Torrents or torrent files are a popular way to download a multitude of content. Over the years they’ve become synonymous with unscrupulous downloads — of movies, shows, and music — but that’s not the only thing they are used for.
If you’re interested in download large files or documents, torrents are the ideal way to do so. They essentially are trimmed versions of the larger file, downloaded in chunks from a peer-to-peer network.
What makes them so useful is you can pause, start, and cancel the downloads easily at any time using a torrent app.
Download a Torrent App of Your Choosing
Before you can download and use .torrent files you will need the appropriate app installed on your phone.
Here is a short list of the most popular torrent apps for Android. They all offer the ability to download and use .torrent files so it doesn’t matter which you install.
Of course, there are many other torrent apps available so if you have one you prefer or you want to try one that’s not listed here feel free to do so. The steps will remain the same for downloading content.
Understanding File Formats
A torrent or .torrent file is not the compiled product, meaning it can contain just about anything including malicious code. When you download a torrent, it collects the various pieces or chunks and compiles them into the finished package.
You could be downloading a movie, a game, or even a digital book. Therefore, it’s important that you understand how to identify file formats and what’s compatible with your Android device — and what might pose a threat
EXE files or executables, for instance, are only usable on a Windows PC. If you download a torrent on your Android device that includes an EXE package within, you will not be able to use it unless you transfer it to a desktop or laptop computer.
The same is true of media files for music, videos, and images. Certain file formats are only compatible with specific players and some might not even work on your Android device.
You will learn many of these formats and file types in time. However, here is a quick reference list of the most important you should know:
- APK packages are the preferred format for Android apps and games
- ZIP, 7Zip and RAR files are compressed and must be unpacked before they can be used
- MP4, MP3, MKV, and similar formats are media which you need a player to see or listen to such as VLC or WinAmp
- .mobi, .epub. PDF and AZW formats are digital books or documents and you must use an eReader to open them
The most important thing to remember is what you’re downloading will likely come in a raw format. You’ll need the appropriate app or tool to open whatever it is you acquire.
How to Download Torrents
Before downloading, it is recommended that you connect your Android device to a local Wi-Fi network. Depending on what you’re downloading you will be using a large quantity of data, and fees will apply if you do so over a mobile network.
If you have unlimited mobile data available, it may still be better to connect to Wi-Fi for faster downloads.
Pirated Content: Many torrent sites offer full downloads of paid or premium content. If and when you download something illegally, it is copyright infringement which means you may or may not be pursued by authorities. Downloading full movies, games, TV shows, books and content for free without paying is considered stealing. While we do not condone such acts, it is certainly possible to do so — be aware of this before downloading anything.
First, you’ll need to visit a torrent website, which is not the same as a torrent app. These are download directories or libraries, if you will, which include a great number of torrent files and content.
One of the most popular and renowned is The Pirate Bay, which you might have heard of in the past. Alternatives include YTS.ag, 1337x.to, Rarbg.to, Limetorrents.cc, Zooqle, Torrents.me, and TorLock.com.
Choose your site and either locate or search for a download you want. For the purpose of this guide, Legit Torrents will be used.
- Locate the torrent file you want to download. You can either search for a specific file or choose one from the top downloads list.
Either way, once you’ve found something you want to download select it from the results list. Most torrent sites will direct you to a dedicated page for that torrent.
- Download the torrent file to your phone. There should either be an option to download the file (usually denoted by a disc or download icon) or simply a “torrent” hyperlink field as you see in the screenshot. Tap on it and the file will be downloaded to your device.
Keep in mind, this is just the .torrent. You still need to open it in a compatible torrent app to download the actual content.
- Open the Torrent in your downloads folder. Open a file explorer app, and navigate to your downloads folder where the .torrent is stored. On some devices, you can simply select Downloads from the app tray.
Find the file and tap on it. You should see an Open With option, but on some devices, it may be hidden away in a sub-menu (three vertical dots).
After selecting the Open With option the device should automatically open the torrent app you chose earlier (uTorrent is used in the examples). If it doesn’t you will be provided with a list of apps that can open the .torrent file, just select the one you want.
- Leave the file to download. Once the torrent is open in your app, you should see an entry in the downloads list. It will show progress and provide additional options — you can pause your download at any time, for instance.
Simply leave the file to download and the included content will be available upon completion. In the example, a video file was downloaded.
If you want to use that particular file when it’s finished downloading you would simply open it in a media player such as VLC.
Although it seems complicated, downloading .torrent files and their resulting content on your Android device is relatively easy.
Just use a torrent database to find what you want, download it, and then open it in the mobile torrent app of your choosing — uTorrent is great.
If you run into any problems or have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.