Torrenting has become a popular way for people to share large files over the internet. By breaking files into small pieces, multiple users can quickly download and upload parts of the same file. This allows for faster download speeds compared to traditional client-server file transfers.
However, to participate in torrenting and download files shared via BitTorrent protocols, you need a BitTorrent client, also known as a torrent client. The torrent client is the software that enables your computer to communicate with peers in a torrent swarm.
In this guide, I will share my top 10 recommended free torrent clients that are safe, easy to use, and offer great features.
Top 10 Torrent Clients
Here are my picks for the best free torrent clients available today:
qBittorrent is my top choice for a free open-source torrent client. It was created as an alternative to the popular μTorrent client but without the ads and bloatware.
Some key features of qBittorrent:
- Clean and simple interface
- Active development and regular updates
- Good download speeds
- Search torrents within the app
- Media playback while downloading
- Encryption support
- IP filtering and bandwidth scheduling
- Wide platform support including Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD and OS/2
Overall, qBittorrent strikes a great balance between being lightweight yet full-featured. It‘s fast, reliable, regularly updated, and contains no ads or malware.
Deluge is another popular open-source torrent client that has been around for many years. It prides itself on being lightweight yet still offering many advanced options.
Some interesting features of Deluge:
- Plugin support to expand functionality
- Option to run as a thin client or standalone desktop app
- Detailed bandwidth management and usage statistics
- Password protection and IP filtering
- Web UI to manage remotely
- Media streaming while downloading
- Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix
Deluge is highly customizable and gives you lots of control over your torrents. The active community behind Deluge also keeps the project improving with new features and fixes.
Transmission is one of the most popular Mac torrent clients. It‘s also available for Linux and Windows.
Some useful aspects of Transmission:
- Very simple and clean interface
- Light on system resources
- Solid download speeds
- Remote management through web UI
- Media playback support
- Blocklist subscription to filter bad peers
- Native Mac app with Dock icon and notifications
Transmission offers a smooth torrenting experience without unnecessary clutter. It‘s a great option if you want something that "just works" on a Mac.
Formerly known as Vuze, BiglyBT is a feature-packed torrent client for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Some interesting capabilities of BiglyBT:
- Media playback and conversion tools
- UPnP media server support
- I2P network integration for anonymity
- Remote management via Android app
- "Swarm Merging" to combine torrent fragments
- Meta-search torrent sites right in the app
- Plugin support to expand functionality
BiglyBT includes extras like media tools, search, and remote access out of the box. Advanced users will appreciate options like I2P integration and bandwidth management too.
LibreTorrent is a new torrent client for Windows, Mac, and Linux focused on being simple, clean, and light.
Key features of LibreTorrent:
- Sleek dark mode interface
- Quick torrent search built-in
- Media playback while downloading
- Sequential downloading option
- IP filtering for security
- Easy bandwidth management
- No ads or bloatware
For a modern torrent experience without complexity, LibreTorrent is worth a look. It covers the torrenting basics well without excessive options or clutter.
Flud is a popular mobile torrent client available for Android and iOS.
Some useful features of Flud:
- Intuitive mobile interface
- Chromecast support to view media on TV
- Download management options like sequencing
- Search torrents from within the app
- Display download progress notifications
- Track bandwidth usage
- No need to keep the app open during downloads
Flud makes it easy to torrent on the go. The phone app lets you conveniently manage torrents and streaming without needing your computer.
BitComet is a long-running torrent client for Windows focused on performance and features.
Some key aspects of BitComet:
- Download acceleration and auto-tuning network settings
- Intelligent disk caching to improve speeds
- UPnP media server and DLNA support
- Anti-leech protection against unfair peer downloads
- DHT network extension for finding more peers
- Remote monitoring via HTTP and FTP protocols
- Optional Flash video download support
BitComet tries to push torrent download speeds to the maximum with optimizations like disk caching. Long-time torrent users may appreciate tools like UPnP media streaming too.
8. WebTorrent Desktop
WebTorrent Desktop is an experimental torrent client built on web technologies. It works across Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Some interesting features of WebTorrent Desktop:
- Stream torrents as they download
- Drag-and-drop HTML5 interface
- Seamlessly connects to WebTorrent and BitTorrent swarms
- Local playback or Chromecast streaming
- Lightweight performance optimized for streaming
WebTorrent Desktop brings torrent streaming to desktop platforms. It‘s ideal for sequentially downloading and playing videos or music as they arrive.
Folx is a capable torrent client optimized for the Mac experience.
Useful features of Folx:
- Torrent search built right into the app
- Media playback with subtitle support
-Tiered speeds to throttle torrents selectively
- Wi-Fi only mode to avoid costly cellular downloads
- Schedule torrents to only download during certain hours
- Automatically move completed downloads to target folders
- Remote access on iPhone and iPad
Folx focuses on a smooth Mac-integrated torrenting workflow. Media playback, remote access, and clever quality-of-life features make it a great choice for Mac users.
10. Halite BitTorrent
Halite BitTorrent is a new torrent client focused on being minimalist yet powerful. It is built with the Go programming language.
Key features of Halite:
- Extremely small resource footprint
- Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and BSD
- AES encryption support
- Control downloads via CLI and HTTP APIs
- Sequential downloading
- Modern responsive interface
- Cross-platform mobile app (iOS and Android)
Halite manages to pack a full-featured torrenting experience into a tiny application. It‘s perfect if you want a minimalist yet capable torrent client.
What to Look for in a Torrent Client
When choosing a torrent client, here are some key factors to consider:
- Speed – Faster downloads and quick connectivity to torrent swarms
- Security – Encryption, IP filtering, and proxy support to protect your privacy
- Ads – Lack of ads, malware, and bloatware
- Features – Media playback, scheduling, bandwidth limits, RSS, etc
- Search – Ability to search for and add torrents right in the app
- Remote access – Control your torrents remotely via phone, web, etc
- Platforms – Cross-platform support so you can use on Windows, Mac, Linux, etc
- Resources – Light on CPU, RAM, and disk usage
The best torrent clients offer a good balance of speed, security, features, and resource efficiency without trying to monetize you through ads.
Step-by-Step Guide to Downloading Torrents
Here is a quick step-by-step overview of how to download torrents:
Step 1 – Download and install a torrent client like qBittorrent or Deluge on your computer.
Step 2 – Find a torrent file (.torrent extension) from a torrent indexing site.
Step 3 – Open the torrent file with your client and it will connect to the torrent‘s peers.
Step 4 – Seeds (users with 100% of the file) will start sending you pieces of the file.
Step 5 – As more pieces arrive, the overall progress will advance until it reaches 100% complete.
Step 6 – You now have the full file downloaded and combined from the collective peer swarm.
That covers the basic process of finding a torrent file and downloading it through your BitTorrent client. Refer to your specific torrent app‘s instructions for full details.
Important Tips for Torrenting Safely and Legally
Here are some key tips to keep in mind when using torrent clients:
Only download torrents for legitimate content you own or that is in the public domain. Copyright infringement exposes you to legal repercussions.
Use a reliable VPN to encrypt your torrent traffic and hide your IP address from peers, copyright enforcers, and your ISP. This adds an important layer of privacy and security when torrenting.
Check if your torrent client supports proxy settings. This provides another way to route your traffic anonymously.
Limit your upload speeds when possible. This makes you less visible in the swarm and less attractive for copyright trolls to target.
Avoid questionable torrent sites and be wary of fake files with viruses and malware. Stick to well-known reputable sites.
Disable seeding after your download finishes if you want to minimize your involvement in the swarm.
Following smart security practices will let you enjoy torrenting safely and avoid legal trouble.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are torrent clients legal to use?
A: Yes, torrent clients themselves are perfectly legal to use. What matters is what content you are downloading – make sure it is either not copyrighted or you have the rights to use it.
Q: Do I need a VPN for torrenting?
A: Using a VPN is highly recommended when torrenting to conceal your IP address and online activities from prying eyes.
Q: Can I get in trouble for torrenting?
A: You can face penalties for downloading and sharing copyrighted material without permission via torrents. Use common sense and caution.
Q: What is the safest torrent client?
A: qBittorrent is generally considered the safest due to being open source, having no ads/malware, and offering good built-in privacy controls.
Q: Is uTorrent safe to use?
A: Older versions are ok but newer versions have lots of ads and privacy issues, so other clients like qBittorrent are safer.
Q: Can I torrent on my phone?
A: Yes, there are torrent apps for iPhone and Android like Flud that allow mobile torrenting. Just take precautions around privacy and data usage.
Q: Is torrenting still popular?
A: Yes, torrents remain a popular way for people to share large files and content online. The technology continues to evolve with sites like The Pirate Bay.
Torrenting can be a great way to transfer large files, conveniently download digital media, and participate in public file sharing communities.
The key is using one of the best torrent clients – like my top pick qBittorrent – and following safe practices around privacy and security. Avoid questionable sites and copyrighted content sources.
With a bit of care, you can unlock the full potential of P2P torrenting. Download a client from this list and start expanding your file sharing horizons today!