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After you have configured your Azureus port and upload settings, you can now begin downloading files. To download files visit a torrent link site. All you have to do is find a link to a torrent file, click that link and a pop up will show up. You need to make sure you select Azureus.exe as the program to open the torrent file with and if isnt set already like that, browse to C:->Program Files->Azureus->Azureus.exe and hit Open With. The download will be added to the Azureus download list and immediately the tracker should begin connecting you to peers and seeds. Usually the download would begin immediately and may be slow to start. After you have built up a lot of connections usually the downloads begin to speed up, as does your uploading.
The picture at right is an example of a brand new, just started download, of a very large file, over 18 GB to be exact. As you can tell I've highlighted a few key things to check out which we will go into more depth during the rest of this page.
Azureus shows the health of your connections using smiley's. The pic I provided can be gotten with a single right click in the download list in Azureus. It shows clearly what each smiley means. This feature proves to be quite useful as if for some reason a port becomes unreachable, then the smiley will change, whereas with other clients, you might just think that its slowing down and will speed up later, when really the problem may be with your port and not with the torrent or tracker. After a download has started, usually it will go from gray to yellow and then after a little while to green if everything is OK. A lot of users report getting a yellow smiley all the time, but their torrents remain active and transfers keep going. Excessive usage on one port, like for example, using more than one torrent at a time, could result in the health state changing on a torrent.
While a file is downloading, right click and click Show Details. As you can see I've blocked out some information on mine as I don't want to go requesting permission from the tracker I was using before I post this guide. Therefore I have removed the filename, Tracker URL, Hash and the file Comment. On your screen you will see these details. Certain areas are important here like Share Ratio. As you can see my Share Ratio for this file is just 0.002. This is a bad ratio but expected while the file is still downloading. When the file finishes downloading, users are expected to keep the seeding going until the ratio goes over 1.000. You will notice the Update Tracker button. Clients have to update the tracker on the parts of files they have and other such things, this button is just here in case you wish to update immediately, however if you look across the way, you will that there is already a countdown to next update. When you are seeding, there is a slightly different detail as you will see now.
While seeding the details have only minor differences. If you have a file seeding, right click it and click Show Details. One minor but noticeable difference is there is no time remaining, and obviously not because you are uploading the file and not downloading it. So it has been replace by the infinity symbol. You can change max upload to whatever you want, higher if you wish to spread the file to more users. If you click the Details tab you will see all the IP Addresses you are currently connected too and details on bandwidth you are using to send or receive parts from that user. If you click the Pieces tab you will see pieces that you are currently downloading. The Files tab, we will see later.
Time for just a little word on file ratios. A ratio over 1.000 means that you have uploaded more than you have downloaded and this is a good ratio. I have seen users with ratios over 10.000, that's amazing. Users like that are vital to BitTorrent, they keep torrents alive and fast for a long time. Obviously enough, to improve your ratio on a torrent, keep it uploading even after it is finished downloading. This is something that is expected at minimum from users, so people should really stick to more than the minimum or don't use BitTorrent at all. I understand that some users are afraid of uploading a lot because maybe their ISP will be unhappy about that, or they are afraid there is monitoring going on of people who are uploading. While these seem legit reasons not to upload much, it is not good enough. If a user cannot do the minimum, then that user should not use BitTorrent. It sounds cruel, but its the only way to keep torrents alive. This is P2P, this is not a download free for all. Some sites keep a share ratio of members, over a long time it can be very hard to keep a good ratio, but if you make sure each torrent you download has a ratio of over 1.000 when you finish uploading, then your overall ratio should stay ok.
As you might have seen by now, you can change the priority of a torrent by right clicking it and just changing it. However, if you are only downloading one torrent at a time, or seeding one at a time, then changing the priority shouldn't really do anything. This feature is only for people who download and seed multiple torrents at once.
One of my favorite things about Azureus is the ability to select some files in the torrent not to be downloaded. To do this you must right click on the download and click Show Details. Click the Files tab and find a file that you don't want to be download, right click it and set the priority to Do not download. This can be pretty handy in some situations.
Written by: James "Dela" Delahunty
Last updated: 25 February 2008
Last updated: 25 February 2008