When it comes to torrent clients, there's certainly no shortage of options. As the file-sharing mechanism has become more popular, different users' preferences have led to the creation of a multitude of clients. Deluge is an open-source software that is not as well-known as some of its competitors.
Though many describe Deluge as “bare bones” or “lacking features”, it allows users to create whatever torrent experience they desire. That is possible thanks to its rich and diverse plug-in ecosystem.
Deluge: The “Bare Bones” Client
As an open-source client, Deluge is free and it doesn't have advertisements. It also has a somewhat lackluster user interface, reminiscent of software from decades ago. Remember that, as we'll discuss later on, this interface can be easily customized. Don't overlook Deluge solely because of this. What it lacks in esthetics is made up with functionality.
Its minimalist user interface allows fast performance across all platforms the software can run on, including Mac OS X, Windows, and most distributions of Linux. Even without plug-ins, the client offers users a remarkable amount of flexibility via options menus.
For some, the fact that there hasn't been an update for this software since May 2017 is concerning. But there are plug-ins to take care of security patches and third-party vendor patches to accomplish the same. Its minimalist nature allows it to run on almost any machine. Users have complete control over which features and plug-ins they wish to enable or disable.
Many P2P users are concerned about keeping their activity private. Though a VPN is needed to fully accomplish this goal, Deluge doesn't lack security features. Users can easily configure it to always route traffic through a proxy server. And, since the program is open-source, anyone is free to review the code behind it and compile it from scratch.
Deluge's additional security features include IPv6 utilization and even prevention of IPv4 addresses. That alone prevents some forms of cyber-attacks. Users can also block certain peers or only download from specific ones. That lowers the likelihood of receiving “bad blocks” of data that could contain malware from torrents.
The client also comes with built-in functionality to use both Message Stream Encryption and Protocol Encryption. There are also techniques to cut the chances of ISPs using hash-matching algorithms to identify content downloaded and uploaded.
There are a few ways to use Deluge. The first is to use the user interface supplied or customize it through menu options. Deluge, like many of its competitors, provides users with a completely separate localhost-served web client. This has a completely different look to it and can also be customized. Less experienced users may find the web client to be easier to navigate.
Though it may be intimidating at first, users also can use the Deluge command line. This terminal allows almost infinite customization. From how large toolbars appear to setting up remote access, the question to ask is what can it not do?
Unlike most of our reviews of torrent clients, the plug-ins for Deluge gets its own main section. This is because Deluge uniquely utilizes plug-ins developed by a group of avid users. The main goal is to make users' experiences more customizable and unique.
Some plug-ins are application-based and programmed to run on any platform where it's possible to install Deluge. These can be something simple, such as themes, or they can be more complex, such as the integration of a new VPN protocol. In this way, plug-ins somewhat supersede the need for further development by the original creators. Given how its plug-in ecosystem works, Deluge is set up to be self-perpetuating.
Other Deluge plug-ins target specific web browsers like Chrome and Firefox. This integration makes it possible to automatically begin downloading from magnet links or torrent files within the browser.
Deluge's plug-ins come in two forms. First, there are the “official” plug-ins that are available directly through Deluge. These have been peer-reviewed and can be installed within the application itself. There are also “third-party” plug-ins that exist on other websites. Naturally, the installation of such plug-ins is at the user's own risk.
One may guess that because the application is open-source, there's little or no support or documentation. However, the opposite is the case. Even though there are no recent updates, there's plenty of support available.
For more patient users, there's a full manual available on the main project page. This will guide users through everything from installing the application to troubleshooting advanced terminal commands. The guide is fairly well-written and is available in several languages.
There also isn't a shortage of peer support for Deluge. There are support forums dedicated to assisting both new and veteran users of the software, regardless of what their issues may be. Some of the original developers of the application even frequent these forums to help answer questions and help discussions. These forums are welcoming to users of all experience levels. Again, because the application is open-source, there are no fees involved in getting the help you need to use Deluge with ease.
The Verdict on Deluge
Deluge isn't the most popular program in such a competitive marketplace. It's often overlooked in favor of more well-known clients like Vuze. Yet, it's likely that its poor first impression leads users to seek other choices. It's important to keep in mind that Deluge comes “out of the box” ready to go. It has basic queuing, security tools, advanced torrent management, and help features without the installation of any plug-ins.
After putting in some time, the average user could make Deluge into precisely what they'd like and mimic all the functionality of other clients that cost money or have advertisements. If you're willing to put in 30 minutes and overlook the minimalist interface, you'll likely find that Deluge has much more to it than you initially anticipated.