How To: Download torrents on your Mac (and Windows) remotely from iPhone
I’ve been playing today with Transmission’s WebUI settings, trying to figure out it’s potential and in the meantime I found a very cool life-hack to download any torrent from anywhere in the world on my Mac.
Just a little reminder, this is a universal way. That means it works whether you own a Mac or a PC (I think that it works with Android phones too—if anyone can test it, give me a heads-up.)
The very tool this how-to is based, is Transmission’s WebUI. Almost every torrent downloader application supports a WebUI. If your app doesn’t support a WebUI, you can switch to uTorrent (if you’re on Windows/Mac) or Transmission (if you’re on Mac).
Small parenthesis: imho after using several years uTorrent on Windows, on various Linux distributions (through Wine) and on Mac I’d recommend you using uTorrent as torrent downloader in Windows/Linux and Transmission in Mac. Transmission simply rocks in it’s native environment. But at the end of the day, it’s all about what your preferences. End small parenthesis.
Fire up Transmission’s Preferences and then click the Remote tab. Check to enable remote access. If you like, you can setup a username/password authentication (I didn’t). The listening port can remain to it’s default number, it should be 9091 anyway.
Find your computer’s IP address (not the public one) under Preferences > Network. Click on the connection you are using. Under it’s status there is a small text that states where AirPort (if you’re using WiFi) is connected, the name of the network and your IP. Copy the IP somewhere, for example on TextEdit.
Grab your iPhone, open Safari.app and type:
http://the-ip-you-copied-before:9091/transmission/web/. If everything worked well, you should see a screen similar to this:
You can click now the Safari’s + icon to add Transmission’s WebUI to the home screen as a web app.
Until now we have complete management functionality of our desktop torrent downloader from our iPhone. But, how about actually downloading a torrent from the iPhone to the desktop?
Now, it is time to actually use the remote access. Visit a torrent tracker from Safari.app, I’d say the world’s most resilient one, The Pirate Bay, browse for a torrent and copy its the “Download” link. Open the newly created Transmission web app from your home screen, click on the “Open” icon and paste the torrent’s URL.
That was it. From now on you can download any torrent from anywhere in the world on your Mac. Although I don’t want to repeat myself, I’ll say again that this method works for every torrent downloader with a remote access WebUI. If you’re not using Transmission, just follow the same logical steps.