Torrent while you work

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Chances are, you watched the Oscars Sunday night. And you probably hadn’t a clue what the hell was going on. I know I didn’t.

The problem? Half of these films I’ve never heard of. And instead of watching trailers from your laptop during lecture, you could be putting Ryerson’s Wi-Fi speed to far better use.

It just so happens even the most obscure cinematic endeavours are all over the Internet, with hundreds of people sharing them each day. Depression-era dramas about soap manufacturing — in Gaelic? You’ve come to the right place.

That being said, I’m going to assume you’re a little morally crooked. You lust for lawbreaking. You’re sick of streaming things online and being cut off right before the gripping finale of Kate and Leopold. You want to learn how to download obscure foreign films. And properly, too.

But while there’s no denying that Ryerson is blessed with a stupidly fast Internet connection, just remember — you’re totally breaking the law. And not just Ryerson law, but Federal law too. Downloading copyrighted material? The Government wishes you wouldn’t. Excessive bandwidth on the wireless network? The school will cut you off.

That being said, you’ve probably heard of BitTorrent, usually the most effective way to download large files, like Oscar-winning movies, or perfectly legal Linux DVDs. Websites like The Pirate Bay catalogue small torrent files that tell programs like Transmission (Mac) or uTorrent (PC) where to download your content. And it’s as easy as that. Or so you’d think.

There’s a few caveats to keep in mind while torrenting those Broadway bootlegs, however. While Wi-Fi is convenient, nothing beats the good ‘ol wired connection. Ryerson’s wireless routers tend to throttle, or limit, connections more aggressively than their wired counterparts, meaning slower speeds and longer downloads. Plug-in, and you’re less likely to get cut off, too.

But BitTorrent isn’t the only way to get your downloading fix. Services like Rapidsearch catalogue the vast amount of files uploaded to the Internet’s free storage services. These sites are fast, and take full advantage of the school’s tubes.

Why? Traffic from these sites is accessed the same way as any other website, meaning it’s rarely throttled in the same manner as a BitTorrent connection. Wired or wireless, using Rapidsearch is great for finding smaller files — like, say, music albums — and almost always fast.

But like a night out on the town, act responsibly, okay? Downloading highdef rips of Chocolat might seem like a good idea, but Ryerson may not agree.

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