So, you’ve heard about this thing called “torrent”, right? The problem is, you don’t know what it all means. I’ll try to help.
Disclaimer: There are many other howtos out there. Use Google to find one. I’m just going to show you what works for me. Also, I am not responsible for messing up your computer and I’m not responsible for your actions.
Okay, now that is out of the way, first you need to download µTorrent. Go here: http://www.utorrent.com/ and download the latest version. Currently, µTorrent is only available for Windows. If you do not use Windows, I recommend you search around and find a good one for your OS.
Once installed, start the program. Let’s go through some configuration options.
The first thing you’ll see what you start µTorrent is an initial setup wizard. This wizard helps the program determine what default settings it should use based upon your upload and download capabilities. You really should use the speed test it recommends (and, shut down all active connections to your internet).
The second, and equally important, step is to figure out if your router is forwarding the port you define here. Go to your admin page of your router and it is (typically) found under Applications & Gaming. If you have no idea what you’re doing, go here: www.portforward.com
Once you’ve gotten your router forwarding ports, click on Use Selected Settings. Now it’s time to download something.
Oh, before we continue … you really should read a little bit about BitTorrent technology if this is new to you. The first place I’d start is Wikipedia. Go here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent
So, now you’re an expert and could explain this to your Grandma. Great; lets move on.
Go here: thepiratebay.org … or, if you’d rather not hassle with the possibility of being involved in something that you don’t think is legal, go here: www.openoffice.org. Using the dropdown menus, select your version (2.3.0 is the latest and greatest at the moment), operating system, and language. You should now be able to download a .torrent file. A .torrent file is simply a file full of metadata. Big deal; just open it with µTorrent and within a few seconds/minutes, you should see that µTorrent has connected to peers and is downloading Openoffice.
If you would rather download something else from The Pirate Bay, by all means go ahead. For starters, you can search for something in particular … or, you can browse their library. If you find something you would like to download, click on the double green down-arrow/triangle.
Your browser should ask you what to do with this file (*.torrent). If you’re computer is configured so that .torrent files are associated to µTorrent, then just select Open and let µTorrent handle the rest.
If you would like more information about BitTorrent terms, go here: http://btfaq.com/serve/cache/23.html
The makers of µTorrent maintain a helpful FAQ here: http://www.utorrent.com/faq.php
Next time, I’ll show you how to create your own torrent to share with the world.