Remote BitTorrent Tips 'n' Tricks

Ok so everyone and their momma knows how to download via torrent. I found a few cool tricks you can use to always be able to download on the go, or remotely.

First off, you need a torrent client. I use uTorrent. It’s lightweight yet it still packs a crapload of features. Secondly you need something to download and need to know where to find it. I use several torrent sites, each have their “strengths” in terms of availability of different genres of media. I always find myself at:

Now that you’ve got a proper BitTorrent client and an idea of what you want to download, let’s mosey onto the tips.

Tip #1 – RSS Feeds
Set up a RSS feed. Set up uTorrent to watch your feed and download automatically. Publish “.torrent” URL’s to your feed.

Pro’s: Can truly be used on the go. From anywhere you have access to the internet, you can add feeds. Quick copy/pasting involved after initial setup.
Con’s: RSS feed update interval is limited to 5 minutes at minimum. No control over download priority. No control of stopping download.

How To:

  1. Sign up for free at reactorfeed.com
  2. Login to the website with your new credentials – note on this, after signing up I got a message saying I’d be emailed a confirmation, well I never got it, so I just logged in with my new user/pass and it worked. Your mileage may vary.
  3. Click on “Add Feed”
  4. Give it a snappy name, like “torrentz”
  5. ReactorFeed will display your spiffy new url. Copy this URL for the next step.
  6. In uTorrent, click on the “Add RSS Feed” button.
  7. Paste your feed URL into the next prompt, and also create an alias, like “reactorfeed”. This is basically a name so you know where the content is coming from
  8. Check the “Automatically download all items published in feed” radio button.
    - Also, you might want to change “rss.update_interval” to a value of 5 in uTorrent’s advanced settings (Options > Prefrences > Advanced, Scroll to the bottom). Anything lower than 5 will be ignored. This will mean uTorrent will refresh your feed every 5 minutes and take appropriate action.
  9. Find torrent you like/want.
  10. Save the URL location (ends in “.torrent”) by Right-Clicking on the URL and selecting the option “Save Link As…” or “Save Location As…”
  11. In your new “torrentz” feed, Click on “Add Item”
  12. Paste the URL and click the “Add” button.
  13. You can either wait 5 minutes for uTorrent to refresh your feed, OR you can right-click on your feed in uTorrent and click on “Update Feed”
  14. Verify that uTorrent starts downloading your request

With all the steps laid out like that, this seems like a lot, but really it’s a few clicks at most…

Tip #2 – Dropbox
Set up a dropbox account. Set uTorrent to watch for torrent files inside your dropbox folder. Save .torrent files to your dropbox folder on the remote computer. When the .torrent file syncs to your home computer, uTorrent will automatically begin downloading.

Pro’s: As long as you can upload .torrent files to your dropbox, you’ll be able to download anywhere there’s a connection. Dropbox can be used for other types of files also. Nearly instantaneous sync of .torrents across computers.
Con’s: Can’t upload torrent files behind some firewalls to the dropbox website or sync is blocked by firewall. Dropbox is often blocked at organizations as “peer to peer sharing” or “online storage”. Can’t control stop/pause of torrent download.

How To:

  1. Get Dropbox
  2. In uTorrent: Options > Preferences > Directories. Check “Automatically load .torrents from” and point to your dropbox folder.
  3. You can also elect to delete .torrent files after they’ve been loaded (no real point of keeping them, unless the download fails for some reason)
  4. Browse for whatever you like and right-click and save .torrent FILES to your dropbox folder that is being “watched” by uTorrent. You can do this a number of ways:
    • install dropbox on your remote computer and save the torrent file to the folder
    • use the web interface on the dropbox website to upload the torrent file to the folder
  5. Verify uTorrent picks up the file and loads it

NOTE: There is difference between Tip #1 and Tip #2. With RSS feeds, you’re essentially feeding uTorrent the URL to the torrent file. Dropbox requires you to SAVE the .torrent FILE to the folder uTorrent is watching, not just the URL.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. Each tip has their pro’s and con’s. They are both relatively simple to setup whichever you choose. When I’m at work, I simply add items to my RSS feed since the dropbox website is blocked. I can do the same thing on the go through my iPhone. If I’m at a friend’s house, I can elect to do either. I mainly prefer using the RSS tip because there’s virtually no footprint on the computer you’re using. All you really need to do is copy/paste the URL to your feed.

Happy downloading! Oh, and remember: SEED!

Update: ReactorFeed allows you to set your feeds public or private. If you have any concern with privacy, you’d obviously check the private option. If you want to switch it at any time, you can, just click on the Edit button next to the feed you created. Make sure you update your RSS feed URL in uTorrent as it might change.

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