How to Prepare Your Computer for Movie Downloads

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Downloading movies is a straightforward process that's easy for anyone to tackle, but there's a number of components that you should be aware of before starting.

You want to make sure your computer is prepared for the download, that you have the right software, and that you're downloading the right kind of movies.

Note: Downloading is not the same as streaming. Knowing the difference might save you lots of time but there are important benefits and disadvantages to both.

Check Storage Space

One of the most important things to remember when downloading movies is that they might be really large. Although it's common for movie downloads to stay under 5 GB, some of the super high-definition videos might require 20 GB of space or more.

For reference, most newer hard drives come with 500-1,000 GB of space.

Before downloading a movie, check that you have enough free space. You might end up having to store the movie on a different hard drive like a flash drive or external hard drive.

Use a Download Manager

Since movies are some of the largest files you can download, it would be beneficial to use a download manager, especially one that supports bandwidth control.

Download managers are helpful in not only categorizing and storing downloads but also limiting how much bandwidth the downloads are allowed to use. Since movies usually take a while to fully download, they tend to suck away bandwidth from other devices on your network in the meantime.

If while downloading movies, other devices on your network are slowing down, videos are buffering, and there's a general sense of lag, configure the download manager to limit the downloads to using a fraction of all the available bandwidth, like 10% or 20%.

It's also possible that your internet connection simply doesn't support fast downloads. For example, if you pay your ISP for a 2 MB/s download speed, you can download a 3 GB movie in around 25 minutes.

You can test your internet speed to see what you're paying for.

Secure Your Computer

Movies downloaded through torrent websites have a high risk of adding malware to your computer. Make sure your computer is secure with an antivirus program to catch any threats before they can do damage.

In addition to anti-malware software, it's important to educate yourself on how to spot a fake torrent or fake download website. Fake movie downloads will attach a non-video format file extension at the very end of the file. Normal video files usually end with .MP4, .AVI, .MKV, or .MOV.

Another component to watch out for when downloading movies is the size of the file. If it's too small, like less than 300 MB, then the video is probably not real. Most movies are much larger than 300 MB and usually end up falling in the range of 700 MB to 5 GB.

Use a Popular Video Player

Some fake movie downloads will require you to install their own video player, which is probably full of viruses or makes you pay for the movie before you can watch it. Instead, download a popular movie player that you know works.

One of the most popular freeware video file players is VLC. You can use it to play all the common video file formats like MP4 and AVI. Stick to this program if you're ever unsure how to play the movie you've downloaded.