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Do a Google search for “BitTorrent Client” and it will come up first, but is µTorrent really the best client out there? In short: pretty much.

Sure, there are other clients, but few match µTorrent for features. Which is odd because as a 1.1 MB portable app, µTorrent is one of the smallest clients out there. There’s some compression at work there, sure, but it’s impressive none-the-less.

And yes, there are ads, but you can turn them off. And yes, the interface can feel cluttered, but you can customize it. It’s a program that goes a long way to treating its users right, even if it gets a bad rap sometimes. Still, it’s long been among the most popular torrent clients out there – so much so that BitTorrent Inc bought it out.

Features. So Many Features

We all know µTorrent ably manages multiple torrents, allowing you to queue them to run in order or download several simultaneously – but that’s not all it can do. Exploring the features can become overwhelming, so let’s quickly run through a few of its best ones:

Magnet Links: Not uncommon at this point, but with µTorrent you can open any torrent – even those newfangled magnet links BitTorrent & Magnets: How Do They Work? [Technology Explained] BitTorrent & Magnets: How Do They Work? [Technology Explained] As we recently reported, The Pirate Bay has switched from using .torrent file downloads to magnet links with no opt-out policy. The tracker has offered magnet downloads for a good while now, but this is... Read More . So you’ll be able to open nearly anything.

Scheduling: Take full control of when µTorrent does and doesn’t download during the week. Whether you want to free up bandwidth for your regular 9pm online gaming session or keep bandwidth free for movie night, µTorrent’s scheduler gives you a calendar to configure:

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utorrent-schedule

RSS Support: Plenty of torrent trackers offer RSS feeds of searches – which are commonly used to do things like regularly download new episodes of TV shows.

Streaming: Partway through downloading some music? Listen now, with streaming. It certainly is a little gimmicky, but great for ensuring you’re downloading the correct song. This works with external players or µTorrent’s built-in media player.

µTorrent Remote: Control everything about your downloads from any device with a web browser – provided your computer is running µTorrent.

Built-in Tetris: More of an easter egg than a feature, but still cool: there’s a full-blown version of Tetris rolled right into µTorrent. Just open the “About” screen and press “T” to play.

utorrent-tetris

Hide Features: Feel overwhelmed by the clutter in the interface? You can turn off almost any element. Start by turning off whatever you want in the “Options” menu.

utorrent-off

Yet Still: Tiny

It’s easy to look at that feature list and think of µTorrent as a bloated mess. Easy, but not exactly true: the PC version is around 1.1 MB, meaning it’s smaller than most MP3 files. The Mac version’s a little heavier at 4.15 MB, but not much. Resources usage isn’t bad either.

So while µTorrent is more feature-filled than before, it remains among the smallest clients out there. And the customizable interface means you need not see features you don’t want, making it also a pretty clean-looking option.

Well, except for the ads. About that…

Turn Off Ads In µTorrent

utorrent-clean

There’s one downside, if you care about that sort of things: ads. Some are for the paid version of the software; others are for dating sites. Even this, however, can be turned off entirely. Click “Options”, then “Preferences”, then “Advanced”. Search for the following items, then set each to “false” by clicking them:

  • offers.left_rail_offer_enabled
  • gui.show_plus_upsell
  • offers.sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled
  • bt.enable_pulse
  • gui.show_notorrents_node
  • offers.content_offer_autoexec

It’s also worth noting that µTorrent, while installing on Windows, tries to install some pretty pesky toolbars.

utorrent-toolbars

Be sure not to install these, because they will annoy you and won’t particularly help you. You may be wondering whether µTorrent offers enough features to be worth all of these annoyances, and you’re not entirely wrong . But it’s a feature-filled, lightweight program – and there aren’t many of those.

Still, there are alternatives out there.

Other Clients

Yaara outline 4 Bittorent clients The 4+ Best BitTorrent Clients To Get The Most Out Of Your Downloads The 4+ Best BitTorrent Clients To Get The Most Out Of Your Downloads BitTorrent is still a reliable and pretty fast way to download large files. It might not be the best method out there, but sometimes it sure is the easiest. The clients are straightforward enough and... Read More , and all are worth checking out. Here’s a rundown of her analysis, and how I feel these top contenders rank next to BitTorrent.

If you want more features, you’re crazy. You’re also in luck: Vuze offers just about every feature you can imagine – and several you can’t.

All this is baked into a piece of software that runs on Java, so don’t expect a speedy interface.

If you want something simple and open source, Deluge is worth checking out.

It doesn’t offer many features out-of-the-box, but extensions let you add things like RSS. If you prefer open source software, and don’t mind configuring things a little, this could be great.

Yaara’s favorite, however, was Tixati.


This relatively new client “has all the options an average person could want, but still feels lightweight enough and easy to understand.” If that sounds good to you, check Tixati out.

Of course, there’s also the official BitTorrent client, but that’s basically µTorrent with a different icon. Seriously.

To me µTorrent is the best balance of features to performance – it remains a lightweight player despite doing almost everything a torrent client conceivably should. Master the µTorrent preferences Do You Use uTorrent? Then Be The Master Of Your Preferences Do You Use uTorrent? Then Be The Master Of Your Preferences uTorrent is by far the most widely used BitTorrent client, and for very good reason. uTorrent is very small, very fast, and portable. It is packed with every feature you'd need to be a total... Read More and there’s not much you can’t do.

But I want to know what you think. Am I wrong about µTorrent? And if so, which is the true superior client? Sound off in the comments, everyone!

  1. KC1127
    October 3, 2013 at 6:38 am

    I like BitComet more.

  2. Arun
    October 3, 2013 at 4:25 am

    I have used bitspirit, powerful client.

  3. AbDullahDanze
    October 3, 2013 at 3:17 am

    I like Tiaxti really simple to use !

  4. Kairoz
    October 3, 2013 at 2:11 am

    How about bit spirit? I don't think it offers RSS feeds or other cute n really useful features. But, it does the job: fast downloads and prioritizing them. It's worth checking out. I am using that along with utorrent for the past 5 years. I kinda don't trust utorrent after it got bloated from the tiny 200K app it used to be.

    • DR
      October 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I like and still use Bit Spirit, however, I have encountered some magnet links that it just does not like. It downloads the torrent file but refuses to establish any connections. Yet when opened in uTorrent everything worked fine.

  5. Eric J
    October 3, 2013 at 1:50 am

    tetris is nice, never knew there was one.

  6. Joel L
    October 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Like Yaara, I'm going to agree with Tixati. uTorrent had its time in the spotlight but I moved away a few years ago when it bloated up. I can see that they've done some backpedaling since then, but the ads (even if optional) aren't exactly savory. Although, when it comes down to it, I've grown to love Tixati and I'm happy with it, so I see no reason to try uTorrent again. Nice writeup, nonetheless!

  7. Madge Villegas
    October 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I do agree its still the best client. When you are running 6-8gb of RAM on a decent processor, everything is lightweight.

  8. Gravity D
    October 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    so you can see how much I like uTorrent.
    1. not so heavy on resources though I have heard that there are other client much lighter than uTorrent but I have enough memory to run it and other apps smoothly, so no worries there |
    2. more features |
    3. more customizable.

    sorry, I did not complete my comment

  9. Gravity D
    October 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    when I learned about the torrents, I chose uTorrent for my client (as expected) and I never had a feeling to change my client and believe me I change software very fast just for the sake of change... :P

  10. Siddharth
    October 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Its very easy to do a portable installation that avoids installing those pesky toolbars. In a folder, copy the utorrent setup file and rename it to utorrent.exe. Create two files - settings.dat and resume.dat - in this location and then just double click utorrent.exe. It works portably and you can actually just copy over the folder or even just the settings.dat and resume.dat files to move the installation keeping all your settings, queues, ratios, etc. intact. Updating is a breeze too. Just download the new executable from the website, rename it to utorrent.exe and replace the old one with the new one. Works seamlessly.

    • Justin P
      October 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      This is a great tip! Thanks.

  11. Peter G
    October 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    The adware that uTorrent developers decided was necessary to bundle into their software made me finally switch away after literally years.

    I now torrent happily with Deluge, an app which treats it's users with more respect by not stuffing in ads or tricking you into installing adware/spyware. Deluge is also open-source and cross-platform.

    uTorrent used to be the best fast, light-weight client, now Deluge is: http://deluge-torrent.org

    • dtouch
      October 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      I second that!

    • CoolPenguin
      October 22, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      all in favor? Aye!

    • CoolPenguin
      October 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      utorrent's builds after 2.2.1 except for 3.2.2 Build 28500 don't always play well with private trackers and Tixati often reports false info and is very often banned by them.

  12. John
    October 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    And about qBittorrent?

    • Justin P
      October 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      It's a pretty great choice for KDE users, I think, though I wouldn't think to use it on Mac or Windows machines. Should I?

    • Emre E
      October 3, 2013 at 6:08 am

      Exactly, qBittorrent is my favorite! Very light, like a torrent application should be.

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