Best Torrent Clients in 2020

Plenty of torrent sites have come and gone, but the fact remains that downloading files via the P2P protocol is a popular method of getting access to the best movies, TV shows, games and other content.

If you’re looking for the top torrent clients to use in 2020, we’ve got you covered. We tried all the major torrent platforms and distilled all of our experience and recommendations into a neat list below.

best torrent clients 2020 featured image

With that out of the way, first, you need to know why is it so important to use a VPN with torrent clients:

Transmission Developer: Mike Gelfand (Windows), Charles Kerr (aka Jordan Lee), Mitchell Livingston
Software License: GPLv2+, MIT
Latest version: 2.94
OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux
Year Launched: 2005
Adware: None
Bloatware: No
qbittorrent Developer: Sledgehammer999, Chocobo1, glassez, pmzqla
Software License: GPLv2+
Latest version: 4.2.0
OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, FreeBSD, OS/2
Year Launched: 2006
Adware: None
Bloatware: No
Deluge Developer: Andrew Resch, Damien Churchill, John Garland
Software License: GNU GPL v3
Latest version: 2.0.3
OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows
Year Launched: 2006
Adware: None
Bloatware: No
Vuze Developer: Azureus Software
Software License: GNU General Public License
Latest version: 5.7.6.0
OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux
Year Launched: 2003
Adware: Yes
Bloatware: No
BitComet Developer: BitComet Development Group
Software License: Adware
Latest version: 1.61
OS Support: Windows
Year Launched: 2003
Adware: Yes
Bloatware: No
uTorrentDeveloper: BitTorrent, Inc.
Software License: Adware
Latest version: 3.5.5
OS Support: Windows
Year Launched: 2005
Adware: Yes
Bloatware: No

Why Do You Need to Use a VPN With Torrent Clients?

The problem with downloading torrents through a torrent client is that you run the risk of your privacy being compromised.

When you download content via BitTorrent, you need to understand that all of the content that you see is essentially just sitting there on a bunch of computers which could be in anyone’s home.

Anyone on the network can see who downloaded what and from where.

Warning:

The person who has the whole file can certainly see much more.

Moreover, when you download a complete file using your torrent client, you also become a part of the network.

So you’re essentially sharing files with a group of random online strangers. If any person on the network knows about the right tools (some of which come bundled for free with various genuine BitTorrent clients), it is not that hard to actually identify and record the IP address of every other online user present on the network who is sharing a given file.

This is important:

If you use a VPN service though, you can minimize the risk of someone invading your privacy and knowing more about your online habits than you would want to share.

VPN services are great at hiding your IP address from not just random downloaders but also your internet service provider and advertising agencies which are spread all across the internet.

The other thing a VPN is great at is encryption. VPN services encrypt all of your traffic and data. No one can read your data or see what you’ve been up to, even if they somehow get access to your data.

Just make sure that you sign up for a VPN service that has a robust logging policy.

We say this because such a VPN service would have nothing to share with law enforcement authorities if they’re compelled to share users’ data under a court order.

Not all VPN services offer a genuine zero-log policy, so make sure you keep an eye out for this feature. You should also read the service’s terms and conditions to see exactly what data they keep.

To help you pick the right VPN for you, we’ve made a separate guide to the best VPN services for torrenting.

As we end this section of the guide, readers should know that VPN services are not just great for safeguarding your torrenting activities; they also unblock streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.

Keep in mind that in some countries many of the best entertainment content on torrent sites and streaming platforms are blocked. For instance, you can’t get U.S. Netflix if you are not located in the U.S. But with a VPN service, you can get U.S. Netflix no matter where you are.

Similarly, many countries have blocked access to torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and others. VPN services can unblock these sites for you without a problem.

Perhaps the best thing about the best VPN services is that most of them come with at least a seven-day money-back guarantee, so you can try them out before committing to a long-term subscription.

BitTorrent Clients That Are Popular, But Not the Best

We’ll start by listing the torrent clients that are popular, but definitely not the best by our standards. This list may be updated, as the torrenting world is always subject to change.

uTorrent (µTorrent)uTorrent image

Even though uTorrent has lost its position as the king of the free torrent platform world, it is still decent enough to use. It also has a portable torrent client. BitTorrent itself maintains uTorrent, and it is one of the lightest torrent clients around.

Some say uTorrent is the fastest torrent client, but is it the best and safest of the bunch? The answer is no. But uTorrent is definitely among the top torrent clients if you don’t mind ads and bloatware.

And no, uTorrent is definitely not the best torrent client for Android, even though it has a BitTorrent app for the platform. uTorrent does have an online torrent client, but even that cannot be considered the best option for Windows.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • macOS
  • Windows

Pros

  • Genuinely lightweight
  • Scheduled downloading available.

Cons

  • Comes with bundled applications
  • Has lots of ads.

Best BitTorrent Clients

TransmissionTransmission image

  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Features: Encryption, a web interface, peer exchange, magnet links, DHT, µTP
  • File Size: 14.5 MB
  • Memory Use (Windows 10) 14.5 MB
  • CPU Use (Windows 10 while downloading single torrent): 3%
  • Developer: Mike Gelfand (Windows), Charles Kerr (aka Jordan Lee), Mitchell Livingston
  • Software License: GPLv2+, MIT
  • Latest Version: 2.94
  • OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux
  • Year Launched: 2005
  • Adware? No
  • Bloatware? No

The first thing you should know about Transmission is that it is completely free and completely open-source. It’s also the best torrent client for Mac computers.

It will work not only on Windows and Mac but also on any version of Linux, along with Gentoo and FreeBSD.

That wasn’t always the case, though. In the beginning, Transmission only supported Linux and Mac.

But now it has come around to serving Windows users as well, as the BitTorrent software is capable of doing. It has a neat user interface that comes laden with unique notification messages for people using Mac devices.

There is no doubt that downloading torrents is less about looking pretty and more about getting the job done.

Transmission gets the job done and offers security tools such as encryption, tracker editing, speed limits on local and global torrents, as well as webseed support.

It also has add-on support which can further expand its standard set of features. And it comes with a Kodi plug-in and RSS subscription tool.

Transmission did run into some problems in 2018 when cybersecurity researchers found critical vulnerabilities in its code. However, the developers behind Transmission quickly patched it up.

Supported Platforms

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac

Pros

  • Can natively work on operating systems other than the three major ones
  • Good looking user interface
  • Extra features
  • Light on resources
  • Open-source.

Cons

  • Has had some security vulnerabilities in the past.

qBittorrentqbittorent image

  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Features: UPnP, no ads, RSS feed, remote control, IP filtering
  • File Size: 24.6 MB
  • Memory Use (Windows 10): 27 MB
  • CPU Use (Windows 10 while downloading single torrent): 2.4%
  • Developer: Sledgehammer999, Chocobo1, glassez, pmzqla
  • Software License: GPLv2+
  • Latest Version: 4.2.0
  • OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, FreeBSD, OS/2
  • Year Launched: 2006
  • Adware? No
  • Bloatware? No

You can find torrent clients that furnish users with pretty much every function that they could ever need.

But some platforms also buck the trend and only offer functions that are necessary for the vast majority of torrent users.

Note:

qBittorrent tries to bring the best of both worlds to the table. In other words, it takes the optimal middle path.

If you go to the qBittorrent website (linked above), you will see that it wants to satisfy the needs of the maximum number of torrent users—all while using less memory and CPU cycles.

This torrent platform has some extra settings such as IP filtering, torrent creation, torrent prioritization, encryption, media player and a search engine. All of these are completely integrated functions. It is not entirely open-source, but it is pretty much the closest thing that you will get to an open-source torrent client.

If you liked uTorrent, you will like qBittorrent—it is just like uTorrent, only without all the junk ads. It also offers great cross-platform support.

Supported Platforms

  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows

Pros

  • Zero add-on software
  • Useful Extra Features
  • No Ads.

Cons

  • Lack of proper extensions when compared to some of the other torrent platforms.

DelugeDeluge image

  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Features: Protocol encryption, DHT, Local Peer Discovery Protocol, Peer Exchange (PEX), UPnP, NAT-PMP, proxy support
  • File Size: 15.4
  • Memory Use (Windows 10): 40 MB
  • CPU Use (Windows 10 while downloading single torrent): 3.5%
  • Developer: Andrew Resch, Damien Churchill, John Garland
  • Software License: GNU GPL v3
  • Latest Version: 2.0.3
  • OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows
  • Year Launched: 2006
  • Adware? No
  • Bloatware? No

If anyone is keeping count, Deluge is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) free BitTorrent client that does not have ads (some consider it to be the best torrent client for Linux).

Depending on how many plug-ins you install, it can offer more options than Vuze.

On the other hand, if you do not want to spend time customizing Deluge, you will find that it is one of the lightest torrent programs around.

Plug-ins are Deluge’s main draw.

It’s one of a handful of torrent clients that actively encourages users to customize it to make it more powerful.

If you know which features to keep and which to let go, you can actually end up with a personalized Deluge version that is exactly like uTorrent, only without the ads. With plug-ins, you can enhance Deluge with features such as alphabetical downloading, speed adjustment depending on the current conditions of the network and changing download directories depending on the type of file. Deluge plug-ins can also allow users to create useful graphs, perform Firefox and Chrome integration, schedule downloads and batch-rename file downloads.

Supported Platforms

  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows

Pros

  • Great platform support
  • Works with web browsers
  • Users can install plug-ins for more options.

Cons

  • The user interface is sub-par.

Vuzevuze image

  • Ease of Use: 6
  • Features: Built-in antivirus protection, no ads, remote control via web, magnet link support, Swarm Discoveries
  • File Size: 17 MB
  • Memory Use (Windows 10): 220 MB
  • CPU Use (Windows 10 while downloading single torrent): 3.7%
  • Developer: Azureus Software
  • Software License: GNU General Public License
  • Latest Version: 5.7.6.0
  • OS Support: Windows, macOS, Android, Linux
  • Year Launched: 2003
  • Adware? Yes
  • Bloatware? No

Depending on how old you are, you may know Vuze as Azureus.

The website says that Vuze is the single most robust and powerful free torrenting platform in the world. Based on what we have seen of it so far, we would say it is close enough.

Unlike almost all the other torrent clients on this list, Vuze has two versions:

The full-featured Vuze Plus and Vuze Leap, which is kind of a stripped version of Vuze Plus.

Both allow users to download torrents and work with magnet files.

Both have media playback options as well.

However, that is where the similarities end.

The fully-featured edition offers users the ability to not only preview their playable files. It also has virus protection integration.

Of the many selling points of Vuze, the most important is the user interface. It does not make use of any jargon that may or may not hinder the overall experience of the user. It also does a good job of introducing advanced options to new torrent users in an accessible manner.

Just like some of the other robust torrent programs out there, Vuze offers extra features such as IP filtering and bandwidth limiting. qBittorrent may not be enough for some users. They should try out Vuze as one of their first clients.

Supported Platforms

  • Windows

Pros

  • Great plug-in support
  • Good user interface.

Cons

  • No way to get rid of ads
  • Have to deal with antivirus trial version as a bundled software.

BitCometBitComet Image

BitComet is not just a free torrent client—it also serves as a download manager.

  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Features: Protocol encryption, DHT and Peer Exchange, web interface, UPnP (Universal Plug’n’Play), RSS feeds
  • File Size: 30 MB
  • Memory Use (Windows 10): 28MB
  • CPU Use (Windows 10 while downloading single torrent): 4%
  • Developer: BitComet Development Group
  • Software License: Adware
  • Latest version: 1.61
  • OS Support: Windows
  • Year Launched: 2003
  • Adware? Yes
  • Bloatware? No

Supported Platforms

  • Windows

Pros

  • Advanced features such as seeder hunting and disk caching
  • eMule add-on.

Cons

  • Had security problems in the past
  • Only available on the Windows platforms.

You may have come across BitComet in a list of top download managers. While it can download your regular files, it can also download torrents.

BitComet is pretty basic compared to some of the other options that we’ve mentioned on this list.

Nevertheless, it also has some exclusive features such as long-term seeding, which enables BitComet to fetch file data from users on the network who have the complete file. This is helpful when downloading a torrent file when the seeder is offline.

It also makes use of a disk caching feature which allows it to cache the accessed data within the main memory of the machine. This leaves the hard drive undisturbed for longer and thus does not impact performance too much. If you have a BitComet account, you can share torrents with other BitComet users. And if you install the eMule plug-in, you can also access the eDonkey network.

Comparison Table

uTorrentTransmissionqBittorrentDelugeVuzeBitComet
+ Genuinely lightweight+Can natively work on operating systems other than the three major ones+ Zero add-on software+ Great platform support+ Great plug-in support+ Advanced features such as seeder hunting and disk caching
+ Scheduled downloading available.+ Good looking user interface+ Useful Extra Features+ Works with web browsers+ Good user interface.+ eMule add-on.
- Comes with bundled applications+ Extra features+ No Ads.+ Users can install plug-ins for more options.- No way to get rid of ads- Had security problems in the past
- Has lots of ads. +Light on resources- Lack of proper extensions when compared to some of the other torrent platforms.- The user interface is sub-par.- Have to deal with antivirus trial version as a bundled software.- Only available on the Windows platforms.
- Has had some security vulnerabilities in the past.

FAQs

What Is a BitTorrent Client?

A BitTorrent client is simply a program that allows users to download different types of files from the internet by making use of the BitTorrent protocol.

What Is the Best BitTorrent Client?

The best BitTorrent client is qBittorrent, with Deluge a close second.

What Is the Best BitTorrent Client for PC?

PC users should try qBittorrent.

What Is the Best Open-Source BitTorrent Client?

If you care about open source applications, then Transmission is a good option.

Which BitTorrent Client Is the Fastest?

The fastest is uTorrent. It does show you ads though, so just be aware of that.

What Is the Safest Torrent Client?

Either the official BitTorrent client or uTorrent.

Which BitTorrent Client Supports RSS?

Vuze and BitComet both support RSS and have the necessary settings to enable users to subscribe.

When Using BitTorrent, Is My Computer a Client or a Server?

The BitTorrent technology works a bit differently from your typical FTP and HTTP technology (where you go to a website as a client and click on a download link to get the file you want from a remote server).

When you download something via BitTorrent, you take advantage of the P2P file-sharing system. In this system, the user makes use of an application in order to locate other machines that have access to the file that the user wants access to (to discover the initial peers, the user has to get magnet links). Now, such machines belong to individual people just like the user themselves. There are no servers here—only peers.

What Does It Mean When a BitTorrent Client Is Open-Source?

An open-source BitTorrent client means you can access and modify the source code of the torrent software that you have downloaded. You are free to customize the software to your liking and make it more error-free and perhaps even more useful for the future. You could have the best torrenting program or the best torrent downloader on your machine and it could still give you privacy problems if it is not open-source.

How Can I Use a BitTorrent Client Anonymously?

The easiest and safest way to stay anonymous while torrenting is to use a VPN service. In addition to that, you can use Tor, Seedbox, Anomos, a proxy server and/or an antivirus product to have more safety and anonymity.

What Is the Best BitTorrent Client to Use With a VPN?

The best BitTorrent program to use with a VPN is qBittorrent.

How Does a BitTorrent Client Connect to Other Clients?

Here is a nice discussion on how BitTorrent clients connect with other clients. But usually, the client connects to a peer in a swarm, the list of which is present on a central server.

What Is the Best BitTorrent Client for Ubuntu?

The best BitTorrent program for the Ubuntu platform is Deluge. But qBittorrent is a close second.

Which BitTorrent Clients Support Proxies?

Both Deluge and qBittorrent support proxies.

What Is the Most Popular BitTorrent Client?

The most widely used BitTorrent client is uTorrent.

What Is the Best BitTorrent Client for Windows?

qBittorrent is the best BitTorrent program for the Windows platform.

What Is the Best BitTorrent Client for Windows 64 Bit?

It is qBittorrent.

What Is the Best BitTorrent Client for Windows 10?

If you’re on the Windows 10 platform, qBittorrent is your best option.

How to Change the Default BitTorrent Client on a Mac

First, use the Finder app and navigate to the .torrent file you may have downloaded. Right-click on the file and from the contextual menu you should select Open With. Then select the BitTorrent client you want your Mac computer to use.

What Is the Fastest Free BitTorrent Client?

The fastest BitTorrent client is uTorrent with qBittorrent a close second. But again, just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s the best free torrent client.

Which BitTorrent Client Works With TunnelBear?

TunnelBear is a decent VPN service, and it should work with any good BitTorrent platform. Try it with qBittorrent.

What Is the Best Torrent App for Android?

It is a tie between BitTorrent (or uTorrent) and Flud. Check them out before deciding which one to use.

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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