Quite simply, BitTorrent is a method of distributing large amounts of data widely without the original distributor incurring the entire costs of hardware, hosting, and bandwidth resources. Instead, when data is distributed using the BitTorrent protocol, each recipient supplies pieces of the data to newer recipients, reducing the cost and burden on any given individual source, providing redundancy against system problems, and reducing dependence on the original distributor.
The first step in getting started with BitTorrent is to get a good client; we recommend qBittorrent
. You will also need to find a site which hosts links to the content you wish to download. Our partner site UGN Security
hosts a Torrent Tracker tracker which monitors sites for their online status; you can find this page here
Now, if you have a home network and are behind a router, there are several things that you'll probably want to do. As BitTorrent is a share/seed protocol, the more you seed the faster you'll download; so you'll probably want to assign your computer a static IP Address with your router, and then set a port forward for BitTorrent to your computer.
In qBittorrent, you can set the port you wish to "listen" on in the settings menu, simply copy this port to your router's port forwarding page and then enter in your computers ip address and you should have an open connection. Please note that we also recommend turning the "encryption" option in your BitTorrent client "on", as some ISP's don't like the increased traffic due to BitTorrent.
Now that you have your client setup, pick a torrent site and search for your content. After you've found something, simply download the .torrent file, or click a Magnet Link, and then open it with your BitTorrent client. During a download you should be able to watch the download/upload, and once done, launch your download from within your BitTorrent client.
Note, you may have heard that BitTorrent has been used to download illegal copies of software and media, but not all usage of the BitTorrent protocol is for illegal file distribution; there are all sorts of open source software which is distributed over BitTorrent.