How to remotely start torrents with your iPhone

Start downloading a torrent on your computer, even when you're miles away. Here's how.

CNET

A while back, I rounded up four killer Dropbox tips, one of which allowed you to start downloading a torrent file from any computer while you're away from home. That's useful, but not ideal if you want to start downloading something and can't access a computer right away.

With just few initial setup instructions, you can use your iPhone to start downloading torrents, no matter where you are. Here's how:

Step 1: Sign up for Dropbox and download the client for your operating system. The download links are available on the Dropbox home page. Then, download Dropbox for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and sign in with your account. Don't worry about Dropbox's free 2GB storage limit -- that's more than enough.

Step 2: This next step pertains to your BitTorrent client. For this example, I'll use uTorrent, but the process is similar for other clients. Now follow these instructions for your operating system:

Windows: Open uTorrent and go to Preferences > Directories. Check the box next to "Automatically load torrents from" and browse to select your Dropbox folder.

Mac OS X: Open uTorrent and go to Preferences > Downloads. Check the box next to "Automatically open torrent files found in" and browse to select your Dropbox folder. Also check "Start transfer after opening each torrent file."

Step 3: You're all set! Navigate to a torrent file in Safari on your iOS device and click the download link. When it loads, you'll have the option to "Open in Dropbox." Tap that, and the Dropbox app will launch. Tap "Upload" (lower right). Once the file uploads, the torrent will begin downloading on your computer.

A few notes:

  • Your computer must be on and connected to the Internet at the time you initiate the remote download.
  • Keep your BitTorrent client (like uTorrent) open at all times.
  • This isn't the only way to remotely start torrents. For example, uTorrent offers its own proprietary method here.
  • Android users, you're in luck: you can skip this process and use uTorrent's dedicated Android app to start, stop, pause, and monitor your torrent downloads.

Check out these four killer tips for creative ways to use Dropbox:

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