Torrents are the simplest way to download large files, like videos or applications. Torrent clients allow connections to multiple hosts enabling the data to be downloaded faster, paused, and resumed without needing to restart the download from the beginning. How to find the best torrent client for your Mac can be confusing.
With so many Mac torrent clients available, you need to look at each one and take them for a test drive or follow along here to see for yourself.
What Are Torrents?
Torrents are a way that sites distribute large files. It can be just about any file type, like a movie, song, game, or application. When you select to download a torrent, it may begin by downloading a placeholder type file that has the *.torrent extension. While it is downloading, the file is incomplete and referred to as a torrent. You may even find the files during that time with the *.part extension, and that signifies the file is not complete.
Are Torrents Legal?
Torrents have long been maligned due to piracy and pirated files. That doesn’t mean that torrenting in itself is illegal. Many software companies offer the ability to download legitimate and legal applications using torrents. It is the content, not the method that has been accused.
What Are Seeders and Leechers?
Before getting into these terms, it is essential to understand how it all works.
A torrent is a file that contains the details of what you are downloading.
- File Names
- Files Sizes
- MD5 Hashes
The torrent file is hosted on a torrent sharing site. When clicking on the torrent file, it communicates with your torrent client. The tracker in the file refers to websites where the files are available. The client then attempts to download from those sites.
While you are downloading, you will notice that you are also uploading at the same time. Sharing is caring as it is said, and torrenting is the epitome of that. To break it down further:
- All people sharing the torrent are called peers.
- Seeders are the people who are uploading.
- Leechers are the people who are downloading.
- Many people, however, are both downloading and uploading at the same time and can be called both. They download the parts they don’t have and upload the parts they do.
- When the number of seeders is more, the download will be faster.
- When the number of leechers is more, the download will be slower.
The Best Torrent Clients at a Glance
With the right free torrent client, you can find the files you’re looking for more simply, download them faster, and manage them in one handy place. Not all torrent clients are made the same and, so we’ve put all the few together for you.
BitTorrent boasts of having the following features that help anyone looking for fast downloads.
- Ultra-fast file delivery – breaking big files down into small pieces. Since the files are broken down into small pieces, you use less bandwidth. This capability means your downloads move a lot faster.
- Free, unlimited downloading – there are no limits on the number of files you can download or the size of the data you can move.
- Built-in bandwidth booster – auto-adjusts bandwidth usage, based on your network and Internet connection, ensuring fast file delivery. Your downloads run silently in the background and don’t impact anything else you may be doing.
BitTorrent has a few other options as well.
BitTorrent Remote – Great for when you’re away from your home computer, but want to download a documentary for movie night.
BitTorrent Web – For online torrent downloading right from your browser. No separate client needed. Mac users on the Catalina version will only be offered this version as Apple has stopped supporting 32bit applications, including BitTorrent.
BitTorrent is offered for free for its basic features, but for more, you can get the Pro version for $19.95.
qBittorrent is somewhat unknown as a torrent client, so you may not have heard of it before. It is an opensource client supported by volunteers. While some torrent clients offer every possible function and others keep things as simple as possible.
It’s primary features include:
- No Advertisements
- Convenient Extra Tools
- No Bundled Software
- Less Extension Than Others
When you need a torrent client that covers the essentials but isn’t too complicated, qBittorent is an excellent choice.
BiglyBT is another somewhat obscure torrent client. Also, open-source, ad-free, torrent clients. BiglyBT originated from the Vuze/Azureus project that began in 2003. It is continuing to be developed by the original coders.
It has many robust features that were carried over from Vuze, but it also offers:
Swarm Merging – BiglyBT can complete torrents missing bits and make downloading faster.
Download rate – BiglyBT can be set globally, by download, by tag, by peer-set, by network and even by peer.
WebTorrent support – BiglyBt can download and seed to WebTorrent peers.
BiglyBT is another excellent choice that gets the job done and isn’t too complicated.
Visually, the Transmission torrent client is the most Mac-like with its beautiful layout and has a simple Apple-like feel. Transmission is an open-source, volunteer-based project that, unlike some BitTorrent clients, don’t play games to make money:
- Transmission doesn’t come bundled with other software
- It doesn’t hold some features back to offer a premium version.
- It transparently provides its source code for anyone to look at.
- Transmission doesn’t track anyone who uses it and doesn’t allow add or analytics on its website or forum.
Check out uTorrent, Folx, and Vuze as well. If you find uTorrent not working, there are lots of others to try. Do a few searches, read more articles like this one and you will come across more torrent clients to check out.
Finding the Best Torrent Client
Finding the best generally means doing some work. Download, install and try a couple out. Using torrents saves time and is convenient.
Having the best torrent client out there for your Mac also means having one that works for you. If you found this article helpful, check out a few others while you are here.