In this day and age, all of the content and entertainment you could possibly want is readily available online. While most people prefer the polish and convenience of paid platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more, there are also plenty of options out there that don’t require to shell out a single cent to get the content you want.
There’s free online movie sites, there’s YouTube and Vimeo, but for those who are more comfortable surfing the multi-layered waves of the world wide web, one option stands above the rest in terms of availability of and accessibility to exabytes worth of all kinds of content. Using the file torrent peer-to-peer sharing system, people from all over the world can have access to millions of files hosted on hundreds of thousands of computer systems.
But how does one access this system and unlock everything it has to offer – for free? Simple: with the use of a file torrenting client. Basically, file torrenting clients are specialized downloaders that let you use the BitTorrent file sharing protocol to communicate with and share files with peers from all over the world. Among file torrenting clients, the one that stands at the peak is qBittorrent.
Despite being one of the newest additions to the list, qBittorrent is now one of the best and most popular file torrenting clients around the world. Lightweight and open-source, qBittorrent boasts speed and optimization, a ton of great features, and a clean, ad-free user experience to hold its own against clients that have been tried and trusted for years. However, in spite of all that, qBittorrent isn’t perfect. It has bugs here and there, and doesn’t have the most advanced features.Fortunately, there are lots of other great options out there that could offer similar, if not better, quality and performance.
If you’re looking for a good file torrenting client to use apart from qBittorrent, you might be pleasantly surprised to know that there are a ton of great alternatives. Here are the top 11 torrent clients being used today:
Before qBittorrent ever became popular, the undisputed King of Torrenting Clients – based on popularity at least, was µTorrent. With some of the most advanced features you can find on any torrent client anywhere, µTorrent has long been the go-to for P2P sharing enthusiasts around the world. Lightweight with a lot of web-based features, µTorrent also boasts excellent speeds and optimizations. However, in recent years, µTorrent has also taken to in-application advertising to support their platform.
If you can overlook the ads, µTorrent remains one of the best torrenting clients available, with unique features that make it a worthwhile choice. If you’re into streaming torrents – a relatively new feature – µTorrent has turned that into a very polished experience.
Another widely popular option, BitTorrent, an excellent qBittorrent alternative with a pedigree. Developed by Bram Cohen – the same person behind the BitTorrent file sharing protocol that revolutionized the way peer-to-peer systems operate – the BitTorrent client utilizes some of the best software optimizations to really make the most of P2P sharing.
BitTorrent was the very first file torrenting client ever, but lately they’ve been overtaken by the more popular µTorrent. Today, BitTorrent offers about the same features and performance as µTorrent.
The Vuze BitTorrent client is arguably one of the most powerful torrent clients out there. With a ton of features, reliable performance, and solid speed, Vuze has a lot going on under the hood to provide a rich user experience for anyone who’s into peer-to-peer.
Vuze is free to download and use, but it generates revenue through in-app advertising. Although these ads are never too intrusive, there’s also a paid ad-free version called Vuze Plus for those willing to shell out money to support the developers.
Big and powerful, Vuze is an excellent BitTorrent client that’s fast and reliable. However, because of its many features, it’s also one of the more resource-heavy torrent clients so make sure your rig can handle it comfortably.
One of the best open-source torrenting clients, Transmission is highly regarded for its simplicity and ease-of-use. Lightweight and optimized, Transmission is a trusty little tool that lets you tap into P2P file torrenting with ease and convenience.
Unlike some other qBittorrent alternatives, Transmission also provides an excellent, ad-free user experience, keeping the resource usage to the bare minimum while being able to deliver maximum performance.
However, in its simplicity, users may miss some quality of life features present in other torrenting clients. Transmission lacks a torrent tagging system and some other organizational features so it might not be able to help you keep track of your seeding and leeching.
Widely popular especially among open-source software enthusiasts, Deluge is an exemplary file torrenting client that offers one of the easiest and simplest user experiences. Developed in Python, Deluge manages to stay lightweight while providing optimal speeds and performance.
Deluge is also gaining lots of popularity for its fully-featured web client, while the more technically-inclined prefer Deluge for its advanced console interface and overall unobtrusiveness.
Available on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, Deluge is a terrific option for both basic and advanced users.
Based on the ubiquitous LimeWire, FrostWire is a fork on the open-source downloader that combines BitTorrent peer-to-peer capabilities with cloud downloading into one powerful and easy-to-use client for downloading all kinds of content from the web.
One of the main draws to FrostWire is that, unlike any other file sharing application on this list, it can search through both torrent and cloud indices to find content that’s hosted on either protocol. This makes FrostWire one of the easiest clients to use, and it’s simple and sleek user interface only adds to the user experience.
If lightweight and unobtrusive is the most important factor for you when it comes to file torrenting, then it won’t get any better than Aria2. Designed with just three lines of code with no libraries or anything external, Aria2 is a tiny little program that lets you unlock the power of BitTorrent file sharing.
Aria2 runs on the command-line interface making it also one of the most advanced tools out there, although very easy to learn even if you don’t consider yourself technically-inclined. With no GUI and just a clean, lightweight CLI, Aria2 uses up the least amount of system resources for people who prefer to keep their downloads running smoothly and comfortably in the background.
BitTorrent file sharing may be powerful and diverse, but that also means it can be a little daunting, if not intimidating, to get into. For those who want a simple, easy-to-use file torrenting client that offers a clean, basic interface with not too many bells and whistles, PicoTorrent is an excellent choice for those new to the torrenting scene.
PicoTorrent is a barebones client that barely takes any system resources, but it gets the job done. With a simple, minimalist interface with all of the tools and features a budding novice would need to get a taste of the potential in the BitTorrent protocol, PicoTorrent is a great, lightweight choice for anyone, especially the less tech-savvy.
Another browser-based option that lets you download and stream file torrents without having to install anything is FilePizza. Free and easy-to-use, FilePizza is super lightweight that lets you download torrents from anywhere, as long as you have access to a web browser.
Despite its lightweight portability and extreme accessibility, FilePizza is also one of the most secure file torrenting channels out there. FilePizza provides top-of-the-line encryption and security for their users.
One downside to FilePizza – and a pretty big one at that, especially for people who’d prefer to start their downloads and forget about them – is that it only lets you transfer files and torrents while FilePizza is running on both computers at the same time.
Simple, fast, and powerful with all of the convenience of a cloud-based platform, Put.io isn’t just a torrenting client. Marketed as a file aggregator, Put.io lets you download files from all over the internet and stores them for you on the cloud.
However, unlike the other options on this list, Put.io is a premium service that you have to pay pretty good money for. That said, its reach and versatility is definitely worthwhile, so if you’re a big fan of downloading files – whether they’re torrents, cloud downloads, or otherwise – Put.io is a solid investment.
If you’re looking for a fully web-based qBittorrent alternative, WebTorrent has you covered. With a super clean and optimized web interface, WebTorrent provides some of the best features of BitTorrent – like torrent streaming – in an interface that you can access easily and freely straight from your web browser.
For those looking for a more standalone experience, WebTorrent also offers a terrific, lightweight desktop application that’s just as optimized and fully-featured as their web client. It lets you stream video and audio torrents immediately as it downloads, bringing peer-to-peer sharing into real-time.