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The 30 second guide to BitTorrent. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-08-15 00:28
  Subject:   The 30 second guide to BitTorrent.
Public

Someone asked me about how you would go about downloading stuff from BitTorrent. I thought my answer was useful enough to republish as a separate entry. There are plenty of other BitTorrent FAQs out there but none, I think, quite this concise.




So you want to download files using BitTorrent? First, you need a BitTorrent client program. Assuming you're running Windows, there are two that I've had personal experience with:

Personally, I use Azureus because it's easy. Well, easy once you get it running. Azureus is written in Java, so you need to install a recent Java Runtime Environment (JRE) before installing it. A "recent" JRE because Sun didn't get Java's network code right prior to recently. You can download the latest JRE for free from Sun or from the Azureus site. This is a separate step from downloading and installing Azureus itself, and that sometimes annoys people. It was worth it for me - I really like Azureus.

uTorrent is a C program that doesn't need Java - just download and run it. But it isn't as fancy or as intuitive as Azureus. However, it has a tiny memory footprint and is lightning fast. More for the techie set. It's the motorcycle next to Azureus's Ferrari.

With either of these, you'll more than likely have to poke some holes in your firewall to get decent performance. Doing that is non-trivial, but there are some decent guides on how to do it out there.

After that's all set, grab yourself a .torrent file (Google can find you thousands) and use your BitTorrent client program to open it. Hit whatever button in your client is necessary to start the download, and away you go.
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2006-08-15 02:03 (UTC)
  Subject:   The More You Know..
Appropriate icon!
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-08-15 02:12 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I couldn't resist. The illuminati pyramid as part of a major government spy organization's logo. It was just too good.

Oh, these post-ironic times...
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Ashfae
  User: ashfae
  Date: 2006-08-15 09:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Thanks!
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-08-15 10:42 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Don't forget the original bittorrent, in python.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-08-15 22:25 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
There are a ton of great BitTorrent clients out there, but I've only personally used two of them. I didn't want to write up a list of all the clients available because it would have at least doubled the size of my "30 second guide." There are definitely a ton of great clients out there.
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tiger0range: EASY
  User: tiger0range
  Date: 2006-08-16 01:36 (UTC)
  Subject:   None of it helps
Keyword:EASY
I don't know why I get excited everytime I see another write-up on how to use bittorrent. It seems that any traffic that goes through KSU is blocked for bittorrent. That goes for my cable modem connection at home too (since the university provides it).
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-08-17 01:49 (UTC)
  Subject:   Ah, an advanced case!
There are (at least) three possibilities.

1) They block all UDP. You can try dorking with your client so it uses TCP instead. Some clients have this option, some don't.

A) They block the default bittorrent ports (6880-6889) and that's why you're having no luck. Switch up the ports in your client's config, and things may start working.

B) They have some "smart" filtering at the router that peeks inside packets and figures out if they're bittorrent packets. In this case you're pretty well screwed. There are encryption plugins for BT, but if you use one then everyone else who uses BT has to also, or you won't be able to pass data back and fourth.


Try changing up the ports and using TCP instead of UDP, if such options exist in your client. If that doesn't work, you're screwed. Steal your neighbor's WiFi and use it to download sheep pr0n. ;D
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tiger0range: notkansas
  User: tiger0range
  Date: 2006-08-17 19:08 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Ah, an advanced case!
Keyword:notkansas
I tried switching around the ports. I tried looking for open ports with all sorts of web services. I don't know if I tried the TCP trick. It's all a mismash of a button here, a string here, a setting there. Do you know what program I could use for the UDP trick?

BTW All the neighbors use the same service, but this is Kansas... Do you really need to DOWNLOAD such stuff around here?
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-08-17 20:14 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Ah, an advanced case!
I use Azureus and it's got tons of junk like TCP, UDP, the Tor onion-router network, etc, etc. I'm not in front of my home PC right now, so I can't tell you exactly where in the settings that stuff is. I think it's under the Network category, but I can't be absolutely sure.

(sheep pr0n)
this is Kansas... Do you really need to DOWNLOAD such stuff around here?

Hahahahaha! Point taken.
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