Originally Posted by jedduh01
Can anyone school me, or teach this torrent stuff to a download newb like simply how to do this. I left downloading with napster, but would love to see these episodes. Is there any Torrenting for dummies sites out there.
Like most 133t file-sharing systems of the past 15 years, it's somewhat user-hostile. Not as bad as jumping into UseNet for the first time (those guys make us look like a bunch of Care Bears.)
First, download uTorrent
. This is the application
that you use to do the actual downloading.
Second, find a search engine. MiniNova
and Pirate Bay
are the big ones. FinalGear
usually has the latest Top Gear episodes. I have a couple of invites to TheBox, if anybody is into British TV generally, and I apologize in advance if I don't give you one, but they're pretty hardcore about making sure that invitees seed, lest I be punished. (If this didn't make sense to you, don't worry, just read on.)
Order of operations:
First, you use a search engine to find a .torrent file. This is just a tiny little piece of data that contains pointers. You download the .torrent file to your PC, usually direct from the search engine site.
Next, you open the .torrent file with your Torrent client, such as uTorrent. The client connects to the swarm (peer group) and starts downloading the actual file(s). Torrents can (and often do) contain multiple files.
The reason for the added complexity (separating the search engine from the access server) is robustness. Every .torrent usually has multiple trackers, and the trackers themselves are scattered far and wide. You can take one or two down, and the swarm goes on unaffected. Previous filesharing systems had a single point of failure. This doesn't.
Leech: One who is currently downloading a file, even if you are also sharing the parts you already have.
Seed: One who has a complete copy of the file, and is sharing it. A Leech becomes a Seed once the download is finished.
Peer: Another machine to which your PC is connected at any given time, downloading from, uploading to, or both simultaneously. (Torrents break the file into many pieces, so it's quite common for me to be downloading one piece from you, while at the same time you're downloading a different piece from me, while both of us are also downloading other pieces from other places.)
Tracker: Central server that maintains pointers to all members of the swarm.
Swarm: All the people who are uploading / downloading a particular torrent.
How safe are torrents to your machine? I really don't want to open a back door for leaches of my computer info.
The act of downloading itself is relatively safe, particularly for video files. Your only worries here are being jailed for copyright infringement or having your internet access throttled or cut off by your ISP. Both seem to be relatively uncommon.
Now, if you're downloading games or apps, you really need to have a dedicated machine (or virtual machine) for opening and scanning them. Viruses / trojans / etc are pretty common in these packages. Reading the comments for a particular torrent will often reveal whether previous downloaders have encountered problems, though of course a lot of those folks are idiots who wouldn't know ASCII from EBCDIC if both were latched onto their ******* and biting furiously.