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Download a Torrent
06-06-2010, 03:25 PM
Post: #1
Download a Torrent
Download a Torrent
Many of the people that are going to be on their way here might not know how to even download torrents, so, here's a quick guide.

The BitTorrent world has made it easy for all kinds of users worldwide to easily access files large and small, and is definitely one of the best sharing methods around.


So, to get your stuff, you're going to have to go to a torrent website such as The Pirate Bay. Upon loading of The Pirate Bay, you will see a search bar smack dab in the middle. Just type in what you're looking for, and if it is a broad search, try to use key terms and/or narrow it down by checking the audio, video, apps, games, or other boxes. The Pirate Bay also gives you the option of whether or not to search it generally by using the "Pirate Search" button, or search for an exact match using the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button (think Google). If you're looking for something that isn't out yet, I wouldn't bother, because it's probably a fake.

So, for example, if I'm trying to get the newest CD for Maroon 5, I would simply type in Maroon 5 to the search box and tick the audio box. I don't know what the name of the new CD is, so I'm just going to hit "Pirate Search".

The next page that loads will usually be a list of the available torrents. Some of the torrents may not look relevant to what you have searched, as it might be in a pack or something. Depending on what boxes you ticked, the Type will display what kind of file it is. Next is Name, which has the torrent's name. A little bit over to the right is Uploaded in which you can see the date it hit the internet. You usually might not want to use old torrents, as they might be slow and nobody might be seeding. The Size tab will show up next, telling you how big the file is. For apps the file sizes might be a bit small and that's okay, but with CDs the file size should be moderately 40-100mbs depending on encoding, and movies should be around 600mbs-4gbs, depending on a filmed version or a DVD version. Last but not by any bit least, we have the SE and LE tabs. These stand for Seeders and Leechers. The seeders are the people that have all the files included and are fully distributing, and the leechers are the people that are downloading and/or may have all the files but are only partially distributing. You would most want to use one that has a high number of seeders and a low number of leechers. If you're sure it's not a fake, hit the downward pointing green arrows to get your torrent file and skip the next paragraph. If you're unsure if it's a fake or not, read the next paragraph.

To continue, click on the name under the Name tab to see several statistics, mostly which you've already seen, but now including Files, Quality, (Uploaded) By, Downloaded, and Comments. Below and to the left of the stats you should see a DOWNLOAD THIS TORRENT button, and even more below is a brief description of what's in the torrent. Scroll even farther down and you should see another DOWNLOAD THIS TORRENT button and right below it Comments, which are often useful if you really don't know much about the torrent. If there aren't any comments, you should download the torrent and write up a comment!

So, still on my Maroon 5, I went ahead and browsed a bit, and it turns out my best bet is only a little ways down, which reads Maroon 5 - It Won\'t Be Soon Before Long (2007), is 103.17 mbs, has 14 Seeders, and only 1 Leecher. I go ahead and click on it anyways, and read up in the description and it turns out that it's what I want. I hit the DOWNLOAD THIS TORRENT button and I'm on my way.

Assuming you've downloaded a file before, when the dialog box asking to save it to disk or open it directly pops up, make sure you hit Save to Disk and save it to a location like My Documents or Desktop. It might be auto-saved depending on your browser. If you're having trouble finding it, look for it in a downloads folder you'd find in My Documents or Desktop.

Now it's time to grab a torrent client.

A lot of people coming here are going to want to know what torrent client they should use, so I thought I'd give them a hand.

Basically, there are a small amount of torrent clients that are really good. Let's start this off:

The best client around, in my opinion, is uTorrent. It's lightweight and low on resource usage. uTorrent will be released for Mac as soon as the find a developer. uTorrent runs perfect in Linux under Wine. uTorrent is native to Windows.

A close second is Azureus. Azureus has a large amount of features. However it also consumes a large amount of memory and processing power. I only recommend Azureus if you have a capable processor and at least 1GB of RAM.

BitTorrent is a very good client (Mainline). It's Open Source and it's still under development. It has plenty of features and it's fairly low on resource usage. If you want a good open source alternative to uTorrent, I recommend the Mainline client.

BitLord is not a client that should be used. It is a rip off of an older version of BitComet so older bugs in BitComet are still prevalent in BitLord.

BitComet is a good client, however, it exploits super-seeders so I don't reccomend using it.

BitTornado is like the Mainline client, but with a few added features. If you're okay with the really, really ugly GUI, then BitTornado is a fine choice.

Halite aims to be the next uTorrent. A plus is that it is Open Source. It's not yet fully featured. It's still in the early stages of development, so I'd wait a while before trying it out.

If you're on OSX or another Unix-like operating system, then Transmission is a good bet. It's lightweight, but it is lacking in some features. It is a very good choice, however.

Overall, I'd say that uTorrent is the client you should go with.

I tried to keep this as n00b friendly as possible, but if I made any mistakes, feel free to correct them.

If you think I missed a good client that should be here, then tell me.

Okay! So now that you've got your torrent file and your client, you should first install your torrent client. After installation, you should locate your torrent file and double-click on it. Chances are, the client you installed will open up a new window dialog displaying your torrent's information and ask you where you would like to save it. Choose a destination you know, and away you go! Your torrent will be added to the window and it will show you useful statistics such as time left, percent, download speed, and upload speed.

After It Downloads

When a torrent is finished downloading, it is usually moved to a separate window or says seeding somewhere in the torrent's information. For downloading, you must now upload it back to other people that are still trying to download it. There will often be a share ratio located somewhere in the window, and you should only remove the torrent after the ratio is at least 1.0. This is only a guideline, but when you a remove a torrent without uploading it back, it can get you banned from private sites, and it just isn't good. It's like burning down a native village to make a big enough bonfire for a tire fire.

Hope this covers it. If you'd like, ask me to write an in-depth tutorial for all the clients. I'd be happy to do it!

Happy Downloading!
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