How to Download Torrents

Find music, movies, and more on the web with BitTorrent

Millions of users swap movies, music, and software using BitTorrent technology every day. If you're new to P2P file sharing, here's everything you need to know about downloading torrents.

BitTorrent refers to both the name of the technology and the original client created for exchanging torrents. The original BitTorrent client is now called BitTorrent Classic.

How BitTorrent File Sharing Works

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer communications protocol made for efficient and anonymous file sharing. BitTorrent is also the name of the company that invented the technology and the original client used for downloading torrents, but there are now multiple BitTorrent clients available.

Torrents are pointer files that help BitTorrent clients locate users who are sharing a specific file or group of files. After downloading a torrent, you can open it to connect directly to other users and copy their music, movies, and other files to your own computer.

Using torrents requires special software that can read the torrent file or magnet link. These torrent clients automatically manage download and upload speeds, priorities, and cataloging, although users can make their own adjustments.

Torrent Download Sites

Torrent sites allow you to browse and search for torrent files. Many public torrent sites are littered with advertisements, but others are managed by private communities that closely guard their catalog of torrents. Some BitTorrent clients provide built-in search capabilities.

Before you start download torrents, install reliable anti-virus software on your computer to avoid malware.

How to Download Torrents

After setting up your torrent client, you can start downloading and sharing files:

  1. Go to a torrent website in your web browser and search for the name of the movie, album, or software you want.

    Go to a torrent website in your web browser and search for the name of the movie, album, or software you want.
  2. Choose one of the torrent files to download.

    You will likely see multiple files with the same name. Pay attention to the size and quality of each file to download the best version.

    Choose one of the torrent files to download.
  3. Locate the torrent file on your hard drive and open it with your torrent client.

    Locate the torrent file on your hard drive and open it with your torrent client.
  4. The client will search for users with the desired file, and the transfer process will begin automatically.

    The client will search for users with the desired file, and the transfer process will begin immediately.

Are Torrents Legal?

Just because torrents are free to download doesn't make them free from copyright. Many countries have laws protecting intellectual property, so there could be legal consequences for downloading media files or software you haven't purchased. Fortunately, there are tons of public domain torrents that you can share with an unlimited number of people for free.

If you're worried about the ramifications of downloading illegal torrents, you can use a VPN service to hide your IP address.

How to Spot Fake Torrent Files

Scammers disguise malware as popular movies and music to trick users into downloading harmful content. Fake torrents often masquerade as RAR, WAV, and password protected files. It's also best to avoid files with innocuous names like videofile.mp4; instead of an MP4 video, you could be getting an EXE file that's really a virus.