Bananapoop ~ The "How to be less stupid" tutorial ~ This is not a banana tree!




Facts of Life ~ Technology ~ Torrent download


utorrent-icon A torrent is similar to a zip or rar file, but instead to contain files, they have instructions to find them all over the world through trackers. You receive it from many people, piece by piece, while sharing at the same time.


Program

You need a program to handle torrents. The most popular seems to be uTorrent's latest version; but you have other options.

Newest isn't always the best for everyone's resources and needs. Not all computers can install and run it. The quality might have deteriorated after the company was sold.

Opinions vary but this one is said to be the most stable:

uTorrent 2.2.1 (original build 25110) at oldapps; they have other versions too. I use it.
 


Sites

My favorites torrent sites (edited 16 January 2017) :
  • nyaa.se web site: "A BitTorrent community focused on Eastern Asian media including anime, manga, music, and more." (Nyaa means "meow" in Japanese)
  • extratorrent.cc search ETRG for great movies in good old SD.
Dead torrent sites that I liked:
Might be alive somewhere, sites change their extension sometimes, but those closed: Site that I use for information or to get recommendations:
  • anime-planet.com Anime and manga only. I use an Excel file to list my shows, so I can add the DVD case number and know where to find them quickly. But A-P will give recommendations on your wall based on your list.
  • imdb.com Movies and series. Anime too but they write the name the way Asians pronounce it, so it's hard to understand and use.
  • MyAnimeList.net: "Organize, Discuss, Discover" is popular too. You can have a list of what you watched.
Other useful places:
  • kissanime.ru Members can download directly from their servers. Great for animes torrents without seeders. They have SD versions too.
  • shanaproject.com I'm having problems connecting to https RSS, but they have a private http RSS feed (see settings page) it works for my old stuff. You have to select a specific anime title in a list, so it won't send the new season automatically. But they will remove what you've downloaded from your RSS feed, making it look very clean.
  • subscene.com for subtitles only. It’s practical when the foreign parts of a movie aren't provided in a torrent, or if you want them all anyway. (They use zip files that you download directly.)
 


More info about uTorrent


Topics list:
 


Manual

You can learn how to use your program by exploring and searching keywords in the uTorrent User Manual. Two ways to find it:
  • Help: uTorrent Help (F1)
  • Options: Preferences (Ctrl+P) the circle with a ? near the closing X button in any category
There are so many options that you can customize for your enjoyment~ Here's some:

Topics list ^


RSS

uTorrent can handle RSS downloads. You make a search, save it in your feed, and the torrents come to your program when new episodes are released.

More info: RSS Feeds.

Topics list ^


Selecting the files and having enough space


When adding torrents, you have a Window that allows you to choose which files you want to select or not. You can turn the "Add New Torrent" dialog off/on in:
  • Options: Preferences (Ctrl+P)
  • UI Settings
  • "Show a window that displays the files inside the torrent", otherwise it will only ask where you want the files. If "Activate the program window" is off and the program is minimized to system's try, it won't even come up.
In uTorrent, you can't make that Window reappear. It's not in the menu when you right click on a torrent and open the properties, like BitLord had.

You can select the files again there:
  • Options: Show detailed infos (F5)
  • Files tab
  • Right click on a file
  • To stop: Don't download (You might have to delete the file)
  • To start: Select any priority. Normal is the default.
In the Add New Torrent" dialog, they calculated how much space would be left on your hard drive, so you could add and remove episodes according to your limit. But in the Files tab it won't be calculated. It's annoying but there are a lot of cool options in exchange.

You check how much space you have left manually:
  • Opens the desktop with the icon or
  • Window+E (The key between Ctrl and Alt)
  • Put your mouse over one of your partitions to have a popup about the remaining and total space.
  • After adding some files, you might have to refresh the folder with the OK arrow.
Make sure that your program reserves a space on your hard drive for the files that are incomplete. It will be easier to know how much space you have left and how many more torrents you can start:
  • Options: Preferences (Ctrl+P)
  • General
  • Pre-allocate all files
Topics list ^


Memory & pieces color

uTorrent is small and doesn't use much. But many torrents can add up.

That download program stores the data in the RAM, to go faster and avoid wearing your disk with constant writings. Windows puts aside the maximum memory used by a program even if it doesn't need it anymore.

So it can be good to close uTorrent from time to times, slowly to give it the time required to write the RAM data to your hard drive. That will free some memory if it gets too high.

Example:

If you do "Ctrl+Alt+Del" you open the "Window task manager".

uTorrent was using 100mb with 150mb put aside for maximum use. After restarting the program (use the X), I'm using 16mb max, it's 10 times less because the tasks that needed it were actually over.

Don't close/crash vital processes. Yet it can be practical if a program freezes badly. But if you close uTorrent there, you'll probably lose the downloaded data stored in the memory.


You can see the state of the pieces:
  • Select a torrent
  • Options: Show Detailed Info (F5)
  • Select the tab: General (for a big image about the whole torrent)
  • Or select the Tab: Files (to know if some are complete or dead)
The pieces have different colors, the only useful one is red:
  • Dark blue: the data has been downloaded and written to disk.
  • Medium blue: the data has been downloaded, but remains in the cache in memory, unwritten to disk.
  • Light blue: the data has been requested from a single peer.
  • Green: the data has been requested from multiple peers. Blocks only turn green during endgame mode.
  • White: the data is available in the swarm, but has not yet been downloaded.
  • Red: no seeder can be found for this piece or whole file. Some files in a torrent can be saved. It can be asleep temporarily or dead permanently. If there is no seeders AND no peers, the download arrow turns red too. You can also tell the torrent's health by looking at the number of seeders and peers, or availability.
Topics list ^


Scheduler

That's so practical that this is why I upgraded from BitLord 1.1 to uTorrent.

I’m in Canada and my new internet provider TekSavvy gives free downloads between 2am and 8am. That company is really making me save a lot of money, and my patience makes me look forward to what I'll watch more. So I get a trill out of it.

I had many less practical options to respect the time:
  • Stay awake late or put an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night.
  • Put a timer on my modem. But it's meant to run all the time; it doesn't even have an off button. The change in temperature could give it an early death. They're so expensive that I wouldn't save the money for an unlimited plan in the long run.
  • Using Windows task scheduler makes the program crash suddenly. Losing the downloaded data in the memory before it has a change to write it.
But with uTorrent's scheduler, you can even upload while your torrents are forbidden to download. Which is not a problem since TekSavvy doesn't count them, so the uploads are always unlimited.

Open the scheduler:
  • Options: Preferences (Ctrl+P)
  • Scheduler



The day and hour will appear in the bottom left when you put your mouse over it.

To change the color and action taken, no need to click them one by one, click and drag:
  • Put your cursor above the time block that you want
  • Mouse: hold left button
  • If it's not the color you want, release and hold again.
  • If it's the color you want, move your mouse above the blocks to change their color too.
Here's two color cycles, to help you know how many times you need to click, from the color that you have to the one that you want:



  • Full speed (Dark green): It will use the maximum that you specified in: Bandwidth: Global rate limit. 0 means unlimited.
  • Limited (Pale green): Write the maximum in the upload and download text field. It will also affect the torrents with the status "Force Start". It will become the maximum but you can limit it even more for some torrents:
  • Turn off (White): Any torrents that don't have the status "Force start" will have it changed to "Stopped".
  • Seeding only (Pink): Even your downloads will be able to upload, but no data will be downloaded, except communications.
If you want to download anyway you have several options:
  • Right click on the torrent: Force start (but that won't change the speed allowed)
  • Turn it off: Uncheck "Enable scheduler. To reach the option with a quick menu, right click on the uTorrent icon in your task bar, near the clock.
You can select and edit more than one torrent at a time:
  • Hold Ctrl and click on the torrents that you want
  • Hold shift (arrow above Ctrl) to select everything between two torrents. Click on the first and the last. It can help to sort them by name.
uTorrent can sort with 2 conditions:
  • Click on the first column (Example: # to sort downloads and uploads)
  • Then hold shift while clicking on the second one. (Example: Name or speed)
Topics list ^


Queueing, moving & priority

You can change the amount of torrents that you have at the same time:
  • Options: Preferences (Ctrl+P)
  • Queueing
  • "Maximum number of active torrents (uploads or downloads)"
  • Also "Maximum number of active downloads"
The seeding goal is how many times you want to give back a torrent. The default is 150 (150% = 1.5 times) because you can send a piece more than one time, and to different people, so it improves the chances of having someone receiving it fully, becoming a new seeder, and saving the torrent's life.

I put 201 to be sure. (200 stopped the ratio at 1.999).

Then you can "limit the upload rate to (kb/sec): [0 = stop]"

I stop them after giving them back twice, to have enough speed to seed the others. I restart them later if needed.

To limit the upload rate of individual torrents manually you have many ways:
  • Long menu:
    • Right click on a torrent's name (and most columns)
    • Bandwidth allocation
    • Set download limit / Set upload limit
    • Choose a number in the list or unlimited (but it will be limited by the options)
  • Short menu:
    • Right click on the torrent, under the column "Up Limit"
    • Choose a number in the list
  • Properties:
    • Right click on a torrent: Properties
    • You can write a number, as small as you want, without being limited by the list of choices.
    • Setting goal: Override default settings. If you want to give the torrent a lower or higher number of time. If it's popular I put 501, if I really love it, I can write 2001. Or you can Force start the torrent, it won't stop until you make it stop, and it will never on hold in the queue.
After a torrent is completed, the time remaining is how long it will take to reach the seeding goal. It can be satisfying too.

To make columns appear or disappear, right click on any column's name and select what you want to check or uncheck.

When a torrent reached my 201 goal, I rename it by putting "~ " before the name. This way, when I restart it, I know which ones I can stop if I need more speed.


Move files

Changing the name displayed won't affect the file or folder's name on your hard drive, unless you move the torrent location and files too:
  • Right click on the torrent
  • Advanced
  • Set Download Location
But it might be slower than using Windows. You won't have a progress bar, so it's hard to tell when it's over, and you won't get an error to alert you if a file can't be moved because it's in use.

The longer way, I had to do this with BitLord 1.1:
  • Stop the torrent,
  • Move it with Windows
  • Set the new download location
  • Maybe do a re-check to be sure
  • Restart it.
But it's so much simpler to use uTorrent to move it directly... even while the torrent is started! Just be careful that the transfer is completed.


Move torrent in the list

To change a download priority:
  • Click on the torrent (only when they have a number, not the uploads with a *)
  • Hold Ctrl+Alt
  • Use the up and down arrows
Allow more or less bandwith priority

If you have many active torrents, when there are enough people sharing, some could be faster if you change the Bandwidth allocation to high, unless it's a low priority:
  • Right click on a torrent
  • Bandwidth allocation: High, normal or low.
  • If you click on the torrent under the "Bandwith allocation" column, you'll only have the 3 options directly.
But uTorrent can only do the best available, so the settings can be fluid and not rigidly respected. It may start more torrents than allowed in "Queueing" if your maximum speed isn't reached. Sometimes you have to stop them manually.

My old BitLord wouldn't start a queue unless the ones above in the priority were completed. But uTorrent can change what's waiting in the queue. Maybe we can edit it in the advanced settings. But if it's alternating according to what's available and needed, it could be for the best.

Topics list ^


Transfer Cap

If your internet provider doesn't allow unlimited uploads and/or downloads... This can prevent having to spend extra money.
  • Options: Preferences (Ctrl+P)
  • Transfer cap
  • Check "Enable transfer cap"
  • Choose the limit, time period and if it's the uploads and/or downloads.
It's nice to see how much more I gave than took. You can see there if you've been seeding fairly.

Trying another company can make you save money too. The installation and new modem can be expensive, but then it can repay itself with your savings. It can be a wise investment. But make sure the price is good in the long run, and not just the first month to bait you like a fish on a hook.

Topics list ^


Speed problems

There might not be enough seeders and peers. If the torrent itself is slow, having more tasks will compensate by using your bandwidth’s speed fully.

But too many tasks can divide your speed too much; try having less active torrents to complete one faster.

Maybe you limited a torrent's speed and forgot to put it back to unlimited.

You can buy a better plan from your Internet Provider. Big companies are expensive, but smaller ones like TekSavvy (in Canada) are so cheap that you could afford more speed. The uploads are always unlimited so you can share freely. The downloads are unlimited at night and uTorrent has a scheduler that makes it easy to respect. See the example in the scheduler above.

But the communication could be blocked until you give permission to your program. The tutorials are below.

Topics list ^


Allowing the program to communicate with the world

If you can't connect or get ridiculously low speeds, verify that you gave permission to your program to receive and send requests. Allow it to use a specific port in the firewall of your Windows, router or hybrid modem-router. You can also turn the firewall off, but then you could get uninvited sneaky guests that could mess up your things...

To give the permission using uTorrent:
  • "Option" tab, select "Preferences" (Ctrl+P)
  • Choose "Connections"
You get this menu:




You can choose a port randomly. I had problems trying to use port in the 5 digits (above 9999) maybe XP doesn't allow it or have any. There are ports that are specific for torrents and others that shouldn't be used... But I tried my luck with random. Numbers between 7000 and 9999 always worked for me.

If it doesn't you might need to give the permission manually in your Windows firewall, modem and/or router. Or verify your internet connection, but if you can read this, it's probably okay.

Topics list ^


Adding the permission manually in Windows if needed


Window wouldn't let my download program modify the Firewall... which is logical if it doesn't have permissions to bypass it in the first place. So I turned off "Add Windows Firewall exception" and I did it manually. Make sure to uncheck "Randomize port at each start" to switch it off, otherwise you'll have to do this procedure more than once. Copy the number that you chose.

(I'm using a Window XP in classic mode and in French, so I'll try to translate. The captures will give you a general idea to find it.)


Find the menu "Service parameters" to give the permissions:
  • Start menu
  • Parameters: Control Panel
  • Click the Network connections icon
  • Right click on your connection
  • Properties
  • Advanced parameters tab
  • There's the option to check on (or off) Window's firewall. You only need to give special permissions when it's on, but it's safer this way.
  • Click the "Parameters" button
You finally find the Services enabled on the network:




The first of the 3 buttons at the bottoms is "Add..." Click it to open this:




Write the name of your torrent program. I have BitLord and uTorrent. The u displayed is a special character, but the program's name has a simple u, and it seems to work.

The name or IP address of your computer hosting the service. I don't know about the IP but I gave mine a name when I installed Windows. To remember what it is, give one or rename it:
  • Go on your desktop
  • Right click on your Desktop icon
  • Properties
  • 2nd tab: computer's name
  • The name will be written as the computer's complete name
  • To change it, try the "Modify" button
The port number must be the same as the number that you chose in your program. Write the same for external and internal.

You have to do the operation twice. Create a permission to use TCP, then create another one for UDP by selecting it.

I was wondering why I could only download from trackers addresses starting with http:// instead of udp://... they're becoming more popular so downloading was getting difficult until I fixed that. It's practical to have a public tracker as backup; they can be used freely without having to post the torrent on the web site for it to work.

Topics list ^


Giving the permission to your router or hybrid modem-router

I never had a router, but I had a hybrid modem for a while.

It should come with an IP address that you write in your browser to access your hardware's properties pages, even when you don't have the Internet since it's local.

You can probably find the address in your manual. If your Internet provider sent it you can ask them. Or maybe by searching the model online.

Once you're in your hardware's properties, find where to give the permission for your program, so the firewall will allow it to connect and welcome people to communicate requests with it. I'd leave it on since I wouldn't want anybody to be able to take anything from my computer.

That page is also useful if you loose your Internet connection, you can see what's going on there, to know if the problem is local or if you should call your internet provider. Now that I'm with cable instead of DSL (phone) I no longer need a user name and password, so it makes the procedure much simpler to connect and figure out how to fix it.

If you want to turn off your Wi-Fi (wifi), especially for health reasons if it's close to your head when you sleep, or to stop people from stealing your bandwidth and speed, you can't just plug a cable... You also need to go in that page and tell the modem and router to turn it off in their properties.

Because it can provide a signal to wifi equipment, to computers that require a cable... and cancer cells in your body... all at the same time.

Get back up ^


Enjoy and please seed to keep sharing alive~

You can also: Create & upload a torrent

Lisa Of Shades
4 February 2015

Edited: 9 February 2015
Edited sites: 16 January 2017

Right to be ©razy 2013 and beyond!