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BitTorrent Clients Reviewed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the still-looking-for-the-anti-leech-device dept.

Software 484

prostoalex writes "PC Magazine is running a review of several popular BitTorrent clients. They review uTorrent, an app that 'packs an outstanding array of features in 107KB, and doesn't even create a folder in your Program Files' and give it 4.5 stars. BitTorrent Client from, 'whose clean interface has three basic elements: a large progress bar for each torrent you're working on, a slider that controls your maximum upload rate, and a link to the BitTorrent Search engine', gets 4 stars. BitPump 'features an attractive interface that sacrifices a detailed feature set for BitTorrent tweakers in favor of simplicity and ease of use' and gets 4 stars. Finally, Azureus, 'a favorite with advanced users, who enjoy its plug-in system and huge range of tweakable settings', gets 4.5 stars. An interview with Bram Cohen from BitTorrent is available as well."

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OK, but does anyone have a ... (0, Offtopic)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534728)

...torrent of the article?

      Hey, I thought I'd forestall the jokes. You know, by making one. It's an advanced technique.

Re:OK, but does anyone have a ... (0, Troll)

Hamilton Publius (909539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534933)

Advocates of "intelligent design" are gearing up their fight to teach the controversial theory now that U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III has ruled that the religious-based explanation for the formation of the universe and human evolution may not be taught in Pennsylvania public schools. The debate over intelligent design is important, because at root is the idea of "certainty" and the method by which scientific truths are established.

Proponents of teaching intelligent design in the public schools argue that evolution is a "theory" and ask why shouldn't their theory be allowed equal time in a science class. The problem with this position is that a scientific theory and an intelligent design theory are two very different things.

To explain facts, scientific theories rely on observation for support. For example, to explain the origin of species, evolutionary biology draws upon field data from the ongoing changes that occur among populations of organisms, fossil data from plants and animals that no longer exist, data regarding the temporal and geographic distribution of genetic markers, and experiments that attempt to replicate the conditions of species-change in the laboratory. Some facts have yet to be explained fully. For example, we are not yet sure how some of the simplest parts of living things originated nor precisely how spoken language evolved.

Admitting the unknown facts regarding human origins, however, doesn't mean that the explanations aren't out there, waiting to be identified. The unknown is the unfinished business of evolutionary biology, a business in which today's most promising grade school students might one day play a part in completing. Properly speaking, evolution is a "theory," but it is entirely based on evidence, and an important part of scientists' jobs is to identify how what is known can be used to discover what is not yet known.

Contrast the theory of evolution with the theory of intelligent design. The proponents of intelligent design argue that the world is simply too complex (or too "perfect," implying that there could be an imperfect reality) to explain the origins of life and human intelligence. These proponents argue that ultimately only the intervention of a creator can explain man's existence. Thereafter, there is no unfinished business for the researcher because an intelligent designer is not subject to further observation and experiment.

To evaluate this idea, it is useful to draw a parallel: imagine a scientist trying to find a cure for cancer through such reasoning. Like the origins of life and language, cancer is complex; it behaves strangely, and its nature is hard to pin down. Should the scientist then conclude that only God's intervention causes cancer? Obviously, no real scientist would draw that conclusion, and it would be absurd to teach an intelligent design theory of cancer. Instead, researchers assume that the cause of cancer is ultimately caused by the interaction of the materials that make up our observable physical world, and they are working to discover what those interactions are so that they can control them and thereby discover a cure for the disease.

Philosophically, the proponents of intelligent design are wrong because they assume the existence or "primacy" of a consciousness that shapes the universe when no such evidence exists, or is even possible. None of the advocates of intelligent design can point to God and say, "Look there--you can see Him" and not rely upon faith to justify their claim. This is why intelligent design theory--whether applied to the origins of life or cancer--is not scientific. It eschews observation, experimentation and any kind of natural causality. What it attempts is to deny the essential process of science--explaining the complex and unknown by means of investigating the less complex and better understood. Because intelligent design theory is simply an article of faith, disconnected from the observation of reality, it should neither be taught in the science classes of public schools (which must maintain a separation of church and state) nor even in the science classes of religious schools that attempt to prepare the scientists of the next generation, nor on the pages of slashdot.

The theory of creationism and intelligent design may be worthy of study, possibly in a class on intellectual history. History, the field of study that examines the ideas held by men and how they act upon those thoughts, might properly document the fate of the theory of intelligent design, its proponents and its cultural effects. However, this hypothetical curriculum must in no way change how science is taught. Competing faiths may belong in a history class, but in science class, only competing scientific theories deserve attention.

Congrats! (2, Funny)

egg troll (515396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534729)

This is great. I've been looking for the best app to steal music, movies and software with! Thank you, PC Magazine!

Idiot (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534784)

There are a lot more uses to bittorrent than stealing media. I use bittorrent a lot, I have used it to play around with many distros and am using to download 4 cds of Slackware. I have never used to download anything that isn't free.

Bittorrent lets people without a lot of bandwidth get their data distributed, it just happens that some people want to distribute stuff they don't own.

Re:Idiot - dude it's all free :-) (1)

thx1138_az (163286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534805)

It's all free. The real question is: Is it legal?

Re:Idiot (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534808)

$_ =~ s/some/most/;

Re:Congrats! (2, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534813)

Fool! The best app is still Grabit and Newzbin... *looking around* or so I've been told... err... heard... yea thats it, heard.

Steal this jpeg image -- bittorent not needed. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534822)

I just found it. HINT: salty semen sailing on the sea.

Can you guess what it is? [] This, I ask, for your comment. I love you!
To confirm you're not a script,
please type the word in this image: Amplify

Eeeeeyyyyyyy, Azureus! (5, Informative)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534731)

Selectively remove unneeded files from an archive? Sweet.

Re:Eeeeeyyyyyyy, Azureus! (1)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534816)

Like... almost every client from quite a while ago allows you to do that.

Re:Eeeeeyyyyyyy, Azureus! (1)

outZider (165286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534898)

Yeah, except for most of them. :P

Re:Eeeeeyyyyyyy, Azureus! (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534961)

I know they let you selectively choose files, but do they let you do that from out of an archive? (I didn't know Azereus even did that)

One little problem: (5, Informative)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534927)

Azureus is a real RAM hog. I'm not trolling here, I used it for a while (still do on my linux computers), but a java app that eats half your RAM while you download something?

I use Bitcomet [] now instead whenever possible. Sure it's not geek-friendly (no linux support), but it offers the same stuff as Azureus (that's file selection, advanced options) at a lot less RAM and CPU usage.
I am dissapointed not to see it reviewed here.

Re:One little problem: (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535022)

just buy some more RAM...100mb for java isnt that much when you have 2 gigs total

and change priorities.. (1)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534984)

Yeah, you're also supposed to be able to change the (desired; not always in-effect) priority of individual files related to any torrent, or so they say..

Re:Eeeeeyyyyyyy, Azureus! (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535014)

"Unneeded" is relative. What if 400 out of 410 people feel that they don't need that one file, and for me it's important? If you can you should at least just put it on a lower priority (download it after the main files), not just forget about it. I don't use Azureus so I'm not sure what it does.

Re:Eeeeeyyyyyyy, Azureus! (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535035)

You can do priorities "High", "Normal", "Low", and "Don't Download" for each file.

Azureus (3, Interesting)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534733)

Azureus, because my downloads matter. And, it works on a Mac. Plus, it has plug ins such as SafePeer to keep those pesky people away.....

Re:Azureus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534742)

You think it's the best one for the Mac?

Re:Azureus (3, Insightful)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534814)

You think it's the best one for the Mac?

I do, as long as you have a fast ass mac. I have a dual 2.5 g5 and it runs well, but on my 450mhz single g4 you coudln't run anything else at the same time and not have tons of drawn out pinwheels. Then again, most things sucked wind on that old heap. Thats why I stuck 3 hard drives in it and made it my fileserver which it excels at, but I digress. Azureus also tons of great plugins, the coolest is the one that can scan an rss feed for your search terms and automatically add torrents for say, your favorite TV show, er I mean legal linux distro. Also I don't know what it is called, upnp i think, but it configures your cable/dsl router for you if you want it to.
Azureus basically rules. I haven't even gotten into half of the things it can do... I am never quite sure if I am spelling it right though.

Re:Azureus (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535028)

Try BitsOnWheels as an efficient Mac client. Just don't switch to the 3D view...

Re:Azureus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534806)

I used to use Azureus but it wreaks havoc on hard disk drives because of its poor caching methods. After my 3rd drive died while running Azureus I found a new torrent client that makes my drive thrash less.

Re:Azureus (1)

piquadratCH (749309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534857)

Plus, it has plug ins such as SafePeer to keep those pesky people away...
You don't really believe that IP filters protect you, do you? I mean, the ??AAs certainly are annoying but they aren't a bunch of idiots...

Re:Azureus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534908)

Yeah. Its a known fact that the RIAA has DSL and cable modem lines to do all their dirty work from.

SafePeer is a hilarious farce that gives you zero protection. Its like using a condom with holes in it.

Re:Azureus (2, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534910)

I've wondered how these things are supposed to work, anyway. Doesn't the tracker still provide your IP address to everyone in the swarm? That's all the RIAA really needs to file the subpoena for information, and unless you actually plan on fighting them in court, that's all they need to extract that settlement from you.

Re:Azureus (1)

echidnae (883638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534943)

I used to use the official Bittorrent client on my mac until I found Transmission [] , which actually looks like a Mac app. It's still missing a lot of features, but it seems it's being actively developed, so check out one of the nightly builds. I find it gets pretty fast speeds, and it's now my default bittorrent client.

bah (5, Funny)

EngMedic (604629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534737)

screen + is all i need. Fie on your graphical programs. Fie, i say.

Re:bah (3, Interesting)

neonstz (79215) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534797)

I actually use screen + Drop the torrent files in one directory and pick up the downloads in a second directory after a while.

Your sig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534809)

Such delicious irony.

Re:bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534837)

Why was that modded as funny?

I've uploaded just over 4 Tbytes in the past 16 months to, and I've tried quite a few BT clients. I can say that nothing beats screen+btdownloadcurses. I've got close to 40 of them running right now.

Re:bah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534881)

wow, u are a huge fucking loser.

screen + btlaunchmanycurses (2, Informative)

Bishop (4500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534934)

switch to screen + It is easier to manage. Set --minport and --maxport to the same port and you only need to open/forward a single port your firewall. (Do this and your d/l rate will increase dramatically.) The option --max_upload_rate can manage the traffic of all the torrents. Just copy your torrent files to a single directory monitored by btlaunchmanycurses. Delete the torrents when you are done.

I know you jest... (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534874)

but that's a really great way to download files via .torrent when you have a server at home and don't want your main system (my laptop) be used for a torrent that'll be running for a few days. It needs to move around with me and .torrents prevent that.

Re:bah (2, Interesting)

shish (588640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534921)

I find btlaunchmanycurses better than btdownloadcurses, as I can run several torrents and see them all at once~ I too have no idea why this was marked funny...

Re:bah (1)

FlashBuster3000 (319616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534945)

bah, btlaunchmanycurses > btdownloadcurses

Front page? If you say so... (4, Informative)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534738)

Didn't find the article particularly insightful/interesting/unique... certainly doesn't rival the Wiki article [] on BT client options.

BitComet anyone? (4, Insightful)

myspys (204685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534739)

how can they review bittorrent clients for windows, without including BitComet ( [] ? easily the best bt-client for windows

Re:BitComet anyone? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534790)

Define "good". BitComet is banned at a wide variety of private trackers for doing dodgy things (the authors don't believe in private trackers so use DHT for all torrents until the newest version which got it banned), and it also known as a leeching client (in that it cheats the protocol to get better speeds). uTorrent has stolen most of it's features, and is smaller and faster... and generally better in every single way.

Re:BitComet anyone? (1)

dolphinlover (840075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534792)

With BitComet getting banned from an increasing number of private torrent trackers, it may not be a feasible option for many people for long if changes are not made to it. That would make it less desirable as one to review if they only had a certain amount of time to test clients.

Re:BitComet anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534802)

I used to use BitComet, but bitcomet.exe always stayed in the task manager after closing it, so I switched to Azureus.

Re:BitComet anyone? (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534819)

I agree, that review is a joke. Bitcomet and it's adware-ridden clone Bitlord account for a major chunk of Bittorrent clients.

  One can no more do a valid comparison of bittorrent clients without mentionning them than a comparison of PC Operating Systems without mentionning Linux.

Re:BitComet anyone? (1)

ginotech (816751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534868)

i think you meant to compare Bitcomet to windows, thank you.

Re:BitComet anyone? (1)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534877)

easy answer : sponsored review....

this is why i take any "review" on slashdot with a grain of salt.

Re:BitComet anyone? (1)

gflores (728935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534884)

I agree. Azureus takes way too many resources. BitComet .61, which fixed the leeching bit, is nice and feature rich. Personally, I prefer uTorrent and Azureus if I'm using Linux. All three are great, though.

Re:BitComet anyone? (4, Insightful)

DeadPrez (129998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534905)

Agree 100%. No BitComet review indicates this wasn't a serious attempt at a review.

Also of note, many people have replied and likely will continue to reply with propaganda that BitComet doesn't work with many "private trackers". This is laughable for a couple reasons.

First, BitComet's most recent release made this complaint irrelevant (clients don't identify).

Second, DHT networking is a truly peer to peer protocol meaning you are slightly safer with your illegal downloading from the autorities. DHT is used as a secondary downloading method, if say the tracker goes down.

Which leads to the third laughable reason, this pisses off "private trackers" because they don't get to keep stats on you (you think those stats are going to help you or hurt you?). Sure that's a little fucked up if you are "cheating" on ratios but guess what? These private trackers only exist to download illegal software, porn and media. These are hypocrites trying to make a _moral_ arguement about the use of bittorrent. Please join me in laughing these idiots off the internet. thx

rtorrent (2, Informative)

ilf (193006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534740) []
best client out there. curses! nuff said.

ABC (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534747)

I've used ABC; how does that hold up?

Re:ABC (1)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534866)

Read the article.

Re:ABC (2, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534885)

It's fairly shoddy. I used it for a while.

My main gripe with it is that whoever wrote it couldn't get multiple deletions from a list working properly, which is pretty darn simple. Try selecting three torrents in the list and trying to delete them. ABC will delete the wrong ones, because ABC modifies the array even as it is enumerating through it.

Say you had five torrents, V W X Y Z. You selected the first three, V W X and hit delete. V is deleted, and all the elements move up in the list (ie: their indexes change). ABC now deletes the item with index 1, which is no longer W, but X. Everything moves up, indexs change, and ABS deletes the item with index 2, which is no longer X, but Z. You tried to delete V W X, and ABC deletes V X Z.

So, no, ABC is crap. It's a GUI layer on top of the standard BT core written by someone who can't code.

4 stars for everyone? (5, Insightful)

cbc1920 (730236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534752)

Does anyone find it annoying that every program gets only 4 or 4.5 stars? What is the point of reviewing 5 different programs if they all get essentially the same score? Azereus is by far the better client, yet it only gets an extra .5 stars for this distinction. Its features and usability are far beyond the others I've tried, and it's open source/java to boot.

Re:4 stars for everyone? (1)

a55clown (723455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534911)

ones and twos are given for "exceptional" programs.

Re:4 stars for everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534922)

Azureus would not be the best for most people because most people don't need the features azuereus has that utorrent doesn't, most people don't care if it's open source, most people use windows, and most people want the program to run fast without using many resources. Currently utorrent is using 4 megs of ram and 0% of my cpu downloading one file. Azureus, if I recall correctly, uses >20 megs of ram downloading nothing.

If they had taken a poll, I think utorrent would get 5 and azureus =4.5. And I am not a utorrent fanboy, I use both. For everyday use utorrent is simply easier and faster.

I agree that they should have been harsher on the clients. What's the point of 1-5 starts if you only use 4-5?

who says it's "better"? (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534944)

Azereus is by far the better client

The problem is we all have a different idea of "better". I don't like Azureus at all- I find its user interface clunky and pathetically slow, because it's java, and it has a TON of "one person finds this useful" functionality; they missed the boat, and should have made a very thin client with plugins, but instead made a bloated client with plugins. A torrent with over 1000 peers will often peg the machine- and it's a 1.4Ghz G4 Mini- not breaking any speed records, but not a slouch.

Sadly, it's the only decent mac client. The official client isn't very good at managing multiple downloads and rehashes torrents every time you start/stop them or quit+reopen the program; same for Tomato Torrent, which also violates virtually every Apple Human Interface Guideline in the book. Both are just GUI wrappers around the python clients, which means they have great compatibility, but not so great "modern" conveniences like the ability to "pause" and such. Tomato Torrent can't even adjust upload/download bandwidth. If uTorrent had a mac counterpart, I'd switch in a second.

By the way: with virtually all bittorrent clients, you'll see much better transfer speeds if you make sure your slots get an average of about 5-6kb/sec each, more with bigger chunk sizes. On a torrent with 1-2MB chunks (ugh, please do NOT make these!) I have to set 2-3 slots max.

Re:4 stars for everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534957)

Azereus is by far the better client

Not that I have tried the other clients, except for the official, but I find Azureus barely tolerable. Features? Sure. Usability? Um... Polish? Fuck no.

Re:4 stars for everyone? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534964)

Simple: a virus wiped out the authors' harddrive. He did recover the 4- and 4.5-star gifs from an old backup, but couldn't figure out how to work the Gimp. After turning his office upside down, he found a copy of Photoshop, but it was to new a version to run on his 486SX. Oh, and then his boss called: "that BT article done yet?". Poor soul.

-- Cue other plausible reasons below:

A vote for uTorrent (5, Interesting)

bheer (633842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534753)

This app shows why platform-optimized code will _always_ beat generic XP frameworks (Java/Python). There is no earthly reason a BitTorrent client has to be big and slow. I like Azureus (especially its DHT) but it drags my machine down compared to uTorrent (which you don't even feel is running). If uTorrent supported Azureus' DHT instead of mainline-DHT I know I wouldn't use Azureus at all.

[1.1GHz Pentium M with 512MB RAM, yes I know that's not a lot but I'd still like to be doing other things when my BT client is running.]

Re:A vote for uTorrent (2, Informative)

All_Star25 (736597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534840)

I agree. I'm on a Pentium II 400 mhz with 384 MB of RAM, and I'm currently downloading three torrents (65.8 kb/s) and seeding two torrents (38-40 kb/s), and the CPU usage hovers around 0-2%, with 3-4 MB memory usage.

Re:A vote for uTorrent (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535029)

uTorrent 1.4 supports DHT and RSS feeds, what's to lose?

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534759)

no bittornado? that's my favorite

I used to use Azureus (2, Interesting)

binkzz (779594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534762)

but it seems it takes up a lot of CPU even if I'm only downloading one torrent. So instead I switched to ABC, which seems good enough for now.

Though I might definitely give some of the other ones in the list a go.

Re:I used to use Azureus (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534824)

It's a java based app... VM's tend to eat CPU cycles.

Re:I used to use Azureus (1)

Rippon (947913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534836)

As did I until I found utorrent (when Im running Xp that is).

Re:I used to use Azureus (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534912)

ABC is fine, as long as you don't want to delete more than one torrent from the list at a time (see my previous post for a detailed explanation)

I've switched to uTorrent now.

aMule rocks but leeching is done out of fear... (1)

thx1138_az (163286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534765)

Amule is a now a good Bittorrent client for KDE. Much better that before. It doesn't crash now... hardly ever. When getting an MP3 (over my network) I find I get really nervous and end it as soon as it is finished thus not sharing too long. Bad user... I know but I want it for free you know. I don't want to overpay by thousand of dollars. OK no need to remind me that "I'm stealing" or the "it's wrong". Yeah yeah... I do it anyway... I'm weak and immoral... yada yada yada. Oh yeah! I like their Heidi Klum clip come on. Nice attention graber for the article don't you think?

Ktorrent rocks but leeching is done out of fear... (1)

thx1138_az (163286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534825)

Duh! same as above but... Ktorrent is a now a good Bittorrent client for KDE. Much better that before. It doesn't crash now... hardly ever. When getting an MP3 (over my network) I find I get really nervous and end it as soon as it is finished thus not sharing too long. Bad user... I know but I want it for free you know. I don't want to overpay by thousand of dollars. OK no need to remind me that "I'm stealing" or the "it's wrong". Yeah yeah... I do it anyway... I'm weak and immoral... yada yada yada. Oh yeah! I like their Heidi Klum clip come on. Nice attention graber for the article don't you think?

Re:aMule rocks but leeching is done out of fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534962)

OMG, ADD much anyone? That was the most incoherent post I've read, well, for quite some time. Check out "coherent sentences", "ideas that logically follow the ones preceeding them" and "paragraphs" some time--there's a lot of interesting stuff to learn there!

kind of short... (4, Insightful)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534769)

Its disappointing to see that they managed to review a whole 4 clients.

I wish that they had discovered that there were a few more than that; ABC, BitCommet, BitTornado, etc... Especially since clients like BitCommet and BitTorrent have some features not posesses by the ones covered there.

Speaking of Azureus.. (1)

shidarin'ou (762483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534773)

Can anyone recommend a good website for Azureus plugins? (And, of course, their favorites)

Completely Offtopic (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534775)

But has anyone else noticed that the article itself is only about 7% of the visual webpage?

Re:Completely Offtopic (4, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534800)

yes, in about 50 milliseconds...

no sir, didn't like it, not one bit.

Re:Completely Offtopic (1)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534966)

If you didn't RTFA, you ain't missing much.
It's a shallow, brief article that talks about 5 different clients (only 2 of which I'd ever consider using), and then rates everything really well.

Still, good to have it on the front page so that more people can share their thoughts on bittorrent clients.

For convenience... Shareaza (5, Interesting)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534776)

I know Shareaza [] isn't the absolute greatest bittorrent client out there... but it seems to work fine for me, and the fact that it's also a Gnutella2 and eDonkey client makes it just too damn good for getting all those 'latest and greatest' BitTorrent things, as well as those hard to find things you only get via other P2P networks.

Plus... if your tracker goes down it looks for alternat Gnutella2 sources... sweet. :)

Oh... and it's open source... that's good... right? :P

Re:For convenience... Shareaza (2, Interesting)

J0nne (924579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534873)

Shareaza is good for the occasional torrent, and the ability to finish dead single-file torrents over Gnutella/G2/ed2k with a bit of fiddling can be a lifesaver sometimes. But it's in no way comparable to those dedicated clients.

If you're using Shareaza anyway, its BT implementation is good enough, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for just a BT client. I use it for torrents, as I have it running anyway, and because I don't use bittorrent much. I wouldn't use it if I only needed bittorrent.

Exactly (1)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534949)

I completely agree... it's because myself and my wife use the other networks as well, and I like to keep things simple for my wife (and me)... there's no need to switch from one to the other, you can be getting torrents and other files from the other networks at the same time without trying to juggle bandwidth between two apps... it really is quite handy.

And our torrents seem to come down in perfectly reasonable times for us... so... all is good.

It doesn't stop me from having Azureus on there for when I absolutely, positively need a torrent overnight! :P

Quick Summary (1)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534778)

Azureus 4.5 BitPump 4 BitTorrent Client 4 uTorrent 4.5 My first experience with BitTorrent was pretty poor; I was using Cohen's original client and didn't realize I needed to bound my upload speed or else I would saturate my connection (for those unaware, you need some upload bandwith when downloading to send acknowledgment packets that show you recieved part of the download). Even then, I found BT cumbersome until I found Azureus which I still use today. Other popular clients that were not reviewed are ABC (Another BitTorrent Client) and BitTornado.

Azureus (3, Informative)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534786)

I really like Azureus [] , even if I was a little hesitant when I first downloaded it. It's written entirely in Java which I feared would lead to a less efficient and more cumbersome application. However, if you use Windows and want a good client, go with Azureus. It's amazingly configurable and easy to use. The RSS feed plugin and great DHT implementation alone sell the program. The GUI is very well done doesn't feel like your normal Java GUI.

My only complaint is part of my original fear. The program is a little resource heavy when doing anything with the GUI, and sometimes even when it's minimized to the tray. I've also had trouble getting the desktop to refresh when unlocking the computer after it's been locked for anything over a few hours. This only happens when Azureus has been running.

Other than that, amazing program. How can you go wrong with a program that's always in the top 5 (usually #1-2) of the Most Active and Most Downloaded lists at SourceForge?

Re:Azureus (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534958)

Yeah, I use it despite the fact that it's a CPU hog.

Strangely enough, I've sometimes had MAJOR performance issues with the original BT client (which I used to swear by) - At some point it began acting like my router's ports were not open (they were), Azureus had much more consistent performance. Azureus also let me only download some files in a multi-file torrent (good when I had a few episodes from a season of TV already and wanted to fill in the gaps using a whole-season torrent).

Unfortunately, Azureus is a massive resource hog, and what's worse is that it's GUI-only, which means I can't run it on an X-less machine, or that I have to restart it if I log out of X and back in for some reason. As a result, my share ratio isn't quite what it should be because I often forget to fire Azureus back up after a reboot.

Re:Azureus (1)

LilWolf (847434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534959)

The early versions of Azureus were indeed nice. No problems and the resource consumptions was managable. Then came a new version(I forget which) and it became simply horrible. It ate up CPU time like crazy and the memory usage was just insane(you don't need 200+Mb of memory for a freaking torrent client). Haven't touched the client since. Instead I use a sensible program called utorrent, that barely uses CPU time or rarely uses over 10Mb of memory.

Re:Azureus (1)

insomniac8400 (590226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535019)

That's why utorrent is better. Why would anyone want to install java anyways?

official + jre ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534787)


The original BitTorrent client ... ... it requires JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.5

hmm i don't think so
it's written in python

KTorrent (0, Redundant)

Da Twink Daddy (807110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534789)

No coverage of ktorrent [] ? It's still a work in progress, but 1.2_rc2 is a pretty slick kde application.

Re:KTorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534843)

i concur, KTorrent is very nice!


Re:KTorrent (1)

JamesWJohnson (928735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534863)

Given the amount that PC Magazine depends on advertising from companies like Microsoft, I doubt that they'll be reviewing anything written solely for the Linux platform anytime soon.

No mention of BitLord? (1)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534815)

Suprised BitLord [] wasn't mentioned, I feel it is the best free Bittorrent client for Windows.

The author is a noob. (5, Insightful)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534861)

In refernce to the stock BitTorrent client, v4.2.2:
"This client is clean and simple; it requires JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.5."
Bittorrent is written in Python, and currently uses the GTK for its interface (though prior versions had used wxPython). This isn't the kind of mistake that someone who actually knew anything about the subject he was writing about would make. Seriously.

Re:The author is a noob. (2, Funny)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534878)

Interesting, didn't notice that part. Perhaps someone should Email him and let him know hes a twit...

More errors (4, Informative)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534896)

"Azureus, to be fair, takes up only 151KB; BitTorrent is 184KB.."
This guy really doesn't seem to take the time to do any research. Azureus relies upon the Java runtime, which isn't a small package. The BitTorrent client itself might only be 184K (depending upon your platform), but it relies upon python & gtk+ libraries, which are also take up space.

Seriously, how did this guy ever get a job writing tech columns. His "facts" seem to be closer to misinformation half the time. Geez how PC Magazine has gone downhill over the years.

Re:No mention of BitLord? (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534909)

bitlord is just bitcomet with adware and other crap stuffed into it, from what I have read. everyone seems to recommend avoiding it and using bitcomet if you like that interface. I personally don't use either one because many sites will block them.

accuracy? (3, Interesting)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534846)

The article claims that the official BitTorrent client, written in Python, requires the Java 1.5 runtime.

Re:accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534980)

Just proves that some people have no idea what they're talking about. I run BitTorrent on my mac and OS X doesn't even support java!!

Re:accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535021)

I don't use a Mac, but [] .

Inaccuracies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534889)

BitTorrent Client 4.2 review:
"...This client is clean and simple; it requires JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.5."

Wait a minute... Mainline requires Java? O_o

uTorrent 1.2.2 review:
"Proof that a little bit of code can go a long way, Torrent packs an outstanding array of features in 107KB, and doesn't even create a folder in your Program Files. Azureus, to be fair, takes up only 151KB; BitTorrent is 184KB; and BitPump is 113KB--none of these clients is particularly bloated."

Azureus only takes 151Kb?? O_o I guess they're only looking at the .exe file, and leaving out all the other supporting files in the program folder. Damn, that's misleading...

Re:Inaccuracies? (1)

drwiii (434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534925)

I noticed that in the print version a week ago and I sent them a message about it. I haven't heard back.

FEC for more reliable torrents (2, Interesting)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534903)

I have to state that I strongly disagree with one of the comments at the end from Brahm Cohen. I mean, MS Avalanche is vaporware, but that doesn't mean that use of FEC (forward error correction) is a bad idea. Granted it would increase local storage requirements when seeding, but there would be almost no impact on network bandwidth and the CPU overhead is negligible. Personally, I'd be more than happy to sacrifice say a 10% increase in local size to ensure that I get a complete copy of the torrent. I've found numerous torrents that died out somewhere between 90 - 100%; And the worst is when you have a wasted download because you're missing only a fraction of a percent.

Personally, I would like to see a combination of the BitTorrent "send the least common block" approach and a selectable Reed-Solomon coding defaulting to around 10%. In my empirical experience that would clear up almost every failed torrent I've hit. Of course, it is an extendable protocol. Perhaps I should stop bitching and look into writing an Azureus plug-in to test this idea out.

Protocol Header Encryption - Linux Clients? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534930)

I've been looking all over for something even remotely similar to BitComet 0.6 for Linux, since getting BitComet itself to work under Wine is a PITA. So far, I'm forced to boot into WinXP simply because of this, since my despotic ISP has started throttling BT traffic.

If anybody knows of *nix clients with this feature, I'd greatly appreciate hearing about it.

Bits On Wheels (1)

dottedlinedesign (754366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534931)

I've used BitTorrent's official client and Azureus and found the former too basic and the latter too demanding on memory. I've been using Bits On Wheels ( [] ) for about 6 months and I love it. There is a 3D function so you can see an interesting rendition of the torrent swarm. I don't know if this exists in other apps but it should, it's a nice feature.

For the Mac users... (3, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14534942)

Seems we are for the most part being left out, which is obviously no surprise since it is "PC Magazine". Oh well, no biggie. Here's a few [] for you to play with.

Personally, I go for BitsOnWheels [] . It has a nice informative interface with a really funky 3D view of your torrent download, and it rarely gives me any problems. The only thing I have noticed about it is that it seems to develop a memory leak when downloading a torrent with lots of (as in thousands of) peers (say a Slashdotted torrent). Other than that it works well and looks kind of cool.

Personally, I have had almost no success with the latests releases of the official BitTorrent Client. It always starts the download and seems fine for a few seconds and then just stops receiving any data...

I second this. (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535008)

BitsOnWheels is an awesome client, and it uses almost no CPU when you leave the 3D display off.

uclient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14534954)

How does uclient manage to pack so many features in just 150k?

This article sucks (1)

zx-15 (926808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535007)

First half of the article explains why not to use bittorent the argument goes like this: You can get in jail! You can download nasty stuff! oh and by the way, you can legally download some crap sometimes(I'm not implying linux). Finally, when you get to the actual review you just want to run away as soon as possible.

And why BitSpirit wasn't reviewed, it's a popular BT client?
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