For those of you wondering how to download torrents, we’ve created a wonderful extensive and informative guide that explains the basics of (safely) downloading a .torrent file, and explains the principles of P2P (Peer-
Click the PDF icon below to open the PDF guide and download it to your computer, or scroll down to read the online version on this page.
How to download torrents Guide
You’re here because you want to know how to download torrents. In this guide we’ll teach you the basics of downloading a torrent file from the internet. You’re probably already familiar with the word “torrent” and probably associate it with bad, nasty viruses. That’s just partially true, because .torrent files are an ideal way of sharing large files with several people. As long as you know what you’re doing and you double-check what you’re downloading exactly, you’re usually safe. (Assuming that you, of course, have a good anti-virus software installed; AVG (free) does not count as a “good anti-virus”)
Using torrents has a lot of advantages. Here are a few:
- You can use your maximum download speed to download files, if your Bittorrent client is configured correctly. (More about configuring your Bittorrent client correctly can be found HERE);
- You can pause, stop and continue downloads whenever you like;
- You can share a large file with a lot of people at once;
- No central download server required;
- No download/bandwidth limits, like all file sharing websites have.
Torrents come in .torrent file format. These extremely small files hold all the information required for your bittorrent client to “find” the files to download and start downloading right away. Magnet links have also become very popular the last few years, especially since The Pirate Bay switched to magnet links-only. Magnet links are opened with your Bittorrent client as well. They provide the necessary information to your Bittorrent client, so it can find and download the .torrent file itself. This means that torrent websites can become much “lighter”, because they do not need to actually store the .torrent files any more. The download might take a little bit longer to load in your Bittorrent client, because it still has to download the actual .torrent file.
The reason torrents are fantastic, is because they don’t require a central server to download from. When you’re downloading from, for example, MediaFire, you’re downloading from one server. MediaFire applies download speed limits, so their servers don’t overload. Torrents, on the other hand, rely on Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technology, which means that you download/share the files with multiple other users. That means that there is no central server and you can use your maximum download speed to download the file, since you’re downloading it from multiple other people, and not just one server.
The image below explains how the Bittorrent P2P system works.
As you can see, Bittorrent has a lot of advantages.
Used torrent/P2P terms
There are a few terms you need to be familiar with when using torrents:
Seeder: this is someone who has the full file that’s being shared. Also known as an “uploader”. A seeder seeds (read: uploads) the file, so other people can download from him. When a torrent has just been released, there’s usually just one seeder, which means that everyone else has to download from that one person. If that one seeder stops seeding, none of the downloaders will be able to continue downloading and they have to wait for the seeder to start seeding again, so they can eventually obtain the full file.
Eventually, when more people get the full file and start seeding/uploading, the other downloaders have more people to download from, and therefore the download speed will usually go up for all the (new) downloaders. Downloading without seeding is frowned upon by the torrenting community. Sharing is caring, after all. If people with the full file wouldn’t seed, you’d not have had the file in the first place, so be thankful and at least seed for a while when you finished downloading the file. Most Bittorrent clients, like μTorrent, will automatically start seeding/uploading the file when it finished downloading.
Peer: people who don’t have the full file yet, but are still downloading from the seeder(s).
Leecher: someone who is downloading the file, but is pretty much uploading nothing. People who download a torrent without seeding/uploading it for other people, are frowned upon by the torrenting community, because they cause torrents to “die”.
How to open .torrent files
.torrent Files have to be opened using a Bittorrent client. There are tons of software out there that do just that, but for this guide we’ll be using the very light μTorrent client. You can download µTorrent from its official website HERE. During the installation you should pay attention, so that it doesn’t install unwanted stuff. More information about preventing crapware during software installations, can be found on our website here: https://games4theworld.org/guides/how-to-prevent-crapware/
If you install μTorrent, .torrent files will automatically be associated with it. The first thing you should do, before using μTorrent (or any other Bittorrent client), is configuring it correctly, so you can get maximum download speeds. A little guide on how to configure everything correctly, can be found on our website here: https://games4theworld.org/guides/how-to-speed-up-bittorrent-downloads-and-boost-torrents/
EXTRA: if you want to turn off the annoying ads in the µTorrent client, check out THIS short guide on our Forum.
From now on, when you download a .torrent file, it’ll automatically open in μTorrent and start downloading. If it doesn’t, just double-click the .torrent file, or right-click on it and choose “Open with…” and then select μTorrent. Once opened, it’ll start downloading by itself. This can take a few minutes, hours or even days, depending on your download speed, configuration, amount of seeders, file size, etc. Right-click on the torrent in μTorrent and choose “Force Start”. Now just wait for the torrent to finish.
The good thing about torrents is that you can pause, stop and continue the download at any time! Note that it’s not recommended to use any upload limits, because these will actually slow down your download speed drastically! (And it’s against the P2P philosophy)
Opening a finished .torrent file content
When the download finished downloading, it’ll automatically start seeding/uploading. Right-click on the file and choose “Open Containing Folder”. This will bring you to the actual files you downloaded.
If you downloaded a game or a piece of software from Games4theworld, then it’s most likely in (compressed) .RAR format. If it’s indeed a .RAR file from Games4theworld, open it as follows: open the .RAR file you downloaded using only WinRAR, which can be downloaded from our Downloads page. (If you use any other software than WinRAR, like WinZip or 7-Zip, the files will usually get messed up!)
After opening the .RAR file using WinRAR, select all the files in it and drag & drop them to an empty folder on your Desktop. When the extraction has finished, close the .RAR file and open the folder on your Desktop.
Now start by reading the included “# Installation Guide.txt”, and you should be able to get the game to work yourself. All Games4theworld downloads have an “# Installation Guide.txt” file included.
Note that if you, after downloading the torrent, move, remove or rename the downloaded file, you’ll not be able to seed the file any more, since it’s not equal to the original any more. Don’t do this, so you can continue seeding for other people.
Where to find .torrent files
You can find .torrent files all over the internet. Or if you want to receive a big file from a friend or family member, they have to give you either the torrent’s magnet link or the .torrent file itself, so you can connect to them and start downloading the file.
The biggest torrent website is probably The Pirate Bay. It’s full of advertisements – they need some kind of income – but you can use an adblocker to block those. So, how to find the best torrents? Which torrent to choose? It’s hard to answer those questions, because sometimes torrents with a lot of downloaders still contain viruses or other nasty stuff. For example, this often happens when a new The Sims game is about to be officially released; a lot of people want (to download) the game so badly, that they don’t even pay attention to what they’re downloading. People with bad intentions know this, of course. On the day of (the official) release, or even a day before it, they’ll release fake torrents that are either password protected and require you to fill out a survey to get the password, or the torrent just contains crapware and/or viruses.
NOTE: if you’re required to fill out a survey, IT IS ALWAYS A FAKE! DO NOT even bother filling out one!
NOTE 2: if a torrent has a password-protected file, IT IS A FAKE! On most torrent websites it’s not even allowed to have password protected files, so that should say enough.
If you’re searching The Pirate Bay for a torrent, make sure that you click the “SE” (Seeds) button, so that the torrents with the most seeders are shown at the top of the list.
Torrents with the most seeders are usually faster, since more people have the full file, and are usually also safer to use. (And in the case of the screenshot, the file is a lot smaller too!)
The second thing to check is the comments section. Always check the comments! Do not read one or two comments and then decide that the torrent is either good or bad, but actually quickly read through a few pages and you’ll soon find out whether the torrent is any good or not. On The Pirate Bay you can also check the “Trusted” (pink skull) and “VIP” (green skull) ranks, those are usually safe too. All Games4theworld downloads are 100% virus free, tested and working. You can find all our official downloads on both https://games4theworld.org and our official The Pirate Bay account https://thepiratebay.org/user/games4theworld .
You have now learned the basics of how to download torrents. Over time, you’ll learn a lot of stuff the hard way; there’s nothing wrong with that. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, always feel free to post in the correct section on our Forum.
We’ll probably update this guide again in the future, when we think new information should be added. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let us know via THIS forum and we’ll consider it!