Sunday, February 13, 2005

Bittorrents and You - A step by step guide

Okie. So you're saying, hey Steve, what's this bittorrent thing you keep going on about? Well, I was asking the same question of a friend of mine the other day. So, here's what I've learned thus far. Perhaps it will be of use to you:

Bittorrent is a protocol used to download (usually very large and usually very popular) files. It actually shares files... but you don't really need to know about that. Just be aware that as you are downloading any particular file, bits of it are being uploaded to others who also want the file. In this way the download is totally distributed, and no one server gets bogged down in trying to deliver you last weeks episode of CSI that you missed.

It's fast (well, as fast as a 250-600 MB file can be without super hardware, expect 8-24 hours at least to get an hour of high quality video). It's easy. It's saved me a number of times already when I've missed my fav show, or didn't start watching a show that ultimately turned out to be good... but I'm missing the in-jokes from the first episodes.

So, what do I need you ask:

- I suggest a high speed (Cable or DSL) connection

- Bittorrent software. This is the thing that does the work. Finds and manages your downloads. I'm just using the default software from but there are other clients too. For the easiest solution, click here and then select the version for your OS.

- Web browser and some sites. These let you find, select and start downloading what you wanna get. So, you could google for the stuff... but there are sites set up for bittorrents specifically that help you find the latest episodes of anything, in order, in very high quality. I suggest for example:

- TV Torrents
- Btefnet


** Disclaimer: The above is a hypothetical story/situation. I do not advocate any illegal activities.

No comments: