How to use Bit Torrent / download a torrent?
Well, I get asked often how does one use a torrent site and I'm asked to explain it simply. Yes you can Google and read all about it, but most of the time it's so technical that you still walk away not understanding. So, let me explain some of the general terms first (and I'll add more as I go on).
First you need to pick a Bit Torrent client. There are many different ones out there to choose from. The one I use is "uTorrent", so for the example I will use it here (screen shot).
Once you have installed the Bit Torrent client, then you need to find the torrent that you wish to download. Now there are many different torrent sites both private and public. One of the more popular public torrent sites is "The Pirate Bay" so I will be using that as an example. Other great one's are BTJunkie and ScrapeTorrent.
Browse, or search for, the different torrents till you find the one you want to download. Once you find it then you need to click on "download this torrent". It will save a small file with the file extension ".torrent".
Now one thing you will want to look for is to see how many people are seeding that torrent. The more that seed it, the faster you will download it. As you can see, example 5 is great, however example 4 is bad.
If they list 0 as seeding, then that means no one is sharing, so forget it. Many times you will find multiple downloads for each torrent - you need to see which one has the most seeders. Also read over the torrent to make sure that it is complete - and read the comments that others write. Make sure the torrent is also in the correct format that you are looking for (be it a MP3 or AVI).
After clicking Download this Torrent, it will then pop open a window and ask you if you want to download it with your default bit torrent client (uTorrent), click yes and it will auto start downloading it. You can also Drag n Drop this .torrent file right onto uTorrent to start the download if it didn't auto-start.
When it starts to download you will see what percentage of it is downloaded or "done". You will also see the speed that you are downloading at and the ETA (estimated time of arrival) that you have till it is done. Now mind you that you might see some uploading it as you're downloading it, and that is fine. In the example you can see that 1-3 are downloading. Examples 4 & 5 I am seeding and example 6 & 7 I have finished seeding (I stopped it). Another important thing to look for when starting a download is where it says "Avail.", as long as it's 1.0 or greater, you'll be able to get the entire download. If it doesn't, you might consider looking for another torrent for the same download.
If you look at the "ratio" on 4-7 you can see how much I have seeded back. Now most private sites have rules regarding seeding (like you have to seed either a 1:1 ratio or 72 hours). Example 7 you can see my ratio for that is 10.465, meaning I gave back 10 times the amount I downloaded, in sharing for that one. I try to at least seed it till I get a 1:1 but alot of times I do more as you can see. Seeding will not slow your computer down however downloading will so don't go download happy.
Once you have finished downloading it's always a good habit to scan it with your anti virus program. Simply right click on the torrent and click on your anti virus in the drop down. After all you are downloading it from strangers, so better safe than sorry.
DISCLAIMER: Are Torrents legal? If the item is copyrighted then no it is not legal to download it. Some sites will tell you that you can as long as you are downloading it as a back up and you own the original. I am not going to tell you that you can or can not download what ever you want to (pirate) however you need to know and understand the laws and the risks. Because of the legality of this thread DO NOT ask questions regarding a torrent that is copyrighted. No asking how to crack a file or how to get serial numbers to register them. Please keep this thread legal - any illegal type of posts will be removed. If you are not sure on whether or not you can ask the question simply PM myself, another moderator or the site admin (Stardogg) your question and we will let you know if it is ok to ask. What you download is your own responsibility to know and understand the laws for your area.