HowTo: Beginners Guide to Torrenting: Part 1 of 2

So, you want to learn how to using the amazing and versatile P2P protocol that is BitTorrent.  Well, this may not be the best place to find where to torrent, but I will help guide you on a your way to being a productive member of the torrenting community and help you safe guard yourself from unwanted attention.

What is BitTorrent?

Well, first off, it isn’t just something that pirates, script kiddies, and black hat hackers use to cause mayhem on the internet.  BitTorrent is an amazing tool that is used by many companies and institutions to share large amounts of information with people without using huge amounts of their band width.

Say that you have a 4GB video file of something, like a wedding ceremony, that you want to share with friends, but don’t want to go through all the trouble of burning a bunch of copies and mailing them all over.  Creating a torrent is one of the best choices, as you can set it up quickly, sent the small .torrent file via email or any other small file transfer program, like MSN Messenger or AIM.  They then open the .torrent file with any of the many programs and within a few days (sometimes less than that, but I will get to that later) they have the same video file saved on to their computer, with little leg work and very little $$ spent on stamps and all that.   While there are many other ways to do this, that’s just one of the many ways torrents are great.

Getting Started

Alright, so you wanted to start torrenting?  Well first things first, what operating system are you running?

Windows XP/Vista/7

Use either Vuze or uTorrent, they are the two biggest, Vuze actually works on all major platforms out there, so if you’re using OS X and don’t like transmission, then I suggest Vuze.


The aforementioned transmission is the best bet for OS X.  Yea. Use it.


Just Google what ever program that you want to use, and install it, for windows and OS X users its pretty easy to do.

What Now?

Now that you’ve installed your client of choice, what do you do now?  Well, their are many options for you, you can start sharing files with friends, you can start downloading free, open source programs like GIMP, Open Office, & Inkscape.  If you’re looking to find other types of programs, places like or  Both operate under the veil of ambiguity due to the fact that they are outside the realm of being sued due to the non-infringing content, BUT be sure to enable encryption. Encryption is of the utmost importance when torrent, aside from using other protective means, it helps keep torrent running smoothly.


There are two things to understand with encryption and torrenting.  First off it doesn’t prevent you from being sued, but it does help obscure your content, and make it look like regular web traffic rather than torrenting. Second it helps keep from being detected by the ISP your using, whether it be Comcast or AT&T or even SureWest.

Vuze – All OSes

On the menu bar: Tools > Options, then from there it should bring up options for Beginner, Intermediate, and advanced. Choose Advanced.  After that click the + block to expand the settings and click on Transport Encryption. Click the enable button and your all set.

Transmission – Linux/OS X

From the Menu go to Edit > Preferences. From their click the privacy tab, Enable Blocklist, Enable Automatic Updates.  Under Privacy, Encryption Mode should be “Requires Encryption.” Also, enable Use PEX and Use DHT to find more peers.
Well your all set for initial torrenting, next time I will cover some of the more advanced topics and cover what some of the settings were that you enabled or disabled.

Prof. Mumbles

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