Downloading a big file via BitTorrent can take a long time, and you don't want to sit there and watch it all day. Here's how to set up the remote web interface in your favourite torrent client, and monitor those torrents from any remote computer or mobile device.
Torrent clients have had remote control built-in for a while, but it has changed a lot over the years, and it's now easier to set up and use than ever. Here, we'll show you how to set up remote control features (called the web UI) in both uTorrent and Transmission.
Monitor Your Downloads In uTorrent With uTorrent Remote
uTorrent recently added a new feature called uTorrent remote, available on both Windows and OS X, that makes managing your downloads from other devices much easier than the traditional web UI. To set up uTorrent Remote:
- Open up uTorrent and head to its preferences. In the left sidebar, click on "Remote".
- Check the box that says "Enable uTorrent Remote Access".
- Type in any username and password you like. Hit Apply and exit the preferences
- Navigate to http://remote.utorrent.com from any device, and log in with the same username and password. It will give you a UI optimised for desktop, iPhone, iPad or Android, depending on your device. Alternatively, you can use the uTorrent Remote app for Android to access it from your phone.
From there, you can pause, restart, and otherwise manage your running torrents, and even add new ones if you want to. Just make sure you leave your home computer on if you want to monitor torrents while you're out. If you use the new uTorrent Plus, you can even send finished files from your home computer to the device you're currently using, though with a bit of work you can achieve the same thing with a free FTP server, too.
Monitor Your Downloads In Transmission And uTorrent With The Web UI
If you're using Transmission on OS X or Linux, you'll have to do a bit of work to monitor your torrents from afar. In addition, while uTorrent Remote claims to be very secure, some people may prefer to host everything on their home computer, or just don't want to create another account -- in which case you can follow these same instructions below to set up the more tradition web UI in uTorrent. To get started:
- Open up Transmission, head to its preferences, and navigate to the Remote tab. If you're using uTorrent on Windows, expand the "Advanced" option in the left sidebar and click on Web UI.
- Check the "Enable" box at the top of the window. Then, check "Require Authentication" and type in a username and password to protect the web UI. This ensures that other people can't log into your web UI and mess with your downloads).
- Change your listening port to whatever you want, though the default of 9091 should be fine. In uTorrent, be sure to check the "Alternative listening port" box (Transmission users need not do this).
- Forward port 9091 (or whatever you ended up using in the last step) through your router's settings.
- Find the IP address of the machine running your torrent client. The easiest way to do this is to head to whatismyip.org and copy down the number. From now on, you can access the web UI by typing in this IP address and the port number from step 3, e.g.
http://12.345.67.890:9091. If you're using uTorrent, append
/gui/to the end of the address, e.g.
Again, remember to leave your home computer on so you can access the web UI while you're out. If you're accessing the web UI on a computer within your network, entering the IP address might not work. In that case, you can usually just access it by replacing the IP address with
http://localhost:9091/gui for uTorrent users).
Also note that your IP address can change from time to time, so you might want to assign a domain name to your home computer with DynDNS, or just make sure you check your IP address before you head out for the day. I've found that having my IP displayed on my desktop using something like Rainmeter makes it very easy to do this.
That's it! Once you're all set up, you should be able to keep an eye on those torrents (and even download new ones) while you're away.