Saturday, January 27, 2007

How To Bittorrent

This article is not operating system specific. Bittorrenting works the same on Windows, Mac or Linux. It's for my buddy Luke. Sorry it took a couple of days.

I work and go to school so I never have time to watch some of my favorite shows. The good thing is there are nice people who record my favorite shows and upload them to the internet for everyone. Usually a couple of hours after the show airs, it's waiting online. It is surprisingly simple to "bittorrent".

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution protocol. It is capable of preparing, requesting, and transmitting any type of computer file over a network, using the protocol. A person first creates a "torrent." This is a small file which contains metadata about the files to be shared, and about the tracker, the computer that coordinates the file distribution. Peers that want to download the file first obtain a torrent file for it, and connect to the specified tracker which tells them from which other peers to download the pieces of the file. So, in a nutshell, it's a set of guidelines various programs use to share data large and small with others.

Now the first thing we need is a bittorrent “client.” A disclaimer here: you should NEVER pay for a client or torrent. Sites that charge you are fakes and probably want to install junk on your PC. A client is a program that allows us to use the bittorrent protocol. The Offical Bittorrent Client is a great start, it works, it is easy to understand and is compatible across all operating systems. Azureus is another cross platform client that offers a ton of features and options that makes it the best option for those who have a newer computer and a extra RAM. The final program is uTorrent, it's a Windows only program that has been getting a ton of buzz in the bittorrenting community. It runs fast, has lots of options, and doesn't take up a lot of computer resources. Hence the name micro torrent. Remember, if you are an Ubuntu user, the official bittorrent client is already installed and you can get Azureus through Synaptic package manager. Remember that you have to have Java installed for any operating system to use Azureus.

Once you pick a client and have downloaded, installed and configured it, the hardest things to get right are Port Forwarding and NAT. These are the only two issues that you need to remedy if you you are using a firewall or router to get the fastest download speeds. I won't get into them because both wikis I linked to do a much better job then I ever could. Port forwarding can also be done by following the guides (including pictures!) for your specific router on Now you are ready to download some tv shows, music, movies, comic books, ebooks, audio books, programs, games and everything else under the sun.

To download files you need to find torrents. These are the small files that tell you who has what and how to redistribute it. There are tons of sites out there but these are some of the best:
The Pirate Bay
iso Hunt
Scrape Torrent Searches the above sites.

Once you're on a torrent site, you just type what you are looking for in a search box and download your torrent. Once you open it with the appropriate bittorrent program, you're all set and your torrent should begin to download.

- Download SMART, not everyone who creates a torrent is a nice person. (especially if you're using Windows)
- It is illegal to bittorrent something that is copyrighted, especially when you don't have the creators authorization.
- There are plenty of legal torrents out there so not all bittorrentors are pirates, some are ninjas.
- If you want to download video/audio your file should end in the extension .avi, .dixv, .mpg, .mp4, .mov, .mp3, .wav, .aac, or .flac NOT .exe. This .exe is an executable and you'll end up with junk (or worse) installed on your PC.
- Never trust any torrented program. You don't know what's inside of it. You take a risk to the security of your PC when you install stolen programs from unknown sources.


Abhiram said...

Thanks for the info. I know how to use torrents. I wanted to do something like this for some time. Even if i do now, i know it won't be better than what you have done. Good job....