I am not new to torrents as in I know what they are and how they work but I never downloaded one.
Simply cause I always used to think without ever trying that they be slow, very slow. Primary reason was the thought that I be uploading simultaneously while downloading so at the max I be getting half the available bandwidth. That on a 256kbps connection makes it impossible to download movies, games etc. Direct link on HTTP would be way too faster.
Wrong! Firstly I never realized that I have 256kpbs upstream together with 256kbps downstream. So uploading will never have any effect. Secondly, big files are available on sites like Rapidshare in chunks. If you are a freeloader (like I am :)) than RS will ban you after every download for certain period. Also you will have to visit site again and enter captcha for all the file chunks. So it is slow. In fact very slow.
While downloading torrents I download from multiple hosts and utilize complete bandwidth. I can simply schedule all downloads in a single interface.
So here is how I download torrents.
1) I goto torrentz.com and search for game or movie I am looking for. If multiple results are returned for the same file I chose one with max available up hosts (torrentz.com provides this info)
2) Thats basically it. I use µTorrent as BitTorrent client. Its small but feature packed. So far it had every feature inbuilt I thought of using. Some are scheduler, priorities, custom bandwidth settings per download.
It generally takes me 10 hours to download 1GB worth of data. So pretty much everything all shows, movies, games are in my reach 24 x 7 :)