What are the best BitTorrent download software?

downloading torrent

Although losing momentum in the face of competition from streaming platforms and direct downloads from cloud storage services, the BitTorrent protocol remains highly effective when it comes to sharing large files. In this article, we present the best software for peer-to-peer downloads on the BitTorrent network.

The BitTorrent protocol is a peer-to-peer file-sharing system, as opposed to the centralized download inherent in HTTP. To share one or more files on the BitTorrent network, a user must first generate a torrent file (extension .torrent) and upload it. Users who want to retrieve the data must then download this torrent file and open it using a suitable software, called the BitTorrent client.

To optimize the transfer speed, the software cuts the files into pieces, which it can download independently and compile later. As the download progresses, the recovered data is shared by the customer. It thus becomes a source for other peers who download the same file. In the case of a direct download (HTTP), the more people connected to the server and the slower the transfer, since all use the bandwidth of the same server. On the other hand, the higher the number of customers connected to a torrent, the higher the download speed.

Of course, this feature of the BitTorrent protocol makes it particularly interesting for sharing copyright-infringing content. Indeed, the latest series and blockbuster films are of great interest to hackers, this community uses BitTorrent in particular to make content accessible as quickly as possible and to as many people as possible. Thus, it does not require expensive infrastructure related to cloud hosting, but pools the bandwidth of each customer, which is very effective for torrent files where a large number of peers are connected.

Futura does not tolerate this use and urges you to be very vigilant about downloaded content. In France, the HADOPI (High Authority for the Dissemination of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet) monitors and detects offenders. If she finds abuse, she first sends an email and then a recommended mail. In the event of a repeat offence, the culprits risk the suspension of their access to the Internet.

To illustrate the usefulness of BitTorrent in a legal framework, we present the best BitTorrent software by downloading a free disk image of the Linux distribution Ubuntu 19.04.

BitTorrent: the oldest customer

BitTorrent is the official software of the American firm BitTorrent Inc. in charge of the maintenance of the BitTorrent protocol. It was the first program developed for peer-to-peer file sharing using this technology. Until version 5, it was distributed under free license, which allowed many forks to draw inspiration from its code. It is now a proprietary program, which offers a free, ad-supported version.

Benefits of BitTorrent:

  • Subscribe to RSS feeds from bitTorrent customer
  • Highly customizable download planner

BitTorrent’s drawbacks:

  • When installing, he suggests adding Adaware Web Companion and Avast Antivirus Free (to be manually declined)
  • No built-in search engine
  • Viewing ads in the software interface

Azureus Vuze: A modern interface for new users

Originally, the name of this BitTorrent client was Azureus, then it was changed to Azureus Vuze, and finally to Vuze. It offers a different graphical interface from competing software, more suitable for new users. This apparent usability hides advanced features, such as connecting to anonymous I2P and Tor protocols.

In the “First Steps” section, the software assists beginners to easily download their first torrent (a music album). It is regrettable, however, that some features such as DVD burning or playing a live video (sequential download) appear in Vuze’s interface, but are only available in the paid version: Vuze Plus.

Benefits of Vuze:

  • Assistant to start a first download
  • Clear and original modern graphical interface
  • The ability to add many plug-ins depending on the specific needs of each

Cons of Vuze:

  • When installing, he suggests adding Avast Antivirus Free (to be manually declined)
  • Advertising display and windows to encourage the purchase of Vuze Plus

Torrent: A compact and effective alternative

“Torrent” is a BitTorrent client whose original goal was to have the lowest possible resource consumption, to turn in the background without slowing down the execution of other tasks of the computer. This was a success and it was adopted by many users until 2006, when BitTorrent Inc. bought it. Since then, she has modified her own client by copying ‘Torrent’, so much so that apart from the name, there is not much left to differentiate them.

Unfortunately, torrent has changed its business model to become a publicity. Two advertising banners are permanently displayed on the screen for all users of the free version. Nevertheless, it remains a complete and relatively efficient customer for its size.

Benefits of Torrent:

  • Subscribe to RSS feeds from bitTorrent customer
  • Highly customizable download planner

Cons of Torrent:

  • When installing, he suggests adding Adaware Web Companion and Avast Antivirus Free (to be manually declined)
  • No built-in search engine
  • Viewing ads in the software interface

qBittorrent: The BitTorrent open source, free and ad-free customer

When Torrent was acquired by BitTorrent Inc and began to disappoint some users, qBittorrent was created to offer a fully free open source BitTorrent customer. This gives it a lightness and a low consumption of resources that the alternatives mentioned above cannot offer.

The qBitTorrent project is still active and the program receives regular updates. You can add search plug-ins available on the official website. Thus, directly from the interface of the software, we have a custom torrent file search engine.

Benefits of qBittorrent:

  • Fully free, without advertising or installing unwanted software
  • Low system resource consumption (CPU, RAM)
  • Search engine customizable with plug-ins
  • Sequential download option, to read files being downloaded

Cons of qBittorrent:

  • Basic interface
  • Few opportunities for personalisation
What are the best BitTorrent download software?