Downloading and Installing the BitTorrent Client

The first step in the process of setting up your computer to download and view BitTorrent content is to install a BitTorrent client. The BitTorrent client is simply a software program that your computer associates with torrent files.

Torrent files use the .torrent file extension. A torrent file is the small file you download that provides BitTorrent with information it needs to obtain all the pieces of the file. After installing the client, when you click a torrent file to begin the download, your computer launches BitTorrent to handle the request and manage the transmission of data.

You can find several freely available BitTorrent clients out there, but a good one to start with is the Official BitTorrent client, available from the official BitTorrent Web site. The Official BitTorrent client is the basis for many of the more fully featured clients that are also available online.

The Official BitTorrent client is free and simple to use, but doesn't have some of the bells and whistles you may desire after you become more familiar with BitTorrent and peer-to-peer file sharing.

Follow these steps to download and install the Official BitTorrent client:

1. Open Internet Explorer or your favorite Web browser and go to BitTorrent.

2. Locate the Download BitTorrent heading and choose the operating system you use by clicking the appropriate link.

The browser opens a page listing Web sites on which the BitTorrent client is available. All the files available are identical.

3. Select the location from which you want to download the BitTorrent installer.

You can choose any location you want. After you click the appropriate link, your browser begins the download and may ask you where you want to save the file.

4. Save the application to your desktop.

The browser finishes downloading the file.

5. Double-click the BitTorrent.exe file on your desktop to start the installation.

After the BitTorrent client is finished installing, you receive a confirmation message.

6. Click OK to complete the installation.

You can delete the installation.exe file from your desktop.

The BitTorrent client is now installed on your computer and can handle torrent files whenever you attempt to download one.

BitTorrent isn't like other file-sharing applications you may be familiar with. After the Official BitTorrent client software is installed it waits invisibly on your system until you attempt to download a torrent file. As soon as you open a torrent file, the client springs to life to handle the downloading process.

The BitTorrent client you've downloaded and installed isn't intended to help you find torrents to download. Instead, you need to use common search techniques to make effective use of torrent search engines and torrent sites.

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