Published On: Thu, Jun 26th, 2014

Bittorrenting: Create and Upload Your First One

You’ve heard all about bittorrenting, and you’re interested in creating your very own sharable file. It’s exciting. But, there’s a lot of legal aspects to this whole file-sharing business, all of them are serious. First things first – if you share copyright-protected material without the authorization of all rights holders, you’re breaking the law. It’s a serious offense, and you could be sued if you’re caught. Don’t think you can’t be, either, or that the risk is low. It’s not, for better or worse. Law enforcement and government agencies regularly watch popular torrent sites for activity. Here’s how to stay clean and share files legally.

BittorrentingRead Up On Copyright Laws

Before you start sharing, the onus is on you to understand the copyright laws in your country. Since the penalties for sharing copyright-protected content can include jail time and expensive fines, it pays to read up on what’s legal and what’s not. In general, a lot of this is common sense. Don’t use BitTorrent to share the latest hit song from your favorite major label artist. That’s possibly going to fall in the “illegal” category.

The same is true for movies – most of them are copyrighted, unless you happen to be a film director and you’re distributing your own creation freely, which you can do.

Learn The Lingo

There’s a lot of terminology you’ll need to know before you can begin sharing files. For example, a “leecher” is someone who is currently downloading a file. A “seeder” is someone who is currently uploading content. The more seeders, the faster leechers can download files. Ideally, there are more seeders than downloaders for any given file.

Think of a tracker as a sort of lord of the kingdom. It keeps track of all of the seeders, leechers, and all other activity. It monitors and logs all transfers, recording IP addresses, and helps seeders and leechers find one another.

Open A File and Upload or Download

Download software like Vuze bittorrent client so that you can begin. It’s available freely almost anywhere. Once it’s installed, you’re ready to go. Open a file on your hard drive that you want to share. You can elect to either download or upload files, depending on your goals.

If you’re uploading, select “make new torrent file” or “add file.” This will allow you to select a file from your hard drive. Once this is done, select the trackers you will use. Enter the tracker – it looks like a regular HTTP address. Add any additional information about the file that you think is relevant. Once you’re done, start the seeding mode.

If you’re downloading, find a file you want by searching on popular torrent sites. Then, select “download” in your software. Let the software run until it’s complete.

Give Back To The Community

When you’re done downloading, it’s good etiquette to share the file you just downloaded. This keeps the system going. Leave your software open for several more hours.

Download The Right Media Player

Some files will require that you have special codecs or a video player to view the file. Download VLC media player, or another media player, so that you can watch or listen to your media.

Matthew Nelligan has a passion for helping the everyday web user maximize the internet’s uses. He often blogs simplified explanations for everything from streaming to file sharing to personal data management.