To use BitTorrent, users require just two things: BitTorrent client software and torrent websites to download the torrents.
BitTorrent Client Programs
There are many BitTorrent clients available, however; we favor µtorrent, BitComet and Azureus because they constantly evolve to increase speeds and combat mechanisms commonly used by ISPs to thwart the P2P/BitTorrent community. There’s also a good page on Wikipedia here that covers all the BitTorrent clients, as well.
Most ‘visited’ BitTorrent client websites:
(As recorded by Alexa.com)
8. G3 Torrent
9. Bittorrent Experimental
Free BitTorrent Programs (Clients)
Never pay for BitTorrent software - they are free to use. Here’s a list of some of the most popular clients:
An excellent BitTorrent program. BitComet has a multitude of features that include eDonkey plugin support; in-program virus scan with your antivirus program; distributed hash tables (DHT) for trackerless support; built-in web browser; file encryption; anti-ARP cheating (bad data packets and IP spoofing); RSS downloading; and ’super-seed’ support which increases download speeds from public trackers (but don’t use BitComet on private ones). The FAQ for BitComet can be found here.
Azureus is a BitTorrent client that runs on the java language. Azureus has features such as RC4 file encryption; speed scheduler; fast resume mode; adjustable disk cache; supports anti-bottlenecking; RSS downloading; and a highly customizable interface. There are a multitude of plugins for Azureus to enhance speed and security. Find out more here.
Features: Small CPU/memory usage; quick-resume downloading; RSS feed support; trackerless support (DHT); Global and per-torrent speed limiting; bandwidth prioritization and full Vista support. Click here for the µtorrent beginner’s guide to BitTorrent. µtorrent is quickly becoming our favorite!
The original BitTorrent client. Features: Automatic port mapping; dynamic bandwidth management allows you to download content without disrupting Web browsing; RSS downloader and detailed graphs and stats.
ABC (Yet Another BitTorrent Client)
ABC is based on BitTornado which extends from the original Bittorrent program. Features include read/write cache changing, torrent details, torrent file scraping. By default, ABC only allows 2 active torrents at the same time, so you’ll want to change this setting.
Features include file encryption; peer and seed statistics; ISP foil manipulation (for bad ISPs); and advanced settings to optimize downloading.
Bad BitTorrent clients
Because the BitTorrent implementation is open-source, this allows programmers to develop their own clients - or modify existing ones - in the hopes to improve upon this technology in a positive way. However not all programmers have such virtuous intentions. Take for example the release of the “Torrent101″, “BitRoll” and “Torrentq” clients. They came bundled with malware, hijacked home pages and propagated adware throughout the users’ computers. Worse yet, they were advertised right on the popular download websites, right next to the torrents!
Be ever vigilant (and skeptical) of new clients without first doing some research. With certainty this is likely to happen again. And always download new software from the homepage of the BitTorrent software developer.