BitTorrent, the P2P file sharing protocol, is still one of the most widely used ways of file sharing even after 16 years of its release and takedown of numerous torrent sites. It was developed by the American programmer Bram Cohen whose company now looks after the development. Read our detailed post to know more about how BitTorrent works.
The BitTorrent network allows users to source anything from music, movies, TV shows, software, audiobooks, etc. which are mostly in pirated form because there can be reasons why people indulge in piracy. But there are many websites hosting tons of legal torrents also.
You might very well know, to access the decentralized network and download torrent, a piece of software called a torrent client, or torrent downloader is required. Bram also created the first torrent client called BitTorrent which remained the best torrent software for years. But there are many other famous torrent downloaders which can add a lot of comfort to the life of members of the torrent community.
One great thing about torrent clients is most of them are available for free, so, it becomes easier for users to make a switch if they don’t like their existing BitTorrent client.
We have already told you in our earlier posts about some top torrent clients for macOS. Now, we have come up with some of the best torrent programs for Windows 10 and previous versions.
Before moving ahead, don’t forget to check out our 2018’s list of top 10 torrent sites.
Best Torrent Client For Windows – 2018
1. Web Torrent – Best torrent software for casual users
Web Torrent is by far, the easiest torrent client I have used. It is great torrent client alternative for users who want to keep themselves away from confusing features. All you need to do is paste the torrent file or magnet URL in its main window, and voila, your torrent download starts without any further ado.
This open source torrent client is quite young when compared to veterans like BitTorrent. After coming into existence in 2017, WebTorrent quickly gained popularity for its ability to run inside a web browser without installing anything. But now, it’s also available as an app for Windows and other operating systems.
The WebTorrent Windows app provides a minimalistic interface for torrent download. It comes with a built-in player to watch movies and other video files as they download. It allows users to add external subtitles and stream video content to their Chromecast devices without any hassle.
Maybe it’s my personal experience, but torrent downloads have been slightly faster when using WebTorrent. Moreover, the ease of use offered by the software is that quality that encouraged us to include it on the top in our best torrent client list.
2. Tribler – a torrent program with an anonymity cover
You might want to get your hands on the torrent client called Tribler. More eagerly after knowing that it has a Tor-like onion network of its own which is intended to protect the anonymity of the users. This plus point certainly makes it a worthy choice when searching for the best torrent client.
To make users anonymous, Tribler cuts their direct link to the BitTorrent swarm by placing three daisy-chained proxy servers in between. However, this only works for peers or torrent downloaders. Proxy support for seeders is currently an experimental feature.
You can change the anonymity settings by visiting Settings > Anonymity. There you can also configure your PC to act a Tribler proxy.
The open source and free torrent software doesn’t look like any average torrent downloader you would find. In fact, it has the appearance of a media player software completed with a search bar to find torrents out-of-the-box.
Tribler comes with a built-in video player which is actually VLC running in the background to hook videos as you download torrents. Other features include bandwidth management, family filter, etc.
3. BitTorrent – most ancient of all torrent client
Being the first and one of the best torrent downloader software, BitTorrent still has a strong userbase. But torrent client in its current versions is no more than a violet-themed UI with uTorrent at its heart.
The powerful torrent client is loaded with tons of features which can be of great help to BitTorrent users from beginner to advanced level. It organizes torrent downloads in different categories and provides way more technical details than other BitTorrent alternatives such as WebTorrent. Users can find torrents using the inbuilt search box that opens a web browser.
Bittorrent’s Preferences windows open the doors to a variety of settings such as limiting bandwidth usage, download scheduler, putting a data cap, managing paired devices, running a program after the download completes, etc.
While free Bittorent offers all the necessary features required, users who are allergic to advertisements can go for BitTorrent Pro which comes with customer support. The Pro version also offers access to the built-in media player, AV protection, and the ability to stream torrents as they download. Doing the same without Pro isn’t a big deal as you can open the file directly using VLC. But incomplete file download may interrupt your viewing.
4. uTorrent – a very tiny BitTorrent alternative
uTorrent, also developed by BiTtorrent Inc., has been there on people’s machines since its release in 2005. But there is nothing much to say about uTorrent as most of its features were already told when describing BitTorrent.
There is almost no difference between the two torrent downloaders in terms of looks (except the logo and theme color) and features offered. However, the thing that sets the two apart is the uTorrent web app.
5. BitComet – torrenting program cum download manager
If you read our post on the best download managers for Windows, you might already be aware of BitComet. While it can download regular stuff, the software is primarily designed to act as a torrent downloader for Windows.
Other than basic torrent client features, there are a couple of things that BitComet touts as exclusive. Using a feature called long-term seeding, BitComet can fetch data (during torrent downloads) from other peers who have 100% of the torrent file. This facility helps when all the seeders go offline, and the torrent gets stuck.
It also boasts intelligent disk caching, where frequently accessed data is cached in the main memory and the hard drive is disturbed less often, preventing any performance impacts.
Users having BitComet account can share their torrents (not the files) with each other. It also supports the eDonkey network with the help of a plugin called eMule, but it isn’t activated by default.
6. Vuze – uTorrent alternative
Another open source software among the best torrent client is Vuze. With its first release in 2003, it isn’t much younger than BitTorrent or BitComet.
Vuze is a well-built torrent downloader that is feature packed, looks neat and tidy, but it is not as appealing to the eyes as Tribler or Web Torrent. But nevermind, it’s a BitTorrent client, not some fancy app.
It comes with built-in web and metasearch tools to keep users within the boundaries of the torrent software. It has it’s own network of the high-quality torrents from official sources. A feature called Swarm discoveries suggest torrents similar to the torrents you download.
Vuze allows users to chat with other Vuze users and share torrents. It can also convert and transfer files directly to different devices and stream content to other device connected to the same LAN. The torrent downloader also supports iTunes integration. Moreover, the support for plugins opens Vuze’s doors to a plethora of new features and capabilities.
The torrent downloader also burns download files directly to DVDs, but that requires users to buy Vuze Plus which removes ads and also adds other features including built-in AV scanning and playback while torrent downloading.
7. qBittorrent – a simple open source torrent downloader
qBittorrent was the first open source torrent client I heard. Maybe, one won’t call it the most advanced torrent software out there; it packs enough juice to get through your torrent sessions with ease. Of course, it’s a free software which is also free from advertisements and promotional pop-ups.
The Settings window in qBittorrent is the most sorted I have seen in any torrent client. Despite having so many options and customizations, chances are fewer that users would get confused due to their representation. Other than differentiating torrents with various status labels and tags, the torrent software also includes a search bar to find torrents from the list.
One interesting feature you might not notice during the initial use is the UI lock. You can activate it by clicking the yellow padlock in the top-right corner. You can set a UI lock password for qBittorrent which prevents others from using the torrent client after you enable the lock by.
8. Deluge – torrent client that works without a UI
Deluge is another open source torrent client that might look a little offbeat. It seems the world of the torrent downloader software is mostly filled with open source apps.
It’s a simple, lightweight torrent client that does its job of downloading torrents efficiently. But it can do wonders on Windows, and it extends its cross-platform presence by offering support for macOS and Linux. The list of salient Deluge features includes encryption, local peer discovery (LSD), setting global and per-torrent bandwidth limits, etc. The support for various first and third-party plugins can bring a more personalized experience for the users.
Other than the standard mode, Deluge also offers a Thinclient mode in which a Deluge daemon takes of the BitTorrent jobs even on headless machines like a server, and controlled via other computers over the network.
How To Protect Your Torrent Downloads?
You might be aware of the fact that torrent downloads over the BitTorrent network aren’t some secret that nobody can find out. Determined brains can easily track users on the network and know what they download. Hence, there a couple of ways which can be helpful for the users. Users can either take advantage of a proxy server. Almost every popular torrent program support proxy servers.
Download torrents using VPN
Putting your torrent downloader behind the protection of a VPN service can be a handy option. The traffic over a VPN connection goes through an encrypted tunnel. Thus, it prevents any middleman to decipher the content being downloaded. Here is our list of the top 10 VPN services for 2018 you can use to secure your torrent downloads.
Final Thoughts – The best torrent downloader
After having a look at various torrent clients, it can be easily concluded that every one of them targets a somewhat subset of the torrent community. So, users who don’t want jampacked ugly torrent downloaders can go for Web Torrent and Tribler. And for the ones preferring features over appearance, BitComet, Vuze, and uTorrent are good choices. Deluge and qBittorrent take the middle road by providing users a great torrenting experience but not confusing them with tons of features.