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Surviving the Internet 101: Torrents- What are they and how do people use it for dowloading pretty much anything

What is a torrent?



According to the internet, In the BitTorrent file distribution system, a torrent file is a computer file that contains metadata about files and folders to be distributed, and usually also a list of the network locations of trackers, which are compu...Blah blah.. you don't want to read that confusing stuff!

what you really need to know about torrents is that a torrent is a small file that, when used correctly, can help you download content( such as movies, games, songs, books) that that particular torrent file is linked to.The torrent file has info on the contents which the user wishes to download, it requires a torrent client which is used to download the contents of the specified torrent.
DO NOT USE TORRENTS FOR DOWNLOADING ILLEGAL CONTENT.

Is it a virus?


No. just no. and it's definitely a nice and reliable way to download stuff if you know what you're doing.


Why is it better than other download options?


The main benefits are a nice and stable speed, the ability to pause that download and resume it later on if  you have to shut down your PC or not use the Internet for that download for a while. this is a boon for people who download big files.



So where do i get this torrent file?


you can download the torrent file from any of the famous torrent websites such as kat.ph, piratebay(yeah that's still alive), torrentz, isohunt, extratorrent, torrentz, rarbg, torrenthound etc, just google for some, and once you're there be sure not to download anything illegal, because it's a common practice for people to put up lots of pirated stuff on there. anyways, search for whatever you want to download and look for a good seeders:leechers/peers ratio( more seeds is better and if they're both 0 the torrent is dead),(refer to the bottom of this page to know more about seeders and leechers), once you have reached the page for whatever it is you want to download, just click on the download torrent button. it should download a "(filename).torrent" file, oh and make sure that you click on the right button :
the site I'm using for this example is KickassTorrents but most torrent sites work the same.

Okay what do I do after I have the file


Next thing you need to get your download is use  a torrent client(a software) which helps you download the data you want from that torrent file. the best torrent clients are Bittorrent and Utorrent
(click the names to download em, fancy right ). download them and install them. but beware, make sure you don't install some crappy software accidentally while installing it, take it slow and make sure when to click next and which checkboxes you select/agree with.

Android user?

If you're on Android, i suggest you choose a torrent client such as aTorrent, bittorent or Utorrent. The process for downloading torrents on android is pretty much the same as mentioned here 


Okay i have the client ready, now what


that's pretty much it, once you have done the above, simply download any torrent file you want, which you've probably done already, open the torrent client(bittorrent in this case), click on file>add torrent>select the (filename).torrent file(here it's potato.torrent.. yeah I have a potato fetish) and then click open, after that it'll show you a window where you need to set the location where you wanna save your download, i suggest simple locations such as the "downloads" folder or a new folder in your desktop or "my documents", the right pane will show you the files which are going to be downloaded, they may take a while to load, you don't have to wait to see that, just click on okay and your download will start, it may take it a little while to load metadata and stuff but it will go smoothly if you chose a torrent with a good seed:peer ratio.
(note: the color scheme is dark because of my badass windows theme)
click on file>add torrent


select your torrent file

Set the save location and press okay



once your download is finished, it should display "seeding" on your download, at this point, you need to right click on it, and click on "open containing folder" or just go to the location you saved the download at and access your content there. at this point, you can choose to either let the download seed for a while(it will help the other downloaders) or you can just click on the torrent and select the "stop" button.
And with that you know all the basics of torrenting.



A little more info, if you got the time

 you can tweak some of the torrent settings to your liking, such as going into the bandwidth section of the settings and set the upload speed to about 40% of your Internet speed(which you can know via speedtest.net), this will sometimes fix problems with slow download speeds.

Magnet links
magnet links are usually shown as a magnet sign with the torrent, they're pretty convenient as when you click on them, the torrent is automatically added to your torrent client.

what are seeders and peers/leeches?
basically what torrents do is follow a p2p or peer to peer file sharing method, instead of hosting the file you want to download on one server, they host it by using the people who've downloaded the file and wish to help the others download it, by seeding, hence they're the seeders, while the people who are downloading the content are known as leeches or peers and so you get why the torrent will be dead if the seeds are 0. hence it would be nice if you seeded your downloaded content for a while to help the others, coz that's what humanity is all about.


oh and if you wanted to read that Internet definition, here you go:
In the BitTorrent file distribution system, a torrent file is a computer file that contains metadata about files and folders to be distributed, and usually also a list of the network locations of trackers, which are computers that help participants in the system find each other and form efficient distribution groups called swarms. A torrent file does not contain the content to be distributed; it only contains information about those files, such as their names, sizes, folder structure, and cryptographic hash values for verifying file integrity. Depending on context, a torrent may be the torrent file or the referenced content.

If you're interested, you can read more about it via googling and sites like wikipedia.


Be sure to share your views, ideas and feedback in the comments and feel free to ask any questions whether it is regarding the topic or even if it's totally unrelated, I'll be sure to respond. Also, please do tell me if I made any mistakes or typos so I could fix em.


And that's all for today~

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