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How to Download Torrents: a Beginner's Guide to Torrent File Sharing


April, 2012

Welcome to the exciting world of bittorrent downloading! While file sharing is controversial and often accused of being 'music piracy', millions of users continue to share their files, and thousands of new torrent users are added every day.

To get you started, here are 5 quick tutorials for beginning torrent users. We recommend that you read the following articles in order. We also recommend that you install reliable antivirus software before you actually start downloading.

Happy reading, and enjoy your new torrent download experience!


1. Torrents 101: Understand How Bittorrent File Sharing Works

The network of city building
Yagi Studio/The Image Bank/Getty Images

If you are new to torrent downloading, then you will definitely want to read about how the system works.  Torrents, aka 'bittorrents',  are pointer files that help you locate dozens of other users' computers.  You then connect to those private computers with your special torrent software, and copy their music and movie files to your own computer.

Read more about how torrent downloading works...

2. The Best Torrent Software

Torrent downloading requires special software that can read .torrent files.  These torrent software products also need to provide management control over download and upload speeds, priorities, and cataloging.

Here are several torrent software products that About.com readers recommend

3. Best Torrent Download Sites: How to Find Torrent Movies and Music

Once you understand torrent 'swarming' and have the torrent software installed, now it's time to find the .torrent pointer files that get you the music and movies you want.  Many torrent sites offer searching services for free (but with the annoyance of banner advertising).  Some torrent sites are private communities that closely guard their catalog of torrents.

Read about the best torrent sites for beginners here...

4. Warning: How to Spot Fake Torrent Files

Photodisc / Getty Images

Sadly, there are vandals, thieves, and scammers out there who will use phony torrent files to put malware on your computer.  By disguising their nasty software as attractive movies and music downloads, these scammers seek to deceive you into installing their stuff.  RAR files, WMV files, password-protected files: these are just some of the ways torrent files are faked.

Read more about spotting fake torrent files here...

5. Protect Yourself from Bad Torrents with Antivirus

There are many good antivirus products to choose from.  But when it comes to free antivirus tools, there is one product that really stands out: Avira.  In repeated tests by several computer professionals, Avira consistently caught more malware infections than its competition.

Read more about Avira antivirus, and how to download it for yourself...

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