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A guide to torrents

There are days that you can't access the content you want to. You've tried Netflix, looked on HBO, checked iTunes - but the movie or TV series you want to watch isn't available.

It's probably available through torrents.

Before we get started, you might want to install Privacy Badger or Disconnect.me. Both of these block silly advertisements you might encounter whilst looking for torrents. This is optional, though.

Last updated: September 2017

Step 1: Get a VPN

These days, I wouldn't recommend downloading torrents without using a VPN. A VPN will mean that your internet provider doesn't know you're downloading torrents. It will save you from receiving a nasty letter in the post, threatening to cut off the internet.

Azire VPN is a paid service that I can recommend. They don't keep any logs about what you do, and they don't limit the speed of your connection.

Another I have tried and tested is IVPN, who have similar features.

Step 2: Get a client

To download torrents, you need an extra bit of software. A popular choice is uTorrent - even though it's taken a few hits in it's reputation over the past few years.

If you want an alternative to uTorrent, maybe WebTorrent could be for you. WebTorrent attempts to "stream" torrents, so you can start watching before they've downloaded.

Step 3: Find torrents

You should check your VPN is working by seeing what country the internet thinks you live in; What is my IP address?

If your VPN is working, it should show you to be in a different country, or a different "Internet Service Provider" name to the people you pay for internet. (ie, not Virgin Media, BT, Verizon, Get, Telenor, etc.)

The most success I've had with finding torrents is via the search engine DuckDuckGo. Here's some examples of how to search for torrents with DuckDuckGo:

!torrent Game of Thrones S01E01
!torrentz David Bowie
!tpb Big Trouble in Little China

Searching these terms will take you straight to a website with torrents. When you find the one you want, click the "magnet" link (or the magnet icon) and your computer will ask to open the torrent client and start the download.

Questions / Feedback / Comments?

If you get stuck with any of these steps, or have something to say about this topic, feel free to drop me a message. You can also tweet me @coxy and I'll see if I can help.