Tutorial on how to open a TORRENT file

What is a TORRENT file?

Torrents are files that have the extension .torrent. These files come in small sizes and contain information about the files they contain, the announce address of the tracker, the hash key, etc. For example, if you have the file I.Robot.2.(2008).torrent, it would contain all the important info about the archives it contains.

To understand how the system works and learn how to open torrent files, you must know a few general things:

Now that you have a basic understanding of the system, you understand that what you need is the BitTorrent client. It is the only one that can open a torrent file and allow you to begin downloading the goodies from the seeders. Let’s find a good client.

Finding and downloading a good client

You can search the Internet for BitTorrent clients and you will find plenty of them. They are all free. However, some are better than others. For Windows users, we recommend µTorrent. It is a small client and it is very easy to use. For Mac OS X users we recommend Azureus.

Let’s assume you use Windows. The first step is to find the client. It is best to obtain it from the manufacturer’s website. In our case, you can find µTorrent here: http://www.utorrent.com/. Downloading from the developer’s official website protects your privacy and your computer. We will discuss this later in the tutorial.

Here is how the website looks like:

Utorrent main page

As you can see, this is a nice website with some cool features. It is very clean and you can instantly see where to go if you want to download their client. Before you start downloading, it would be great if you could visit the Guides page. You will find lots of useful information about how torrents work and on how to properly configure your new client. Here is how the Guides page looks like:

Utorrent guide

After you have documented yourself, go back to the Home page and click Get µTorrent to start downloading. Here is the box that should appear:

Download Utorrent

Click Save File and choose where to save it on your hard drive. Make sure you remember the path so you can find it with ease after the download is completed. Before proceeding to the actual installation, it is a best practice to save the file on a CD or DVD. This way, you will have it every time you reinstall your Operating System. Now that the file is saved, let’s proceed to the installation.

Installing our new client

Double click on the file you have downloaded (on the hard drive or on the removable media, it makes no difference). Here is what should appear:

Windows security warning

This is a security warning and it is here for a reason. Whenever you download a file from the Internet, you are putting yourself and your computer at risk. Always download from the developer’s official website. Otherwise, you might receive a file that is packed with viruses, worms, Trojans, and tracking software. These malicious pieces of code can steal confidential and private data, damage your data, or even damage your computer physically. If downloading a file poses these threats, imagine what running that file can do. This is why Windows is alerting you.

However, as you can see, the Publisher is BitTorrent Inc and we know where the file came from. So we can run it without any problems. Go ahead and click Run:

Utorrent setup

In this next window, we are being asked to select a location where to install the BitTorrent client. Although it is recommended to leave the path as it is, you can modify it by clicking Browse. Also, it is recommended to leave the 3 options (“Create Start menu entry", “Create Quick Launch icon", and “Create Desktop icon") checked.

Once you are finished, click Install and it’s all done. You have successfully installed a tool that can open torrent files and allow you to download everything you like. Let’s see it in action. Go to your desktop and double click µTorrent.exe. Here is how the interface looks like:

Utorrent window explained

This is a very good design and very intuitive. All your torrents will appear under the Information Bar and you will be able to see their name, size, number of seeds, number of peers, download speed, and time remaining. These are the most important. On the left side your can keep track of your torrents and can choose what torrents to see: All, Downloading, Completed, Active, or Inactive.

Now, let’s open our first torrent file. This is what we are interested in. Go to the toolbar and click File. Choose Add Torrent (Shortcut CTRL + O). As you can see, the only supported file type is torrent:

Open a TORRENT file

I will open the only torrent I have in the folder. Here is what will appear next:

Open a TORRENT file

You must first choose where to download the file. After you are happy with the location, click OK and the download will begin. Here is how the actual download looks like:

Utorrent is working

My speed is small because the torrent just started downloading. You must allow 10-15 minutes to achieve a good speed (500-600 KB/s). You are now a master at installing BitTorrent clients and opening torrent files. Congratulations!

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