How to use BitTorrent to send files
Note: If you are new to uTorrent and don’t know how to download files, see this tutorial.
Another note: It appears that some users (probably only Azureus) are being asked for a username/password for authentication when opening the torrent. Just clicking “Cancel” on that window seems to work fine.
Yet another note: Please don’t post support issues here, this is not the official troubleshooting forum. Support requests here will be ignored/deleted, only post issues about the actual walkthrough. You can post problems at the official uTorrent forums.
Being a computer engineer, I have a lot of files to transfer. Usually we are able to use IM to send/receive files, but they clients’ transfer functions aren’t very good, so usually the files are slow, they stop transferring, you can’t stop them or resume them, and they’re generally very cumbersome.
Seeing how everyone these days has a BitTorrent client, I thought “why not use it to send files to people? That’s what it’s made for!” It’s very easy to send a file via BitTorrent, and you can send it to many people at once and the speed will still be very good, so I decided to write a small tutorial to show people how easy it is and how well it works.
The tutorial is focused on uTorrent, a popular BitTorrent client, but it’s about the same with other clients. This introduction served only to distract you while the tutorial is loading (and it should have loaded by now), so watch it and you should be able to send any file anywhere in just minutes!
By the way, if you’re going to send something to many people, you could enable “Super seeding” in the torrent creation dialog. That sends the whole file to those people with the fastest connections first so they can redistribute it even if you leave.
Here is the tutorial (you need to have Flash installed to watch it, if the window appears cut off, visit the standalone version.):
If you want to know what all these settings you just changed did, here’s a quick rundown on how BitTorrent works: The .torrent file you create contains a bit of information about the files you want to send, the address of the tracker computer, etc. When you send this file to someone (by email, IM, or any other way) and they open it, their client connects to the tracker and asks it to tell them who else has this file. The tracker does this, and they connect to other people and download the parts of the file they don’t have and upload the parts they have.
The information in the torrent file make sure that the data you download is correct and not corrupt somehow, and the tracker’s job is to tell the people who are downloading who all is in the “swarm”. The port number you changed is where on your computer people will connect to “talk” to your client and the advanced setting was to allow uTorrent to become a tracker (otherwise noone would know that you had the file). In this case you are both the tracker and the seed (the person who has the file), but there is no reason why these can’t be (and usually are) on different computers. As a sidenote, if you have a dynamic IP, you should use a service like DynDNS to get a permanent hostname or make sure that your IP doesn’t change for as long as you want to remain a tracker.
A little sidenote on trackerless torrents: The programs who support them (they will say they have DHT support) no longer need a tracker, but they do a search that is similar to how you search p2p networks like eMule, Gnutella, etc to find the torrent. They do that if the tracker is not accessible, so theoretically you could just skip all these steps and directly create the torrent without any tracker address in it, and (if all the people use compatible programs) the torrent would still work.
That’s about it, post comments here or look at the uTorrent FAQ if you have any questions.