How to use torrents

Have you ever asked a friend where to get the latest Linux distro, and you were told to download it from a torrent and didn’t know what that meant? Well here is my guide on how to use torrents.

First, you will need a torrent website. If you are reading this you probably aren’t a member of any private sites, so use something like The Pirate Bay or Mini Nova.

Second, you need a program to use the torrents. I highly recommend uTorrent. Download and install the program. Now configure it properly by setting your internet connection speed and anything else it asks for.

Now do a search for what you are looking for on a torrent site, in this example being a Linux distro. Download the torrent and open it. uTorrent will open and begin downloading the torrent.

Here’s the tricky part for most people. The download might be going very slow. If it is, you need to open up your router configuration and unblock the port the torrent program is using. This will be different for every router and torrent application, so I can’t really help you here. Try a Google search if you’re not sure how to unblock a port in your router.

After your port is unblocked, the torrent should be going full speed, unless you picked a bad torrent. Try to pick the torrent with the most seeds. If it has a low number of seeds, like 20, it will go slow. Most of the time 50 or more seeds will be fast. Seeds are the number of people uploading the files.

Make sure you pick a torrent with good comments. Most torrent sites have comments for each torrent, so see what people are saying. People usually comment if there is a virus or if it’s a bad torrent. However, even if the comments are all good, you still need to scan what you download.

Make sure not to seed too fast. Configure your “up” speed to be around half of your real up speed. If you’re not sure what your upload speed is, for DSL set it to 10kbps, and for cable set it to 100kbps. You should seed until it shows 100% or more, and then you can stop seeding and delete the .torrent file. If you seed too fast, it will slow down your entire internet connection and your download.

Many torrents are compressed and split up into multiple files. You might find around 50 files with unknown extensions, such as .000. You need to open up the first of these with a program like 7-zip or Winrar. Then it will open the other files automatically.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other small things that you can do to make your torrent experience better. These are the basic tips that should get you downloading your first torrent.

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