Five Best BitTorrent Applications

We're big fans of BitTorrent. It's the fastest way to download files quickly without lining up for an HTTP download or opening an FTP client, and it's a great way to host large files without having to provide all of the bandwidth on your own. Here's a look at five of the most popular BitTorrent applications.

Deluge (Windows/Mac/Linux)

Deluge is one of the most lightweight BitTorrent clients available. Part of the reason it's so light on system resources is because of its robust plug-in catalogue, where most of the real power comes from. The bulk of its features come from available plugins, and those plugins are just as cross=platform as the core application is. Deluge supports private torrents, encrypted transfers, password protection and bandwidth scheduling, so you can let the app eat your available bandwidth when you're asleep or at work, but throttle it back when you're home. Deluge is completely free.

Transmission (Mac/Linux)

For a long time, Transmission was the only feature-rich BitTorrent client available for the Mac, and even today, it's the go-to client for many. Transmission is free, open-source, and runs just as well in Linux as it does in Mac OS X, and the developers provide distro-specific packages of the application for your downloading needs. The app is also designed to run quietly in the background without eating too much bandwidth or memory, but doesn't skimp on the features. Transmission sports robust system notifications, download scheduling, magnet links, port forwarding, remote management, encryption and more.

µTorrent (Windows/Mac/Linux)

µTorrent was one of the first solid, lightweight BitTorrent clients to hit the Web, and since then it has soared to massive popularity. It doesn't hurt that µTorrent is a tiny installation, easy to use and understand, but has enough advanced features to keep the pro users hooked on the app. For example, µTorrent supports remote control, scheduling, port forwarding and smart bandwidth throttling – it'll give up bandwidth as you start to use bandwidth-intensive applications without you forcing it to. Plus, it is developed and owned by the same people who invented the BitTorrent protocol. There was a time when µTorrent was Windows only, but that's clearly no longer the case. Best of all, it's free.

rTorrent/ruTorrent (Linux)

Who needs GUIs? rTorrent and ruTorrent are free, designed for Linux and Unix-based systems, and will handle your downloads entirely by command line. When we say "entirely" we mean it –it's not like rTorrent or ruTorrent have some web interface you just have to toggle. If you want a GUI, you'll have to download a plug-in. Still, if you're managing your torrents remotely on a Linux box on your network, rTorrent lets you log in and manage them easily without firing up an app to do it. Plus, both apps support SSH remote control, so you don't even have to be home to manage your downloads.

Vuze (Windows/Mac/Linux)

Where all of the other applications focus on being as lightweight as possible, Vuze takes a different approach. The app goes above and beyond to include as many features as it can. Vuze will download and manage torrents, and it also supports remote management, mobile devices, and bandwidth throttling. Vuze is also a video player, and can play HD video, or push it to your mobile device. The app automatically detects iTunes and iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. It also supports streaming audio and video to Android phones, BlackBerry devices, and game consoles like the XBox 360 and PS3. It's not the lightest of the group, but it tries to manage all of your downloads and help you enjoy them at the same time. Vuze comes in two flavors – a scaled back free version, and a "plus" version with all features unlocked, for $US24.99 per year.

Did your favourite BitTorrent application fall out of the lineup? Do you have something to say in defence of one of the contenders? Make your case in the comments.


Comments

    I pretty much just use transmission on Linux, if i ever download torrents on windows i usually use utorrent.

    Trasmission is a great client, it has all the features i need and gets regular updates. If your going for lightweight with a GUI, i recommend it.

    I have not tried Vuze in a long time though, i may try it again i think.

    On the Mac it's Transmission all the way. All the features you want and it's easy on the eyes (a necessity if you're an Apple fanboy).

    Why no mention of BitTorrent... I use it all the time, is there some reason I should use uTorrent instead? I'm not even close to an expert on the subject, but I can't see any reason to use uTorrent over BitTorrent..??

      If you plan on downloading from any private trackers, you should keep in mind that the official BitTorrent client is banned at most of them.

      If you stick to public trackers, then feel free to keep using it.

      The reason many people use µTorrent rather than bitTorrent (client) is that its a lighter program to run, less ram used and such.

      Personally, I'm a fan of open-source torrent clients, given the attitude of most proprietary software vendors towards file sharing. Deluge for me.

      The reason it's not mentioned is because since version 6, Bittorrent is just a re-branded version of uTorrent. No difference except for the logo.

    µTorrent - pronounced "micro-torrent" - the "µ" is the scientific prefix symobol for "micro".

    µTorrent all the way!

      You can pronounce it however you like, but the creators of it pronounce it "you torrent".

        This brings back memories of the "Linn-ux" vs "Lii-nux" pronunciation debate about a decade ago....

        Hate to rain on you, but it's muu-torrent and it's the greek letter µ (mu).

        µ, is generally used to mean micro.

      It's actually a mathematical symbol...

      But that would involve me remembering the macro to type that character when talking about it online. And I have a whole key dedicated to 'u', so guess what I've decided to call it? :)

    bitorrent didnt develop utorrent they bought it, and now develop it

    Used to use uTorrent/uTorrent-Server (Linux) almost exclusively, but since switched to Transmission, as I started to hear some good things about it. And I love it now. It's nice a lightweight, webUI works great for the other's on my network, I've got it working over SSH so I can manage my torrents when I'm not at home... it does everything I want, and it doesn't flood me with hundreds of options and preferences that I don't understand like uTorrent did (but then I suppose those extra options in uTorrent are to it's own advantage).

    Also heard a ton of great things about rTorrent, although I haven't had the time to try it yet.

    Everyone loves torrents, don't get me wrong, but "It’s the fastest way to download files..." is a completely false statement. Unless its an active torrent, then more often than not it certainly is not the 'fastest' way to download files.

    Usenet - private, encrypted, cheap and FAST.

      Even active torrents can't compete with Usenet. No seeding required. You usually hit max speed in about 10 seconds.

        shh. The first rule of Usenet is "Don't Talk About Usenet!"

    Transmission is the best. I run it as daemon on my Linux server.

    rTorrent is the greatest client ever made. Especially once you couple it with ruTorrent - a web front-end that mimics uTorrent exactly.

    I can be seeding 50 torrents, or leeching at 2MB/sec (fastest my home connection can achieve, courtesy 21Mbit syncs. When it comes to ADSL, it really is like real estate - location, location, location) and barely crack 2% CPU usage on an old Pentium D Dell Server.

    It also works with the Android app TransDroid which means when I'm out at an event with friends or family who tell me about a great TV show, I can set the torrent going from my phone to be ready to watch when I get home. Wizardry!

      rtorrent and rutorrent can be tricky to get working the way you like, but once you do it's very, very powerful.

      I admit, I tend to just use transmission or utorrent depending on OS - but if I was going to set up a torrentbox that had to run properly with minimal input (and not break), I'd go for rtorrent every time.

    Can anyone recommend a torrent program other than Vuze with an RSS plugin (because, uh, I need my linux distro the moment it's released)? That's just about the only reason I'm hanging on to that old beast.

      i'd recommend uTorrent er, µTorrent, for using RSS feeds. it's quite capable of handling private tracker feeds and some public tracker feeds as well, for sites that still have them.

      check with the feed provider's FAQ or forums to see if they recommend anything in particular, especially on embedding ID and password/tokens for downloading the torrent file itself.

    What about qbittorrent? It's basically an open source version of utorrent. Nearly identical feature set too.

      The last time I checked qBittorrent, it was a look a like, but not full featured as uTorrent.

    I always used Transmission only until one day 23/03/2012 I came across an error on Transmission saying Unregistered torrent. I downloaded uTorrent and tried and worked without a problem. I will be using uTorrent from now on lol. Love them both but one tiny error is enough to push me to the other side especially when I cannot tell the difference between them apart from their names. May as well use the best.

    Dang! You guys all know so much!
    I'm a mac gal...been using vuze for the in your face simplicity but all this stuff is so foreign to me.
    Don't understand dns, switching ip's, proxies, etc etc....
    Imported all the "templates" for vuze... Does utorrent or transmission need them as well? Can someone give me the most important pointers and just straight up tell me what is the best choice? Thanks to any advice given!!! Plus I'm in the states and am having to deal with this banning CRAP!
    HELP!

    ok so we know the difference between utorrent and bittorren so now which one is better Transmission or Deluge? which one is better uTorrent or transmission and deluge? Just trying to find the best downloader

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