Bittorrent might have become popular over the years and very infamous for a number of reasons, but the fact remains that a lot of people use it religiously every single day. The most popular Bittorrent client around is uTorrent. It’s tiny, lightweight, easy to use but also has a ton of features. One of the most unique features is the ability to access downloads remotely. If you haven’t tried it yet, by the end of this workshop, you will. And if you aren’t already using uTorrent, hop over to uTorrent (www.utorrent.com) and download the latest version.
Enabling WebUI from within uTorrent
The feature that allows remote access to uTorrent is called WebUI. To enable it, click on Options > Preferences > Web UI. Click the Enable Web UI checkbox and set a username and password. These are the credentials you will use to access uTorrent.
Setting up port forwarding
Most ISPs use some kind of router to distribute internet connections. These routers are generally setup to block any incoming connections, so you’ll need to setup port forwarding in order to be able to access uTorrent from outside your home network. Quite simply, we’re going to ask the router to forward all incoming requests to be forwarded to the PC running uTorrent.
Selecting a port for uTorrent to run on
First, fix on a port that uTorrent will run on. You can use the one selected by default. Click on Options > Preferences > Connection to set or see what port uTorrent is running on. Access your WiFi router’s firmware using the interface (usually mentioned in the manual or at the back of the router itself) and navigate to the port forwarding menu. In our case, we’ll use a Linksys router. The menu might be located differently on your router’s firmware. Enter the internal and external ports as the same number as uTorrent. Choose to forward the port to the IP of the PC running uTorrent.
Test run – accessing the web interface using a web browser
Once you have the WebUI and port forwarding set up, you should be able to access uTorrent using a web browser.
uTorrent's WebUI being accessed through a web browser
Access it using the following address – http://IP_ADDRESS:PORT/gui . Here, IP_ADDRESS should be your PC’s IP address on the network or the internet and PORT would be the same port that we’ve set uTorrent to run on. In our case, we’ll access our server on the LAN – http://192.168.2.7:8080/gui. Once you’re logged in, you can do all sorts of things that you could using the desktop client itself –add, remove, start and stop downloads.
Setting up a free domain redirecting account
ISPs do not generally assign static IPs to its user, so they’re bound to change all through the day. Using a free domain name service can fix this problem. Services such as No-IP (www.no-ip.com) provide a free domain name which can be mapped to your PC. So every time your ISP assigns a new IP address for your PC, No-IP updates your domain. Besides, domains are simpler to remember than a complicated ever changing IP address.
No-IP.com's clients are available for Windows, Mac and *nix systems
Register for an account, and install the No-IP client on your PC. Make sure you run the No-IP client running whenever you need uTorrent to be accessible remotely.
Remotely accessing uTorrent on your phone
One of the advantages of using uTorrent is that it’s supported by a variety of other applications. This means that you could use an iOS or an Android device to access your uTorrent client at home. One of the popular apps on the Android is Transdroid (www.transdroid.org). You can also find it on Appbrain .
Install the app on your Android device and access More > Settings after pressing the menu button. Click on Add new server and add the details for your uTorrent client. Enter the username, password, your domain name and don’t forget to set the server type as uTorrent. When you go back to the main screen, press the Refresh icon and Transdroid will connect to your uTorrent client back home. Like with the web interface, Transdroid lets you do the same set of tasks.