Choosing a Bit Torrent Client

July 8, 2011, By Christian Cawley

The whole subject of file sharing has become tainted by the implied “illegal” term, which is a great pity as there are many ways in which we can share legally owned data online. One of the most popular is via the Bit Torrent network where alongside illegal material you will find a great deal of public domain and free to use, open source works.

For instance, some Linux distros can be downloaded via Bit Torrent, and many new unsigned artists use networks of peer to peer downloaders to share their material.

To take advantage of the Bit Torrent network, you will need an application for managing downloads. There are several tools available; all of them are free and intentionally easy to use, so the only question on your lips now should be “which one should I use?”

Choosing a bit torrent client

uTorrent

This is an extremely popular torrent client that can be downloaded from www.utorrent.com. Lightweight but packed with all of the features you should expect from such software, uTorrent features a torrent creation tool, a search tool and the ability to download content from RSS feeds as well as the standard .torrent files that you would expect to find listed at the various index websites.

UTorrent promotes itself as being “tiny” – it uses few resources on your computer, and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

BitComet

Offering a wider selection of download tools is BitComet, which along with torrent files will also enable you to download HTTP and FTP files. Among its other features are file-by-file downloads of torrents, a torrent maker and full control over bandwidth and download speed.

Thanks to multiple downloading of the same file, BitComet can also help you to increase the speeds of downloads, and is available for Windows 2000 or later from www.bitcomet.com.

Vuze

Formerly known as Azureus, Vuze offers both a torrent search function and a HD video playback system, allowing the software to run as a sort of bit torrent media center.

Available from azureus.sourceforge.net, Vuze can be looked upon as the “next generation” of Bit Torrent clients, and the software also features tools for efficient downloading which can be tailored to your bandwidth and speed restrictions.

Since the switch to Vuze, two versions are available – the standard, free version for downloading torrents and a premium Vuze Plus client that incorporates features such as the ability to easily send downloaded  media content to mobile phones and games consoles.

Opera

Finally, and rather surprisingly, there is Opera, the popular browser that features functionality for downloading torrent files!

It really is surprising that this browser – available from www.opera.com – is the only one to offer this as a download option. After all, many of us spend a large amount of our time downloading photos and files via web browsers, and have done since the first versions of Internet Explorer.

Why is it so difficult for other browsers to natively include this feature?

Over the next few days we’ll be taking a look at the functions of each of these tools and how they can be used to download files from the popular P2P network.

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