Torrent clients are not actual people, but rather a method of downloading files that uses a peer-to-peer system. These clients give the digital world a faster way to get large files, such as movies. But picking the best torrent client can be difficult with all the options available.
There are the bare-bones ones like Deluge, or if you’re looking for something with fuller features, then Tixati could be your next client. Check out our list of recommended torrent clients to learn about these and more.
It should be noted that torrents are sometimes used for illegal piracy, and Digital Trends does not condone that use in any way.
Our pick: BitTorrent
One of the longest-running torrent clients still seeing active development today, BitTorrent is a clean and comfortable-to-use torrent client, and just as fully featured as some of its contemporaries. The most like old favorite UTorrent (though without the adverts and cryptojackers), BitTorrent supports modern torrent client features like magnet links, private torrents, encrypted connections, and remote control via a web user interface.
BitTorrent is also widely supportive of modern operating systems. You can download and run it on Windows, MacOS, Linux, OS/2, iOS, Android, and FreeBSD, among others, and it has support for more than 70 different languages. There are three versions of the BitTorrent Client: BitTorrent Free, which is the basic version; BitTorrent Pro, which has software to block threats and provide torrent info; and BitTorrent Pro+VPN, which includes all pro features plus a year of CyberGhost VPN.
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 could be infected with malware or have nefarious money-generating practices like cryptojacking.
Another free and open-source torrent client that we’re big fans of is Deluge. It’s lean and quite bare-bones 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 dozens of plugins. Some of those — like notifications, IP blocklists, Stats, Scheduler, and Extractor — come built in to Deluge’s current version, but many more third-party options are available.
As it downloads, Deluge functions entirely well as a desktop client, but it can be run as a service instead. You can let it run in the background or control it remotely. That makes it an excellent tool for a download and distribution server, as well as a standard torrent client for individuals on their home system.
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 the essential primary functions of a modern torrent client, like magnet links, prioritization, and sequential downloading. Still, it’s where it goes beyond that helps separate it from some of the alternative clients out there.
Tixati provides in-depth 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 that helps you stay on top of everything that the client and your chosen torrents are doing.
If you’re concerned about privacy, it should be noted that this is one client you want to run a VPN with when using.
BiglyBT is an offshoot from the Azureus torrent client and the youngest one on this list. It originated from the Vuze/Azureus open source project in 2003 but made its debut in 2017 and is entirely open source and ad-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 booting.
Just because it’s simple to use, though, doesn’t mean BiglyBT itself 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.
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 $3.99 per month, the premium service removes ads and includes a few extra features like a 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 want. It supports magnet links and the Tor network, but it’s the community features that help Vuze stand out. It has built-in forum access and chat rooms, both public and anonymous, to better connect you with the broader Vuze community.
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