Transmission -- a few basic questions about torrents

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Queenredspecial, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Queenredspecial macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    Hello all!

    I notice most mac people prefer Transmission. I seem to have it on my computer, but... I don't know how to use it. :)

    So here are some questions:

    1. What IS a torrent really?
    2. How do I get to where the torrents are (using Transmission) so I can download them?
    3. What do I need to know about Transmission/torrents?

    I know these are really basic questions -- but I would appreciate some answers.

    Thank you! :)
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I assume you're going to be using torrents for obtaining free and legal operating systems, or large files you own the rights to, right? ;)

    A torrent is a little file that points to the file(s) you're trying to download. Someone has to be "seeding" the file for you to get it, that means someone with that file must be sharing it over the internet. Ideally severally people would be able to seed the same file, that means you would get little pieces of the same file from all of them, this goes much faster.

    To get to torrents you must obtain a torrent file. I don't know if I can point to the torrent sites, but I like to use something with a name to the effect of "disk image search" dot com.

    And personally I use uTorrent.
  3. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009

    1. a torrent is basacally a file that directs transmission to the file(s) you are trying to download from other peers who are sharing the files.
    2. websites that allow for torrent downloads
    3. downloading cd's, movies, programs, or any other liscensed materials is illegal, do so at your own risk. be aware that if you are running windows it is very possible to get viruses/spyware from downloading torrents, always look for comments or reviews of the torrent before downloading.
  4. beala macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
  5. Queenredspecial thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    Thank you for your reply. I am not sure I understood the latter part of it -- so let me clarify my question.

    So, I'm in Transmission. I'm looking at a basic screen. It is blank -- How do I use Transmission in order to search for torrents? (I used Miro once, and there was something called 'add site' -- that way, through Miro you could browse torrents and pick. In essence, that is what I'm looking for.)

    Does that make any sense? I have used Limewire and Miro -- and on both, there is some kind of search tool. Where is it in Transmission?
  6. beala macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
    You have to obtain the torrent file from a tracker site. eg:

    So, search. Find the file you want. The tracker will provide you with a seed file that you must DL. Open the seed file in transmission. It will start DLing.

    I'm guessing is not exactly what you had in mind, but I think providing you with a pirate torrent site would be breaking forum rules. Sooo google it. But I'm warning you, that will lead you to a very seedy part of the internet. Macs CAN get trojans from pirated software.
  7. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Transmission is basically just the download manager.

    You search using a third-party such as a website, which provides a .torrent file. The .torrent file contains detail of a tracker server(s) and the files/folders that make up the download. The tracker server assists in the communication between two or more peers. The tracker doesn't transfer any file data to or from your Mac, it just arranges a connection with another user who is offering parts of the file for upload.
  8. Queenredspecial thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    AHHHHA! Ok, that little vital piece of information was missing.

    So, trojans, huh? I have been reading on these forums that macs can't get viruses -- what is your opinion? Any safeguard tips?
  9. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Rot. It's not that Mac's can't get viruses or trojans, it's just far less likely than say a Windows PC as there's hardly that are widespread out in the wild. I believe there were a couple of Apple Software torrents that contained a trojan in the last 12 months. Don't download pirated Mac software and you should be as safe as you currently are.
  10. beala macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Another falls prey to apple's deceptive marketing...

    I've been arguing at length about this in this thread:

    But basically here's the gist:
    Technical Definitions:
    1) Trojan: malware that you have to install yourself (or someone has to trick you into installing it).
    2) Virus: malware that will automatically install itself without your permission through exploitation of security vulnerabilities, etc. I think it also has to 'self-propogate' to be considered a virus, technically.

    So, Mac has no viruses in the technical sense, but it does have trojans. That is, as long as you don't DL anything shady and install it, then you won't have any problems, but once you venture into software piracy, there are no guarantees. Trojans can be packaged to install themselves along with pirated software.

    EDIT: So, I should add that it's true that there are less trojans for Macs than for PCs. Just don't think that your Mac is invulnerable to malware (as apple would have you believe).

    EDIT2: News article about recent trojans packaged with pirated versions of iWork and photoshop:
  11. Queenredspecial thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    Interesting... Thanks for the info!!!

    BTW, I really am not interested in pirated software.
  12. beala macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Fair enough ;) but it's good to know anyhow! Knowledge is power... or something


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