Thanks to its streamlined user interface, uTorrent remains one of the most used BitTorrent programs. Based on the original BitTorrent client, uTorrent is a tiny program that does not slow down your computer. However, it also has a few drawbacks to consider.
Before installing this popular client, take a moment to explore its main features, pros, and cons.
Main Features of uTorrent
You can get uTorrent for free on Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. An Android version is also available for smartphones and tablets. Other features include:
Set bandwidth caps
uTorrent is based on the original BitTorrent client and includes many of the same features. Just like most torrent software, you can set bandwidth caps on the upload and download speeds.
Schedule speed caps
Scheduling speed caps for different time periods is one of the most popular tools. You may want to limit the speeds during certain times of the day, when you need the bandwidth to perform other online activities.
Hibernate, reboot, or shut down automatically
There is a useful option that lets you set the software to automatically hibernate, sleep, reboot, or shut down when a torrent finishes downloading. Instead of leaving uTorrent running 24/7, it can close itself after downloading the files in your queue.
This BitTorrent client offers support for remote file management. This tool lets you remotely start or stop torrents through a web browser. If you are using a different device or are away from home, you can use a browser to check the progress.
Another interesting feature is the RSS feed. If you have an RSS feed containing torrents, simply add it to uTorrent and set it to automatically download new files as they appear on the feed.
Along with the settings discussed, this torrent manager offers a surprising number of customization settings for power users. If you know what you are doing, you can easily configure it to your liking. For example, there’s an option to configure it to work with a proxy, which is necessary with some VPN services.
Low Impact on Your Device
Despite the variety of tools and options, uTorrent takes up hardly any space on your computer. The installer file is only 2MB. After installing the program, it only requires about 6MB of RAM.
The reason that uTorrent became one of the most used programs is the user experience. The developers behind this software designed a simple, clean interface.
The minimalist design should appeal to newbies and experienced torrent client users. It allows you to quickly check the progress of your downloads and start new ones.
Plugins and Add-ons
The software does not offer any plugins or add-ons. The settings already included are the only options you get for customization. As this is not an open-source program, individuals cannot create their own plugins.
Luckily, uTorrent has a lot of settings. This eliminates the need to add external plugins. However, if you want extra options, you may want to explore the pro version.
As uTorrent is not open source, you need to rely on the developers to provide updates to fix security issues or address glitches. Fortunately, these updates happen on a frequent basis.
The continuous improvements make sure that uTorrent remains a safe client to use. You don’t have to worry about downloading a virus accidentally, unless the files you are getting already contain viruses.
Free Vs Pro Version
While uTorrent is available for free, the company behind this software offers a paid version.
With the Pro version, you are able to watch your torrents without waiting for them to completely download. You can also convert files and play them in HD.
As it usually happens with this type of software, the premium version will remove all the ads and interruptions from the interface.
The paid subscription also includes a virus scanner that searches for possible threats in the files that are being downloaded.
A Note About Safety
As torrenting requires you to expose an IP address to the peers in the swarm, it is always a good idea to use a Virtual Private Network. It will keep you anonymous and avoid that anyone snoops on your activity and downloads.
The following are a few VPN suggestions that work well with uTorrent:
uTorrent Advantages and Disadvantages
We do enjoy using uTorrent to manage our files. But some things can definitely be improved and optimized. Here’s what we like and dislike about it:
- Streamlined interface
- Lots of features and options
- Small installer file
- Receive frequent updates
- Includes advertisements
- The installer wants to install more software
- Does not include any plugins or add-ons
uTorrent is a Tiny Program with Ads
The streamlined interface and customization options continue to make uTorrent one of the most downloaded BitTorrent clients. But we wouldn’t call it the best these days. The fact is that there are very decent uTorrent alternatives out there. And, in our opinion, some are better.
The main problem with uTorrent is advertising. The ads are annoying and a major complaint from users. However, it is a small price to pay for a reliable program that includes frequent updates and several useful features.
If you decide to give uTorrent a try, use caution when installing it. The installer displays some offers to install other software, which is often easy to miss. If you do not uncheck the boxes, you may install programs that you do not want.
The free version has limited features compared to the paid one. While you cannot convert files or watch torrents without waiting for them to complete, the free software still allows you to easily download them. In the end, uTorrent offers a simple way to start torrenting.