Torrents get a bad rap, but there are plenty of legitimate and legal reasons for downloading them. While you can’t use BitTorrent itself on a Chromebook, there are some great alternatives available.
Torrents are synonymous with downloading illegal content like pirated movies, music, and other media, but there are legal reasons for torrents as well. Any file can be shared as a torrent, and sharing a file as a torrent means there isn’t any single server that gets bogged down by handling all the traffic. You can legally download public domain films, text, and other media from the Internet Archive, and even full Linux OS images through torrents.
Set Up a VPN
Torrents are also one of the easiest ways to get a malicious file on your computer. That shouldn’t be a problem on a Chromebook, but it doesn’t hurt to take an extra precaution before you download the entire Internet. A VPN is easy to use on Chromebooks, and it’ll give you that extra peace of mind. It’ll also help your ISP off your back since many of them look for torrent traffic and will get in your face about it whether you’re downloading illegal content or not.
We’ve already got a great guide to connecting to a VPN on your Chromebook, so we’ll point you there for details on getting it set up. Once you’ve done that, we’ll take a look at a couple of good torrent clients for your Chromebook and how to set them up.
Download Torrents with JSTorrent
JSTorrent is available for $3 on the Chrome Web Store, without a trial or free version. You’ll need to set a download directory the first time you open JSTorrent. Start by selecting “Settings.” Then, select “Choose” next to “File Download Location.”
This will open the Downloads folder in your Chrome file browser. Select “Open” to use this as your JSTorrent download directory or select “New Folder” if you want something different.
From here, you can set JSTorrent to automatically open the Magnet links that are typically used to share torrents. Click “Setup” near the bottom of the settings screen.
Click the overlapping squares in the right corner of the address bar. Next, select the bubble next to “Allow” and then select “Done.”
With that out of the way, head to the site where your torrent is located and click the magnet link or download the torrent file. For this, I’m going to download a public domain movie from Public Domain Movies.
Open the Files app, then right-click on the name of the torrent file. Select “JSTorrent,” and the app will open and start downloading your media. You can see the progress of all your downloads in this window or the notification area.
You can also download a file by pasting the torrent URL near the top of the window.
Once the download is complete, you’re ready to open the file!
Download Torrents with Deluge
Deluge is a free torrent client for Linux operating systems, and more and more Chromebooks can install desktop Linux applications. Before beginning with this specific guide, you’ll need to enable Linux apps for your Chromebook.
Once you’ve got Linux app support enabled, start by opening the Terminal app.
Type “sudo apt-get install deluge” and then press Enter. Next, press “Y” and then Enter to continue with the installation.
Close the terminal once the installation is complete. Open the Files app, then right-click on the name of the torrent file. Select “Copy.” Next, select “Linux files” on the left side.
Right-click again and then select “Paste.” Open Deluge from the app drawer. Select “Add Torrent” near the top and then select “File.”
Select your username on the left, then double click the torrent file you copied to the Linux folder. Select “Add.”
The torrent will start downloading, and before too long, you’ll be ready to watch your movie or read through the archives!
You can also download the torrent by URL. Select “Add Torrent” near the top and then select “URL.” Paste in the URL and then click “OK.”
That’s it! The torrent will start downloading. The file will be in the “Linux files” folder of your Files app when it’s finished downloading.
No matter which method you use to download a torrent, remember to be safe. While Chromebooks are more secure than Windows or macOS computers, downloading a file from a shady site is never a good idea. With that in mind, happy downloading!