Torrenting Showdown: Transmission Vs QBitorrent Vs ΜTorrent

There are more BitTorrent clients than we could compare, but some of the most popular – and the best – have been in the spotlight lately due to sloppy ads and bad behavior. It’s time to check out some of our favorites to find out how they feel, what your downloads deserve, and who you can trust.


The world of BitTorrent clients is vast and endless, but of the most popular applications capable of downloading torrents, scheduling downloads, remotely managing those downloads, and more, three applications stand out pretty clearly:

  • µTorrent (Windows / Mac / Linux) : µTorrent has long been your favorite BitTorrent client. It is cross-platform, free, easy to use, and contains many useful features. Like any good torrent client, it can resume stopped downloads, merge trackers, download items in sequential order, supports encrypted files, and lets you manage downloads remotely via mobile apps. It can schedule downloads, supports port forwarding, and can even throttle itself based on overall bandwidth usage. Plus, it’s cross-platform and easy to use whether you need advanced features or not.
  • qBittorrent (Windows / Mac / Linux) : Free, open source and designed to support the community that µTorrent has left behind, qBittorrent has amassed a huge following for being thin, neat and super-fast without skimping on important features. Its interface may seem sparse, but under the hood, you’ll find pretty much everything you need, be it a heavy bootloader or a light bootloader. IP filtering, sequential downloads, built-in search, encrypted downloads, Internet remote control, port forwarding are all there. It’s cross-platform too, and works flawlessly on pretty much every system you use it on.
  • Transfer (Windows / Mac / Linux) : Transfer is included in this review for an annoying reason (more on that later), but also because we’ve often recommended it in the past – and for a good reason. It’s lightweight and has long been the best torrenting app for Mac. It has since become cross-platform, with both native and third-party options available for macOS, Linux, and even Windows. Like our other competitors, it supports encryption, sharing your files, IP filtering, download scheduling, and remote control. However, unlike some of ours here, it has stunning headless ideals for NAS devices, home servers, HTPCs, and even Raspberry Pis, and can be configured to fully automate your downloads . He has gone through a number of difficulties lately, but is still a strong contender.

These specific customers are just the tip of the iceberg. They are some of the most popular, but others like Deluge (Win / Mac / Linux) and Vuze (Win / Mac / Linux) are also excellent contenders. We simply could not compare them all in such a confrontation. Maybe we will put them against the winner here or against each other in a future fight, if there is interest. The bottom line is that there are tons of options even if you don’t have those three, and there are even more options if you don’t like any of the ones we’ve mentioned so far.

µTorrent and Transmission have a history of malware or bad behavior

Let’s get this out of the way right out of the gate. The broadcast is featured in this review because it was – for the second time – caught distributing malware. This, of course, is not his own design or choice – in both cases, it is more likely that attackers injected malware into Transmission files by installing .DMG and then uploading them to Transmission’s own servers, disguising themselves as legitimate copies of the program for users to download. and install. Back in March, the problem was that the installer came bundled with ransomware , and just this week, malware designed to steal Mac keychain and create a backdoor made its way into Transmission’s installers. In both cases, the developers behind the Transmission project quickly removed all of the malicious downloads, but well, that’s not a good look (and a good reminder to check the hashes to make sure the files you download live up to the owner’s promises .

As far as µTorrent is concerned, a lot of people (and private trackers) ditched the software when they started introducing sloppy banner ads and then bundling adware and malware with their installer (which you still need to manually deselect so far, otherwise you’ll end up with shit like “SPIGOT Toolbar” and custom search for apps and widgets like Firefox and Chrome.) Then came the “premium” version of μTorrent available without crapware, and that little question version came with a bitcoin miner bundled with . Add it all together and you have a customer who steadily erodes their users’ trust. A little over a year ago, when we asked you about your favorite BitTorrent clients, you definitely mentioned µTorrent , but it came with a lot of caveats, and many of you said that you would never use a version higher than 2.2.1 (and, frankly, many of you are noted that it is easy to disable ads and easier to click “dismiss” when installing them.)

Sure, malware that can get into your machine and steal your passwords or ransomware are more serious than adware that just stays around, making money from you and annoying themselves, but both highlight the problem with torrent clients. especially popular ones: either they are easy to get to the myriad of computers they run on, or they require a ton of time and resources with very little return on that investment, so they are desperate to monetize. In any case, it is important to be informed about the security and privacy implications of using them, as well as the historical issues that both of them have – especially given that they are some of the most popular, widely used clients.

qBittorrent offers the best of µTorrent without further ado

qBittorrent was designed specifically as a kind of “anti-µTorrent”. Its feature set is very similar and the project is completely open source, so you could, if you were so inclined, check changes between versions and revisions, and fork the application yourself and contribute to the project. Most of us won’t, though, but it’s nice to know that there is a community out there that follows what goes on behind the scenes of the project.

Although qBittorrent was specifically designed as an alternative to µTorrent, it is not just a clone. qBittorrent on its own, with features like email for completed downloads, web remote control (ideal for HTPCs or home servers), built-in search so you don’t have to deal with seedy (and often changing or closing ) public trackers , IP filtering for privacy, port forwarding so you don’t have to use the defaults, bandwidth scheduling so you don’t download while you’re also trying to play or stream movies or music, and even a torrenting tool to get you if you want you can share your large files using this technology .

Of course, while qBittorrent is fast, lightweight, and cross-platform, it is better on some platforms than others (more on that in a moment). It compares well to µTorrent as it was designed to replace, but qBittorrent is harder to compare to an application like Transmission. It doesn’t have the same headless out-of-the-box capabilities of Transmission, and Transmission can be set to automatically download from folders, RSS feeds, and other sources without your input, making it perfect for downloading whatever you want as soon as it is. available . It also has command line functionality to run on Linux without GUI or remote control enabled – almost a must if you plan on running it on a Raspberry Pi, home theater PC, or network attached storage (NAS). None of this means that qBittorrent cannot be turned into such a solution , it is just that Transmission is much easier for this purpose.

Your OS matters, but not as much as your use case

When we say “your OS matters,” we are really talking about your use case. Do you torrent from your Windows PC every now and then when you need something, or do you have a home server that downloads tons of data for you while you sleep or at work? Are you a Mac or Linux user? All of this matters, but only to the extent of how complex your download solution must be.

Transmission was originally developed for Mac and Linux systems (let’s hear it for GTK +) with Transmission-QT and a semi-official version for Windows users. Start your own seed box or install Linux on a new home server? Perhaps Transmission already exists or is a few keystrokes away and you can be sure it will work well with your system. µTorrent, for its part, probably has the broadest client base with native apps for macOS, Windows, Linux and Android, but its features are also not geared towards downloading without an Internet connection. qBittorrent is cross-platform and works well everywhere, but its development priority is cross-platform and ease of management ( based on Qt ) rather than native clients for any particular platform.

It all comes down to whether you care about the user interface or whether you need your torrent app to be native. If you’re a casual bootloader, you probably won’t. If you have your own seed box and your fellow private trackers are dependent on you, or you are letting your server do the download and you need something reliable and reliable without having to tamper and troubleshoot, you can do it. Before making a decision, consider your use case as well as your operating system. Maybe the freaky, super-individualized headless lure Transmission is too strong to resist. Maybe you just download from time to time – in which case qBittorrent or µTorrent is fine.

qBitTorrent is the most economical, transfer is the most advanced, and µTorrent is good but difficult to recommend

If you are a regular user, download when you need to and sit when you want, we recommend qBitTorrent. It’s lightweight, easy to install, cross-platform, and super fast. Remote control over the Internet is great if you can customize it, and its features are enough for even advanced users to download whatever they want at any time.

If you like open APIs, have a home server and download everything in bulk and then seed a lot of files, Transmission is perfect for your use case if you’re on a Mac or running on a Raspberry. A Pi or Linux based system. Heck, Transmission has versions specifically for embedded systems like the NAS or HTPC you’re using, and despite recent malware concerns, it’s still reliable. His development team just really needs to regain the trust of their user community, which is difficult to do when the same community is also (rightfully) concerned about privacy and anonymity, security and is completely based on trust.

Finally, µTorrent may be “standard” as many people use it, but it is difficult to recommend it to anyone looking for a new torrent client. Of course it works and it works well. It has mobile device management features and apps that the other two don’t. Its user interface is sleek, easy to use, and easy to navigate, even when compared to qBittorrent, which was designed to replicate this experience. However, it is difficult to tell someone to use the app, but also make sure you reject any unnecessary programs, disable ads , make sure there is nothing devious in every new version (or wait until the community knows if it is. or not before installation) and so on. If you are completely dissatisfied with the version you have, or if you have a required feature that is not available elsewhere, you can leave it behind, and if you are looking for a new client, you have faster and easier options.

However, we cannot choose for you. After all, all three have their merits, and again, they are not the only ones worth considering. Maybe all this is not for you, and you should try , for example, Vuze , or Deluge , or Tixati , or rTorrent . The key is to always consider your use case and needs, not just what’s popular, and choose what’s right for them first.


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