I love BitTorrent. In the absence of the worlds content producers making the shows I want to watch available within a reasonable amount of time, if ever, at a price that’s affordable, BitTorrent is the only route to go. Want to watch one of Auntie Beeb’s fantastic documentaries? Or a soap opera? You can’t. Even if you’re happy to pay. Unless you go the slightly illicit BitTorrent route. I often refer to torrents in posts, as a means of watching something Mexico related. And I often get questioned as to how it works. Here is the definitive guide for dummies….
BitTorrent is a simple way to obtain and share files. It is illegal only if you’re downloading copyrighted material. If you are doing this from the developing or undeveloped world, the risks of prosecution are small, to say the least. Others would describe it as ‘non existent’. The principle is simple. You go to a torrent website, download a small ‘torrent’ file, and then open that file up in a torrent client. Come back a little later and hey presto….your download should be complete. You do not share the contents of your computer with the world, as happens with other file sharing services. You share only the torrent files you have opened in your bittorrent client, and only for as long as you want to keep them open.
First of all you need to download and install a Bittorrent client. I recommend uTorrent. You might now want to go into the options to tell it where to save the downloads to – ‘Options’, ‘Preferences’, ‘Directories’….it’s the first option on that page. I instruct the client to save all downloads to a folder I created called, unimaginatively, ‘Downloads’.
Next you need some torrent files, from a torrent website. The Pirate Bay is the most famous of these. My favourite is a site that serves up only UK television programmes – if you type ‘uk nova torrent’ into Google, it will come up as the first result. You need to register with UK Nova but not with Pirate Bay.
You’ll find in the site’s have lists of programmes, films, music etc, and you can search for what you want. When you’ve found something to your liking, you need to download the small torrent file. This isn’t the show itself, just the means to obtain the show! In the two top pictures below I’ve highlighted the bit you need to click on but turning everything else black and white. different browsers work different way, but if you right click on the icon you’ll have an option to ‘Save linked content’ or something similar. Do so. I always save them into a folder on my desktop named Torrents so that they are easy to find.
Next, right click on that torrent files you’ve saved and select ‘Open with…’ and choose the BitTorrent client. You may need to find it if it is not automatically displayed as an option. Just click on ‘Browse’ and work it out from there! Make sure the ‘Always use this program’ box has a tick in it, and in future you can just double click these torrent files and they will automatically open in BitTorrent.
Now you just need to leave it to do it’s stuff. The client will tell you how quickly it is downloading, how long it will take to complete. There are lots of other options you can play with too. One more bit of advice….you will see there are Seeders and Leechers. A seeder is someone who has downloaded the complete file and is now only sharing. A leecher is someone who is still downloading and doesn’t have the complete file yet. The more seeders the better. If there are no seeders whatsoever (and you can see how many there are from the torrent website before you even download the torrent file) then it’s probably best to give it a miss.