Download torrents without a torrent client (or when torrent traffic is blocked) – with BitLet

There are times when downloading torrents using a torrent client is simply not possible, such as when using a PC where you cannot or do not want to install a local torrent client, or if downloading from networks where torrent traffic is blocked (say by your ISP or network admin), just to name a few scenarios.

Instead, it is possible to use a free Java online applet called BitLet, which lets you download torrents in your browser just as you would any normal file. It promises a high degree of privacy (see below), and runs on any browser that supports Java.

First things first: Will this method bypass blocked torrent traffic?

It should, but I have read reports on the net that sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t. My advice: test it, but give it time to start working, as in my experience many downloads with BitLet simply take a long time to kick into gear.



Step by step:

(1) Find and download the torrent metafile. This is the “.torrent” extension file that you will find in torrent sites. It is typically very small (4K-20K,  or so, although it can be larger).

Technically, all you need is the link to the .torrent metafile. However, it may be better to download the .torrent file locally, just so you know you have the correct .torrent file you seek, as many torrent sites are full of “download” buttons and links that are not .torrent files or that lead to ads or other sites.

Click to download torrentMake sure it is a torrent file


(2) Go to Bitlet.org, then

(2.1) Note that Bitlet requires Java to run. If in doubt, go here to check if your browser has it. Next, you may need to give some permissions as illustrated below. Go ahead and run the Java applet and allow it to communicate with the networks that you want it to communicate with (note: if in doubt, go ahead and allow both public and private).

Run java applet. Go aheadAllow it ro run on networks

(2.2) In the Bitlet.org download screen, click on “select local torrent” button and browse to the .torrent file you downloaded in step (1). Next click on “download

Bitlet.org screenshot1


(3) At this point, you will be asked to browse to a folder to download to, and then the download dialog should open (see below). Wait for it to finish and you’re done.

Bitlet.org screenshot2 - downloading

Note the following:

  • Downloading: It may take a long time for your download to start; possibly a lot longer than it would if you had been using a local desktop downloader such as uTorrent. Try waiting a while even if the status button is red.
  • Multiple downloads: You can download multiple files simultaneously
  • Privacy: BitLet is private, or at least it WANTS to be. I quote “there is really no way for us to associate that information with you and/or your IP address (and we like it that way)”. The information they do have is not specific to you personally; see their privacy policyfor more info. NOTE: BitLet will *probably not* give you anonymity from the authorities, if that is what you are after. See the notes section below.
  • Uploading/seeding: You may be uploading/sharing the file with others as you download (see the red up arrow). Click on ‘settings’ to change the max upload speed, although the minimum you can choose is 4K/sec. If you want, leave the download dialog open after you are done downloading to seed.
  • Bookmarklets: for Firefox and IE, go to this page to get BitLet bookmarklets that can be used to download any torrent file via BitLet from any page. For Chrome, check out the new BitLet Chrome Extension.
  • Pausing and resuming: you are able to pause and resume the download as with any torrent client.

The verdict: a nice service if you need it. Can be somewhat unreliable and slower than a local client such as uTorrent (torrents can take a long time to start downloading, and may be slower to download than in a local client), but on the other hand using BitLet may mean the difference between downloading and not downloading at all, and in any case you can use it when you need it.

Check out Bitlet here.


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • http://carbonize.co.uk Carbonize

    So does all traffic therefor go through either the Bitlet servers or something like Tor? If so I can see major slowdown if the service ever gets popular, Tor is already really slow for me. If it isn’t working this way then how can they guarantee privacy? People like the RIAA download popular torrents and see who connects to them to download the parts.

    As to the whole, “there is really no way for us to associate that information with you and/or your IP address (and we like it that way)” rubbish it is total advertising crap. Apart from sites you have logged in to no site has any way of associating your IP with you as a person. This does not mean privacy though as once the authorities get hold of the server logs they can easily find out who was that particular ip at that moment in time.

    I don’t see how this is any better than just using a torrent client with encryption enabled and a random port.

  • dragonduder

    I used to love using this service because I didn’t want to download a torrenting program (I have a lot of programs on my computer, don’t need another) and I love bookmarklets, but it stopped working reliably. A lot of torrents I would send to it wouldn’t even start…

    So I started Torrent2Exe, which would allow you to download a small, portable exe file that would download/upload the torrent for you, after which you can just give the exe to someone else or delete it.

    Maybe my browser was too unstable for Bitlet or their servers were too unreliable, but I may try it again to see how it now compares to my new favorite Torrenting service.

  • http://carbonize.co.uk Carbonize

    @dragonduer – uTorrent is only 900kb and does not need installing so you could keep it on a usb stick or a different drive/partition. Then you can set it to exactly how you like it including using a proxy.

  • JD

    Or you could just use Opera, which has a bit torrent client built into it.

  • Samer

    Sorry for the late reply folks.

    @ Carbonize: I thought about what you said in terms of privacy and I think you are right in that a user should not use BitLet for that.

    Therefore I changed the title of this post from: “Download torrents privately without a torrent client (or when torrent traffic is blocked) – with BitLet”, omitting the ‘private’ part.

    This service may be useful in the following situations:
    (1) You do not want to install a torrent client — let’s say because you are using a temporary computer like a loaner or your wife’s or a company laptop or a computer where you do not have administrative privileges.
    (2) Torrent traffic is blocked, such as at a hotel or cafe or whatever. From what I’ve read it may or may not work but is worth a try.

    @ Dragonduder: I agree that BitLet is not as reliable as a torrent client, and may not be as fast, but it can work in a pinch. (I’ve never used Torrent2Exe although it has been reviewed by my colleague Benjamin on this site).

  • Natalie

    I think using free torrent to direct link converters is more suitable. All you need to do is to upload your torrent file to the one of these websites and wait until it downloads your torrent . Upon completion of your download which typically takes much less time compared to the time you need to download it by conventional torrent clients, you can download your file(s) from the website by direct HTTP link(s) it provides to you. Find more about these services at http://www.torrentstodirectlink.herobo.com/

  • KRUNAL INTWALA

    DOWNLOAD TORRENT FILES WITHOUT A TORRENT CLIENT –

    http://www.topfurtive.co.cc/2012/06/zbigz-simple-free-fast-and-hassle-free.html

  • http://carbonize.co.uk Carbonize

    @Krunal yes and then when the authorities get access to the Zbigz servers they will have a nice list of ip addresses along with what those ip addresses downloaded.

  • JAZZ MISTRY

    How To Download Torrent Files Without A Torrent Client Directly Through Your Browser.

    http://tinyurl.com/cn675qe

    Hope This Might Help You All As Well. Thank You.

  • Jenna

    That sounds great! It also reminds me of what I’m using right now, because it’s also a browser that has a built-in client, so no torrent extensions are required. Have you ever heard of Torch?

  • Pallab

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l5urRJ-7i4

    watch it, For a steo by step solution of all kind of restriction in torrent.

  • http://techotips.com Monica

    Thanks a lot for your tip. I found one more link useful for torrent direct download over here:
    Download Torrent files online
    I hope this will help all over here.
    Thanks.