One of the fastest gaining P2P systems in operation now is BitTorrent.

There are lots of clients for this, and I have been trying out one of these.

The client is called Azureus, and is java based.

Installing is a matter of downloading the appropriate version of Azureus e.g. I downloaded the Linux version for my Mandrake set-up and the Windows installer for the Windows partition……..

Below you can see the results of the Windows install.

Once installed (yes, it is that easy, if you have Java installed), you get presented with the splashscreen. I did say you need Java and Azureus will prompt you if it doesn’t find what it needs and will take you to the Sun page to get it. This is another wonderfully written piece of software.

Nice little blue frog thingy……no, I don’t know why either.

Configuration is relatively easy as well. Simply answer the following questions.

Since I’m on 512kb/s, I chose the default it picked for me.

It then checks to see if the required port is open, you might need to configure your firewall at this point. BitTorrent typically uses ports 6881 –6999 as the defaults, although you can change these to suit yourself.

Pick where you want the torrents stored, and you’re finished.

As you know there is a great furore about downloading using P2P at present, but, just to show everyone it working, I downloaded a couple of albums (that I already owned anyway) as an example.

Torrents can be found using a search engine or a specific tracker like Suprnova. Save the torrent link to your drive, then click the “open” icon (as seen on the grab) in Azureus and it will then ask where to save the file. Choose that, and then wait…

Alternatively, double clicking on the link at Suprnova will start Azureus anyway. You needn’t worry about resuming; as the default for Azureus is to save a copy of the torrent link. unless you change this in the configuration.

Azureus, as you might expect, is really fully featured and the configuration page reflects this. Above you can see the options presented to you. I recommend you go through these slowly and carefully.

Azureus also comes with some plugins, and more are available at the Azureus page on the net. Follow the instructions on the configuration page to learn where to put the plugins. For instance, Azureus, on startup, will check to see it is the latest version and will download and install new versions of itself and plugins, if required. Azureus also has an IRC plugin with it, so you can talk to other users.

There’s far too much in Azureus just for this quick overview. As you can see from the grab of the configuration page, Azureus can be configured for nearly all aspects of its operation. Usually, I would show grabs of them all, but to do so with this would use up a helluva lot of space……..and take a long time to go through. I’d rather everyone took the time to explore all the options. It will work straight “from the box”, but for those who want to take the time, there’s lots you can do to make using it more productive for yourself.

I suggest you give this a try if you are downloading torrents. It has some very nice features, like queuing downloads, auto seeding, being able to configure the columns to display ports used by the people you are downloading, uploading to. You are able to display the users country flags, their software that they are using (I was surprised by how many different clients there were), and much more, like plugins to display the latest torrents on Suprnova. There is a speed scheduler, useful if you are on a connection where your speed is regulated at certain times (Bulldog users spring to mind), and more plugins being written all the time.

When you run Azureus, you will be presented with a nag screen asking you to donate to help the programmers continue their work. The donation asked for is small and is well worth you time and trouble. Help keep the programmers eating if you like this program, and don’t just cancel the screen. Azureus will still work for you even if you don’t donate……..but it might not be updated if everyone does this.

Another worthy addition to the programs on your drive!


By Ian Urie

© RIYAN Productions