As much as streaming platforms are fantastic for watching all forms of media and cloud providers make transferring files between people relatively quick and simple, many people still rely on torrents for sharing content with friends and fans all over the world.
We’ve trimmed the wheat from the digital chaff and have picked out a few of our favorite torrent clients to give you the best sharing experience. Before you go any further, it should be noted that torrents are sometimes used for illegal piracy, and Digital Trends does not condone that use in any guise. For help on getting started with torrents, check out our beginner’s guide.
One of the longest-running torrent clients still seeing active development today, QBittorrent is a clean and easy to use torrent client that’s just as fully featured as some of its contemporaries. The most like old favorite, UTorrent (though without the adverts and cryptojackers) QBittorrent supports modern torrent client features like magnet links, private torrents, encrypted connections, and remote control via a web user interface.
QBittorrent is also widely supportive of modern operating systems. You can download and run it on Windows, MacOS, Linux, OS/2, and FreeBSD, among others, and it has support for more than 70 different languages.
One of its most popular features is the built in search tool. It requires a little bit of setup to make sure that you’re complying with local laws, but once it’s there you don’t need to visit any of the torrent sites you would typically use to find your downloads. That has the benefit of potentially skipping over a website that may or may not have been infected with malware or have nefarious money generating practices like cryptojacking.
Another free and entirely open-source torrent client that we’re big fans of is Deluge. It’s lean and quite barebones with its base installation, which is perfect if that’s all you need. But if you want some of the more advanced features you can heavily customize Deluge to your liking by using its expansive range of plugins. Some of those — like notifications, IP blocklists, and bandwidth controls — are built in to Deluge’s current version, but many more third-party options are available. They let you do everything from automatically delete partially downloaded files to automatically put your system into sleep mode when all torrents are downloaded. There are even graphs and charts for improved download and upload statistics.
As it’s downloaded, Deluge functions entirely well as a desktop client, but it can be run as a service instead, thereby letting it run in the background or be controlled remotely. That makes it a great tool for a download and distribution server, as well as a standard torrent client for individuals on their home system.
Don’t be put off by the long delays between updates. Deluge is still seeing active development and the plugins released in between new stable versions help keep it fresh and brimming with all the latest torrent features you could want.
It might look retro compared to some of the other torrent clients on this list, but Tixati is one of the most fully featured. It supports all of the important basic functions of a modern torrent client, like magnet links, prioritization, and sequential downloading, but it’s where it goes beyond that helps separate it from some of the alternative clients out there.
Tixati provides deep and comprehensive data on the peers that you’re connected with, from the amount of data you’re sharing with them, to their likely location based on their IP address, and the priority you’ve set them in your sharing schedule. There are also detailed breakdowns of your bandwidth usage, and an event logger which helps you stay on top of everything that the client and your chosen torrents are doing.
For such an in-depth tool, Tixati also goes out of its way to help newcomers with occasional tips and help pop-ups. These can be disabled or removed individually, but if you’re finding your feet around the interface, it can be exceedingly useful to be reminded what to do next.
If you need even more help, Tixati comes with a built in encrypted chat function to connect you directly to other Tixati users.
BiglyBT is an offshoot from the Azureus torrent client and the youngest one on this list. It made its debut in 2017 and is entirely open source and advert free, which is a benefit few torrent clients can boast. While it lacks some features that other more comprehensive clients have, like DVD burning capabilities, BiglyBT has everything you need to share content online quickly and easily. It has an intuitive, clean interface, and helps you optimize your uploads and downloads by analyzing your network and internet speeds upon first starting.
Just because it’s simple to use though, doesn’t mean BiglyBT is simple. It lets you set limits on downloads by tag, peer-set, network, or even by individual peers (if you have your favorites). It also has full support for WebTorrent and remote control functions through the Android app. Security features like enhanced VPN integration and proxy searches help you remain anonymous while sharing, if that’s important to you.
BiglyBT is compatible with Windows 7 and later in both 32-bit and 64-bit iterations (Windows XP does work, but is unsupported), as well as MacOS, Linux, BSD, Unix, and Android.
Vuze is what the developers of BiglyBT were working on before they developed their new torrent client, so it’s perhaps no surprise that both projects look strikingly similar. Vuze does come with adverts, so you’ll need to put up with a small banner in the bottom-left of the main window, but you could always opt for the Vuze Plus service. For $10 a month, the premium service removes ads and includes a few extra features like built-in antivirus and DVD burning.
Whether you opt for the plus or standard version of Vuze, though, you’ll get a fully featured torrent client experience. Building atop its Azureus legacy, Vuze has a streamlined torrent interface and all the stats and tracking information you could ask for. It supports magnet links and the Tor network, but it’s the community features which help Vuze stand out. It has built in forum access and chat rooms, both public and anonymous, to better connect you with the wider Vuze community.
If the standard features aren’t enough for you, Vuze has an active plugin scene with hundreds of options for expansion beyond the base install too.