Torrent File Sharing: A Beginner's Guide

New to Torrents? Here are Some Important Things to Know

Welcome to the exciting world of torrent downloading! While file sharing is controversial and often written off simply as piracy, millions of users continue to share their files and thousands of new torrent users are added every day.

To get you started, here are five quick tutorials for beginning torrent users. We recommend that you read the following articles in order.

Light Trails Over City
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If you are new to torrent downloading, then you will definitely want to read about how the system works.

How Torrent Downloading Works

Torrents, also known as bittorrents, are pointer files that help you locate dozens of other users' computers. You then connect to those private computers with your special torrent software, and copy their music and movie files to your own computer. More »

Image of a VPN provider on a computer screen
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By subscribing to a virtual private network service, you can mask your connection and identity as you share files.

Your VPN connection will cipher your connection so that eavesdroppers will only see illegible data when they try to view your downloads.

The Best VPN Service Providers

Simultaneously, a VPN will bounce your signal off multiple servers, making your physically very difficult to trace. More »

Image on a screen of a download bar
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Torrent downloading requires special software that can read TORRENT files. Without these programs, you can't download the actual files you're after, just a silly text file.

The Best Torrent Downloader Software

These torrent software products also need to provide management control over download and upload speeds, priorities, and cataloging. More »

Search engine on a computer screen
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Once you understand torrent swarming and have the torrent downoader software installed, now it's time to find the .torrent pointer files that get you the music and movies you want.

Best Torrent Search Engine Sites

Many torrent sites offer searching services for free (but with the annoyance of banner advertising).  Some torrent sites are private communities that closely guard their catalog of torrents. More »

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Sadly, there are vandals, thieves, and scammers out there who will use phony torrent files to put malware on your computer. By disguising their nasty software as attractive movies and music downloads, these scammers seek to deceive you into installing their stuff.

How to Spot Fake Torrent File Downloads

Watch for RAR files, WMV files, and password-protected files. Those are just some of the ways torrent files are faked. More »