Torrents, at almost 14 years old, are veritably ancient when it comes to innovation yet the popular file sharing method remains one of the mainstays of almost anyone that wants to download files and large companies now use it to distribute large files to users.
Clients were and have remainder the easiest way to get hold of torrents and as with any part of the internet there are a plethora of different options to choose from that offer almost the same service yet little tweaks make each one slightly different. What follows is the top five torrent clients in the world today.
Anyone that wants something beyond just a stripped down torrent client will be happy to know that Vuze fills that void with some style.
Like its peers, Vuze supports all torrent types though its content discovery feature is something that is to be admired. It suggests a wealth of HD videos with categories that include news, music videos, tv shows, movies and sports. Further than that it also has a glut of games that can be downloaded and that's even before you've begun to use the search capabilities that Vuze offers.
Searching using Vuze is more convenient than other services as it uses a built-in browser window to find torrents using either a web search through Microsoft Bing or a metasearch of a range of torrent sites. The meta search is a real advantage although the built-in web browser was fairly sluggish when we searched using it.
The free features don't end there, however, with a dedicated RSS feeds tab within the content discovery tab, device playback, an iTunes converter, DVD burner and live customer support chat making there few reasons for you not to download Vuze.
One thing to note is that during the installation make sure that you pick the custom path and then also don't accept the additional bloatware that comes with it and the only thing the paid-for premium version brings is the chance to get rid of ads, and $29.99 (around £19.50, or AU$38.50) is a steep price to pay for this plus bundled anti-virus protection.
The grand daddy of all the torrent clients for some time, uTorrent is at the top table thanks to its lightweight nature and the fact that it's built a reputation as something that works really well.
When uTorrent is opened for the first time it will look a little bloated thanks to a sidebar that offers you the chance to upgrade to uTorrent Pro or download the latest free offering from BitTorrent, however, all of this can be changed by simply customising the look and removing the sidebar in the options menu.
After the sidebar is removed and you're left with the blank whiteness of the torrent client it comes into its own as a downloader. The speeds are still what everyone has come to expect and you can type search queries into the built-in search field before being taken to a web browser tab to complete your search. As soon as you download the torrent it will open automatically in uTorrent and before you know it the torrent has downloaded.
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a completely free version of uTorrent and it ends up bombarding you with various offers that need to be dodged during the installation to make sure you don't end up with four or five pieces of added software.
Added extras in uTorrent include the ability to set up RSS feeds and play content using the uTorrent player that comes as part of the package. uTorrent will still be at pains to point out that there is a Pro version available for $19.95 that offers even more features such as instant streaming of torrents, automatic virus and malware protection, the ability to play more formats, a converter and "premium" customer support.
The free version of uTorrent remains a very strong proposition and for something that grabs torrents with little fuss there's no a lot to fault about it.
You might open BitTorrent and immediately feel like your suffering some kind of weird deja vu where the colours have been flipped. This is no case of deja-vu though. uTorrent and BitTorrent are one of the same and made by the company that brands itself as the "original BitTorrent".
What you're left with when downloading BitTorrent is quite literally the same program as uTorrent except that the colour scheme is purple rather than green. So it really all boils down to whether you're a purple or a green. Time to make your mind up...
When torrents first made it onto the scene some 14 years ago, torrent clients had little more than a white space where the downloads took place and BitComet is one program that remains in that corner.
BitComet's antiquated approach to torrent downloads is maybe where it excels in terms of the lack of advertising and bloatware but it's also where it falls down. The program feels a lot less intuitive than many of its rivals and you could even go as far as to say that it's confusing due to the wealth of options that are available on screen. Expert users will find the number of options helpful, however, and once you get to know your way round it's nowhere near as daunting.
It has a limited built-in browser yet, like many of the other clients around, directs you to an external window when it actually searches for a torrent and performance-wise it gets downloads started just as quickly as its competitors.
For those that want a very basic client this is more than adequate and BitComet does the job of torrent downloading perfectly well.
Taking a slightly different approach to the well trodden plain white window is BitLord through its beige and black colour-way that immediately throws hundreds of suggestions for content as soon as you enter its main window.
The interface itself is the most simple one on the entire list with large icons that clearly label what can be found beneath each tab and the fact you can search for and then start torrents without having to leave the program will appeal to many users comparing it to other clients.
BitLord also doesn't include a plethora of useless adware that some other clients have and combine this with the ease of finding torrents and BitLord is one of those that we would recommend to beginners to the world of torrents.