uTorrent Review and Guide

uTorrent remains one of the most downloaded torrent clients in the world. The key reason why it’s so competitive is its user interface.

If there’s one torrent client that gives users a streamlined torrenting experience, then it is uTorrent.

Unlike other torrent clients, uTorrent doesn’t use up a lot of system resources and draws its base functionality from the BitTorrent client (which preceded uTorrent).

But as with any other application, uTorrent also has its weak points, and that is what we will look at in this uTorrent review.

We’d like to mention here that before you go ahead and install uTorrent, you should spend some time reading up on all the pros and cons of the torrent client, along with its features and functions. This is the perfect place to start.

the utorrent client screenshot

Features

Click here to download uTorrent.

Click here to go to the official website of BitTorrent, uTorrent’s developer.

Click here to see get the full details on uTorrent release notes.

To start off, uTorrent is free and available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Here are some of the features that set uTorrent apart from other torrent clients:

Tiny Size

uTorrent’s small size means that the client will consume very little valuable system resources that you can use for doing other tasks while uTorrent is busy taking care of your torrent files.

uTorrent takes up a modest amount of space upon installation.

uTorrent’s presence on your computer costs you just 2MB of disk space.

And the client only eats up around 6 MB of RAM. Although, actual RAM usage will vary depending on the number of torrents you are downloading at any given time.

In addition to its small size, uTorrent comes with all the options and tools a torrent user could need. Granted, some clients offer more features, but uTorrent has the best features-to-size ratio in the market today.

Proxy Configuration

a grey laptop with a proxy running

In terms of pure customization options, uTorrent is sufficient even for avid torrent users. However, users need to know how uTorrent works to anticipate how a particular setting would change upon modification.

Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before uTorrent stops working and taints the whole torrenting experience for the user. In other words, if the user knows what they want, uTorrent provides enough options to satisfy their needs.

Also, the process of configuring uTorrent relatively easy. To take an example, torrent users who don’t want to download torrent files without a proxy can configure uTorrent to use a proxy before forming any connections with other peers on the same network. (We’ve made a separate guide on how to do this.)

Note:

Keep in mind that the option to configure a proxy service isn’t always a luxury since some VPN services still require proxy configuration to work with torrent clients.

RSS Functionality

Some torrent users want the RSS feed option more than they want the torrent client to download files faster. That is perfectly understandable—RSS is somewhat of an interesting feature in the sense that once you set up an RSS feed containing torrent files, all you need to do is add the torrent client (uTorrent in this case) and then enable the option of download new torrent files automatically.

This, in turn, allows the torrent client to download all new files as soon as they make an appearance on the RSS feed.

Remote Management

Remote file management is another feature that a lot of torrent clients still don’t offer. But despite being small in size, uTorrent does provide this vital feature for users who like to manage their torrent files on the go.

The latest edition of uTorrent enables users to stop and start torrents remotely with the help of a web browser.

Whether you’re away from the main desktop setup in your residence or if you’re just using a different device, you can easily check on the status of all of your torrent files remotely.

Shut Down, Restart and Hibernate uTorrent Automatically

This might not be the most critical feature torrent users look for when deciding which client they want, but it’s still pretty useful.

uTorrent provides users with the ability to not only shut down their computer automatically once it has finished all torrent downloads but also reboot the system when needed.

The new uTorrent client can also put your machine in Sleep Mode automatically. It also allows the user to make use of the Hibernate option.

So, how could this feature be helpful to you in the real world? Well, it’s useful during times when your torrent files are so large that they can’t finish downloading by the time you go to sleep for the day.

Note:

At other times, you may not be getting the speed that you want to download a torrent file quickly. In such cases, you have to leave the torrent client running.

But what happens if a torrent client finishes downloading a file just two hours after you’ve gone to sleep or work?

If you sleep eight hours every day or go to work for the same duration of time, then your computer would be utilizing electricity while being idle the hours you’re not using it.

The automatic shutdown feature helps you get around this problem so that you don’t have to leave your uTorrent client (or your computer) running for long periods of time while it’s downloading torrent files. The newer versions of uTorrent can close themselves once they’re done downloading the torrent files in your queue.

Speed Limits

This is another very important feature that modern torrent users simply cannot do without. Almost all uTorrent versions allow users to schedule speed restrictions for different files and at different times. This is one of the most widely used uTorrent features.

a guy working on a server

If you want to get other tasks done on your desktop or laptop without necessarily stopping all progress on your torrent files, you can limit the amount of bandwidth (and hence speed) that uTorrent is allowed to draw towards itself.

This leaves the rest of the bandwidth available for you to complete other tasks that require an internet connection such as checking emails and visiting news websites. Along with the ability to schedule times of the day where you can limit uTorrent’s speed, you can also configure bandwidth limitations for specific files.

As mentioned before, uTorrent and BitTorrent are essentially the same torrent clients.

BitTorrent came before uTorrent, so it’s older, but both have the same company working behind the scenes. With the exception of a few features, both generally offer the same experience. Just like other good torrent clients such as BitTorrent, uTorrent is also able to set limits on download and upload speeds.

Pros

  • Reasonable update schedule
  • Tint Size
  • A good variety of customization options and tools
  • Simple and clean interface

Cons

  • No add-on or plug-in support
  • Bundles software with the default installer
  • Ads

User Experience

A torrent client is only as good as its user experience. Any team of developers can spend time and effort and jam in as many features as possible into the platform, but if it’s laden with features that don’t offer a good user experience, it’s essentially worthless.

uTorrent’s developers proudly put a lot of work into making sure users are enjoying the experience of interacting with the application. Other torrent clients are often more interested in offering more features and better speeds instead of offering a better user experience.

That isn’t to say that speed and new features don’t matter. uTorrent is just one of the handful of torrent clients that have managed to find the right balance between features, speed and user experience.

Apart from the fact that it is extremely lightweight, uTorrent’s user experience makes it one of the top torrent clients in the world, a title it still strives to live up to since its founding in 2005.

The task of downloading torrent files used to require a lot of steps and patience, but uTorrent’s ease of use and lack of clutter propelled it to the top of torrent client rankings.

Some of the older versions of uTorrent client had the purest form of minimalist design that you’re likely to find anywhere else. Even the current versions are not as burdensome as some of the other torrent clients on the market. This allows uTorrent to attract not just experienced torrent users but also newbies.

Once you launch the app, it shows you the progress of all the running torrent downloads. The user design is also pretty compact.

The button for adding a new torrent file is just above the section that lists all of the finished and unfinished downloads.

This is a great design decision since torrent users are mostly looking at their file list, and the fact that the button for adding new torrents is not far away from that list means that they have to spend less time finding how to add a torrent file and more time actually downloading torrent files.

Extensions and Plug-ins

If you’re anything like most torrent users, you don’t necessarily need your torrent client to support add-ons and/or plug-ins. The software team behind uTorrent recognizes that and, as such, does not offer any.

To be fair, plug-ins and extensions are mostly meaningless for an application whose primary job is to download torrent files. Besides, uTorrent already offers users plenty of options and settings to not only improve their torrenting experience but also customize it according to their liking.

Note:

This is also a good time to mention that for all its goodness, uTorrent is not open-source. There is no way for any torrent user to get the source code of the application and try and develop plug-ins on their own.

Again, we remind you that uTorrent has more than enough options to satisfy all of your torrenting needs, eliminating the need for extra functions accessible via plug-ins.

With that said, we’re aware that some torrent users just have that itch for more control. If that is you, then you should go for the uTorrent Pro edition, which has more options.

uTorrent Pro Vs uTorrent Free

The main free-of-charge version of uTorrent is rich with features and options, thus suiting the majority of all torrent users. But if you want to take extra steps to enjoy tinkering with a more advanced version of the platform, you can try uTorrent Pro.

The free version of uTorrent is the most popular torrent client, but BitTorrent also allows users to support it with a paid version.

You can read our full uTorrent Pro review here.

uTorrent Pro allows users to stream the contents of their torrent files before uTorrent has downloaded them completely. It also lets users play files in HD and convert them to different formats. The Pro edition is ad-free, meaning you’ll have fewer interruptions and more options.

The premium version also offers a malware scanner tool. As the name suggests, this tool will scan downloaded files for possible malicious code.

Why You Need to Use a VPN With uTorrent at All Times

a laptop with a vpn running on itAs useful as uTorrent is, it cannot protect your privacy. Torrenting is an activity that is bound to expose your IP address to users on the same network/swarm.

So if you don’t want your peers to know who you are and what you do on the internet, you should use a VPN service.

VPN services are the simplest and most effective tools available for users who want to remain anonymous on the internet, where it is becoming harder and harder to protect your data from being accessed by third parties such as internet service providers, hackers and government surveillance agencies. To protect your online activity and torrent downloads with a VPN.

Click here to learn more about the best VPNs for torrenting.

Conclusion: Is uTorrent Worth Your Time?

The two main reasons why uTorrent is so popular are its small size and its user-friendly interface. Most torrent clients can’t compete with uTorrent because they make it hard to actually download torrent files. uTorrent simplifies the process.

uTorrent’s menus require very little effort to navigate, giving proper attention to user preferences. Despite its size, the app offers the standard set of settings you would expect from a torrent client.

But the flaws are apparent also. There are too many ads on the main window and there are no CLI options.

With that said, since the app is completely free to use, these issues are easily bearable. Useful features along with frequent updates mean that you have a solid and reliable torrent client for all your torrenting needs.

This is important:

All pros and cons aside, make sure you sign up for a VPN before you use uTorrent and untick all the bundle software uTorrent tries to push during the installation process. Read about the best VPNs for uTorrent here.

If you’ve already downloaded uTorrent, check out our guide on using the app.

DISCLAIMER:

Security Gladiators in no way encourages or condones any kind of copyright violation or circumvention of restrictions. That includes torrenting or downloading illegal content. Torrenting is a great way to access and share all kinds of content on the internet and there are plenty of opportunities there to engage in legal and safe online torrenting. You need to do your own research to see if these services and torrents are legal in your own country. We suggest to always use a VPN while torrenting.
Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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