What Is BitTorrent and Is It Safe

Overall, while it might not have the cleanest interface, BiglyBT is a solid torrent client that’ll meet most people’s needs.

10 Best Free Torrent Clients in 2023 (Fast and 100% Safe!)

With so many different torrent clients available, it’s hard to tell which one is a safe and reliable option. Plus, you need a VPN no matter which torrent client you use because there’s always a privacy risk. So, you might get exposed to cyber criminals if you aren’t careful.

To help you stay safe while you download torrents, I’ve found 10 free, safe, and reliable torrent clients that you can use. I’ve also picked out 3 great VPNs that provide fast speeds while torrenting and keep you safe and completely anonymous.

The VPNs I’ve picked out mask your identity, encrypt your activity, and provide fast torrenting speeds. They’re all great, but I suggest that you get ExpressVPN for torrenting as it’s the best option. It’s even backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can fully test it and ask for a refund if you’re unsatisfied with its performance.

Short on Time? Here Are the 10 Free Best Torrent Clients in 2023

  1. qBittorrent — Lightweight, reliable, and highly intuitive with many useful features but doesn’t support plugins.
  2. BitTorrent — Feature-filled torrent client but comes with in-app ads.
  3. Vuze — Has a helpful built-in search engine but slows down system performance a bit.
  4. Deluge — Useful and lightweight torrent client but isn’t the most user-friendly option.
  5. BitLord — Long-standing torrent client with many useful features but has in-app ads.
  6. uTorrent — Wide range of customization options, but it comes with bundled software and ads.
  7. Tixati — Ad-free open-source torrent client but isn’t available on macOS.
  8. BiglyBt — Completely free of ads and unwanted third-party programs, but the interface feels outdated.
  9. Transmission — Easy to use ad-free open-source torrent client but doesn’t have many customization options.
  10. WebTorrent Desktop — Lightweight, open source, and completely ad-free, but it doesn’t work on iOS or Android.

Best Free and Safe Torrent Clients in 2023

1. qBittorrent

Screenshot of qBittorrent showing a download in progress

Works on Windows, macOS, and Linux
Price Free
Pros Ad-free and open source
Cons Doesn’t support plugins like some other options

qBittorrent is an ad-free and open-source torrent client. It isn’t the most complex or feature-rich option, but it effectively gets the job done and doesn’t significantly impact your system’s performance.

The interface is easy to navigate, and I like qBittorrent’s helpful search engine, which makes it easy to find any files I’m looking for quickly. Plus, qBittorrent offers various useful features like IP filtering, bandwidth scheduling, RSS feed support, media playback, torrent creation, and more.

Unlike some other torrent clients here, though, qBittorrent doesn’t support third-party plugins, so you can’t fully customize it to your liking. Also, it’s worthwhile to use ExpressVPN with qBittorrent to make sure that you stay anonymous and ensure others can’t track you from your torrenting activity.

Overall, qBittorrent is a reliable open-source torrent client. Also, it’s completely free and doesn’t come bundled with other unnecessary apps, so it’s a solid choice.

2. BitTorrent

Screenshot of BitTorrent

Works on Windows, macOS, and Android
Price Free, $4.95 (Ad-free), $19.95 (Pro), and $69.95 (Pro + VPN)
Pros Simple and intuitive interface
Cons Has ads

BitTorrent not only runs uTorrent, but it also has its own torrent client. It’s similar to uTorrent in many ways, like the interface and pricing for the Pro offerings, but it has its share of unique features and is a reliable option nonetheless.

You’ll find many features in BitTorrent, like bandwidth limits, download/upload speed limits, a search function, IP filtering, and more. Its IP filtering is a useful feature that lets you control exactly which IP traffic runs through your network, thus providing some additional safety. Of course, it’s better for security if you get a reliable VPN instead, but this is still a helpful feature.

BitTorrent’s interface is simple and easy to navigate, but it has ads that clutter the space sometimes. However, it offers multiple paid offerings to get rid of the ads — such as the Ad-free, Pro, and Pro + VPN plan which includes a subscription to the P2P-friendly VPN CyberGhost.

3. Vuze

Screenshot of Vuze

Works on Windows
Price Free and $2.49/month (Vuze Plus)
Pros Feature-rich with lots of customization options
Cons Comes bundled with other apps and uses too many system resources sometimes

Vuze is the torrent client I’d advise getting if you want the most feature-packed and customizable option. It’s not the easiest to master, but advanced users can take advantage of its wide variety of features in many ways.

I really appreciate Vuze’s high level of customization. It offers a wide range of adjustable settings, including download/upload speeds, bandwidth limits, and other options. Additionally, Vuze comes equipped with various features like IP filtering, magnet link support, and even a built-in search engine, making it an all-inclusive solution for our needs.

I wish to emphasize that Vuze isn’t designed as a lightweight torrent client. It has a substantial appetite for system resources, potentially causing performance lags. The free version of Vuze is accompanied by advertisements, but you do have the option to opt for the Vuze Plus plan, which guarantees an ad-free interface. Additionally, the Vuze Plus plan offers extra functionalities such as the ability to stream media during downloads. All in all, Vuze may not stand out as the most lightweight or user-friendly choice in this context; however, it certainly shines if you’re seeking a torrent client packed with features.

4. Deluge

Screenshot of Deluge

Works on Windows, macOS, and Linux
Price Free
Pros Lightweight and supports third-party plugins
Cons Isn’t the most beginner-friendly torrent client

I consider Deluge a great torrent client for anyone who wants a simple, clean, and powerful torrent client. Not only is Deluge free and open source, but it also comes with a variety of useful features that you can use to customize your experience.

Deluge fully supports plugins, meaning you can customize and improve its functionality in many ways. Plus, you can set bandwidth limits, download/ upload speed limits, and more. You can also schedule downloads, set up IP blocking, and view detailed torrent stats. Of course, it’s important to highlight that all the features and plugins make Deluge a bit harder to learn if you’re unfamiliar with torrent clients.

What I like most about Deluge is that it’s free, doesn’t come bundled with other software, and doesn’t have any ads. So, while it may take time to master, it’s one of the best options on this list.

5. BitLord

Screenshot of Bitlord

Works on Windows, macOS, and Android
Price Free
Pros User-friendly interface and built-in search engine
Cons Has in-app ads

While BitLord isn’t the sleekest torrent client, it offers a fairly clean and easy-to-use interface that anyone can easily figure out. Plus, it has its share of useful features and customization options, so it stands out in a variety of ways and is worth checking out.

Among BitLord’s variety of features is a useful search engine that’ll help you quickly find anything you need. I also like that it automatically makes playlists of any media you download and keeps everything neatly ordered. Of course, it also lets you set bandwidth and speed limitations according to your preferences. BitLord even lets you stream while you download, which is something that Vuze only offers in its paid Plus plan.

BitLord is completely free to download and use. It isn’t open source and has its share of ads, but the ads are pretty minimal and don’t clutter the screen too much.

6. uTorrent

Screenshot of uTorrent

Works on Windows, macOS, and Android
Price Free, $4.95 (Ad-free), and $19.95 (Pro), and $69.95 (Pro + VPN)
Pros Intuitive interface and doesn’t take up too many system resources
Cons Comes with various bundled apps and has in-app ads

uTorrent is one of the oldest names in the torrenting space and is maintained by BitTorrent. This is a superb torrent client that’s proven its reliability over the years. Also, it’s easy to use, offers a great set of features, and is very lightweight.

I want to highlight that uTorrent comes bundled with various other software, but you can simply opt out of installing it during the setup. As far as its features are concerned, uTorrent lets you schedule downloads, set bandwidth and speed limitations, find torrents via the search function, and more.

uTorrent fully supports plugins, so you can enhance its capabilities even further if you’re an advanced user. Plus, it lets you stream torrents as they’re being downloaded. uTorrent has ads, but I learned that you can block in-app ads with PIA’s MACE ad blocker and enjoy a clutter-free experience. Overall, though, this is a solid torrent client that’s proven its reliability over the years.

7. Tixati

Screenshot of Tixati

Works on Windows and Linux
Price Free
Pros Completely ad-free, open source, and provides detailed data while torrenting
Cons Isn’t as feature-rich as some other offerings

Tixati is a simple, effective, and highly reliable open-source torrent client. It may not be the most feature-packed offering on this list, but it provides everything you’d expect from a well-rounded torrent client.

When it comes to features, Tixati offers magnet link support, scheduling, intuitive drag-and-drop options, and even supports connection encryption. One of Tixati’s standout aspects is how much data it shows you while you’re torrenting. It provides full breakdowns of your torrent downloads that are far more detailed than what any other client shows. Alongside everything else, Tixati barely uses system resources, so you won’t notice any slowdowns while using it.

Tixati is completely free and doesn’t have any ads, either. So, overall, it’s a solid choice if you want an effective and well-rounded torrent client that checks every single box.

8. BiglyBT

Screenshot of BiglyBT showing a download in progress

Works on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android
Price Free
Pros Open source, ad-free, and fully supports plugins
Cons Interface looks somewhat outdated

BiglyBT hasn’t been around as long as the other torrent clients on this list, but it’s a solid choice. Among its major highlights is the VPN detection feature, which helps you easily use a top-quality VPN with BiglyBT to mask your torrenting activity.

You’ll be quite pleased with BiglyBT when it comes to features. You can easily search for torrents, subscribe to RSS feeds, leave ratings and comments, and even participate in anonymous chats. Plus, its settings menu lets you set bandwidth and speed limitations.

BiglyBT also comes with full support for plugins that you can use to enhance its functionality or further customize it to your liking.

Overall, while it might not have the cleanest interface, BiglyBT is a solid torrent client that’ll meet most people’s needs.

9. Transmission

Screenshot of Transmission

Works on Windows, macOS, and Linux
Price Free
Pros Open source and offers an easy-to-use interface
Cons Lack of customization options

Transmission is a torrent client that focuses on simplicity and ease of use. It’s a great way to get started if you haven’t downloaded torrents before and want an intuitive and reliable torrent client that’ll always get the job done.

What I like about Transmission is how easy it is to navigate, even for complete newcomers. The interface is clean and neatly presented, and the settings are all easy to navigate through and configure as well. Also, Transmission lets you adjust all the usual settings like bandwidth limits, peer limits, speed limits, and more. There are also different add-ons that you can get for added functionality, but these aren’t officially supported, and I found that they aren’t that useful.

Something you’ll be quite pleased with when using Transmission is that it’s completely ad-free. Plus, it’s open source which gives me a lot of additional confidence in it. Of course, it doesn’t offer some of the advanced features you’d get in clients like Vuze, but it’ll rarely let you down.

10. WebTorrent Desktop

Screenshot of WebTorrent Desktop showing a download in progress

Works on Windows, macOS, and Linux
Price Free
Pros Lightweight, intuitive, and open source
Cons Focuses too much on streaming media and isn’t as feature-rich

WebTorrent Desktop is among the more unique torrent clients on this list. What makes this client stand out is the fact that it’s mainly designed for streaming media, which it’s great at. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer many other features that you’d find in a well-rounded torrent client.

One of WebTorrent Desktop’s most useful features is that it lets you stream your torrents directly as they download. I also like that it suggests various torrents that you can download and stream as soon as you open the app. Some of its other features include drag-and-drop functionality, peer discovery, and full support for magnet links. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer many other controls. Its settings are very limited, there aren’t as many customization options, and it simply isn’t as powerful as some clients like Vuze.

WebTorrent Desktop is open source and has no in-app ads, which I like a lot. Plus, since it isn’t as feature-rich, it’s very lightweight, and you’ll never experience slowdowns. While this client might not meet everyone’s needs, WebTorrent Desktop is a solid choice for anyone who wants a streaming-focused torrent client.

Tips for Choosing the Best Torrent Client

Not all torrent clients are created equal, so it’s important to pick one with all the necessary features and perfectly fits your needs. The following are the key factors I looked at when picking the best torrent clients:

  • Ease of use — The best torrent clients come with intuitive designs that make them easy to use, even if you haven’t downloaded torrents before.
  • Customization options — I always prefer torrent clients with customization options because this lets you fine-tune them to your preferences.
  • Device compatibility — Any high-end torrent client is available on various devices, from Windows to Android.
  • Impact on system performance — I only look for torrent clients that don’t significantly slow down my system’s performance.
  • Variety of features — I prioritize torrent clients with useful features like scheduling downloads, support for magnet links, IP blocklisting, and more.

Why You Need a VPN When Using a Torrent Client

A VPN masks your identifying information and keeps you safe while downloading torrents. Downloading torrents is a privacy risk because you can expose identifying information like your IP address to cyber criminals online. If your information is leaked, malicious third parties might track your location or target you with attacks.

VPNs also help you get around throttling for the fastest possible download speeds. Some ISPs can throttle torrent download speeds, but a VPN circumvents this by hiding the fact that you’re downloading torrents.

So, while it’s important to get a safe and reliable torrent client, it’s also crucial to get a top VPN like ExpressVPN to safeguard yourself.

The Best VPNs for Torrenting in 2023

1. ExpressVPN — Airtight Encryption and Lightning-Fast Speeds for Secure and Quick Torrenting


�� Servers 3,000+
�� Devices 8
�� Refund 30 days
�� Keep logs No
�� Kill switch
�� Support 24/7 Yes

Key Features:

  • Industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption safeguards your online activity
  • Offers a large network of 3,000 servers, each of which supports torrenting and delivers fast download speeds
  • No bandwidth caps meaning you can download as many torrents as you want to
  • Strict no-logs policy, so none of your activity is stored on its servers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN’s lightning-fast speeds and airtight security make it one of the best VPNs for torrenting. All of its 3,000 servers support P2P, meaning you can easily use ExpressVPN to download torrents while staying safe. Plus, since its servers are available in 94 countries, you should have no trouble finding one close to you that’ll provide great download speeds.

During tests, ExpressVPN’s download speeds remained consistently impressive. I downloaded Captain Kidd from the public domain, and my speeds remained close to that of my base connection with just a 10-15% decrease. Although, keep in mind that your speeds may vary depending on how many seeders a torrent has.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN speed test results

You’ll get fast speeds for torrenting no matter which ExpressVPN server you connect to

You’ll find that this is one of the best VPNs when it comes to security. ExpressVPN offers a variety of features to keep you safe and secure while torrenting, such as the following:

  • AES 256-bit encryption — Impenetrable industry-standard encryption that’ll safeguard you online.
  • No-logs policy — Makes sure that none of your online activity is ever stored.
  • DNS leak protection — Ensures that any identifying information about you isn’t leaked online.
  • Kill switch — Disconnects you from the internet to keep you anonymous if the VPN connection drops.

ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology guarantees that your browsing activity or logs are never stored. These RAM-based servers lose all their logs and data after every reboot, meaning there’s nothing left for third parties to learn about your torrenting activity.

Other useful ExpressVPN features include split tunneling, which lets you decide which apps should run their traffic through the VPN’s network. Split tunneling is great for when you want to download torrents safely but want to surf the web without a VPN to access local websites like banking portals.

ExpressVPN offers multiple plans like its monthly, 6-month, and yearly offerings. You can subscribe to it for as low as $6.67/month, and I advise getting the 1-year + 3 months plan as it delivers the best value. Also, you can try ExpressVPN completely risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll have a long time to test it. If you’re unsatisfied with its performance at any time, you can easily get a refund. I tested the guarantee myself and asked for a refund via live chat, which was approved within minutes. I received the refund in my account within the same week.

ExpressVPN works with: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Nvidia Shield, Xiaomi Mi Box, Google Chromecast, Roku, Android TVs, smart TVs, routers, and more.

ExpressVPN also unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Peacock, Discovery+, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, BritBox, Starz, Crunchyroll, fuboTV, Sling TV, DirecTV, YouTube TV, Kodi, and more.

2023 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it’s gone. See more information on this offer here.

What Is BitTorrent and Is It Safe?

BitTorrent is an internet transfer protocol. Much like http (hypertext transfer protocol) and ftp (file transfer protocol), BitTorrent is a way to download files from the internet. However, unlike http and ftp, BitTorrent is a distributed transfer protocol.

BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol finds users with files other users want and then downloads pieces of the files from those users simultaneously. Consequently, transmission rates are faster than with http and ftp, which both download files sequentially from only one source.

In 2005, estimates indicated BitTorrent accounted for about 35 percent of all internet traffic. After spiking in early 2008, BitTorrent’s popularity gradually declined as internet speeds increased.

During the same time frame, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime dominated the market with low-cost downloads. As a result, BitTorrent’s 10 percent share of all download traffic in North America in 2010 dropped to 3 percent by 2015.

Is Torrenting Legal?

BitTorrent is a legitimate file transfer protocol, and using it — called torrenting — is legal as long as the content can be downloaded or uploaded legally. However, using it to download copyrighted material — like a brand-new movie — without the copyright owner’s permission is not legal. More than 200,000 users were sued in the United States between 2010 and 2011 for downloading copyrighted material using BitTorrent.

Since that time, lawsuits have been replaced by copyright trolls who are authorized to act on behalf of copyright holders.

Because the BitTorrent technology reveals the IP addresses of devices connected to its data stream — called a torrent — trolls can identify which addresses download files.

The trolls send settlement letters to the internet service providers (ISPs), who then forward the letters to their clients.

A typical 2017 settlement request by the group known as Rights Enforcement was $300. Because IP addresses aren’t considered legal entities, however, the trolls rarely have individuals’ names and therefore can’t pursue collection.

Is there a Legitimate Case for Torrenting?

Downloading patches, modifications, and updates for older, unsupported video games and user-generated modifications for supported games is a compelling reason for accessing BitTorrent.

Accessing classic movies, B movies, indie music, books, and software in the public domain or available through Creative Commons licenses is another legitimate case for using BitTorrent. Examples of legal sites include Public Domain Torrents and the indie site Vodo, among others.

Is It Safe?

Torrenting should be approached with caution. BitTorrent has a reputation as a technology used to pirate movies, games, and other copyrighted content. ISPs know this and often send warning letters and anti-piracy educational materials to BitTorrent users.

Repeat offenders could find their bandwidth reduced or their accounts suspended. ISPs may not differentiate between legitimate BitTorrent sites distributing material with Creative Commons licenses from those sharing pirated content.

Additionally, hackers often use free content as a malware-laden lure to wreak havoc on users’ computers or launch attacks. To minimize the risk, BitTorrent streaming sites that claim to check files for viruses and other malware have emerged.

Visibility is another danger. The ISP addresses of users and the content they transmit are visible to all BitTorrent users — and this information is often tracked by copyright holders, law enforcement, advertisers, and hackers. It’s important for torrent users to maintain complete internet security by using internet security software, keeping malware definitions up to date, and installing operating system patches as soon as they become available. Encrypting an internet connection by using a virtual private network (VPN) to mask the IP address also helps, but it isn’t foolproof.

How to Use BitTorrent

As noted above, make sure you have a robust internet security tool, and connect to a VPN to mask your IP address. Then download and set up a BitTorrent client. To find content, use your web browser to visit popular BitTorrent tracker sites. Use the BitTorrent client to actually download the files you need.

Remember, although BitTorrent itself is legal, a lot of the content available through other users is pirated. Be careful to download only legal content, and always scan all files for malware.

Kaspersky Internet Security received two AV-TEST awards for the best performance & protection for an internet security product in 2021. In all tests Kaspersky Internet Security showed outstanding performance and protection against cyberthreats.

Related articles:

  • What is Adware?
  • What is a Trojan?
  • Computer Viruses and Malware Facts and FAQ
  • Spam and Phishing

Related products:

  • Kaspersky Total Security
  • Kaspersky Internet Security
  • Kaspersky Antivirus
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Android

What Is BitTorrent and Is It Safe?

BitTorrent is a distributed protocol transfer that allows users to download files from others. Before torrenting, be sure learn about its legality and safety.

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