uTorrent vs. BitTorrent – Which is Faster for Mobile/Desktop in 2018?
When it comes to torrent clients, uTorrent and BitTorrent are two veterans with huge, loyal followings.
But what makes one better than the other? Is it a greater variety of settings, or a richer package of features? Maybe speed or practicality is the deciding factor?
While uTorrent and BitTorrent are in fact very much alike, there are some key distinctions between the two. This article will help you understand the similarities and differences, and teach you how to get fastest speeds using a VPN.
If you’re really new to torrenting and want to learn how to do it safely and anonymously, check out this tutorial.
Nearly Identical Interfaces
If you’ve used both uTorrent and BitTorrent, you’ve probably wondered why their interfaces are almost identical. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the name and colors, you could easily mistake one for the other.
That’s because they’re virtually the same software. Both clients are owned by BitTorrent, Inc.
BitTorrent (the client) was developed in 2001 to implement the BitTorrent protocol. At that time, uTorrent hadn’t yet been designed — in fact, initially it wasn’t even BitTorrent’s product. It started out as a one-man project in late 2004, and it was first released in September 2005. BitTorrent, Inc. acquired uTorrent in December 2006.
So, while BitTorrent was the first to implement the protocol, today both clients are run by the same company and use the same code. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any differences, but you won’t spot them at first glance.
So How Are They Different?
BitTorrent and uTorrent are sibling products, and as such, they share a lot of common features — interface, settings, unlimited downloading, free and paid versions, etc.
However, they are not exactly the same. Here are the differences:
1. Size: uTorrent is much lighter than BitTorrent. At less than 1 MB, uTorrent is much less taxing on your operating system than many other torrenting clients. By comparison, BitTorrent is almost 3 MB.
2. Frequency of Updates: uTorrent is constantly being developed, with alpha and beta versions being released, while BitTorrent only releases stable versions. That means that while you’ll get more cutting edge features with uTorrent, it might be at the expense of reliability.
3. Platform Compatibility: BitTorrent is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android, but uTorrent is also available on Linux.
4. Cryptocurrency Mining: Both uTorrent and BitTorrent have partnered software offers during installation (often called “bloatware” by the less tolerant). However, uTorrent has been known to have had a few slip ups in the past, including silently dropping crypto miners on computers, draining users’ CPU without their permission. This was obviously off-putting to many, so to avoid something like that happening to them, many users have gone as far as installing older versions of the client, despite the security risks outdated software may carry.
But Which One is Faster? Does it Matter Whether I’m Using Windows or a Mac?
That said, you’re probably still looking for an answer to a very important question: which client is faster?
To that we’ll say that there’s no one torrent client that will make your downloads blazing fast, regardless of which operating system you use.
Speed depends on your internet connection and the number of seeders a torrent file has. BitTorrent isn’t faster than uTorrent, or vice versa.
However, combining a VPN with uTorrent or BitTorrent can dramatically increase your download speeds. (More on that below.)
Which is Faster for Android, and Which for iOS?
As we’ve already said, when it comes to speed, there isn’t a real difference between uTorrent and BitTorrent, and the same is true for your Android device. The two clients even have the exact same rating in Google Play (4.5 stars).
That said, with over five times the number of reviews as BitTorrent, uTorrent is worlds more popular than BitTorrent. So if you believe in the wisdom of crowds, uTorrent will be your best bet.
As for your iPhone, the question of which is faster isn’t so relevant, since iOS doesn’t support torrent clients. That’s because torrent clients are often used to download copyrighted material.
If you’re really committed to finding a workaround to this issue, you’re going to have to jailbreak your device, which will allow you to download apps unavailable in the Apple App Store.
Here’s How to Speed Up Your Torrent Downloads
Because torrenting can use up a lot of bandwidth, internet service providers will sometimes throttle your connection during downloads.
The best way around this is to install a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN will encrypt and reroute all your internet traffic through a remote server, so your ISP won’t be able to monitor any of your online activity – including torrenting.
If they don’t know you’re torrenting, they won’t be able to slow you down.
The anonymity a VPN provides serves other purposes as well. Torrenting isn’t legal everywhere, and even where it is, some have been issued fines – and even arrested – for downloading copyrighted media.
Plus, VPNs have uses beyond torrenting. Because of their encryption capabilities, they can protect you from hackers, and because they use remote IP addresses, they can give you access to geo-restricted web content.
There are a lot of VPNs out there, but some are particularly good for torrenting. See our recommendations to find out which are the best.