uTorrent and qBitTorrent are comparable pieces of software. Both options have lightweight, simple designs that require minimal resources. You can run these torrent managers without hogging the CPU. The menus are easy to browse, allowing anyone to start torrenting within seconds.
When choosing between these two BitTorrent clients, you may struggle to determine which one suits your needs. Here is a direct comparison between them.
What Is uTorrent?
If you have searched for torrent managers, you have heard of uTorrent. It is the most downloaded program. Built as a lightweight version of BitTorrent, this software uses minimal resources to reliably download torrent files.
You also get lots of customization, including the ability to change encryption, set and schedule bandwidth limits, and prioritize downloads.
When uTorrent first came out, people loved the minimalist interface. The software also came without advertisements or bloat. It used very few resources, allowing you to download files in the background while performing other tasks.
In recent years, the software has become a little more sluggish. It also includes lots of advertisements. Thanks to these changes, users started to search for alternatives. As we previously mentioned in our qBitTorrent software review, this may be the closest substitute to uTorrent.
What Is qBitTorrent?
Volunteer developers designed qBitTorrent to address the changes requested by many users. They made an open-source program without the bloat or ads found on the newer versions of uTorrent.
The interface is almost identical though. They have a streamlined interface that is easy to navigate, even if you have never used either of them before.
While the user experience is very similar, qBitTorrent is a little plain looking and it looks a little clunkier. But keep in mind that looks don't affect the performance of the software.
Like a typical open-source software, qBitTorrent is entirely free. You never have to pay to get it or deal with annoying advertisements.
Similarities Between qBitTorrent and uTorrent
Due to the similarities, choosing between the two programs is a challenge. First, you should examine the features available with both. But, no matter which one you choose, you get the following:
Simplified user interfaces
As mentioned, the developers behind qBitTorrent initially created a similar layout to uTorrent. They want to provide a suitable alternative. So, you get a simplified GUI with both programs.
Accessible on all major platforms
They are compatible with all major platforms, such as Linux, Mac, and Windows computers. It's also possible to run them on your Android smartphone or tablet.
RSS feed support
RSS feed support lets you automatically download files added to a feed. This feature comes with both programs, and adding new RSS feeds only takes a few seconds.
Remote torrent management
In case you want to pause, stop, or cancel download remotely, there is the possibility of using the remote torrent management feature. They allow you to set up a web interface that you can navigate from any web browser connected to your local network.
Bandwidth scheduling is a useful feature available on these two BitTorrent clients. It gives you the option to set download and upload limits at different times of the day. For example, you may allow unlimited downloads during the day and limit them at night.
To upload your own files to a website or tracker, you first have to create a torrent. With either program, you get a torrent creation tool. You just need to select a public tracker and the files that you plan to share.
Port forwarding support
Sometimes, it's necessary to change the port used to download torrents, depending on the settings of your firewall and router. The fact that both programs support port forwarding lets you change the default port when another program is using it to access the Internet.
How Are They Different?
While these two torrent clients have many features in common, they also have several key differences, including:
The design is very similar, but qBitTorrent is open-source, while a private company maintains uTorrent. Individual volunteer developers work together to continually improve and fix qBitTorrent. The people responsible for this software provide frequent updates and access to plugins that you cannot get on uTorrent.
Unlike uTorrent, qBitTorrent does not include ads. This is one of the reasons why people started to look for alternatives. For many users, it's an annoying thing. To get rid of them in uTorrent, you will need to get the paid option.
While qBitTorrent allows you to change various settings, the customization is not as robust compared to uTorrent. However, you can install search engine plugins to add more functionality.
uTorrent does not offer any plugins. The only way to get more features is to upgrade to the premium plan. The plugins for qBitTorrent provide a way to search for torrents without needing to visit the Pirate Bay or other torrent sites that may expose you to snoopers or viruses.
uTorrent is available for free. However, the free version lacks a few features found on the Pro version, such as:
- Doesn't contain ads
- Converts files automatically
- Malware and virus scanner
- Allows you to stream torrents as they download
With the free version of uTorrent, you still get lots of customization features. Digging through the menu, you’ll find dozens of advanced settings for power users.
Advantages of Using uTorrent
- Settings for experienced users
- Frequent updates help keep you safe
- A paid version with extra features
Advantages of Using qBitTorrent
- Completely free and open-source
- Search engine plugins make it easy to find torrents
- No ads or hidden software in the installer file
Quick Safety Note
Downloading torrent files makes your IP address and activity visible to everyone. The only way to protect yourself against prying eyes is to use a VPN to mask your IP address.
These two BitTorrent clients should work with any VPN service you choose. But, as you probably know, some providers are more torrent-friendly than others.
Some of our favorite VPN providers:
Which Torrent Software Should You Use?
If you prefer to stick with a free program, the basic version of uTorrent and the latest release of qBitTorrent are both great choices.
uTorrent includes more settings compared to qBitTorrent and it's the most downloaded one. It's your best choice if you want to mess around with the settings and tweak the options to suit your torrenting needs. It also receives frequent updates, helping to fix any security vulnerabilities.
qBitTorrent receives fewer updates and provides fewer customization possibilities. While you get fewer advanced features, you can use the search engine plugins.
In the end, the main reason to consider using qBitTorrent over uTorrent is the lack of advertisements. The most important thing to have in mind is that they are both very capable of downloading torrents in a simple and fast way.