Bittorrent users have two options to download files using the Bittorrent protocol. The first option is to download a torrent file to load it into a torrent downloader such as uTorrent or Vuze. The second is to directly click on a magnet link to add the download information to the torrent downloader without first downloading a torrent file. The second option is obviously superior in many aspects (see What Is A Magnet Link And How Does It Differ From Torrents? for an in depth explanation of the differences).
Torrent Indexers such as Isohunt or Torrentz often index torrent files that are hosted at other websites. They may provide direct torrent downloads, but do not offer magnet links to add the torrents directly to the torrent client.
The Firefox add-on Magnetiser adds an option to those two sites to directly send a magnet link to the Bittorrent client to download the files directly without having to download the torrent first.
This speeds up the process quite a bit. Here is how it works. The Firefox add-on adds a Magnetise text link to the status bar.
Clicking on that link while on individual torrent pages will automatically pull the magnet link and send it to the Bittorrent client.
It is not clear yet if the developer plans to add more torrent sites to the program. As of now, Magnetiser can speed up the downloading of files for users that frequent Isohunt or Torrentz on a regular basis.
Users who do not want to install a Firefox add-on for that, can take a look at the Magnet Catcher and Magnet Tracker userscripts instead. They work on more sites and are only executed when the user visits those websites.
Update: The Magnetiser add-on has been discontinued.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.