How to use torrents

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Security researcher
Last updated: September 1, 2020
how to use torrents

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You can use torrents to download a plethora of content anonymously and without any restrictions. However, figuring out how to use torrents can be a bit tricky, especially for people for whom the internet is not intuitive.

We will be taking care of that for you by guiding you through the entire process of using torrents in a step by step manner.

This guide will walk you through the process of downloading torrents anonymously and tell you about some of the reliable websites that you can use for downloading ‘.torrent’ files.

We will also tell you how to open torrent files and give you tips and tricks to get the most out of your torrents.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at how you can easily open .torrent files in a step by step manner to access a wealth of content while ensuring your privacy remains intact.

We will start with Step 1 – downloading a VPN for safe torrenting.

Step 1: Download a VPN for safe torrenting

Zenmate VPN for torrenting

Virtual Private Networks allow you to anonymously and safely download torrents by masking your IP address through an external server. Unfortunately, these services usually have a monthly service charge which you need to pay. However, most of these services do have a free or a trial version for you to test out before you purchase them.

In order to use a VPN, all you need to do is to download your preferred VPN client, register an account and start using torrents while the VPN is active in the background. The VPN registration process is fairly simple and quick.

Some of the best VPNs for torrenting available in the market are the following ones:

All-around leading VPN
Forward-thinking and affordable
Cheapest torrenting VPN
Security-first VPN
Known for excellent security

Step 2: Download a torrent client

How to download uTorrent

The torrent client is what you should be downloading first since this is the application that will be handling all of the data that is uploaded and downloaded by you. There are many clients available for your use, both free and paid.

Since we want to acquaint you with the process of opening torrents rather than enhance your experience, we will look at clients which have an intuitive feel and ease of access rather than those which rely on their features to differentiate themselves.

Web torrent

Webtorrent review

Web Torrent is a new client that has only come to existence in 2017. However, it has quickly gained a fairly large following due to its ease of use and the minimalist feel. Although this client may not be for everyone, new torrent users should definitely give it a try to see whether they like the sleek interface and the amazing presentation.

Web torrent is an open sourced client that can run inside your web browser without having to install anything. If you do want something a little more concrete, then you can also get the application which is available for multiple operating systems. The app works the same in both the modes.

To start using your torrent, you only need to paste the torrent file or the URL of the magnet link in the window to begin the download. It may not be a feature machine, but it has enough to satisfy most customers. You have the option to stream video to Chromecast, add external subtitles to its built in video player, and easily manage all your torrents.

All in all, those who have used torrents before may have mixed feelings about Web torrent, but new users will probably come to love the convenience and accessibility that Web torrent  offers, and should definitely give it a go.


qBitTorrent interface

qBittorrent is one of the most well-known torrent clients on the internet. The best way to describe qBittorrent is that it is the ‘complete package’. It is not heavy on the features side (but it is not light either), nor is it a client which goes out of its way for a sleek interface.

What really sets qBittorrent apart from the rest is the fact that everything on it is good enough so that when you put it all together, you really feel like you have a great client.

With qBittorrent, you get an advertisement free experience that has a lot of customization options, including the opportunity to password-protect the interface so that no one can mess with your downloads. You can also segment the torrents based on their nature and organize them at your whim, or use the search bar to find torrents you are looking for.

qBittorrent can be a great choice for people looking to get the best of both worlds, features as well as simplicity.


uTorrent downloading

µTorrent is by far the  most used torrent client in the world. It is known for its extremely small size as well as the minuscule amount of resources that it consumes. It is managed by the same team that created the BitTorrent client, which was the first true market dominator as far as torrent clients go.

The current size that µTorrent utilizes is less than that of your average mp3 track. It can easily run in the background while you use your computer for other purposes and gives you a fair amount of features including bandwidth controllers, option to link your mobile devices, and sort torrents according to your wishes.

µTorrent could be the torrent client that you use all your life. It is quite widespread, and has all the features required to function as a decent torrent client. If you are unsure which client you should use, then simply give µTorrent a try and see for yourself why it is so popular everywhere.

From here onwards, we will be using µTorrent as the client of choice for whatever we explain. The process between the three clients (or any other client you choose) is similar and there should not be any problem following the directions given in this guide on any client.

Step 3: Find a reliable torrent website

Once you have found and settled on a torrent client, you can move on to the next part of the process. Here, we will be taking a look at various different websites from where you can download .torrent files for your use.

We have decided to mention 2 free websites here along with 1 which requires you to receive an invite. We will be taking a look at both the advantages and disadvantages that each of the websites on this list have. In the end, if you are a new user and unsure of what to pick, simply choose any one of the first two.

The Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay torrent site review

Ever since Kickass Torrents shut down, many people consider The Pirate Bay to be the undisputed king of torrents. The selection here is huge and incredibly diverse. Not only that, there are a lot of filters as well as other ways for you to browse torrents such as top 100 lists and by categories/sub-categories.

One of the problems that we have found with this website is that it occasionally seems to have gaps in its database. In almost every kind of category, it is full of the latest offerings and has enough depth for it to be sufficient for most users. However, it often turns up blank to torrents which are readily available on other websites.

For most people, The Pirate Bay is more than enough. You may have to head to some other websites occasionally for a torrent that is not available, but that is the case with every single torrent site in existence.


A review of 1337x torrent site

This website is by far our personal favorite. It takes what The Pirate Bay has built and advances it to another level. It has all of the features that TPB has along with many extra goodies such as a host of extra features when you create your free account and a list of filters much larger than its competitors.

The interface and the color scheme of the website immediately make it easier to browse. The accessibility of the website continues all the way to the download phase. Not only that, the collection here seems to be much larger than that of The Pirate Bay, something that many people do not seem to be aware of.

1337x for book torrents

The choice between 1337x and TPB comes down to personal preference for the most part. We prefer 1337x since it seems to work much more smoothly, has a better collection of torrents (in our opinion), and seems to have much less downtime than its competitor.


IP Torrents review

Before we begin, it is important to note that this is not a reputable website and the owners are infamous for being involved in a plethora of shady business practices throughout the years. IPTorrents is a service that allows people to either be invited onto the platform from one of the other users or to make a donation and join the service because of that.

The main reason for including IPTorrents here is the fact that they often end up having niche torrents which are not found anywhere else. This is because you need to upload almost as much data as you download from their torrents, and this ensures that torrents are properly seeded. If you are not sure about what seeds are, then do not worry as we explore that later on in this Guide.

Getting onto this service is fairly hard unless you know someone who is on it, but IPTorrents does have its advantages. However, the fact that there has been such a cloud of negativity over its reputation does deter a fairly large amount of people, and you should be careful when approaching this website too!

Step 4: Open the .torrent file

Now that you have your entire setup in place, simply go to one of the websites mentioned above and search for a torrent that you need. Once you see the search results, notice the number of Seeds and Leeches on that torrent. Simply put, the higher the ratio of seeds to leeches, the healthier the torrent is and the higher your download speed will be.

Seeds are the number of people currently only uploading data and leeches are the number of people still downloading more data than they are uploading. Once you have selected the torrent that you need and one which has a good seed to leech ratio, click on the magnet icon.

Pirate Bay's magnet link

This will prompt you to open your default torrent client, and the file will be ready to download.

Step 5: Download the torrent file

Set your download location

Most of the clients that are being used currently automatically give you the option of selecting the directory where your torrent will be downloaded to. You can easily designate a folder for the specific torrent from the menu which pops up when you open a magnet URL in your torrent client.

However, if you did not remember to do that and want to change the location of your torrent download, simply right click the torrent, go to advanced and then select ‘Set Download Location’. The program will now ask you to enter the new location of your torrent, and all of the files that have been downloaded so far will be moved to the new location before downloading resumes.

You should now be able to easily download and use torrents from all over the web. Torrents are available for pretty much everything there is and it is only a matter of finding the one which has a good seed/leech ratio.

Have anything to say? Let us know in the comments below!

Recommended reads:

How to download torrents safely?

Best torrent sites

Top VPN for Torrenting
9.7 / 10
Optimized for Torrenting
Largest number of servers
$3.49/month + 3 months FREE
Surfshark VPN
9.5 / 10
Good torrenting speeds
Unlimited connections
Great price at $1.99/month

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  1. Lisa G.

    Ah, the good, old Pirate Bay. It reminds me of the days when I would download GBs of movies and binge watch them. I didn’t know much about VPNs back then but now I wouldn’t do it without one.

    1. paintballjack

      Yeah, it’s weird isn’t it, the stuff we used to do back in the early 2000s that we’d never do now. Makes me think of downloading limewire and watching anime on putlocker. It’s a wonder my computer didn’t blow up from the number of viruses it probably had.

  2. Rani

    Do you think it’s better to use a paid torrenting service, or is a free option just as secure as long as you’re using a VPN?

  3. RE Diaz

    I’ve been struggling for a while now trying to understand the process of finding and downloading torrent files. These step-by-step instructions is exactly what I needed. It seems to me the next thing to clarify is what torrent files are available. Is it mostly movies and songs that people download?

  4. wintersoldier

    I didn’t have this guide on the ready before. To be honest I just figured things out, at some point I just nailed it! Figuring out having high number of seeders is a better thing. But it’s good you were able to make this guide out though.

  5. Nancy

    I can’t do anything even slightly tech-savvy without help, so this article was a real lifesaver. Thanks for all the information!

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