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What is BitTorrent? How To Download Torrents?

learn what bittorrent is and how to use the torrent network
BitTorrent Basics

BitTorrent may be the best peer-to-peer file sharing protocol available. It's certainly the most popular. This distribution method makes it an efficient way to transport large files such as 4K movies and even entire software suites or operating systems over the internet.

Most linux distributions have a torrent download available. This helps the non-profit open source projects save precious resources, which can then go toward further development.

For several years, however, there have been legal battles and other issues due to the ease of use and growing popularity of the torrent network. Many users of the protocol share copyright protected files, which has caused an uproar with government agencies and copyright watchdog groups coming down hard on torrenters. Whatever you do, make sure your SurfShark VPN app is running and connected when you share and download on the torrenting network.

Trackers & Leeches & Seeds… WTF?

Some of the jargon describing this P2P sharing protocol on the torrent network may sound like 1337speak down a rabbit hole well outside of Kansas. Now, kick off those loafers and 137'5 get you situationally comfy with all things Aarghh…

Why Use BitTorrent?

  • Speed: The best BitTorrent feature may be the peer-to-peer torrent throughput speed that comes when you access packets of a torrented file from many sources at once. Rather than downloading a single file or archive of files from start to finish in one stream, you download the file in many bits and pieces all at once.
  • Selection: You can find nearly anything using a torrent search engine such as The Pirate Bay KickAss Torrents 1337x or even a meta-search engine such as Torrentz2 or Dirty Torrents to search dozens of torrent sites at once. Be very careful and always have your SurfShark VPN client running and connected while torrenting, as much of the shared content such as movies, software, music, ebooks, games, and TV shows is not licensed for distribution. In many regions, this is illegal and can get you in serious legal trouble.
  • Quality: With BitTorrent bandwidth efficiency, you can choose to stream or download a larger torrent file such as a 4k or HD movie rather than settling for SD. With the content selection mentioned above, there are plenty of high quality movies, music files, and other torrents available to choose from.

What's a BitTorrent Client?

A BitTorrent Client is software that allows you to download popular new movies and music files using a torrent file. Remember that when downloading torrent files, you are also uploading files on the torrent network at the same time.

A very small, efficient app for sharing on the BitTorrent P2P network is uTorrent. It uses very few system resources, which allows it to run practically unnoticed in the background while you go about other tasks. You can even use the Downloader app to install the uTorrent Android APK on a Kodi Firestick. You can then download movies and TV shows right onto your Firestick to watch in Kodi.

Many other torrent clients also exist, such as Vuze and qBittorrent, so google around and find one that works best for you.

Once you have a torrent client app installed, you can begin downloading files using the BitTorrent protocol. Access a torrent tracker site and search for something you'd like to download.

What are BitTorrent Trackers?

BitTorrent trackers are not the men in black that come to haul you away for downloading a pirated copy of "Game of Thrones." These torrent sites let you search their torrents index for any file you want. Most of the top new sites also let you browse categories of torrent downloads content such as movies, TV shows, software applications, PC games, and popular music to name a few.

Once you search for a popular new working torrents file you want best, click the magnet link or torrent file download link on the search engine sites result page. Your BitTorrent client should open to handle torrent downloads from most of the best sites. The new file you requested should download to your hard drive.

What is a Torrent Seed?

For file downloads from most sites, it's best to have at least one seeder available. A torrent seed is a complete version of the file you are trying to download with torrents you grabbed from the site. A seeder is someone that is currently using their BitTorrent client app to share or upload that completed version of the file known as a seed.

Seeder can also refer to the network device sharing the completed torrent file with you and your peers. If the file you are downloading has a lot of torrenting seeders, the download should go very fast.

What is a Torrent Peer?

A peer is simply what you become when you begin downloading a torrent file from sites sharing torrents. You are uploading at the same time you are downloading, and so too are the other peers. You are all helping each other to get the file downloaded at a much faster speed than if you only downloaded from seeds.

Without a seed, it's possible your peers actively downloading and uploading along with you on the torrent network don't collectively have the file in its entirety. This will result in a stalled download that will not finish until someone shows up on the torrents network with the file packets (parts) you are missing. Sites allowing search don't carry the movies, music, software, or other media files.

Why'd My Mom Call Me a Leech?!

Sorry; I can't help with that, but while downloading a file, you're called a torrent leecher because you don't have the complete file yet. Are you missing a few file parts?

Seriously, the meaning of torrent leech has changed over the years. The term leech used to be reserved as a more derogatory term for people that avoid sharing their files and just download from torrents.

A very important concept, and one that makes BitTorrent so awesome, is sharing. It doesn't work efficiently unless everyone shares with each other. The entire concept of torrenting relies upon users of the protocol not being stingy, selfish, inconsiderate… you get the idea.

When someone jumps on the torrent network to grab a file and jumps right back off without sharing, or sharing as little as possible, that's called a hit and run.

It's a difficult concept for many people to wrap their heads around, but if you share while downloading, your own download speed increases. Helping others by letting them download pieces of the file from you effectively cuts download competition down, leaving more peers to share with you.

The Basics of BitTorrent in a Nutshell

  1. download and install BitTorrent client software such as uTorrent
  2. turn on your SurfShark VPN client and connect to their VPN service for privacy
  3. use a torrent search engine site to find a torrent file you want
  4. open the torrent file or magnet link with the torrent client app
  5. begin to download and share safely!

It's that simple to get started. If done safely within a VPN tunnel, you won't regret it. Just please, keep BitTorrent awesome by sharing. That file you're downloading was shared to you by the torrents site, your peers and some great seeds. Don't be a leech; your own download speeds increase when you give back.