1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Bittorrents 101: Setting up Your Computer

Part 3) Getting Ready to Download


(continued from previous page)

Question: How do I start using bittorrent?

Answer: Bittorrent "swarming" requires six major ingredients.
  1. Bittorrent client software (there are dozens of choices, all free to install. See next page for software suggestions.).
  2. A tracker server (hundreds of them exist on the Web, no cost to use).
  3. A .torrent text file that points to the movie/song/file you want to download.
  4. A Torrent search engine that helps you find these .torrent text files. (See next page for torrent search links.)
  5. A specially-configured Internet connection with port 6881 opened on the server/router to allow torrent file trading.
  6. A working understanding of file management on your PC/Macintosh. You will need to navigate hundreds of folders and filenames to make file sharing work for you.

Next, Part 4: the step-by-step download process.

Setup Comment: At the very worst, it will take you about one day to set up your PC or Mac for torrent swarming. If you don't employ a hardware router or software firewall with your modem, then setup will likely take only 30 minutes of choosing and installing your bittorrent client. If you do use a hardware router or firewall (which is a smart way to configure your home machine), you are likely to get "NAT" error messages at first. This is because your router/firewall has not been taught to "trust" your bittorrent data yet. Once you open digital port 6881 on the router/firewall, the NAT messages should stop and your bittorrent connection should work just fine. Check this page for help on setting your Internet router.

See Page 4 of this article for bittorrent client software suggestions.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.