Easy Way to Download Files Using BitTorrent on Windows (Draft)

2009-05-23
2011-08-11 Links fixed (Scarywater->Edwardk, BoxTorrent->BakaBT)

As you can see on Tokyo Toshokan or BakaBT, it is very common for anime fans to share subtitled video files using a system called BitTorrent. Our releases use the same system too.

In case you are new to it, here's a step-by-step how-to.

Just like you need a browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) to view web pages, you need a special kind of software to use BitTorrent. There are many of them, but for now, let's use the simplest one, BitTornado.

1. Download this installer to your desktop. If you are asked "Do you want to run or save this file?" select Save.

2. Install it. This is easy. Just double-click its icon to start installing. Windows may bother you saying "Are you sure you want to run this software?", but simply click [Run]. You'll be asked about the "Installation Folder". The default one is just fine, so don't change anything and click [Install]. That's it.

3. You are already ready to download video files. Go to honobono's page. Find what you want to download and click the link.

Then BitTornado you just installed pops up, asking you to "Choose file to save as". So select the folder where you want to save the video file you're downloading, and click [Save].

Trouble Shooting: (Problem) BitTornado doesn't pop up when I click the link. (Solution) In that case, right-click the link and select "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Firefox). You can save a small file (known as .torrent file). Then click Windows' [Start] button, go to "Programs" and start BitTornado manually. It asks you to "Choose .torrent file to use" so choose the file you just downloaded by right-clicking the link.

4. Downloading will start.

The file size in this example is large (230 MB), so downloading it takes some time. If your connection is very fast, it may be less than 10 minutes. If your conncection is slow, it may be an hour or more. Either way, by downloading the file, you can watch it whenever you like. Unlike tiny, low-quality clips on YouTube etc., you can enjoy beautiful, high-quality video, not re-compressed or resized. Plus, you don't need to wait until someone uploads it to YouTube etc. You can get it right after it's released. Very much worth trying and it's easy anyway.

Usually, the speed is slow right after you start downloading, but it's soon getting faster. You don't need to watch the progress of downloading. Just do whatever you like while waiting. Some people download things while they are sleeping.

5. It's done when it says "Download succeeded!" You can watch the video now. But don't hit [Finish] just yet. You successfully downloaded it because several other users are kind enough to send that file to you. Now it's your turn. As long as you don't hit [Finish] or [Pause], BitTornado sends the file you just downloaded to other fans still downloading the same file. Basically, if you download 230 MB, you should at least upload ("seed") 230 MB (help others at least as much as you were helped). It's like, someone shared the file with you, so you'll share it with others too. You can watch video while you're seeding for it.

Many people use more high-function software than BitTonado, for example Azureus (Vuze) or µTorrent. If you just download a few files from time to time, BitTornado may be enough, but if you download (for example) more than 100 files at the same time, you may want to use an advanced tool. But select one carefully because some of those “advanced” clients may be adware, memory-eaters, or otherwise annoying.