If you have a set of files that you wish to share with someone, but don't want to use cloud storage services, there are a few options that you can use. Syncthing or Resilio Sync come to mind, or traditional options such as FTP.
But there is a simpler way: creating a private torrent. All you need is a BitTorrent client and a couple of minutes to set it up correctly so that your files can be shared to as many users as you like.
Let's get started. We are going to assume that you know how to open a port on your router to configure port forwarding. Usually this involves accessing the router page in your web browser and selecting a port that you wish to forward. It varies for most models; refer to your router manual or the OEM's website for instructions.
Tip: use the port forwarding tester to test if a port is forwarded properly.
For e.g. qBitTorrent by default uses port 9000 for the embedded tracker. So if I were to open a port on my ZTE F612W router, I'd navigate to the following path in the router's page: Application > Port Forwarding and set the port that I want to.
If you don't use the embedded tracker and private torrent options, the torrent that you create will be public, i.e., it will be visible to all and anyone may (in theory) download the files.
Your torrent should start seeding immediately if you did it right. You can also verify this by navigating to the tracker tab, the status should say "working".
Remember the torrent file that was saved when you created the torrent? Send that to the people that you want to share the files with. If the files are important, use encryption or secure messaging options.
Is this secure? It depends on how the torrent file is shared and what kind of files you are sharing. Note that your network operator / ISP may still see what you are sharing and seeding.
This can be a great way to share tons of Gigabytes worth of content without having to upload them to cloud storage services.
I wrote this guide to simplify and explain the steps found in the official qBittorrent Wiki article.
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