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BitTorrent Clients Reviewed 484

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-looking-for-the-anti-leech-device dept.
prostoalex writes "PC Magazine is running a review of several popular BitTorrent clients. They review uTorrent, an app that 'packs an outstanding array of features in 107KB, and doesn't even create a folder in your Program Files' and give it 4.5 stars. BitTorrent Client from BitTorrent.com, 'whose clean interface has three basic elements: a large progress bar for each torrent you're working on, a slider that controls your maximum upload rate, and a link to the BitTorrent Search engine', gets 4 stars. BitPump 'features an attractive interface that sacrifices a detailed feature set for BitTorrent tweakers in favor of simplicity and ease of use' and gets 4 stars. Finally, Azureus, 'a favorite with advanced users, who enjoy its plug-in system and huge range of tweakable settings', gets 4.5 stars. An interview with Bram Cohen from BitTorrent is available as well."
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BitTorrent Clients Reviewed

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  • Congrats! (Score:2, Funny)

    by egg troll (515396)
    This is great. I've been looking for the best app to steal music, movies and software with! Thank you, PC Magazine!
    • Idiot (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There are a lot more uses to bittorrent than stealing media. I use bittorrent a lot, I have used it to play around with many distros and am using to download 4 cds of Slackware. I have never used to download anything that isn't free.

      Bittorrent lets people without a lot of bandwidth get their data distributed, it just happens that some people want to distribute stuff they don't own.
    • Re:Congrats! (Score:3, Informative)

      by DaHat (247651)
      Fool! The best app is still Grabit and Newzbin... *looking around* or so I've been told... err... heard... yea thats it, heard.
      • Re:Congrats! (Score:5, Informative)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:15PM (#14535213) Journal
        http://slyck.com/guides.php [slyck.com]

        Its one of the only sites I know about that lists and reviews clients for all the major P2P networks.

        Guide to the Newsgroups
        -- Guide to Grabit
        -- Guide to Agent
        -- Guide to Xnews
        -- Guide to WinRAR

        Guide to BitTorrent
        Guide to eDonkey2000
        Guide to WinMX
        Guide to DirectConnect
        Guide to Ares
        Guide to Gnutella
        Guide to SoulSeek
        Guide to IRC
        Guide to MP2P

        In all of the "Guide to" sections, they have a list of clients (Win, Mac, Linux) and they order them by rating. It's the site I send people to when they ask "what client should I use?"
        • Re:Congrats! (Score:3, Informative)

          by MojoStan (776183)
          AfterDawn's guides [afterdawn.com] have some nice information on how to setup some popular BitTorrent clients (buttons, preferences, settings, etc). Here's direct links to the BT client guides:
        • Re:Congrats! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by camperslo (704715)
          I like their tutorials and information on 3rd party news servers, but their listing of software is lacking for OS X.
          The RAR client they list for Windows is only a "trial" version, and is only available in a command line version on Linux and Mac OS X. I sent them feedback a month ago to add MT-Newswatcher for Mac OS (9 & X) which is great and free, but they have not added it. Several demo/payware products are listed. Their listing includes "Votes" with the highest number for the Mac newsreaders being
        • Looks like the number of Windows clients is vastly greater than the others. Guess that means that most "pirates" are Windows-users.

          Hey RIAA, MPAA, there's a simple solution to your "piracy" problem: Have your pet Congress-creatures outlaw Windows!
    • Steal? No (Score:5, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:39PM (#14535063) Homepage Journal
      If you are downloading, you arent stealing, you are commiting copyright infringement at the worst ( remember some licenses allow re-distribution, so i wont make a blanket statement )

      if you want to *steal* just go to your local store and leave with product with out paying for it. You dont need a 'app' to help you steal.

      Would be nice for people to get it right once in a while, instead of continuing to spread confusion.
    • by twitter (104583) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:42PM (#14535070) Homepage Journal
      The author, stuck in the non free world of Windoze, feels compelled to tell us:

      Once again, using BitTorrent in and of itself is not in the least bit illegal. Of course, neither is using a VCR to tape a television show. However, a huge number of people use BitTorrent to share materials that are copyrighted. The array is vast, from MP3s to first-run movies, and even entire seasons of TV shows zipped up into a single large file. And once again (say it with us), downloading copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal.

      Replace BitTorrent with http, ftp or the web and you see how tiresome this kind of comment is. A huge number of people die driving. A huge number of people are murdered with pointy pieces of steel. A large number of people might not give the world's big publishers their money, with or without another internet protocol. The vast majority of musicians get ripped off.

      Let me see if I can say it clearly. Sharing with your friends is not dirty. Cooperative systems add value.

      People in the non free world just don't get it and covet all the wrong things. The value of source code is much greater than that of a binary file. The value of a live performance is much greater than a recording. A movie is worth about four dollars. What he values is something that's dead, things with greedy owners. The value of the internet is the exchange of free information, not dead stuff.

      I've got a closet full of old crap he might consider valuable. I've got CDs, albums and tapes, which were worthless to me until I ripped them and stuck them on an sftp server. I've got shelves of DOS, Win3.1, Win95 and Windoze 98 software, all good for painful installations on obsolete hardware. The actual content made has been moved to free software systems when I was no longer able to access it with non free software. I keep it, some old books and even a working system or two around like museum pieces. The cost of replacement for my non free software is about 1 hour of install and download time, or a $500 trip to CompUSA. Mobility adds value to information and exposes the true value of non free information.

      Will I use bt to share music and movies? Sure, if they are free. Those that are free are worth much more than those I can't share.

      Do I share my own work? You bet I do.

      • The point? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Z34107 (925136) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:43PM (#14535334)

        Will I use bt to share music and movies? Sure, if they are free.

        Free as in speech, or free as in beer? If it's the latter, it's copyright infringement - meaning taht, yes, "Sharing with your friends" is, indeed, "dirty."

        Those [music and movies] that are free are worth much more than those I can't share.

        Of course they are. That doesn't make sharing them legal, nor right. If they're "too expensive", don't buy them and let the free market do it's work.

        A jumbo jet is also more valuable than a ticket to ride on one. It's just that it's harder to "infringe" the jet than it is a copyright.

        • sharing is good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by twitter (104583) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:34PM (#14535554) Homepage Journal
          Free as in speech, or free as in beer?

          If I can't share it with my friends, it's not free.

          If it's the latter, it's copyright infringement - meaning taht, yes, "Sharing with your friends" is, indeed, "dirty."

          You asking me not to share with my friends is the dirty part and a good enough reason to avoid your work. A library is not dirty. A few copies are not a republication. The end of physical media is going to be difficult for people who think they own ideas because they put them on dead trees. Copyright has gone far beyond it's original intention and purpose of promoting the sciences and useful arts. People who insist that sharing is dirty should be shunned.

        • Re:The point? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sbrown123 (229895)
          Free as in speech, or free as in beer?

          Oh, god, please kill yourself for saying that.

          A jumbo jet is also more valuable than a ticket to ride on one.

          So which is more valuable, a passenger on a jumbo jet or the jumbo jet? I'm sure since you couldn't get the parent post's concept you'll go for the hunk of metal.

        • Re:The point? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday January 23, 2006 @12:16AM (#14536296)
          If they're "too expensive", don't buy them and let the free market do it's work.

          Don't for a second believe that the market for music and movies is a "free market." At the very least it is dominated by one gynormous bit of government interference, generally known as the copyright monopoly. You may believe that claptrap about copyright being the only way to "promote progress in science and the arts" but don't pretend that a "free market" has anything to do with it. It is a very tightly controlled market.
      • maybe you are confused. PC mag was reveiwing BT clients. that is all. don't read anything else into it. the fact that many (most) people use BT for illegal media distribution may be well known to you, but you are not the target reader of this article. if you need to read a review of BT client software, you probably aren't a user of it right now, otherwise, you'd already have figured that out for yourself.

        also, P2P protocols in general are vastly more well suited for illegal media distribution than thing

    • Re:Congrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by laughingcoyote (762272) * <barghesthowl&excite,com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:03PM (#14535697) Journal

      Hrm...troll indeed? Alright, I'll bite. I'm aware of BitTorrent's excellent ability to copy information, but I'd never heard of a case where someone used it to steal something. How would you go about that?

      Bear in mind-stealing involves taking away from or depriving(requirement 1) the rightful owner of a possession, of that possession(requirement 2) without that person's consent(requirement 3).

      Even if we presume true (and many do not) the tenuous arguments that the person whose file the computer resides on is not "really" the rightful owner of the data on it, and doesn't have permission to say what may or may not be done with it, only requirement 2 and 3 are satisfied. Requirement 1 is never met-copying something doesn't involve taking it away.

      Now, on the other hand, you might have mistakenly referred to copyright infringement as theft. Many (though not all) uses for Bittorrent do indeed meet its definition. But I'm sure no one around here tries to substitute an incorrect, inflammatory word for the proper term for something, thinking it strengthens their point!

  • by Orrin Bloquy (898571) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:29PM (#14534731) Journal
    Selectively remove unneeded files from an archive? Sweet.
    • Like... almost every client from quite a while ago allows you to do that.
    • One little problem: (Score:5, Informative)

      by thepotoo (829391) <thepotoospam AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:10PM (#14534927)
      Azureus is a real RAM hog. I'm not trolling here, I used it for a while (still do on my linux computers), but a java app that eats half your RAM while you download something?
      Yuck.

      I use Bitcomet [bitcomet.com] now instead whenever possible. Sure it's not geek-friendly (no linux support), but it offers the same stuff as Azureus (that's file selection, advanced options) at a lot less RAM and CPU usage.
      I am dissapointed not to see it reviewed here.

      • just buy some more RAM...100mb for java isnt that much when you have 2 gigs total
        • Using 20 times as much RAM for no significant benefit doesn't make any sense.

          I guess if it's easier to develop such an app in Java (obviously cross platform it is) then I'd say using 2x the RAM is an OK tradeoff. Not an order of magnitude.
      • by Hina Matsuri (909664) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:28PM (#14535272)
        If you're really concerned about how much of your resources Azureus is using, change some settings. You probably have too many open files or too large a write/check queue. Options > Files > Performance Options. The write and check queues default to unlimited. Also, you may want to uncheck the box for "Cache downloaded data...".
      • by Pope (17780) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:58PM (#14535924)
        On OS X, Azureus is or was rather famous for creating giant swap files that would never be release unless a full reboot was done. Logging out and back in again wouldn't do it. I switched over to the official client for now, since I don't grab a lot of torrents these days, and it works exactly how I need it to. YMMV of course. :)
    • by kuzb (724081) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:38PM (#14535053)

      uTorrent [utorrent.com] does this as well (when you have a torrent selected, in the lower pane [softpedia.com], select the "file" view, and right-click on any file), is smaller, lighter, easier on system resources, and has no additional dependancies.

      I don't understand why people use Azureus on Windows anymore, uTorrent is far superior to it. Someone should make a uTorrent clone for Linux so we can escape this plauge they call Azureus.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Someone should make a uTorrent clone for Linux so we can escape this plauge they call Azureus.

        uTorrent runs perfectly with wine 0.9.5. I still prefer Azureus, though, even if uTorrent wasn't proprietary closed-source software.

    • Can rTorrent do this? I don't see it mentioned in their manuals and Web site unless I overlooked it.
  • Azureus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ericdano (113424) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:30PM (#14534733) Homepage
    Azureus, because my downloads matter. And, it works on a Mac. Plus, it has plug ins such as SafePeer to keep those pesky people away.....
    • Plus, it has plug ins such as SafePeer to keep those pesky people away...
      You don't really believe that IP filters protect you, do you? I mean, the ??AAs certainly are annoying but they aren't a bunch of idiots...
      • Re:Azureus (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sancho (17056)
        I've wondered how these things are supposed to work, anyway. Doesn't the tracker still provide your IP address to everyone in the swarm? That's all the RIAA really needs to file the subpoena for information, and unless you actually plan on fighting them in court, that's all they need to extract that settlement from you.
        • Re:Azureus (Score:3, Insightful)

          Yes, but apparently what pirates love about BitTorrent is that unlike, say, KaZaA where a folder is shared and someone can get busted for every single file available, adding up to millions of dollars, with BitTorrent they can only prove that you downloaded *one* file. Sure, they might set something up to track people across different torrents, but there are thousands upon thousands of torrents posted every single day, and monitoring all of them would be exceedingly difficult. Not to mention the technical is
    • it has plug ins such as SafePeer to keep those pesky people away.....

      After I read this comment, I downloaded Azureus+SafePeer and have been running it every since. But my wife is still here.

    • Re:Azureus (Score:5, Informative)

      by RonnyJ (651856) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:04PM (#14535164)
      The major problem with Azureus for me is just how many resources it takes up (hence I use uTorrent).

      The review is incredibly misleading about this, it claims that "Azureus, to be fair, takes up only 151KB; BitTorrent is 184KB; and BitPump is 113KB - none of these clients is particularly bloated". I'm not sure quite how they worked this out, as Azureus takes up a lot more than this.

      • Re:Azureus (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ericdano (113424)
        Azureus has been running all night on my XP machine. It's got 17 things downloading and is seeding 2 things. It's currently taking up 146,240K. Unless you are running on something that doesn't have 512Megs of ram, Azureus is hardly a resource hog...
  • bah (Score:5, Funny)

    by EngMedic (604629) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:30PM (#14534737) Homepage
    screen + btdownloadcurses.py is all i need. Fie on your graphical programs. Fie, i say.
    • Re:bah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by neonstz (79215) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:43PM (#14534797) Homepage
      I actually use screen + launchmany-curses.py. Drop the torrent files in one directory and pick up the downloads in a second directory after a while.
    • Re:bah (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shish (588640)
      I find btlaunchmanycurses better than btdownloadcurses, as I can run several torrents and see them all at once~ I too have no idea why this was marked funny...
    • Re:bah (Score:4, Funny)

      by EngMedic (604629) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:41PM (#14535589) Homepage
      I really didn't mean for that to get moderated funny. I actually *do* use screen and a python script to get my bittorrent on.
    • Re:bah (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rvalles (649635)
      screen + rtorrent [rakshasa.no]

      Beat that.

  • by Propagandhi (570791) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:31PM (#14534738) Journal
    Didn't find the article particularly insightful/interesting/unique... certainly doesn't rival the Wiki article [wikipedia.org] on BT client options.
  • BitComet anyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by myspys (204685) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:31PM (#14534739) Homepage
    how can they review bittorrent clients for windows, without including BitComet (http://www.bitcomet.com [bitcomet.com]? easily the best bt-client for windows
    • I agree, that review is a joke. Bitcomet and it's adware-ridden clone Bitlord account for a major chunk of Bittorrent clients.

        One can no more do a valid comparison of bittorrent clients without mentionning them than a comparison of PC Operating Systems without mentionning Linux.
    • by DeadPrez (129998) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:03PM (#14534905) Homepage
      Agree 100%. No BitComet review indicates this wasn't a serious attempt at a review.

      Also of note, many people have replied and likely will continue to reply with propaganda that BitComet doesn't work with many "private trackers". This is laughable for a couple reasons.

      First, BitComet's most recent release made this complaint irrelevant (clients don't identify).

      Second, DHT networking is a truly peer to peer protocol meaning you are slightly safer with your illegal downloading from the autorities. DHT is used as a secondary downloading method, if say the tracker goes down.

      Which leads to the third laughable reason, this pisses off "private trackers" because they don't get to keep stats on you (you think those stats are going to help you or hurt you?). Sure that's a little fucked up if you are "cheating" on ratios but guess what? These private trackers only exist to download illegal software, porn and media. These are hypocrites trying to make a _moral_ arguement about the use of bittorrent. Please join me in laughing these idiots off the internet. thx
      • Re:BitComet anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Cramer (69040) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:18PM (#14535226) Homepage
        DHT networking is a truly peer to peer protocol meaning you are slightly safer with your illegal downloading from the aut[h]orities.

        WRONG!!!! In order for you to download content, you must be able to find other peers. And likewise, other peers must be able to find you. DHT does not magically make this requirement disappear. It's actually easier to find peers within DHT because there's no restrictions on accessing the swarm. With a private tracker, one must access that tracker to find the peers within the swarm. With DHT, anyone can find the peers for a swarm. DHT is more easily monitored making it much more dangerous.

        The entire problem with BitComet was it's turning to DHT when the tracker was unavailable despite the torrent being marked as private. Some may call that a bug. But those that know bitvomit will suspect it was intentional...

        You are completely mistaken about the reasons for a private tracker... illegal content is just as easily found on public trackers as well. The motive for a private tracker is fostering a community where people give back instead of take, take, take, and take some more. Remember suprnova, where there were swarms with thousands of peers yet the best anyone could download was a few kbps? Yet even on small "private"[*] trackers where swarms are just a few dozen peers (at best) download speeds were hundreds of kbps.

        [*] "private" as in "registration required", but anyone can signup
    • BitComet, BitComet... that name sounds vaguely familiar, somehow. Ah, yes, now I remember - it's the client that cheats and thus is banned in many (if not most) trackers.

      Yes, they should've included that one, even if just to give it a 0/5.
  • rtorrent (Score:2, Informative)

    by ilf (193006)
    http://libtorrent.rakshasa.no/ [rakshasa.no]
    best client out there. curses! nuff said.
  • by cbc1920 (730236) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:34PM (#14534752)
    Does anyone find it annoying that every program gets only 4 or 4.5 stars? What is the point of reviewing 5 different programs if they all get essentially the same score? Azereus is by far the better client, yet it only gets an extra .5 stars for this distinction. Its features and usability are far beyond the others I've tried, and it's open source/java to boot.
    • Azereus is by far the better client

      The problem is we all have a different idea of "better". I don't like Azureus at all- I find its user interface clunky and pathetically slow, because it's java, and it has a TON of "one person finds this useful" functionality; they missed the boat, and should have made a very thin client with plugins, but instead made a bloated client with plugins. A torrent with over 1000 peers will often peg the machine- and it's a 1.4Ghz G4 Mini- not breaking any speed records, but n

  • A vote for uTorrent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bheer (633842) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {reehbr}> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:34PM (#14534753)
    This app shows why platform-optimized code will _always_ beat generic XP frameworks (Java/Python). There is no earthly reason a BitTorrent client has to be big and slow. I like Azureus (especially its DHT) but it drags my machine down compared to uTorrent (which you don't even feel is running). If uTorrent supported Azureus' DHT instead of mainline-DHT I know I wouldn't use Azureus at all.

    [1.1GHz Pentium M with 512MB RAM, yes I know that's not a lot but I'd still like to be doing other things when my BT client is running.]

  • by binkzz (779594) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:35PM (#14534762) Journal
    but it seems it takes up a lot of CPU even if I'm only downloading one torrent. So instead I switched to ABC, which seems good enough for now.

    Though I might definitely give some of the other ones in the list a go.
  • kind of short... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TeacherOfHeroes (892498) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:37PM (#14534769)
    Its disappointing to see that they managed to review a whole 4 clients.

    I wish that they had discovered that there were a few more than that; ABC, BitCommet, BitTornado, etc... Especially since clients like BitCommet and BitTorrent have some features not posesses by the ones covered there.
  • But has anyone else noticed that the article itself is only about 7% of the visual webpage?
  • by spoco2 (322835) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:39PM (#14534776)
    I know Shareaza [shareaza.com] isn't the absolute greatest bittorrent client out there... but it seems to work fine for me, and the fact that it's also a Gnutella2 and eDonkey client makes it just too damn good for getting all those 'latest and greatest' BitTorrent things, as well as those hard to find things you only get via other P2P networks.

    Plus... if your tracker goes down it looks for alternat Gnutella2 sources... sweet. :)

    Oh... and it's open source... that's good... right? :P
    • Shareaza is good for the occasional torrent, and the ability to finish dead single-file torrents over Gnutella/G2/ed2k with a bit of fiddling can be a lifesaver sometimes. But it's in no way comparable to those dedicated clients.

      If you're using Shareaza anyway, its BT implementation is good enough, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for just a BT client. I use it for torrents, as I have it running anyway, and because I don't use bittorrent much. I wouldn't use it if I only needed bittorrent.
      • I completely agree... it's because myself and my wife use the other networks as well, and I like to keep things simple for my wife (and me)... there's no need to switch from one to the other, you can be getting torrents and other files from the other networks at the same time without trying to juggle bandwidth between two apps... it really is quite handy.

        And our torrents seem to come down in perfectly reasonable times for us... so... all is good.

        It doesn't stop me from having Azureus on there for when I abs
  • Azureus 4.5 BitPump 4 BitTorrent Client 4 uTorrent 4.5 My first experience with BitTorrent was pretty poor; I was using Cohen's original client and didn't realize I needed to bound my upload speed or else I would saturate my connection (for those unaware, you need some upload bandwith when downloading to send acknowledgment packets that show you recieved part of the download). Even then, I found BT cumbersome until I found Azureus which I still use today. Other popular clients that were not reviewed are
  • Azureus (Score:4, Informative)

    by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:41PM (#14534786) Homepage Journal
    I really like Azureus [sourceforge.net], even if I was a little hesitant when I first downloaded it. It's written entirely in Java which I feared would lead to a less efficient and more cumbersome application. However, if you use Windows and want a good client, go with Azureus. It's amazingly configurable and easy to use. The RSS feed plugin and great DHT implementation alone sell the program. The GUI is very well done doesn't feel like your normal Java GUI.

    My only complaint is part of my original fear. The program is a little resource heavy when doing anything with the GUI, and sometimes even when it's minimized to the tray. I've also had trouble getting the desktop to refresh when unlocking the computer after it's been locked for anything over a few hours. This only happens when Azureus has been running.

    Other than that, amazing program. How can you go wrong with a program that's always in the top 5 (usually #1-2) of the Most Active and Most Downloaded lists at SourceForge?
    • Yeah, I use it despite the fact that it's a CPU hog.

      Strangely enough, I've sometimes had MAJOR performance issues with the original BT client (which I used to swear by) - At some point it began acting like my router's ports were not open (they were), Azureus had much more consistent performance. Azureus also let me only download some files in a multi-file torrent (good when I had a few episodes from a season of TV already and wanted to fill in the gaps using a whole-season torrent).

      Unfortunately, Azureus i
  • accuracy? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:52PM (#14534846) Journal
    The article claims that the official BitTorrent client, written in Python, requires the Java 1.5 runtime.
  • by n0-0p (325773) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:03PM (#14534903)
    I have to state that I strongly disagree with one of the comments at the end from Brahm Cohen. I mean, MS Avalanche is vaporware, but that doesn't mean that use of FEC (forward error correction) is a bad idea. Granted it would increase local storage requirements when seeding, but there would be almost no impact on network bandwidth and the CPU overhead is negligible. Personally, I'd be more than happy to sacrifice say a 10% increase in local size to ensure that I get a complete copy of the torrent. I've found numerous torrents that died out somewhere between 90 - 100%; And the worst is when you have a wasted download because you're missing only a fraction of a percent.

    Personally, I would like to see a combination of the BitTorrent "send the least common block" approach and a selectable Reed-Solomon coding defaulting to around 10%. In my empirical experience that would clear up almost every failed torrent I've hit. Of course, it is an extendable protocol. Perhaps I should stop bitching and look into writing an Azureus plug-in to test this idea out.

  • For the Mac users... (Score:4, Informative)

    by interactive_civilian (205158) <mamoru@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:13PM (#14534942) Homepage Journal
    Seems we are for the most part being left out, which is obviously no surprise since it is "PC Magazine". Oh well, no biggie. Here's a few [versiontracker.com] for you to play with.

    Personally, I go for BitsOnWheels [bitsonwheels.com]. It has a nice informative interface with a really funky 3D view of your torrent download, and it rarely gives me any problems. The only thing I have noticed about it is that it seems to develop a memory leak when downloading a torrent with lots of (as in thousands of) peers (say a Slashdotted torrent). Other than that it works well and looks kind of cool.

    Personally, I have had almost no success with the latests releases of the official BitTorrent Client. It always starts the download and seems fine for a few seconds and then just stops receiving any data...

  • by evilgrug (915703) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:37PM (#14535049)
    From the article: "Proof that a little bit of code can go a long way, Torrent packs an outstanding array of features in 107KB, and doesn't even create a folder in your Program Files. Azureus, to be fair, takes up only 151KB; BitTorrent is 184KB; and BitPump is 113KB--none of these clients is particularly bloated." Wow, I didn't know that PC Magazine were so incompetent. Azureus.exe is indeed 151KB, but as they mention, Azureus is written in Java. All Azureus.exe does is launch Azureus.jar, which in its current state is over 6MB in size. Nor did they check memory usage, which on Azureus is roughly 10x that of uTorrent, at least. It's not uncommon to see Azureus sucking 50MB when you're not doing much, and after a few days that can reach 100MB or more. If they really thought that Azureus was only 151KB in size, the mind boggles what they thought was included in the 8MB download package. And they don't even mention having to download and install the 16MB JRE on top of that.
  • Mac BT clients (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:48PM (#14535097)
    Bits on Wheels [bitsonwheels.com] is about as fun as a download can get; nifty 3D representation of the swarm. I'd like to see someone write a kickass OpenGL screensaver that plugged into this.

    Transmission [m0k.org] is a bare-bones, ground-up rewrite in C and has really impressive performance. I use this as my default.

  • I like this program. So flexible. Good documentation for all the features as well. You can configure to optimize. Cool graphics of swarms. One nice thing: I chose an unassigned port and forwarded it to Azureus. Did not like to have ten forwarded ports in a known range as with Bitorrent. (Not enough of an expert to know how much this matters, but it seems a bit more secure.) Speeds seem good compared to Bitorrent these days. Noticed also that Azureus was the most common client in the client list, which is wh

  • Port forwarding (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ElephanTS (624421) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:14PM (#14535207)
    I've been a keen BT user for years now and rave on about it to friends when asked where I get some of my stuff from. Inevitably they're interested and go off and try it and I'll even send them a torrent file to get them started. However what happens next is that they complain of slow speeds or no seeds on torrents which I know are flowing well. The reason for this is always the same: port forwarding and not entering their external IP address (for some set-ups). As soon as I say, 'You'll have to edit your modem/router configuration slightly to get it to work' they'll throw their hands up in horror and there ends their great BT experiment. It doesn't help that some wireless systems move the internal IP assignment around via DHCP requiring port 6881 to be re-pointed again. That sort of stuff is simply beyond most regular users and they 'just don't go there'.

    So for me, the issue is not clients (I use BitTorrent for OSX very happily as if it mattered) but the way the protocol handles NAT/DHCP routing - surely it could be automatic? If it were BT use would explode and we'll all get faster speeds as a benefit. Anyone know if that could happen one day?
    • Re:Port forwarding (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bogie (31020)
      Use the UPNP plugins. Also tell your friends to turn on UPNP in their routers.

      Also I know variety is the spice of life and all that, but why does anyone on Windows use anything other than Utorrent? When I hear about people using XXXX client like Azerus etc, they sound like users who think IE is best but haven't ever heard about Firefox.
    • Re:Port forwarding (Score:3, Insightful)

      by adolf (21054)
      Oh, yeah. Functional port forwarding, in the world of firewalls and DHCP and NAT that we live in, works wonders.

      uPNP fixes the problem of configuring it, and is supported by most of the current crop of home routers (and, at least, Azureus). But the security nuts hate it because it does what people want it to do: It forwards ports automatically.

      "Security flaw!" they shout from the rooftops. "Any program can open a port to teh Intar-Web!" they harp. "Think of the children!" they scream.

      Thing is, uPNP see

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