What is a Torrent Download? A Mini Guide
What is a Torrent Download? A Mini Guide
There are many different ways to download files, programs, and media on the internet. Many people use a separate utility in order to make downloading files easier. A torrent download is a type of file that uses a special utility to download it. A torrent download makes downloading large files to a computer faster and easier.
What in the World is a Torrent?
A torrent specifically is a file with data about another file. The data that it holds is the location of the file that needs to be downloaded. This data does not specify any information of the contents of the file that is downloaded to the user’s computer. An application called BitTorrent is used to complete the torrent download.
Why are Torrents Used?
Torrents are used to break down and download large files quickly and in many cases, anonymously. When the files are separated into multiple smaller files, they tend to be able to be downloaded to a computer much faster than one single very large file. The anonymity of a torrent download makes it a very popular way to send and receive pirated software. A majority of files on torrent websites contain pirated software.
How do I Download a Torrent?
You can find a torrent download file on a torrent website. ISO Hunt and The Pirate Bay are two very well-known websites that contain torrent downloads.
To complete a torrent download:
- Use the search box to find a torrent you want to download.
- Select a torrent from the list to download to your computer.
- Click on the green ‘Get This Torrent’ button. This sends the torrent file to the BitTorrent utility.
- The torrent download will then open into your BitTorrent software. As soon as the torrent download is completed, you will have your file, media, or software.
What Software do I need?
You need the BitTorrent software to be able to download torrents from the Internet. BitTorrent is free software that you can download from multiple sources. From BitTorrent you can create your own torrents, download torrents, and seed torrents. Seeding a torrent means that you are allowing other users to download parts of a torrent you have downloaded previously. Doing this allows other users to be able to utilize fast download times.
Is There a Risk?
Downloading anything to your computer is a risk. The BitTorrent software itself is very safe to download; the torrents are not always so safe. Sometimes torrents become infected with viruses or malware, which could potentially harm your computer. Another issue is the people that purposely infect torrents with Trojans and other malware. Reading the reviews and comments on torrents are usually helpful to avoid files that do not work or ones that are infected.
The other big risk with torrents is the legal issue. There have been many news reports in recent years about people who have been caught downloading a torrent from one of these torrent websites that contained pirated software or media. Pirated software and media is a big problem with these torrent websites because a majority of torrents are pirated. Programs like ZoneAlarm Antivirus Plus Firewall, or McAfee Total Protection can help protect you for infected torrents. Both will scan, detect, and remove viruses, spyare, malware, trojan horses, bots, and more.
Is This Legal?
Asking if a torrent download is legal is a loaded question. Downloading torrents in itself is a perfectly legal activity. Downloading torrents that have software, images, or media that is pirated is not legal. When someone says software is pirated, it means that the person distributing it is not doing so legally. Software distributed this way fails to contribute financially to the publisher, making it a crime. Pirated software is stolen software.
Several torrent websites have been taken down due to the rampant software pirating that is happening within them. Unfortunately, that is what the torrent websites are known for and used for in most cases. For anyone who wants to download a torrent, do so at your own risk. It is possible at some point in the future that someone could show up at your door months or even years later with a warrant. It is unlikely, but people have been thrown in jail for piracy.
Those who are looking for files, software, and media can find them on torrent websites to download. Acquiring software through a torrent download is fast and easy. Sadly, it can also come at a hefty price if you are found to be downloading pirated software by the authorities. It is incredibly easy to end up with downloads that were reproduced by non-legal means. Be responsible with downloads and other media you download online because someday it could come back to haunt you.