BitTorrent 101

How to use BitTorrent?


BitTorrent 101

I’ve been an avid user of BitTorrent for a long time and would like to teach you how to use this.

What is Bit Torrent?

First, let us clear some confusion. When you say BitTorrent, it is not a program but a technology. It is a peer-to-peer technology of sharing files all over the internet. Although you may say that it is similar to other programs such as kazaa, emule but it is different, period. 🙂

How does bit torrent work?

Just like any peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, BitTorrent needs a source (called a seeder) and a downloader (called a leecher). Unlike Kazaa and Emule where you will use a program to find your sources, in BitTorrent, all you need to do is to find “torrent” files in the net. These torrent files are small files that contains the “blueprint” of the file you want to download and you will need to load them up in a BitTorrent program so that it will analyze it and start the actual download of whatever you want to download.

Let us review the terms mentioned:

  • seeder = anyone who has 100% of the file being shared. When searching for torrents, make sure that your torrent has at least 1 seeders. As much as possible, I try to check if the torrent has at least 10 seeders. Note that only the seeders has 100% of the file and it they were to disappear, you will never finish your download.
  • leecher = anyone who is in the process of downloading the file. We all start at this state.
  • torrent file = the “blueprint” of the file you want to download. It contains information such as file size, file names , # of chunks (file divided into small parts), chunk size and other information that BitTorrent uses to process the download.
  • BitTorrent program = used to load torrent files and do the actual download

How to use BitTorrent?

Basically you need the following:
[1] Bit torrent client = I recommend you use Utorrent as it is a lightweight program (easy on your computer even if it is old) unlike other programs that will make your computer slow
[2] list of torrent search engines = remember that you need to look for torrent files so having a list is great (I’ll share what I know).

So you just have to download a “torrent” file and load it up in utorrent and you can start your download. Please note that the filename should .torrent and nothing else (others would be fake).

Where can I get torrent files?

Content Removed.

BitTorrent watch outs

[1] Fake torrents

There are a lot of fake torrents all over the internet. Here are examples of fake torrents:

  • torrents that have an insanely amount of seeders / leechers (~ 40k or higher) , actually more than 5k is already a warning.
  • torrents that have rar files with password (as much as possible, i stay away from files that have passwords on them)

[2]Misleading content

You were downloading some videos and pictures and found that the files you downloaded were executable files (exe). I will slap you if you will still run that executable that is no way related with what you want.

Misleading content is rampant in the BitTorrent community that is why I would recommend that you go to specific torrent sites (see above) to find your torrents. It is best if you see that you are allowed to post comments before download the torrent file because others may have already downloaded it and they would comment if it is good or bad. So always read comments before downloading and if it doesn’t have a comment yet, as much as possible, look for one that has.

[3] Viruses

I never had a virus from bittorrents. This is because I practice safe torrenting and avoid misleading content. As you get used to downloading torrents, you will be able to decipher which torrents are safe and which contains malicious files (virus, trojans).

So hopefully, this has helped you in understanding more about BitTorrent.

If you have any questions, feel free to write in the comments.

Till next time,


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