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Tutorial: Downloading with torrents - part 2

What is the difference with newsgroups?

When downloading with a torrent, your computer simultaneously spreads several parts of the file to other leechers. This is not the case with newsgroups. When someone posts something to a news server, that server will automatically exchange the data with other news servers and anyone with access to any of those servers can download it. Binaries4all has several tutorials about downloading from newsgroups (Usenet), for example the tutorial Introduction for beginners (Usenet 101).

What's better: torrents or newsgroups?

Torrents versus newsgroups? Torrents and newsgroups both have their own features. In the example of Ubuntu: they do offer torrents as a means to downloading, but the creators themselves don't post it in a newsgroup. That's why new Ubuntu-versions appear later int he newsgroups, because a volunteer first has to make the effors of downloading the torrent and then posting the files to a newsgroup (which is allowed by the creators of Ubuntu).

On the other hand using torrents has the disadvantage that it's often not possible to downloading with the maximum speed of your internet connection, contrary to newsgroups. Furthermore using torrents you can only download the complete file if every part of it is still being seeded by one or more computers. This limitation does not apply to newsgroups, because those files are often available for a longer period (hundreds of days compared to several days).

How do I obtain such a torrent-file?

In the previous example of Ubuntu, you could fine a torrent file on the Ubuntu-website.

There are also other websites which offer torrent-files. Please note: some sites offer torrents of copyrighted material. We strongly disadvise you to use these: even if it's allowed to download certain copyrighted material according to the law of your country, when using torrents you're automatically also uploading the parts that you have to other users, which makes it illegal. So do not do this.

How can I download with torrents?

When you have obtained a torrent-file, it has to be imported in a BitTorrent client. On Binaries4all you can find a tutorial for the following popular program:

How can I download from newsgroups?

You can download from newsgroups with a newsreader. Binaries4all has several tutorials on downloading from newsgroups, for example Introduction for beginners (Usenet 101).