Saturday, November 22, 2008

HOW TO use torrents

Hi ppl,
This post is dedicated to my sis who now has to utilise our broadband connection at home without my expertise (ahem!)....
If you already know all about torrents, then kindly move on ;)


About bit torrent: It's a new way to share files over the net anonymously.
What's it used for: Movies, Softwares, entire seasons of your favourite TV series, etc. Basically anything that's popular with over 100 ppl & above 50MB in size.

What's needed:
1. A bit-torrent downloading software; best one in my experience is ĀµTorrent
2. A .torrent file.
3. An internet connection. The slower your connection is, the more suited torrents are for you (thanks to their resuming capability).

.torrent ka funda: This file (very small size) indexes some hash-info about the file(s) to be shared. This helps the torrent-downloader to keep track of which parts have been downloaded, where to get them from, etc etc and dispose of invalid file parts (which is a nuisance in simple file-sharing)

How to go about dloading: Best site I found for torrents is:
  1. Go on the site & search for what you need.
  2. Click on 'Seeds' column-heading; that'll arrange the results in descending order of Seeds.
  3. More the seeders, higher the download speed.
  4. Click on the torrent you want: this will take you to the torrent's details page.
  5. Do read the comments given by other users for ratings, warnings, screenshots etc. Here you'll find out if the torrent is genuine or fake, good quality or bad, etc.
  6. Download & open the .torrent file... It should open with your torrent software by default if you're already run it once. Now you'll be asked where to store the download, and you can also choose which files to dload (so you can take just 1 or 2 files first instead of the whole season)

Why is it better than regular file-sharing like Limewire:
  1. Many more sharers: A P2P file you might get from 10 ppl, of which some might go offline when you log back in the next day. Torrents are typically shared (seeded) by hundreds or thousands of users; you can pause the download and resume it months later without fearing a drop-off. You can also move the half-dloaded files and resume dloading them from another computer.
  2. Trustable: The best torrents (meaning those with max seeders) are meticulously indexed, tracked so you can safeguard yourselves against fake dloads, viruses, xxx material etc. (which is a MAJOR nuisance in simple file-sharing)
  3. Multiple files: With one .torrent file you can download the entire collection of Naruto. In limewire or kazaa you'd have to search file by file, episode-by-episode. You can also select which files to dload and which not; so you can at least get one episode down and watch it while the next one's dloading!

How it works so well: In the same way we forward all these chain mails. A part of a file is sent by one computer (seeder) to 2 more (leecher). Then, when another downloader requests the same file-part, one of the 2 leechers can volunteer & become seeder. That way, the file spreads part-by-part, replicating itself like a virus, and the original seeder isn't hassled by new leechers. Over time, bit by bit we get a torrent. Hence the name.

Disclaimer: watch out for copyrights... this technology can be used either way.

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