Complete Guide For BitTorrent : How to Use It

W hat’s the best way to share files with everyone or download some big files? BitTorrent is the easiest and the best solution. It’s also fr...


What’s the best way to share files with everyone or download some big files? BitTorrent is the easiest and the best solution. It’s also free to use. The basic fact of torrent is, the file you are downloading via torrent isn’t stored in any server. It’s from the Seeders' PC who have downloader that file and seeding it. BitTorrent is one of the most popular option for file sharing now a days. So let’s deal with it.

Before staring, you should know about some basic thing about torrent. That’s are Torrent, P2P, Peer, Seeds, Tracker etc.

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Basic Facts


What is Torrent

Torrent is a P2P file sharing. It’s basically a small file (1-5 Kilobyte) which contains metadata used for BitTorrent. It can be opened through a BitTorrent client. In a conventional Internet download, a file or group of files is transmitted from one computer (usually a server) to another computer (a client). Data is held in a central location and is retrieved per the request of a single user.

A torrent, however, distributes data differently on many levels. Firstly, a .torrent file is not the actual file being retrieved. The .torrent file is merely data which has information about the file that the user is seeking. The .torrent file is, in a sense, a sort of index of the file being retrieved. The torrent divides the target file into a series of equally sized pieces that are each assigned an identifying checksum.


What is BitTorrent

It’s a common mistake that BitTorrent is a Software or Program. But that’s wrong. It's a method of downloading files using a distributed peer-to-peer file sharing system. The programs that you use to download files via the BitTorrent protocol are called BitTorrent clients.

What is P2P

Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes.

Peers make a portion of their resources, such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth, directly available to other network participants, without the need for central coordination by servers or stable hosts. Peers are both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the traditional model where only servers supply, and clients consume.


What is Seed

Seed mean a person or a network who upload the specific files when someone requested for it via torrent.

A seed(er) is a client on the BT network that has a complete copy of a particular archive. For any archive to work, there must be at least one seed to download from originally. Sometimes under certain circumstances, there may be no one seeder but enough people with all the parts to make up the whole archive, this is called a distributed copy. It is HIGHLY recommended that once you have gotten an archive you leave the BT client running for at least the amount of time that it took you to download the archive to help ensure that others will also be able to get it. Share and Share alike!

Once you’re done downloading, you become a “seeder” and you continue to upload to other peers. If you disable uploading and you only download, you’re referred to as a “leecher,” and aside from its ethical misgivings it can lead to being banned from the tracker.  As such, it’s generally good practice to seed at least as much as you download.


What is Tracker

Tracker is a server or medium where the small .torrent file was stored, It doesn't mean that, tracker will store the files which a torrent contains. They only store the .torrent files.

A “tracker” is a server that assists in directing peers, initiated downloads, and maintaining statistics. Since most indexers have their own private tracker, most people just refer to them both as trackers.  In this article, we’re going to use this more general definition to avoid confusion with whatever you may find yourself on the internet.

Trackers route little pieces of data, or packets, to downloaders and assist them in connecting to their fellow peers—as you download chunks of files, you also upload them to other people who have different chunks of the file, and because everybody’s sharing with each other while downloading, it tends to zip along quickly.


How BitTorrent Works

To better understand how this all works, take a look at this diagram from Wikipedia detailing the process:


“In this animation, the colored bars beneath all of the 7 clients in the upper region above represent the file, with each color representing a individual piece of the file. After the initial pieces transfer from the seed (large system at the bottom), the pieces are individually transferred from client to client. The original seeder only needs to send out one copy of the file for all the clients to receive a copy.”


Legality Of Torrent

BitTorrent itself is a protocol, so it falls to individual trackers as to what’s legal and what’s not.  If a copyright violation occurs, it is the tracker that is primarily held responsible, and subsequently its users. You probably should avoid blindly downloading copyrighted works on public trackers, since your IP address can be easily tracked.

There are many legal uses for BitTorrent, however—for instance, most community-driven Linux distributions offer torrents for their ISOs. Phish fans often record live shows (so long as they comply with Phish’s policy on music trading) and share them online, as do many artists themselves.

There are plenty of legal trackers out there, as well as torrent aggregators that compile links to legal downloads hosted on other trackers.


BitTorrent Clients

The other side of the BitTorrent equation can be found on your local computer: a client.  The client’s job is to manage your torrents, actually connect to other peers, manage statistics on your end, and, of course, download and upload. While the tracker gives instructions on what to do and how to connect, it’s the client that actually does the heavy-lifting.  Because of this, it’s important that you choose a client you trust as well as a client that performs amiably.


Some Torrent Clients

  • BitTorrent: BitTorrent is the most popular torrent client. It’s recommended for newbies.
  • uTorrent: uTorrent is the tiniest but yet powerful torrent client.
  • BitComet: A good client over all.
  • Vuze: Most powerful and heavyweight torrent client. But it will use a lot of system resource.
  • MeidaGet: MediaGet is another good torrent client. It has a powerful search option.
  • Free Download Manager: It’s not a torrent client but it has a plug in to download torrent files.


Download Torrent

Things are shared through “torrents,” small files containing text that act as instructions for the tracker.  In order to download files, you hop on your tracker’s website and download the torrent file, which is usually under 30 KB.  You then open that torrent in your chosen BitTorrent and you’ve started to download!  The process is that simple, although there is a lot you can do to make the most of your connection if you play around with your client.

Step by Step

First and foremost, download and install your chosen BitTorrent client.  Here, I’m using uTorrent as my chosen client on Windows.  If you’re using Mac or Linux, it won’t be too hard to follow along using Transmission.

Next, we need a torrent file. Here’s Countdown’s album “Break Rise Blowing” from Jamendo.


Once you have your torrent file in an easy-to-reach (or well-organized) location, all you have to do is double-click on the .torrent file to load it in your client.

You’ll see uTorrent pop up and you’ll get a dialog with option for the specific download.


Here, you can choose where the torrent will download to, whether or not you want to add it to the top of your queue of torrents, and you can even unmark individual files from being downloaded.  Once you’ve settled on what you’d like, you can go ahead and click on OK.


In the main uTorrent window you’ll see your queue.  From here you can manage your torrents:

  • The Pause button will pause downloading, but keep its connections open.
  • The Stop button will stop downloading and close its connections.
  • The Play button will start downloads once they’ve been paused or stopped.
  • The red X button will give you a prompt to delete your torrent (and files, if you choose).
  • The Up arrow will raise your torrent’s priority amongst all of the currently active torrents.
  • The Down arrow will lower its priority in the queue.


Getting The Most From Torrent


Test Your Connection First

In order for this to be most effective, you should get your connection speed tested, and you may also wish to see if your ISP is throttling (artificially slowing) BitTorrent transfers so you can adjust your settings to try to get around that.

Both of these can be achieved using the Glasnost ISP Traffic-Shaping Test, which utilizes the Java Runtime Environment to test a variety of things.  Once you know what you’re working with, you can use some of the tips below to make the most of your bandwidth.


If you get a “missing plugin” error, you may not have JRE installed.  Follow instructions for your browser to install Java, then take the test.


Optimizing Connections and Speed Limits

Because BitTorrent works by creating multiple connections out for each torrent you’re downloading, things can get bogged down.  Depending on how many torrents you have actively downloading at a time, you can change the maximum number of outgoing and incoming connections, and set up some rules to manage your speeds.

In uTorrent, go to Options > Preferences, and then click on the Bandwidth tab.


Global Upload/Download Rate Limiting allows you to set “speed limits” for transfers.  The “Alternate upload rate” option allows you to change the rate of transfer when you’re not downloading, so you can set one limit for while you’re downloading, and once it finishes it’ll switch to a second rate.  This is a great for those with lower bandwidth, as you can set a higher seeding rate once you’ve finished downloading.  This helps maintain a good ratio without sacrificing download speed too much.

Altering the number of connections changes the maximum connections that are made overall (Global) or by each torrent.  You can also change how many people to upload to simultaneously.  If you have a good bandwidth connection or you’re primarily going to be torrenting for a while, then you can increase the upload slots.  In addition, if your bandwidth is low, you can decrease the number of connections made to streamline and get better speeds, or to get around ISP throttling.


Choosing a Good Client

Start using uTorrent (on Windows) or Transmission (on Linux and Mac OS).  Both clients support the use of advanced connection management systems like DHT and PEX (peer exchange), as well as much more, and have them turned on by default.  Other clients, like Vuze, don’t support both types of PEX, and still others are heavy on resources or drop connections.  Regardless of which client you use, however, learn the ins and outs of your client and use that to your advantage.

If you need to disable or re-enable DHT or PEX in uTorrent, go to Options > Preferences, and then click on the BitTorrent tab.


Some private trackers prefer DHT and/or PEX disabled (for privacy reasons), so be sure to read the rules section of your tracker of choice.


Ratio and the Download Queue

Many trackers—especially private trackers—operate based on a minimum ratio of uploaded amount to downloaded amount in order to continue using them.  For example, let’s say your tracker has a minimum ratio of .75.  In order to prevent being banned, you must upload at least 75% of what you download, by file size.  This works based on an overall average of the total data downloaded and uploaded, so it doesn’t matter how many individual torrents you are downloading or seeding or what the ratios of specific torrents are.

These rules are a way of ensuring you’re giving back to the community, and in order to oblige that while preventing you from having to worry about bandwidth, there are options in uTorrent to seed up to a user-defined ratio before closing the torrent.

Go to Options > Preferences, and then click on the Queuing (sic) tab.


Here, you can set the ratio up to which uTorrent will give seeding a priority.  If you adjust the options below that, you’ll be able to limit the rate for uploads after that minimum ratio is reached.

You’ll also notice the queue settings at the top of this pane.  You can change the maximum number of active downloads and overall transfers so that you don’t choke your internet connection, or so that you use it to its full extent.


Transfer Capping

If you have a monthly cap for your bandwidth, you can set up uTorrent to not exceed a configured amount so you don’t have to manage it constantly.

Open up the Transfer Cap tab in uTorrent’s settings.

Check the “Enable Transfer Cap” option and set up your criteria so you don’t have to watch your torrents like a hawk anymore.


Use these tricks to make the most of a low-bandwidth connection or to automate a fast one.


Conclusion: Things to Remember

After all, you must remember something to get the best speed from torrent.

Choose a good torrent. Better if it’s verified.

Check the amount of Seeds and Peers of that torrent. The more Seed and Peer the torrent have, the better speed you will get.

Check the build time of the torrent. The older it is, the worst it will be.

If you have a slow connection, then set upload limit to 1kb/s.

That’s all. Hope You can download from torrent at the full speed now.

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