
- Downloading torrents is a bandwidth-intensive act that is frowned upon by some Internet providers, leading to torrent traffic decreasing, slowing down your download, or even stopping it altogether. Traffic encryption might be a solution, but it may or may not work in certain circumstances.
- In some jurisdictions it is illegal to download content through plan networks (P2P, peer to peer) such as BitTorrent.