How to Download Torrents

Need to know how to download torrents? It's pretty easy. All you need is the right software, of which there are plenty of sources. There are two ways to go about downloading torrents. You can either do it in browser or with standalone applications.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are downloading torrents. First of all, it's peer to peer. At the same time that you are downloading a file, you are also sharing that file with other torrent users. This often means that downloading a torrent is a bit slower than just downloading a regular file would be, though there are ways to speed this up.

Also, using torrents has some privacy concerns as well, especially if you are planning on downloading things like tv shows and movie that are actually not supposed to be shared on the torrent networks. Movie studios and tv studios and the record companies have all sent legal notices to people they have tracked down through their IP address due to torrents that those folks have downloaded and continued to share.

So if you are going to download torrents, then I recommend that once you have your file, stop sharing it. I know it isn't in the spirit of the method, but better safe than sorry. I would also recommend running your virus software to check any torrented file that you've downloaded.

Bittorrent Plug-ins for Browsers

We'll take a look at downloading with the browser first since that's the easier way to do it.

The Opera browser supports torrents natively. Just click on a torrent link. Opera will then open a dialogue box asking you if you want to download the torrent and all you will need to do is click yes.

There's also a browser called Wyzo that has this function intergrated directly into the browser. In addition to handling bittorrent it also has a download accelerator so you may want to take a look at this browser and see if it suits your needs. I personally haven't used it, but it is mozilla-based so it probably works just fine.

Or you can download torrents through Firefox with a plug-in. There are a few different plug-ins available.

Firetorrent works with Firefox 3.0 or greater and there's a version for Windows, MAC and Linux. Firetorrent is pretty good and you can get some good speeds on it, but it does have one major flaw. You cannot pause or resume your torrents. Also, it is not set up for seeding. So if you want to seed files yourself you will need to look elsewhere.

Another potential drawback, depending on the types of files you normally download, is it doesn't have a file selection feature. Say, for example, you are downloading an album or a discography, but you don't want every song or album because you already have them.

Most bittorrent clients allow you to selectively choose what files to download -- which speeds everything up since you aren't grabbing any files that you don't need.

Since Firetorrent can't resume a file, I would not be inclined to use it on larger files. As far as browser plug-ins though, Firetorrent is probably the fastest.

Onother plug-in isFoxTorrent. FoxTorrent is slow, however, so it certainly wouldn't be my first choice.

Vuze Bittorent Client features a torrent search engine. And you can play files on practically any device.
Vuze Bittorent Client features a torrent search engine. And you can play files on practically any device.

Standalone BitTorrent Clients

If you are going to be downloading lots of torrents, especially sizeable ones, then I strongly recommend you go with a standalone bittorrent client. There are many to choose from, but a few are particularly outstanding.

Currently I use uTorrent and I've been very happy with it. Once you download it, if you set it up as your default client, any torrent links you click in Internet Explorer or Firefox will automatically open in uTorrent. If you use Opera as your browser though, you'll have to futz around with things in order to turn off Opera's client as the default.

Besides uTorrent, which is fast and easy to use, Azureus is another popular client. It's had a name change recently and is now called Zuze. I switched from Azureus to uTorrent because I found that Azureus had upgraded its interface to something less than user friendly and more complicated than it needs to be, but you may want to check it out.

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Comments 3 comments

ocbill profile image

ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

ez to download hard to make sure they are safe.

embitca profile image

embitca 6 years ago from Boston Author

In several years, I've never run into a problem, so I think the safety issue can get a bit overblown. A good firewall and up to date virus software are important however.

Suspect20 profile image

Suspect20 6 years ago

Nice guide here, great to see accurate torrent information being shared online. I've used utorrent for years also, and recommend it as a solid client to go with.

"ez to download hard to make sure they are safe."

"In several years, I've never run into a problem, so I think the safety issue can get a bit overblown."

Many people wrongfully fear torrents or even think they are illegal; most of this is due to overblown and often misleading advertising against them. Torrents are simply a simple and very effective means of transferring data, and if you use trusted sites you will not run into any harmful content.

I have a few torrent guides myself and would encourage anyone unfamiliar with them to check out my profile for all my torrent guides or read: - Which should be a nice starting point in addition to Embitca's hub here.

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