A free C++ BitTorrent/HTTP/FTP Download Client


Using BitComet to Download Torrents

Before you start

Transferring a file via the BitTorrent protocol is unlike other file transfer methods you may have used.

Most HTTP or FTP file transfers, stream data in one direction – from a file server to you. BitTorrent is different because it moves data in both directions all of the time.

  You are uploading when you are downloading. 

This is required by the BitTorrent protocol, and while you can configure your client not to upload, doing so will cause your download speed to drop to approximately zero. The nature of the BitTorrent protocol enforces and requires uploading. Those who cannot or do not want to upload cannot use BitTorrent.

When your client obtains a “piece” of a torrent's file, it is required to share or trade that piece with other clients who are transferring the same torrent. These clients, collectively called “the swarm”, transfer pieces among themselves and algorithmically seek the fastest, most reliable connections they can get, to swap pieces with. Each piece transfer is a MUTUAL decision, so clients tend to find their own level of speed and reliability - fastest connects with fastest, slowest with slowest. Your download speed will be determined by where you fit in this spectrum of available peers, which is mostly determined by your own upload bandwidth.

Doing your share

Torrents come from people like you who decide to share them. The community is dependent on the willingness of people to share and to keep sharing. For this reason, its survival depends on you to do your share as well. It's important that you give at least as much as you take.

Due to the asymmetrical speed of most broadband connections, downloads tend to outpace uploads. The comparison of the amount you have downloaded, to the amount you have uploaded, is called your “upload/download ratio”, or often just “ratio”. It can be expressed as a true ratio, “1:3”, but is frequently expressed as a decimal number “0.75”.

If my ratio is 0.5, then I have downloaded twice as much as I have uploaded. A ratio of 1:1, or 1.0, means that I have uploaded as much as I have downloaded. A ratio above 1.0 means that I've uploaded more than I've downloaded.

When you have finished downloading a file, BitComet automatically switches to only uploading (called “seeding) that torrent. Seeding continues until the conditions you have set in the program configuration, are met, or until you stop the task manually. You should let seeding tasks run until your ratio for that task reaches 1.0 or more.

BitTorrent transfers

Transferring files with BitTorrent is a two-step process:

 First you download or obtain the .torrent file itself. 

(This is an ordinary HTTP or FTP download, just as you've probably done many times before. This part doesn't require a BitTorrent client, it's done with an ordinary web browser. You save the torrent file to your hard disk.)

 Then you use a BitTorrent client such as BitComet, to open that 
 torrent file and begin transferring the content it references. 

(This part must be done via BitTorrent protocol and requires a client.)

Introduction of .torrent file

A .torrent file is a very small text-type file which has a rigid and invariable format. It is used by a client to transfer data via the BitTorrent protocol. You must have a .torrent file in order to use BitTorrent.

It's called a .torrent file because the file's extension must be ”.torrent“ in order for most BitTorrent clients to accept and open it. An example filename is


When people refer to torrent files generally, it's understood that they are referring to files with the .torrent extension.

It's customary, but not required, for the filename of the torrent file to reflect the content it references. The filename may also contain information about how the content is encoded or archived, and who created it. This information can be very important, but is beyond the scope of this Wiki to explain. (For example, the filename above indicates that the torrent is version 9.04 of the Ubuntu Linux distribution for the 64-bit AMD processor, and the download will be in .ISO format suitable for burning to an optical disk.)

Torrent files can be read by a person , but they aren't very interesting. You can open one in Notepad and take a look at it (but don't try to save any changes you make.) They're mostly a bunch of base-16 numbers. They provide the data that a BitTorrent client needs in order to begin downloading the torrent contents – the software, or video, or audio content that you wish to download.

Torrent files are gathered by and listed at certain web sites, called “index sites”. These sites are sometimes mistakenly referred to as “trackers”, because the two functions are sometimes shared by a site, but that is not always so. For example, the popular “Mininova” site is only an index site and does not have a BitTorrent tracker. The well-known “The Pirate Bay” and “Demonoid” sites are both index sites and trackers. Index sites provide torrent files. Trackers are used by BitTorrent clients to facilitate transferring data.

You should visit some index sites and spend some time familiarizing yourself with how they are organized.

BitComet uses a built-in web browser, based on Microsoft's Internet Explorer v.5, and also provides a list of some popular index sites that you may visit with its browser. Clicking on the site name will open it in the browser for you. BitComet also has a built-in torrent search bar for you to search for your needed .torrent file.

You are not required to use the built-in browser, and can use your own web browser, if you prefer. You can bookmark index sites in it just as you bookmark any web site. The “favorites” list within BitComet is updated from time to time, and the update does not preserve any changes or assure that any site will still be included in the next revision. You can use the options in the VIEW menu to make these windows hidden or visible, as you prefer.

There are also web-based search engines and stand-alone search applications which can search multiple index sites with a single interface. You may want to explore these as well.

  • BitComet toolbar ”Favorites –> Torrent Sites“;

  • Visit an index site and find a torrent file whose contents you want to obtain. Click the download link for that torrent file, and when the download dialogue appears, save the file to your hard disk.

It is possible to open the file directly into BitComet without saving the file to disk first, but that is discouraged because you may need the torrent file again at some point, which means you will have to find it and re-download it from wherever you got it the first time. It must be the same torrent file, with the same hash index. Another file with the same material, will not work. The file you need may have been deleted from that site, or you may not remember correctly where you downloaded the file, in which case there is nothing you can do. This has happened to many people, who can only regret the practice.

Recommended practice is to save all torrrents that you download, to a particular and known location on your hard disk. (For example, you may want to create a directory “C:\Downloads\Torrents” for this purpose, and always save downloaded torrents there.) We strongly recommend that you adopt this practice.

Torrent files are small and don't take up much disk space, no matter how big the downloads they reference may be. It's a good idea to keep them until you are utterly certain that you will never need them again. Deleting old torrents may become a part of your regular monthly computer maintenance and hygiene.

Download torrents with BitComet

Once you find the .torrent file you wish to download, you simply import it into BitComet to begin the transfer. There are several ways of achieving this in BitComet:

Method 1 - Directly from webpage

  • 1.1 On the webpage, click the link of the .torrent file; BitComet will capture it and begin download the task automatically.

  • Note: If you don't intend to save the .torrent files first in a separate location (for backup purpose) as described above, then you can choose ”Open with: BitComet - a BitTorrent Client“ in the dialog box above and also tick the check-box ”Do this automatically for files like this from now on“.
    After that, whenever you click on a torrent download link again in a webpage (or use most of the other methods below) you won't be presented anymore with the dialog from step 1.1 but you will be taken directly to the dialog from step 1.2 (below) instead.
    You can always change back that option in Firefox, under Tools –> Options –> Applications by setting BitComet files back to ”Always ask“ status. (For other browsers the options will probably differ more or less. Check your browser's documentation for details on that.)
    Also please note that BitComet has browser integration only with Firefox and MS Internet Explorer so far. For other browsers you may have to manually open the .torrent file after your browser finishes downloading it.
  • 1.2 Once the .torrent file is done downloading in the browser, BitComet automatically captures the download. (I.e. if you choose ”Open with BitComet“; if you choose ”Save file“ then you'll have to open it manually by double-clicking on the .torrent file.) Verify the pathname where you want the torrent content to be saved to and click “Download Now”;

  • 1.3 In the tasklist, we can see that the torrent content is downloading (downwards green arrow);

  • 1.4 When BitComet has finished downloading the torrent contents, the status of the task will automatically change to “uploading” (also called “seeding”) as shown by an upward-pointing red arrow.

Note: Steps 1.2 - 1.4 from above, are identical for all the methods described below, therefore they won't be mentioned anymore in order to keep the page uncluttered by unnecessary repetition. They are to be implicitly assumed for each of the following methods, too.

2) Right-click on the Torrent

  • On the webpage, right-click on the torrent, choose “Download this with BitComet”, then BitComet will start and download the torrent.

  • On the webpage, click the torrent then drag-and-drop it into the BitComet floating Window.

  • On the webpage, click the magnet link; BitComet will capture the .torrent file automatically and start the download.

  • On the webpage, right-click on the magnet link and choose “Download with BitComet”; BitComet will download the .torrent file first and then start downloading.

  • On the webpage, drag-and-drop the magnet link into the BitComet floating window; the “Add download” dialog will popup and begin downloading the .torrent file. Once the download is finished, the task properties dialog will popup to ask if you want to continue to download the task.

Method 3 - From Main Menu option

1) Open .torrent file on the computer

  • Left-click ”File –> Open Torrent“ in BitComet menu bar and open the .torrent file;

  • In the pop-up dialog, browse and navigate to the .torrent file you saved and click “Open”;

Tip: You can select multiple torrents at once and hit the “Open” button. This will open the properties dialog for all of them, one at a time, allowing you to add them all to the Task List.

2) Use a Magnet URI or direct URL or torrent info-hash

 Please note that with the introduction of support for Magnet Links in v.1.17, these 
 replaced the use of BC Links since they share the same basic principle (passing a hash value).

If you know the Magnet URI, the direct URL to the .torrent file or just the torrent info-hash value, but you don't have it on your hard drive, you can select “File” then “Open Torrent form URL” .

  • Enter the Magnet URI or the URL of the .torrent file or the info-hash value in the pop-up form:

  • In the task list, you will see the .torrent file is being downloaded (a yellow downward-pointing arrow means that the .torrent file is being downloaded);

  • When the .torrent file's download is finished, the BT task download window appears.

Tip: Starting with v.1.23 you can add multiple URLs at once. They will all be added to the Task List.

Method 4 - Shortcuts to opening a .torrent file on your computer

1) Drag-and-drop the .torrent file into BitComet floating Window

  • Navigate to the location where the .torrent file is saved, select it and drag it to the BitComet floating Window. Pop-up task properties dialog will appear; click “Download Now” to start downloading.

2) Drag-and-drop the .torrent file to BitComet Main Window

  • Navigate to the location where the .torrent file is saved, select it and drag it to the BitComet Main window. Pop-up task properties dialog will appear, click “Download Now” to start downloading.

Tip: You can drag'n'drop multiple .torrent files onto the BitComet UI; they will all be added to the Task List, one after another.

Shortcut: Search torrent from BitComet

Bitcomet supports direct torrent download from webpage and it will automatically begin a BitTorrent download when the .torrent file download is done.

For Example:Using search function in Bitcomet interface.

  • Enter the keyword for the resource you want to download and you will be redirected to an objective website;
  • Select one record from the list;
  • Click “Download this torrent!” to continue;
  • A BT Task pop-up dialog appears after the .torrent file download has finished. Click “Download Now” to continue.

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using_bitcomet_to_download_torrents.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/15 04:21 (external edit)
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