When you need a fast and lightweight way to rapidly share files across any number of computers, torrenting through uTorrent is a cost-effective solution.
While torrenting is notorious for its use in pirating media, torrents are a useful tool for distributing batches of files to a large number of computers. If you’re looking for a fast, free option for torrenting, uTorrent is one of the most popular applications for torrenting in use.
What Does uTorrent Do?
Torrents are a type of file sharing method that allows computers to share the same file in small pieces. With the workload broken down this way, download speeds increase as more of the peers (downloaders) have pieces to share with other peers, eventually becoming a seeder (download host) themselves.
μTorrent, typically written as uTorrent, is a lightweight torrent application that lets you seed files or download from others. The “μ” in the official name is a Greek letter used as a prefix for “micro” in measurements. Once installed, clicking on torrent files or download links will quickly start downloading the file from any seeders or peers sharing the torrent. While it is efficient, the free version runs advertisements that increase its resource consumption.
For torrenting, the program offers you tools to manage your seeding and downloading preferences, including limiting transfer speeds, blocking specific users from downloading from you, and setting up private torrents. The ‘encryption’ option obfuscates the traffic, which may prevent some anti-torrenting functions that ISPs use from slowing it down. If you enable sequential downloading, you can stream videos from a torrent like Netflix. With the web version, there are additional features like scanning torrents you see on websites, and it integrates with your uTorrent desktop application to continue downloads after the browser is closed.
If you sign up for a BitTorrent Wallet, you’ll earn BitTorrent Tokens (BTT) as you seed files to peers. Having more BTT will get your downloads preferential treatment, so contributing to the network of sharing ends up investing in your own efficiency.
Compared to its sister application, BitTorrent, It has a much smaller file size, gets more frequent updates, and has more OS compatibility thanks to its Linux version.
How Much Does uTorrent Cost?
The basic uTorrent download is free, but there are multiple paid tiers that improve various features for an annual fee. The first tier removes ads for $4.95. The second tier is the Pro version at $19.95, which includes the ad removal and extra security features like scanning downloads for viruses. The ultimate version is $69.95, and it includes a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service on top of the Pro version’s features.
Is uTorrent Secure?
You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that anything you download via a torrent is legal and secure. The best way to do that is to only download torrents from a source that you trust while using a VPN. The Pro versions of uTorrent will scan for viruses, but they will not detect every threat that might be hiding in an executable.
Torrents used for piracy are frequently monitored, so if you download from an illegal source, you may face consequences such as monetary fines, loss of internet service, and other legal actions depending on your ISP, your jurisdiction, and the severity of the piracy.