Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quick Torrent Tutorials - 101

The first things you need to know about using Bit Torrent:
Bit Torrent is aimed at broadband users (or any connection better than dialup).
Sharing is highly appreciated, and sharing is what keeps bit torrent alive.
A bit torrent file (*.torrent) contains information about the piece structure of the download (more on this later)

The method of downloading is not your conventional type of download. Since downloads do not come in as one big chunk, you are able to download from many people at once, increasing your download speeds. There may be 100 "pieces" to a file, or 20,000+ pieces, all depending on what you're downloading. Pieces are usually small (under 200kb)

The speeds are based upon people sharing as they download, and seeders. Seeders are people who constantly share in order to keep torrents alive. Usually seeders are on fast connections (10mb or higher).

In this tutorial, I will be describing it all using a bit torrent client called Azureus. This client is used to decode the .torrent files into a usable format to download from other peers. From here on out, I will refer to Bit Torrent as BT.

Which BT client you use, is completely your decision. I have tried them all, and my personal favorite is Azureus for many reasons. A big problem with most BT clients out there, is that they are extremely CPU intensive, usually using 100% of your cpu resources.

Usually, .torrent files are very small, under 200kb. They contain a wealth of information about the file you want to download. A .torrent file can contain just 1 single file, or a a directory full of files and more directories. But regardless, every download is split up into hundreds or thousands of pieces. The pieces make it much easier to download at higher speeds.

Note the headings and their definitions:
Added - Added: Self explanatory, its the date the torrent was added.
Name - the name of the file you are after
Filesize - in kn, mb or gb
Seeds - how many people are strictly UPLOADING, or sharing. These people are the ones that keep .torrent files alive. By "alive", I mean, if there's no one sharing the .torrent file, no one can download.
DLs: - how many people currently downloading that particular torrent. They also help keep the torrent alive as they share while they download.

Note firewalls and port forwarding - You almost will definitely need to learn about port forwarding and routing to allow torrent traffic in and out of your pc.
The best tutorials arte at

It's always best to download using a torrent that has a decent amount of seeders and downloaders, this way you can be assured there's a good chance your download will finish. The more the better.