I was recently asked by a family member how to use torrents. Since I live 60 miles away from them I thought it'd make more sense if I knocked up a how-to and sent it over. While I'm at it, I may as well publish it here so that others needing to know can find the information!
Before I begin, I will mention: File sharing is a controversial issue. Some are against it, but most embrace it. Regardless, if you own a license for the software you wish to download then you are entitled to download it.
We often misplace disks and installation software (especially operating system installation disks and the like) so being able to download a copy of XP that you can use your own serial number with or the latest release of Ubuntu comes in very handy. This is how it's done, starting with the software you need to download torrents:
Torrents are often associated with viruses. In any torrent you download be sure to check user comments before you commit to it! You could end up downloading more than you bargained for. Ready to continue? Read on!
This guide is for Windows
This is how it's done, starting with the software you need to download torrents:
Install uTorrent, and don't do anything more. You are ready to begin downloading immediately.
- Log onto a torrent site such as www.thepiratebay.org and enter your desired torrent. In the example below I'm searching for a copy of Ubuntu. Be sure you have a license (if required) for the torrent you wish to download. I don't require one, so this is not.
- Once you click Pirate Search, search results will be displayed.
- Search results are displayed by relevance. This often means the most popular won't be at the top of the list. Select the torrent with the highest number stated under "SE" (seeders) which is relevant to your search. Often the higher the seeder count, the more likely it is a genuine copy and not a virus. If you click "SE" it will automatically list the most popular at the top of the list. In my case, the most popular is an older version on Ubuntu. While this is not the most up to date version, for this example it will download faster.
- Click the link of the torrent you wish to download. The torrent will be displayed in far more detail.
- Ignore all fancy buttons and links. Basically ignore everything except for "DOWNLOAD THIS TORRENT" - This is important, any other links will not download the torrent and instead take you to other sites full of advertisements or spam.
- Click "DOWNLOAD THIS TORRENT" only.
- When asked if you want to Open or Save, select Open. uTorrent will pop up with a screen that shows the contents of the torrent file.
- Taking a quick look at the contents of the files to be downloaded, in this case there aren't a lot of options with regards to what comes down and what is not required. On some torrents, there are a lot of files you don't need. This is where you can choose exactly what to download.
- Click OK and allow it to download.
- Once it has downloaded, the file will be stored in the default directory. This changes with different operating systems, but you can check it by Right Clicking on the finished download and selecting Open Containing Folder.
- OR Double click the downloaded torrent in uTorrent to go directly to the downloaded torrent in Windows file explorer. From here you can move it to where ever you wish.
Remember, this is just a guide and I can't be held responsible for what you download!
Do you require an offline version of this document? Download this how-to!