qBittorrent – A Polished, Simple & Reliable Cross-Platform BitTorrent Client

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bittorrent client reviewWhilst on the hunt for worthy Linux BitTorrent clients I came across a handful of feature-packed apps, all vying for my attention. I immediately took to Deluge and qBittorrent, mainly due to the similarities with the fantastic uTorrent.

After using Deluge for a good few months I started to notice the odd crack under the surface. My torrents weren’t quite behaving exactly the way I wanted and it was costing me patience and disk space.

So I broke off my impromptu relationship with Deluge and switched to qBittorrent.

A Torrent Of Clients

It’s no secret that there’s a seemingly endless stream of BitTorrent clients available on the web. It can be difficult to carve away the crap when you’re presented with so many options, so the qBittorrent team took a different approach. Aware of the success of the popular uTorrent client, the qBittorrent team took it upon themselves to create a similar client with the aim of developing a cross-platform client which retains full functionality regardless of the operating system.

At the moment there are still a couple of features missing, but the groundwork is done and the foundations laid provide a very stable and elegant tool to handle your downloads. The interface is clean and clutter-free, and anyone with who has used uTorrent in the past will immediately notice the similarities.

qBittorrent 2.6.4:

bittorrent client review

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uTorrent 2.2:

qbittorrent download

The same default layout is present with labels and filters for sorting torrents on the left, menu buttons along the top and content, statistics and a status indicator along the bottom. On Linux by default the icons are pulled from your GNOME theme, which is a nice touch.

Under The Hood

The one main feature that qBittorrent lacks compared to uTorrent is extendibility. The only specific add-ons available are search engine scripts as opposed to the many apps available for uTorrent.

qbittorrent download

If you’ve no need for a million-and-one extra features in your torrent client then this won’t bother you. There’s a good few features already included (such as alternative speed limits, with scheduler) that many clients (Deluge, for example) bolt on as plugins.

qbittorrent download

There’s also a web UI thrown in, which is great for controlling the client remotely via a web browser (and handy if you do your downloading on your main machine, and like to check in with your laptop).

bittorrent client

The options panel is straightforward enough, with features and options categorised into 7 separate areas.

bittorrent client

If you enable Display torrent content and some options in the Downloads tab then you’ll be presented with a small window upon adding each torrent. Here you’ll be able to choose a download location (your default location is shown automatically), contents (if you’re downloading multiple files) and whether to start the download straight away.

bittorrent client

There’s also the option to download each file sequentially, in order. This is a great feature to have available, especially if you regularly download music and videos.

Once you’ve added a download there’s the usual array of information regarding the tracker, peers and files and even in this view you’d be forgiven for thinking you were using uTorrent.

q bittorrent client review

Download

Windows and Mac users can download versions for their respective operating systems by making a selection from the binary packages on the download page. If you’re running Linux then you can find packages and individual distribution instructions by choosing Linux from the binary packages list.

Ubuntu users can install via the Launchpad PPA by typing the following into a new Terminal window:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hydr0g3n/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install qbittorrent

Conclusion

If you’ve been searching for that perfect client for Linux then qBittorrent is worth a look. Through a familiar interface, powerful features and stable performance the development team have developed a promising product.

For Windows users, plugins (or lack thereof) are irrefutably the main reason to stick with uTorrent at the moment. Then again, if you fancy a change…

Do you use BitTorrent? Have you tried qBittorrent? Any other clients that you absolutely love? Let us know in the comments below.

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22 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Rabbbit

uTorrent for linux is also not that bad:) Although only browser interface is available ( apart from the command line ) it seems to be working really good.

Reply

Dan

I use qbittorrent in Linux Mint when I found out that deluge requires a lot more dependencies. qB is great, almost utorrent-like.

Reply

Josh Fox

I’ve been using qBittorrent for quite a while, starting right before their first stable release. The only problem I’ve had with their Windows version is that it was a little behind on releases, but lately, it’s been running right with the Linux version. You didn’t mention it’s excellent queuing system. It can actually stop uploads until all downloads have finished. It’s the reason I use qBittorrent instead of uTorrent on Windows.

Aibek

Hey Josh,

thanks for the input, didn’t know about the queuing feature

Reply

Aibek

Hey Josh,

thanks for the input, didn’t know about the queuing feature

Reply

Don Salva

Simple – Check
Reliable – Check
Polished – Check
Small and resource friendly – Nope

Reply

el tio ska

I’m incredibly happy with FDM (Free Download Manager) with the BitTorrent addon installed. It also runs as portable. (I’m using Windows 7, used it on Win xp for ages too).

Ibrahim Ali

FlashGet handles downloads (- esp great when integrated with the FF add-on “FlashGot”), rapidshare/megaupload type links, dropbox links and torrents — and is pretty light-weight.

Reply

Don Salva

Simple – Check
Reliable – Check
Polished – Check
Small and resource friendly – Nope

Reply

tesarn

I like the default bundled client for Ubuntu (Transmission) best, and I’m looking forward to uTorrent for linux.

Reply

Peter R

Can anyone comment on performance on Windows as compared to uTorrent? libtorrent, which this uses, is supposed to use less memory and CPU and have much faster upload than uTorrent. Does that carry over into qTorrent for Windows? Even if anyone could offer a comment on how the Linux version of q1Torrent performs vs. uTorrent, that’d be helpful.

Thanks

Reply

Peter R

Can anyone comment on performance on Windows as compared to uTorrent? libtorrent, which this uses, is supposed to use less memory and CPU and have much faster upload than uTorrent. Does that carry over into qTorrent for Windows? Even if anyone could offer a comment on how the Linux version of q1Torrent performs vs. uTorrent, that’d be helpful.

Thanks

Peter R

never mind–it’s not really functional on Windows (can’t load and seed most previously downloaded torrents–has a problem when torrent is for a folder, but only sometimes, even when folder structure is identical).

Tim Brookes

That’s a shame, I’ve not had any such issues on Linux and it runs smooth as can be. Core 2 Duo 1.8GhZ, 3GB RAM, Ubuntu 10.10.

Oddly enough I did have issues with downloading multiple files within Transmission though (even if I chose Do Not Download it would take a couple of minutes for the client to realise, resulting in hundreds of incomplete unwanted files).

Reply

Tim Brookes

That’s a shame, I’ve not had any such issues on Linux and it runs smooth as can be. Core 2 Duo 1.8GhZ, 3GB RAM, Ubuntu 10.10.

Oddly enough I did have issues with downloading multiple files within Transmission though (even if I chose Do Not Download it would take a couple of minutes for the client to realise, resulting in hundreds of incomplete unwanted files).

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