What the heck is a torrent??

Written on 1:35 PM by Robert

A torrent is a file-sharing utility that most computer professionals lately can't live without. Neither can software pirates. We won't go into the legal aspects of downloading illegal material here, but I will say that it can be done. However, this is something being done by hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of computer users worldwide.

What can you download? You can actually search and retrieve entire albums, computer software, short video clips, entire DVDs, and video games. Some of the software would also come with a "keygen" (a key generator) that supplies you with that required product key that needs to be entered when the software is installed. Other times, the key is supplied in a text file or embedded in the software itself, so that installation would be all you need to do.

How do I get in on this action?

  • Download and install a torrent software. You can try uTorrent or Bittorent, two of the more popular packages out there.
  • Start the torrent software. Once it runs it may stay resident in memory (invisible, for all you non-techies) waiting for your first move.
  • Go to a torrent site to search for what you want. A few such sites are thePirateBay and Mininova. For you experienced torrentors, the follwing two sites go through a dozen such sites simultaneously: torrents.to and torrentsurf.com.
  • Once you get the list of available entries for what you want, sort by SEEDS. Think of seeds as people who have this file. The more seeds the file has, the better chance you have to get that file in a timely fashion. Choose the entry that has the most seeds.
  • Before clicking on the link that says "Download Now", check for comments. There are times when the file contains a virus. Other people before you would leave hateful comments if this is the case. Otherwise you will see tons of praise.
  • Click on Download Now. Windows will ask you to either Open or Save this file. Choose Open. Your torrent software will now activate and download your request. You don't need to keep your PC on until it downloads. When you shut down, the torrent download ends, but will continue where it left off next time you open your torrent software.
  • Once the download is complete, right-click on it and choose Open Containing Folder to actually see what you downloaded. Now you can do whatever you choose to do with it.
Once you do the first one, the rest will become easier. People tell me (ahem) that you can download the world's best software packages on there and train yourself to use them in a professional manner.

This is in no way the only method out there right now. This method has been around for years and used by most people today. There are legitimate file-sharing reasons for using this, however it has evolved to a point where it has been used for a wide range of reasons. For the sake of education, if you haven't learned how to do this yet, you should try it out. Edit

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