Not all BitTorrent applications are equal in the P2P world. As with all things in life, some are stronger than others overall, and some are better suited to your particular needs. The thing that they all have in common is that they can’t hide your activity if you’re doing illegal downloads. If you are, I’d ask that you read our guide to the best VPNs for torrenting first.
Now that you’re protected, let’s look at the best tools for file sharing and P2P downloading. Don’t get the act of using a BitTorrent client confused via brand name association with the program Bittorent, or the very popular Utorrent. There are other options out there!
Best BitTorrent Clients
Vuze is a BitTorrent with great customization
First released in 2003, Vuze is the old man of the best BitTorrent clients list. With 12 years of experience under its belt you can be sure that it has taken the time to add some key features that make using it safer and easier.
For starters, Vuze has a VPN kill switch built into it that works with your VPN. This kills your connection to the Internet when your IP address changes due to a dropped VPN connection. Your real IP isn’t exposed, and you won’t be open to DMCA notices.
- Remote access
- Statistics visualization
- File conversions
- Content search to help you find torrents
- Custom plugins
You’ll never feel like Vuze is a one size fits all BitTorrent client. You can make it what you want and need it to be to better your P2P downloading experience.
Deluge keeps things simple
Vuze is complex and great for the advanced user. Deluge is a great BitTorrent client choice for the new user. The open source code ensures that it’s a fair program that’s difficult for hackers to exploit.
The interface looks similar to the popular Utorrent. If you’re tired of Utorrent, like I grew tired of it for reasons discussed below, then this is your next logical step as you will be able to use it intuitively.
Useful features that it has for users who want them include:
- Local peer discovery
- Plugins that limit bandwidth
- Blocklist importation
- Proxy support
Third party apps can enhance your experience further if you need it. Personally, I’d go with Vuze if you want advanced features. Why use add-ons when there’s a BitTorrent client that already has them ready to go? If you want to use the basics, this is your best Bittorent client.
Tixati limits features and increases speed
Tixati is a bit of an odd Bittorent client. It has few features, it doesn’t look great visually, and you will feel like you’re getting a bit of a ‘cheap’ experience. It must be mentioned though as it doesn’t come bundled with useless addons and plugins, so it’s perfect for a complete newbie who doesn’t mind that it’s kinda …ugly.
Useful features include:
- Bandwidth limiting
- Scheduling your torrents so they don’t all download at the same time
- DHT, PEX and Magnet Link support
It’s not open source and relies on donations to survive. And bad news for Mac lovers, you can only use it on Linux and Windows machines.
qBittorrent is like an old friend
This application is much like Bittorrent and uTorrent. If you’re a former user of either, and looking for a new Bittorrent client because of their questionable practices (more on that below), then this is the P2P client for you.
It is a basic, fast, and low processing power use program for anyone. A built in media player is a nice touch, but not one I personally use. qBittorrent also has a search feature that’s similar to Vuze. It’s open source so it is very unlikely that it is being exploited by hackers.
The two fallen kings: Bittorent and uTorrent
Why am I listing these two together? Because Bittorent bought Utorrent and they are exactly the same with different logos. I personally used uTorrent for years, that is until it was found that the company that owns it was adding in plugins that were less than above board.
The software was called Epic Scale, and it used the processing power on computers that was free to power their own goals. Many who use Bittorent and uTorrent now do so only because it’s the only Bittorrent client they’ve ever known. New users frequently complain about:
- Install difficulties
- Unwanted plugins that can’t be deleted
- Unreasonable amounts of advertising
- Poor torrent downloading choices
I remember years ago when uTorrent was definitely the best Bittorent client available. It has since fallen considerably. I only list it here at the bottom of this best BitTorrent clients list because it’s so popular, and to acknowledge its faults so that you don’t choose it just because you’ve heard so much. Please look above for better BitTorrent clients to download.
Feature image via scyther5 / Shutterstock