BitTorrent was invented in 2001 and since then, this peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol has enabled users to transfer large amounts of data over internet. The advantage of BitTorrent is that the data can be shared directly between users online and it doesn’t need to be stored on centralized servers. There is a vast selection of software clients that allow users to download via BitTorrent and in this list, you will find some of the best options. Before we go through the selection, we will discuss some issues related to BitTorrent and will check the steps that will allow you to do use it for P2P download.
BitTorrent – Legal Issues to consider
While many would associate it with online piracy, BitTorrent itself is not illegal and there are many legitimate purposes for this protocol. BitTorrent offers a highly effective and convenient way of transferring data over internet. However, it is true that due to its open, decentralized nature, it has facilitated copyright piracy. Users who rely on BitTorrent for downloading copyrighted material, should keep in mind that since it is a peer-to-peer solution, anyone sharing files through this protocol would be able to see the IP address of whoever is sharing that file.
Since copyright holders are making big efforts to prosecute those who download their content, if you engage in this activity, you need to make sure that your identity is protected. A VPN would be a good tool for this and there are many providers that allow P2P on their servers.
How to use BitTorrent for P2P download
- Download and install a BitTorrent client
- Make sure that your VPN connection is active so that you can access applications that have been blocked and hide your real IP address from any eavesdroppers. It will also keep your download activity private and not even your Internet Service Provider will be able to detect it.
- Once you have a BitTorrent client installed and you are using a VPN, you can go to a torrent website to find out what content is available. The websites offer a database that can be browsed and when you find the file you want, you just need to click the download link or the magnet link to start the download.
- After clicking the torrent link or the magnet link, it should open in your BitTorrent client and you just need to follow the instructions, or simply click OK.
Vuze (previously known as Azureous) used to be the most popular BitTorrent client around but it has become a bloatware nightmare, filled with ads. The only way to get rid of the ads is to upgrade to Vuze Plus, which is available for nearly €30 EUR per year and also supports DVD burner, play now feature and an anti-virus. Vuze has so many features that it takes a toll on your system’s resources. The fact that is packed with ads, make things worse and affect the overall functionality and simplicity of the client. Furthermore, during the installation, it attempts to include useless software and while you can decline these additional tools, the installation process can be quite annoying and time consuming as you have to pay attention to avoid these.
The good side of Vuze is that as previously mentioned, it offers a great variety of features including visualizations, file conversion for multiple devices with drag/drop functionality, statistics, built-in media player, remote management and more. The selection of features is quite extensive and while it is great to have so many option, it can be overwhelming and most users would only use a few of them.
Perhaps the highlight could be the fact that you can bind Vuze to your VPN adapter, which can eventually replace Kill Switch and similar options. With this feature, Vuze would only download when your computer is connected to internet via VPN. Vuze also offers an impressive Android app that allows you to download content to your mobile device easily. Vuze Remote gives you the possibility of managing your desktop downloads from your Android device. Vuze is also compatible with Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.
Transmission is a free, open source option that has gained many fans thanks to its fantastic interface. Although it supports powerful features such as watch directories, tracker edition and webseed support, it is lightweight and easy to use. There is encryption available for BitTorrent protocol, but it is not as reliable as the one offered by a VPN. ransmision also supports global and per-torrent speed limits and it is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, various Linux distros, as well as Gentoo and FreeBSD.It is possible to get additional features like XMBC plugin and RSS tools.
Designed by a team of volunters to offer an efficient solution without using up resources on your device, qBitTorrent aims to offer full Vuze or uTorrent functionality in a simple package that is open source. While it doesn’t offer as many features as popular clients like the ones mentioned, qBitTorrent provides useful options such as torrent creation, querying, prioritization, remote access and selective content download. It also comes with a media player, built-in torrent search and RSS subscription. qBitTorrent is an ad-free client that is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.
This is another great BitTorrent client that is completely open source. There is a full version, as well as portable version that doesn’t require installation. Deluge is lightweight and although it doesn’t offer as many features as the likes of Vuze, it is not plagued with ads and you can find all the options that are essential for downloading via BitTorrent. It supports web management, magnet links and you can get additional plugins for functions like RSS support. Deluge is a great option for anyone seeking an effective, hassle-free and practical option for BitTorrenting. It supports various Linux distros, as well as OS X, FreeBSD and Windows.