The High Tech Society

Torrent Clients – Everything You Need to Know & Then Some


If you’re planning on downloading torrents, first, please check out our series on free & legal torrents. Second, you’re going to need a torrent client to make everything work. We’re going to talk about what a torrent client is, how it works, and three of your best options in this article.

Torrent Terms

In order to understand downloading torrents, you’re going to have to know a few basic terms.

Peer – A person who is downloading a file
Seed – A person who is uploading a file
Segment – A single piece of a file
Swarm – The sum of all segments of the file hosted on servers
Tracker – The software tracking the swarm and making sure the pieces go together correctly
Leech – A person who downloads but does not seed

What is a Torrent Client

If you want to download a torrent then you need a torrent client, it’s that simple. A torrent client is a program that downloads a torrent using a torrent file (.torrent), and then co-ordinates the segmented file transfer by communicating with any and all host computers that are uploading data to the swarm that makes up the torrent.

Because each torrent file is made up of a number of smaller (segments) files that are hosted together in one swarm, torrents allow for faster download because:

  1. The more files in the swarm the more you can download at once
  2. You can begin uploading to the swarm before you have the whole file because you are downloading segments.
  3. More people downloading usually means more people uploading and therefore a faster swarm.

Because the whole process of downloading multiple files from different parts of a single file is more than a little complicated, you need a Bittorrent client (not to be confused with Bittorrent) in order to download a torrent. Luckily, all of these are free.
Most beginners should download their torrents and set them on the ‘beginner stage’, as ‘advanced’ or ‘experienced’ is typically for people who want to upload.

Bittorrent Clients

While there are over thirty different bittorrent clients that you can try (why not try them all right), there are a few that stand out from the pack as being better than others. We will go into a bit more depth with reviews and ratings later, but for now, here are your three best bittorrent client options.
Bittorrent – Bittorrent is one of the biggest names in bittorrent software, mainly because the founder Bram Cohen, used the name ‘Bittorrent’ in it. Bittorrent is compatible with Windows and Mac computers, and has a range of features including built in search, multiple downloads, seed and peer views, graph views, and more.

UTorrent – Utorrent is Windows only, but it’s a very strong and simple bittorrent client that doesn’t take up a lot of system resources. (If you’re on Mac, please try Transmission instead). Utorrent includes built in remote control (download torrents remotely), syncing, and a number of other winning features.

Vuze – Vuze is one of the best bittorrent clients out there for a number of reasons, the first being that it’s easy to use. While they will continue to ask for donations or try to sell you Vuze Premium, you can ignore both of these if you don’t want to spend any money. Vuze includes an easy to use layout, syncing to smart TVs and devices, syncing with iTunes, and the ability to burn DVDs if you happen to pay for the premium. It’s got more features than any other torrent client, which is one of the reasons we’re reccomending it. It’s also compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

*The High Tech Society does not suggest or condone piracy of any kind. It is your responsibility to ensure that your downloads are legal ones and that you are not breaking any laws.