Downloading files from a torrent is very different from downloading them from a cloud drive or web server. Files that are downloaded from web servers through your web browser are downloaded as a whole. Torrent files come in small pieces and they don’t all originate from the same computer. The pieces are distributed among different computers ensuring that if one system isn’t available, or if there are too many users downloading the same file, it can still be delivered reliably. That’s why downloading files from a torrent is fundamentally different from downloading a file through your browser.
There are three basic components involved in downloading a file from a torrent; the file itself, a magnet link, and a torrent client.
Finding Torrent Files
Files generally aren’t available in torrent form. Even if you’re trying to download a free app e.g. Xcode by Apple, you won’t be able to find an official torrent link for it. The same holds true for all apps; official websites or software repositories never give you torrent links. They give you a direct link to the file. To find a torrent file you need to search for them on known torrent websites.
The Pirate Bay is one popular torrent site that distributes everything from movies, books, to apps. You can find most files here. All you need to do is search for your file. If you can’t find it, consider Googling for a torrent link to the file.
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A Note On Legality & Ethics
Not all files available to torrent are legal to download. Books and movies are one obvious examples of files that are illegal to download. Unfortunately, many torrent sites end up hosting links to illegal content which in turn leads to legal action against them. Often these sites are blocked by ISPs or a country-wide ban is placed on them. It’s not illegal to torrent a file so long as the file itself is free to distribute.
Torrent files don’t have normal HTML links. Instead they have magnet links that download a file with the .torrent extension. You can chose to save this file, or you can send the magnet link to your torrent client (see next section). The magnet link basically tells your torrent client where to find the file that you want to download.
Torrent clients are essential if you want to download files from a torrent. A torrent client understands the information in a magnet link, identifies where it can find a file, and reliably downloads it to your system.It can also pause and resume a download whenever you like. You can find Torrent clients that are free and paid. Some free clients offer a pro version with added protection such as added encryption and a VPN service to protect you when you torrent files.
uTorrent and BitTorrent are two popular, free torrent clients.
Download Files From Torrent
Assuming you have found the torrent file you want to download on a torrent site, you will likely see multiple results. Choose the one which has a high number of seeders, or that has a higher number of seeders compared to leechers. This is crucial or your torrent will download slow. Click the magnet link under the torrent. This will open your torrent client. A confirmation box will ask if you want to add the torrent to your client. Accept it to begin the download.
If you have a .torrent file, simply drag & drop it on to your torrent client or use your clients add torrent option to add the file.