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This page is a "how-to" when it comes to downloading stuff on BitTorrent. Lately it's become very difficult to find things on Kazaa, and a friend of mine introduced me to BitTorrent. It is a very cool thing, and here I will teach you how to use it.

Simple steps to get BitTorrent up and running

1. Before, I recommended using Peer Guardian. Well, PG is a resource hog. I've been introduced to something even better, Protowall. Click the link to download Protowall and Blocklist Manager. Any questions about installation, see their FAQs.

2. Get a BitTorrent client. Before, I recommended using BitTornado. I've been introduced to something even better, BitLord. Click the link to download BitLord. It has a "Kazaa" look to it with search capabilities! (something other BitTorrent client's DON'T have).

3. Find sites that do searches for torrent files. The best site I currently use is, it's search page can be found here.

How it all works

Now you are ready to roll. Go to either or another torrent search engine of your choice, type in something you are looking for, and if anything comes up, click the links it lists. It will ask you where to save the 'torrent' file. This is a super small file, usually around 30k, that has all the directions on how and where to find the file to download from. Once that is downloaded, open up BitLord and click the Open button to open the torrent file you just downloaded. It will load into its list and begin downloading the actual files now. You can setup BitLord to download a cetain number of files simultaneously, and when one is done, it will start downloading the next one.

What are peers? They are other people who are currently downloading or sharing the file you are looking for. The more peers listed next to the file, the faster the download will be. You might also see a number of "seeds", seeds are the full copies of the actual files. The more seeds, the faster downloads. So if you have a choice between one or another download, and if they are both the same file, go for the one with more seeds and more peers. The fewer the seeds and peers, the slower it will be for the download to complete.

Once you have started downloading, your torrent client will say it is looking for peers. At this time it is connecting and looking to see how many people out there have the file you are looking for. It does take a little bit of time for your torrent client to get up to speed, so be patient. I have been reaching upwards of around 80kbps on some fast downloads.

The way it works is kind of neat. While you download the file, you are downloading the file from other people who are either sharing the complete file, or other people who are also currently downloading the file. When you download a file, you too are also sharing the file out to others that are downloading. Don't worry about sharing slowing your download speed down. Download speeds and upload speeds are two separate things, and you can adjust your upload speed with your torrent client to the lowest if you wish.

When the file has completely downloaded, you will get a pop-up in the system tray, and it will read that file is at 100%. At this point, you have completely downloaded the file(s), but it is still being shared (uploaded). You can do one of two things now, continue to share it, or take it off your list which would not share it anymore.

It kind of works like Kazaa, you download small pieces of the big file from a lot of other people and torrent puts them together into one big file for you. If by chance all other peers go offline and there is no one to download from, you probably will get a message in the listing indicating that it can't find anyone to download from. This is ok, and sometimes normal. Just let the window sit. It will continue to look for peers to get the file from and when they are available it will pick up where it left off. This is also true if you stop a download and had to reboot your PC. Just resume your download from the list, and it will automatically resume where it left off in downloading.

Right now BitTorrent is kind of a "geek" thing, so I think the majority of the people that use it know what they are doing. Because of this, about 99% of the files you are searching for are the real deal, unlike Kazaa which is now flooded with bogus renamed files. I hope BitTorrent stays this way, but it will be hard to tell until it becomes more mainstream. But don't worry about slow downloads, I have been able to download files that are 700MB in size in under a day. There are still a LOT of people that use BitTorrent even though it's not "mainstream", and it's becoming more popular everyday.

Hope this helps you out in using BitTorrent. The more people you tell who use it will make BitTorrent become a bigger and better thing. This is a very nice alternative to using Kazaa.

***One more thing, if you are getting very slow downloads like I first did, you might need to configure your router to let this stuff get through right away. I configured mine and went from around 3kbps downloads up to around 50kbps downloads. Here is a very good site on how to configure your router to let this stuff through. If you don't know how to configure your router, you probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place, and don't ask me for help!  

Copyright 2005 djdingo All Rig

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This page last updated:
Monday, May 23rd, 2005