Friday, November 10, 2006

BitTorrent Clients For Mac OS X

Mac users who are looking for a BitTorrent client have a few options available - the official BitTorrent client, Azureus, Tomato Torrent, and Bits on Wheels, to name a few. Among these, I've been able to use two - the official BitTorrent client and Azureus. Here are some of my opinions regarding these apps.

The Official BitTorrent Client
What I like about the official BitTorrent client is its easy to use interface. It has a very simple toolbar that contains the basic buttons you need to download torrents. It's a good option to choose if you're a beginner trying to figure out how torrents work. BitTorrent also sports the brushed steel look making the interface very OSeXy.

What I don't like about it is that I can't seem to get fast connections. Even when my bandwidth is freed up, my download speeds remain pretty slow. I also find myself having to constantly restart the application during long downloads because they simply stall after certain periods. I'm not exactly sure why, but this may be caused by the fact that I'm connected to the internet behind a router. I should be able to remedy this by tweaking some settings. The problem is that I don't know which settings to tweak because I'm still a beginner when it comes to using BitTorrent clients.

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Get the official BitTorrent client.

Azureus is a Java-based BitTorrent client, which means that it can run on any platform provided that you have the Java Runtime Environment
(which you can get for free at installed. It has tons of features that might confuse the average user, but the program does allow you to choose between three user proficiency modes - beginner, intermediate and advanced - making it a client that's suitable for just about anyone. Compared to the official BitTorrent client, the connection speeds I get using Azureus are much faster. And I don't find myself having to restart the application over and over. I haven't really been able to play around with many of the features available, and most of them I don't even need because I'm not really an advanced user. But one of the features I do like is how Azureus allows you to easily set caps on the upload and download speeds of each individual torrent. I find this to be very useful when downloading multiple torrents as it gives you greater control in distributing the available bandwidth that you have.

The main disadvantage with Azureus is that it uses up more computer resources (maybe because it's packed with features) compared to the official BitTorrent client. But that shouldn't be much of a problem unless you're using a really slow computer.

click to view larger image

Get Azureus.


The official BitTorrent client vs Azureus? Azureus.

I like the official BitTorrent client's interface and appearance better because it's very simple. But I still choose Azureus because it gives me faster connection speeds, which I think is a more important factor since the main point of using these programs is for you to be able share files with others.
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