Millions of users swap movies, music, and software using BitTorrent technology every day. If you’re new to P2P file sharing, here’s everything you need to know about how to create and upload torrent files and download torrents.
What is a torrent file? How do you use it? Is it safe? Is it legal? Torrenting can be a complicated process, so before we get into the meat of how to download and use torrent files safely and legally, let’s cover some important terminology.
What is a Torrent?
If you’ve dabbled at all in torrent downloading, you’ve almost certainly come across the terms “seed,” “peer,” and “leech.”
A seed (or seeder) is someone who is sharing the file; the more seeds, the more potential locations to download the file. Someone who is downloading the seeded file is a leech. The more leeches a file has versus seeds will make the file download slower, as there are more people accessing the file. Furthermore, if no one is seeding, then no one can download. The entire group of seeders and leeches are your peers — hence why BitTorrent is referred to as “peer-to-peer” file sharing. You collect a file directly through someone else, rather than downloading from a server. This cluster of peers is also referred to as a “swarm,” who are all uploading and downloading the same file.
How to Download Torrents
After setting up your torrent client, you can start downloading and sharing files:
Go to a torrent website in your web browser and search for the name of the movie, album, or software you want.
Choose one of the torrent files to download.
You will likely see multiple files with the same name. Pay attention to the size and quality of each file to download the best version.
Locate the torrent file on your hard drive and open it with your torrent client.
The client will search for users with the desired file, and the transfer process will begin automatically.
Torrent Download Sites
Torrent sites allow you to browse and search for torrent files. Many public torrent sites are littered with advertisements, but others are managed by private communities that closely guard their catalog of torrents. Some BitTorrent clients provide built-in search capabilities.
Torrent Alternatives sites