The best free torrent clients 2022: faster and safer
Downloading life is much easier when you use one of the best free torrent clients. Grabbing directly from a server often means long wait times and slow speeds, especially if you’re competing with other users for bandwidth.
With one of these free torrent clients however, downloading times are much faster thanks to the fact that the client will grab parts of that file from multiple sources and put it together so that instead of getting it from one source, you’re getting from several at once.
From our experience using and testing many torrent clients, we’ve found the ones below to be the best of the best. And, we’ve highlighted what we like and dislike with each to point you to the one that meets your needs best. That includes considering user experience, bloatware or ads which you can sometimes circumvent with some of the best VPNs for torrenting, and even integration with other apps. We’ve also linked to our in-depth reviews for your reference.
There are options that are streamlined for those that just want to get started without fuss as well as ones with more advanced features. But, no matter which free torrent client you choose, they’ll help you download and manage large file. Just make sure to invest in one of the best external hard drives to store your digital haul. And, if you’re hoping to grab a streaming video from somewhere online, consider a free YouTube downloader app instead.
The best free torrent clients 2022
qBittorrent is the perfect compromise. Some torrent clients offer every function imaginable while others keep things as simple as possible. This free torrent client, on the other hand, sits right in the middle, aiming to “meet the needs of most users while using as little CPU and memory as possible.”
It boasts an integrated torrent search engine, media player, encryption, prioritisation of torrents and the files within those torrents, IP filtering and torrent creation, and it’s the closest open source, junk-free equivalent to uTorrent. It also offers a minimalist and ad-free user interface, which we found to be easy to use and download content off the internet. During our testing, it’s proven to be secure as well, which isn’t surprising because it is an open-source software. If you’re looking for a cross-platform torrent client that covers the essentials without getting overly complicated, qBittorrent is great.
Read our full qBittorrent review
Vuze (formerly Azureus) claims to be the most powerful BitTorrent client on Earth. We’re not sure how it ranks on other planets, but it’s certainly a serious contender for that title. There are two flavours: the stripped-back Vuze Leap, and the fully fledged Vuze Plus. Both offer torrent download, media playback and support for magnet file links, but Vuze Plus adds integrated virus protection and the ability to preview media files.
One of Vuze’s key selling points is its interface, which we found during testing to slice through jargon and make even the more advanced features accessible to new users. In fact, setting up Vuze is extremely easy, even for first-timers. Vuze also offers bandwidth limiting, IP filtering, and all the other features you’d expect from a robust torrent client. Definitely one of the first options to consider.
Read our full Vuze review
Deluge has been around forever, and it can be as simple or as powerful as you want it to be, making it one of the most versatile free torrent clients out there. That’s because it’s extendable via plug-ins. During testing, we found that to be its greatest strength, being customizable with the help of different plugins. That effectively enables you to build your own personalised version of Deluge.
Fancy something that resembles uTorrent without the unwanted software? No problem. Want to add alphabetical downloading, move downloaded files to specific directories according to the file type, adjust speed according to network conditions, create pretty graphs, schedule everything, integrate with Chrome or Firefox, or batch-rename downloads? That’s not a problem either. And, while it may look plain and slightly outdated, especially next to Vuze and other rivals, it’s simple interface and wide-ranging features allow it to hold its own.
Read our full Deluge review
uTorrent, also known as µTorrent, has been around since 2005 and it’s the most widely used free torrent client outside China. It’s attracted some criticism over the years, however: it’s ad-supported and many users argue that the most recent versions are a little too heavy on the advertising and bundled software front. Make sure you read each step of the installer carefully and uncheck any software you don’t want to install.
That aside, uTorrent is useful, effective and doesn’t gobble up too much of your system’s resources: the entire app mainly runs in your web browser. Although it isn’t the official BitTorrent app, it’s been maintained by BitTorrent for the last decade.
It’s worth noting that uTorrent has a record of security problems, the most recent of which had the potential to let hackers control key functions of the client and spy on users’ downloads. BitTorrent has since released a patch for the vulnerability.
Read our full uTorrent review
You might be wondering why BitTorrent has its own torrent client when it also maintains uTorrent – especially when the BitTorrent app is a rebranded version of uTorrent. Are you still following us? However, while the apps are functionally identical there are a few key differences: BitTorrent offers web-based seeding, commenting and reviewing, and you may find that the BitTorrent client is welcomed by private trackers that don’t like uTorrent.
Still, if you’re looking for a free torrent client, uTorrent is a great option – could be a good choice if you’re new to torrenting and want a client that will give you an easy introduction. We found it to be very simple and easy to use as well during testing, benefitting from a clean yet visually appealing interface with plenty of options. Meanwhile Impressive performance levels help to make for an enjoyable experience.
Read our full BitTorrent review
Are torrents legal?
Torrents have a bad reputation due to piracy, but they aren’t illegal in themselves and have lots of legitimate uses, including downloading open source software and material that’s in the public domain.
It all depends on the content you’re downloading. Provided the copyright holder has given permission for the file to be shared this way it’s fine, but using torrents to download content you’d otherwise have to pay for is not legal.