Ever since I started downloading things from the internet my friends and family always asked me where to find media content, for free.
So in the spirit of helping them and other people I’ve decided to make this simple guide on How To Download Things From The Internet.
BitTorrent BT – taken from PCMag.com – “A popular protocol for sharing large files over the Internet. There is no centralized server. Each downloading user becomes a source for another user who wants the same file. BitTorrent breaks large files into smaller ones. A “torrent” is a file of meta-data that describes the files and the servers that keep track of the BitTorrent peers that have the parts of the file. In practice, a file itself is also called a torrent.”
Cyberlocker/Virtual Locker CVL – taken from techopedia.com – “A cyberlocker is a third-party online service that provides file-storing and file-sharing services for various types of media files and data. Cyberlockers are online data hosting services that provide remote storage space within a secure storage architecture. They can be accessed globally over the Internet. Cyberlockers can also be called online storage or cloud storage.”
Video Sharing/Streaming Websites VSSW – similar to CVLs, taken from Wikipedia.com – “(they) are websites which allow users to distribute video clips…Some services may charge a fee, but most are available for free.”
Direct Download DDL – taken from Wikipedia.com – “It is used to describe a hyperlink that points to a location within the Internet where the user can download a file” or “provides direct links within a site to a specific file…where 100-percent of the file is stored on a single file server.”
Link Sites LS – for pirating purposes these link sites provide hyperlinks to media content that is hosted on third-party VSWs (video sharing websites) or CVLs (cyberlockers/virtual lockers).
*A simple way to think of all of these options are to keep the words, ‘Streaming’ ‘Sharing’ and ‘Storage’ in mind.
This post will assume a few things:
- You have at least beginner/novice computer skills (typing, desktop navigation, installing software, word document processing, etc.)
- You are using either Chrome or Mozilla Fire Fox internet browsers
- You have sufficient anti-virus/internet security software installed on your computer, AVAST or AVG are free alternatives (many computers come with an anti-virus already installed)
- You don’t have any moral objections to pirating media content online
If you’re anything like me, while navigating the internet, you don’t like pop ups or ads messing up your world wide web experience.
To get us started, here is a list of some add-ons (all free) that make for a clutter free and easier web experience:
- Adblock Plus – “Can block tracking, malware domains, banners, pop-ups and video ads – even on Facebook and YouTube ”
- Ghostery – “Ghostery shows you the invisible web – cookies, tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons” and “After you’ve seen what’s tracking you, you can decide whether or not you want to block any or all of the companies in Ghostery’s library.”
Click each image to go to the add-on page and then follow the instructions to install the above add-ons:
(NOTE this post is NOT about the legal and moral implications of downloading media off of the internet. That is for another post in the future.)
Great, now that you have the browser add-ons, our next move is to download and install a ‘torrent client’.
They are the simplest because once the torrent client is installed it only takes a few clicks to get your content.
If you remember from earlier BT is “A popular protocol for sharing large files over the Internet”.
So in order for us to use the protocol we need software that does just that.
There are many different clients for BT, this guide explains how to use µTorrent (and by extension almost all other torrent clients).
Click here to download utorrent.
When I was first introduced to torrent downloading I was a bit intimidated. I thought that I needed some sort of knowledge in computer science or coding or something like that. It turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong.
*Now that we have our tools we are ready to start downloading!
Next we need to choose a LS (link site). In this case, since we’re torrenting (if it’s not a verb, it is now), we will need to find a torrent search engine.
There are so many to choose from, so, I will share with you the ones I’ve used the most over the years:
Kick Ass Torrents kickass.to – “KickassTorrents or KAT is a torrent search engine launched in 2008 and is operated by a dedicated team spread all over the globe…we are most proud of is our large and friendly community and Mod Crew. ” This site is great and I’ve been using it for years because of how great the community is to newcomers.
The Pirate Bay thepiratebay.se – “The Pirate Bay is the worlds largest bit torrent indexer. ”
Those are really the only two you need to use. There are other niche sites, for example, like extratorrent.com. It specializes in bootleg movies in the form of cams, TS (telesyncs) and ripped DVDs or BluRays.
The following instructions on how to download using µTorrent are taken from ThePirateBay.se:
Go to thepiratebay.se (or kickass.to) and select a download. Click “Get this torrent”.
Now your web browser might ask you what application you want to open the file with. Select µTorrent and make sure the browser remembers your choice.
Your files are now being downloaded in µTorrent.
*Once your files have been downloaded you can easily find the file location on your computer and start viewing your content.
Cyberlocker/Virtual Locker/DDL via Links Sites
These days, with the threat of literally being disconnected from the internet due to copyright violations, I’m slowly starting to move away from torrents (at least when it comes to smaller files, like shows, movies, books, songs, etc.) and going completely to DDL (direct download).
The LS (link sites) that are available change all the time. They get shut down, move or turn into paid subscription services.
But when one is taken down, dozens more replace it.
Here are some of the LS (Link Sites) that I use all the time:
TV Muse (formally known as TVLinks) tvmuse.com – This site was one of my first introductions into streaming TV shows online for free. It became so popular that it was forced to become just another TV show review site….until one day people (or as it was soon to be streamlined, bots) started sharing links to CVLs and VSSWs. Now the site seems to be running in perfect (pirating) order once again.
Ice Films – Do you remember Ninja Video? It was a banner-style LS that had all the latest TV shows and movies, sometimes even before they were released in stores. Ice films is the same idea.
Prime Wire (formally known as LetMeWatchThis) primewire.ag – Through the shut downs, hacks and re-branding, Prime Wire has come out on top as one of the heavy players in the free online streaming realm. Whenever someone asks me, “D, where can I find a show online?”, I almost always say Prime Wire.
For our example, we will use TV Muse.
I’ve signed up for a (free) account on this site. The main reason is because you can create a schedule of your favourite shows and track them during the week.
Click on the desired episode, we’ll use ‘Through the Wormhole’ as our example.
Once on the episode page, scroll down to the ‘comments’ section.
As you can see this is where users have decided to post links to various CVLs.
One of my favourite CVLs is called, Mighty Upload (not shown in picture).
Mighty Upload has pretty much all the same steps, to get the file, as the other CVLs do.
This is where things can get tricky for the average person. But you’re not average. You know what’s up. As long as you’ve installed the above add-ons, anit-virus and torrent client, or at least ones that are similar to those, I can guarantee you your life will be way less stressful (see: pop ups) while navigating this part of the internet.
So you’ve clicked on a CVL of your choice and are at a page that looks similar to this:
Scroll down a bit and you will see what is called a, “Captcha”.
A “Captcha” is, “a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. For example, humans can read distorted text…but current computer programs can’t.”
This is an example of a Captcha:
Here is what the Captcha generally looks like on a CVL:
When it comes to CVLs like Mighty Upload they usually give you a few letter-error buffers when typing it in, for example, if the Captcha tells us to type, “Listen to the Music” into the answer field then we could get away with typing something like, “listen to the music”. No need to do it perfectly.
After you type in the correct Captcha answer then press ‘enter’ (or click continue). You’ll be brought to a page like this:
You might have noticed some interesting labelling.
S06E02 – indicates the Season, 6 and the Episode number, 2.
Hdtv.x264 – indicates the video encoding.
W4f – that is the name of the release group. A release group is a few to a bunch of people all involved with the release of the video. You have encoders, rippers, uploaders, seeders, etc.
Mp4 – indicates the file type/format.
From here you have a few options. You can either stream the video right from the site, or, download it directly to your computer. I prefer to download it right to my computer so I don’t get any choppy video or lagging when I watch a show or movie.
If you want to stream it click the ‘play’ button.
Click play to watch your video:
If you want to DDL it (which I recommend) then click on the link below the video:
The file will start to download in the browser download manager:
Speeds will vary depending on time of day or service provider. I usually wait about 7-10mins before the download is done.
There you have it!
A brief guide on How To Download Things From The Internet.
Let me know if any of this worked for you because I will be doing more of these guides in the future.
(Also, my buddy Kyle from ThisIsTrouble, wrote an article for ROK awhile ago called, “I Hope They Serve Beer In The Cloud“. It’s about the “impact of the cloud on users like us, and where it could be taking us.”)
If there are any problems, questions or concerns feel free to leave your questions in the comments or you can reach me on twitter, @dcllive1.