In this post I am going to breakdown how Torrents work and introduce you to three sites that will revolutionise your online entertainment experience. Theoretically I use Torrentz, Project Free TV, and Veetle to access the shows and movies I want to watch.
Torrents or BitTorrents are files shared with the BitTorrent p2p (peer-to-peer) network, or a file-sharing protocol. In simpler terms, BitTorrents are files shared by a group of individual computers on the network rather than stored on one central server. BitTorrent p2p sharing breaks the download into chunks ranging in size between 64KB and 4MB and distributes it across several different computers as opposed to just one. The person who first creates a torrent for any file is called an initial seeder. People who have all the chunks are seeders, the more seeds the quicker the download will be. Once you finish downloading the file then you become a seed. People who do not have the whole file yet are called peers. Peers are not seeders but the more peers the faster the download because peers can share the chunks of the file that has so-far been downloaded. This is especially important if the number of seeds is low or decreasing because peers can piece together the file with the chunks they have between them.
In order to download a movie you first need to search for the file on a BitTorrent search engine, theoretically I use Torrentz. One simply enters the title of the movie they want and a list of BitTorrents will appear. There are two columns of numerical values to pay attention to: the green numbers represent the seeders and the blue represent the number of peers. High numbers of each are best for download speed.
Once the torrent file has been downloaded it must be run using a BitTorrent client. You cannot download BitTorrents without a BitTorrent client; for example: uTorrent for Windows, Vuze formerly (Azureus) for Mac, and BitTorrent for Linux. BitTorrent Clients keep track of what chunks of the file you have and which parts you still need to download.
*It should be noted that using BitTorrent is legal but downloading copyrighted material is not.
BitTorrents are not the only way to watch films and TV shows. You can stream TV on a great site called Project Free TV. I love this site however it takes some getting used to because of the buffering and advertising. If you don’t have a strong internet-connection it can take ages to buffer. The other drawback is the ads. Sometimes you click on a link for a program and you inadvertently trigger two or three pop-ups. Some of the ads are over-laid and you need to close them before the play button becomes accessible. Also, if you are streaming a film you may have to close a pop-up every 20 mins or so. In any case, project Free TV is a great option because it streams quite fast and they have an extensive selection of programs and films.
Watching live streaming channels in high resolution is also an option which brings me to Veetle. You just need to download the plugin (65 MB) and then you can watch live streamed TV in HD, high-definition. They use the latest codecs for the best video quality and there is no buffering required. Obviously it’s live so you can’t pause or fast-forward but it’s free and not frequently interrupted by ads.
Veetle has a few extra features worth mentioning: you can download the app and live stream TV on your iPad, iPhone & Android phones, and you can broadcast live video in HD. Veetle has over 10 million viewers a month, which is not bad for the little Sillicon Vally start-up.
Now here’s an impressive UFO video: