More than a quarter of all upstream internet traffic is from torrents, according to a recent study. Torrent downloads give you access to a huge selection of media. Whether you want to hear the latest chart-toppers, watch almost any film, or find that rare book, you can do it with torrents.

Getting into torrenting isn’t easy. There’s a whole host of new terminology and processes to understand and it’s hard to find information for total beginners. 

We’re here to help you. Are you ready to learn how to download torrented files? Then read on, and start enjoying a whole new world of entertainment options!

Finding a Torrent Client

Torrent downloading isn’t like downloading from your web browser.

Instead of downloading a single file from one source, torrents chop larger files into smaller parts called packets. These are managed by trackers, which connect users to each other. A program called a Bittorrent client knows how to download torrents and connect you with other users.

In the early days of torrenting, there was only one client available: the eponymous BitTorrent. Nowadays, you have a much wider range of choices.

If you’re on Windows or Mac, we’d recommend using the following clients:

  • Β΅Torrent: this tiny client is exceptionally lightweight and easy to use. It’s the default modern client. Despite being tiny in size, it’s got a decent feature set for advanced users too!
  • Deluge: this client is the easiest way to access torrent downloads. It’s very simple by default, but you can expand its functionality by using plugins. 
  • qBittorrent: this client doesn’t have as many add-ons as other clients, but it packs everything you need. If you want a client you’re never going to have to touch after installation, get qBittorrent.

If you use an Ubuntu-based Linux, stick with Transmission, which is installed by default. It’s simple and easy to use.

Where to Find Torrents

Now that you’ve got a client installed, it’s time to grab some torrents. The Pirate Bay used to sit atop the list of best torrent sites, but their site often has problems.

If you’re looking for truly reliable sites, we’d recommend the following:

  1. this site features an incredible range of high-def movies. 
  2. 1337x: a site that has rapidly grown over recent years, you can find pretty much anything you want here.
  3. as you might expect, this site features high-quality rips of TV shows.
  4. built for anime lovers, you can find top-quality torrent downloads for any anime you could care to name on

How to Download Torrented Files

We’ve told you where to find torrents, it’s now time to learn how to download torrented files. When you’ve searched for what you want to download, click on its name. You’ll be presented with the option to download a torrent or open a magnet link, depending on the site.

When you open the torrent or link, your client should open automatically. When it does, you’ll be presented with a menu. This lets you specify which files you want to download and where you want to save them to.

When you’ve chosen the files and their saved location, hit ok. The torrent will automatically begin downloading. 

In your torrent client, you’ll be able to see a lot of different information about your torrent downloads. The most important fields to pay attention to are:

  • ETA, which tells you how much time is left until the torrent has finished downloading.
  • Download and upload speed. Note, torrent downloads often start off slow before speeding up.
  • Percentage downloaded.

Torrenting FAQs:

We’ve told you how to download torrented files. Now we’re going to answer some frequently asked questions about torrents.

There’s nothing illegal about the torrent downloading process. Both filesharing and the torrent protocol are completely legal. However, downloading copyrighted material is illegal in many countries.

If you want to use torrents, we’d recommend buying a VPN. This is a secure tunnel that encrypts your internet traffic so that no one, not even your ISP, can tell what you’re doing.

We recommend using a VPN that doesn’t log your traffic. The best options for this are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, TorGuard, and Private Internet Access. 

Is Torrenting Safe?

If you are careful, you’re unlikely to get a computer virus by using torrents. When you’re about to download a torrent, scroll down and look at the comments. If there’s malware in the download, someone has probably said.

What are Seeders and Leechers?

A seeder is somebody who has already downloaded the whole file. They then upload the file to other users. A leecher is a user who is currently downloading the file and can only share small pieces of it.

Do I Need to Upload Torrents?

When you use torrent downloads, you upload to other users automatically. This can be altered in the settings but isn’t good practice. Others have helped you download the file, so it’s only right to do the same.

If you’re worried about being identified from uploads, consider renting a seedbox. This is a dedicated computer that downloads torrents for you. They usually have very high internet speeds and a lot of storage.

A Torrent of Information: Final Thoughts and Tips

We hope that you now know how to download torrented files. They open up a whole new world of entertainment to you, at no cost to yourself. In this last section, we’re going to give you a few bonus tips.

If you ever find yourself looking for a rare bit of media, consider joining a private tracker. These are sites dedicated to specific niches. They usually have high barriers to entry, but in return, you’ll find extremely high-quality versions of films, music, or whatever else that site specializes in.

Unable to access a torrent site? Your ISP is probably blocking it. You can use proxies, but these often contain malware, so your best bet is to invest in a VPN.

If you’re on a metered internet connection, turn off your torrent client when not in use. It will download and upload perpetually, otherwise.

Want to learn more awesome tech skills? Take a look at the Internet/Tech section of our site!