- Find a torrent program that will suit your needs, the most common clients are µTorrent, Deluge, Vuze, BitTorrent, and Opera. There are plenty of other clients available as well.
- Follow the instructions on downloading and installing your chosen client.
- Go to a torrent site and search for a file you want to download. Many can be found by searching the web using a search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.)
- Once you have found the desired file on the torrent site, click the “Download This Torrent” (or however they word it). Usually, the web browser’s file download manager will ask what to do with this file. You want to open the file with your torrent program.
- If it doesn’t open that way, just save the .torrent file to an easy to locate place. Then open your torrent client and use the “Open Torrent” feature (Most torrent clients support click & drag).
- The download will start automatically. You may now go and do something to pass the time, because torrents do not require your attention and will download in the background.
- Seeders (Seeds) [Upload]: Are people who have a complete copy of the torrent’s files and are only uploading (sending) data to the people who are downloading (receiving).
- Leechers (Peers) [Download]: Are people who are currently downloading the file. Leechers can become seeders after downloading the full file.
- Keep your virus protection program up to date. There are free anti-virus programs, top-of-the-line, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG and Avast. If you do happen to get a virus, remove it (see Remove a Virus).
- A practical tip is to stick with downloading torrents that have a large user base. This means download only those torrents that many people have downloaded and uploaded, or that have been active for a long time. The logic here is that nobody will seed a torrent that has a virus in it and therefore the torrent won’t be very popular and won’t be seeded. Be wary of the week old torrent with one or two people seeding it.
- There are other torrent clients (programs) that can be used so do your research on these also. The most popular torrent programs are uTorrent, Azureus and BitTorrent. use uTorrent because they port forward for you now, useful if you have a home network,
- There are Torrent search engines that search the popular torrent clients (programs). This saves you time by not having to search each individual torrent client site.
- When looking for torrent files, prefer ones with plenty of Seeders so that the file downloads quickly. When searching for torrents, you can often sort the results by seeds, simply by clicking on the seeds column header.
- You can set the options in your web browser to download to a specific folder and then, using the options in your torrent client, enable torrents to be automatically loaded from that same folder you have chosen. This way, the torrents will automatically load for you with minimal effort. It’s possible that a torrent client does not have the auto-load option, I know that uTorrent does have this ability in Preferences.
- You can leave the torrent program running overnight to download while you’re away from the computer, or close it and turn off the computer to save power. Most torrent programs will have an option in Preferences to start up with your computer and this option can be enabled/disabled by opening “Run…” from the Start Menu and typing in “msconfig”. Most torrent programs will resume the download process automatically when you start them back up. If the download doesn’t resume automatically, there should be an option to start downloading, by either right clicking on the file and choose “Start” or a button somewhere in the program.
- Be warned the law is changing, and you could be tracked down for copyright infringement. (However, downloading music and movies in Canada is legal for personal use.)
- Downloading torrents can slow your computer down depending on how well your computer performs. Recommended specs for each client vary, but on average 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.
- In certain jurisdictions it is illegal to download content through peer to peer networks such as bittorrent. There is a program which blocks certain IP addresses from communicating with your computer and can help protect you while downloading. PeerBlock can be found at: 
- Keep your anti-virus program and its definitions fully up-to-date, downloaded software from ‘sharing’ sources carries a high risk of infection.
- Downloading torrents can slow your overall internet connection down if you don’t properly tweak your upload rate. DSL and Cable modems have problems downloading if you’re uploading at your maximum rate. Set your clients maximum rate to 80% of your maximum upload rate if you can adjust it. If you set your upload rate too low, your downloads will slow to a crawl.
- It’s important to know about bittorrents so that you know the risks, consequences, and best practices.
- Make sure you check the comment section before downloading, if there is one, to see if the torrent is real or not.
- Torrenting is a bandwidth intensive act which is frowned upon by some ISPs, leading them to throttle any Bittorrent traffic, slowing down your downloads or even stopping them altogether. Traffic encryption can solve this, but it may or may not work.
- As with any bandwidth intensive application, make sure you know how much data you’ve transferred if your ISP implements a quota system (90 GB/mth). Remember that finished torrents are seeded (uploaded to others) when the torrent job is running and you might exceed your ISP quota unintentionally.
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