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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

qBittorrent vs. uTorrent: Which Is Better (and Safer) in 2024?

Cassandra Alvarez Updated on 8th December 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

Choosing a torrenting client can be overwhelming — there are so many out there, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Even some of the most popular clients aren't safe bets as they have a history of injecting malware and displaying inappropriate ads.

Testing various programs is the best way to figure out which offers the right mix of features, but that takes a lot of effort. To save you the frustration, I spent some time carefully comparing qBittorrent and uTorrent, two of the most downloaded torrent clients.

To find out which is better, I carefully tested their speed, usability, safety, and features. Let’s compare the two clients in detail so you can determine which one is a better fit for you.

Warning: Regardless of the client you choose, your personal information will be unprotected and vulnerable to online snoopers and hackers while torrenting. I highly recommend pairing your preferred torrent client with a highly secure VPN like ExpressVPN, as this will ensure your privacy is protected.

Start Torrenting Safely With ExpressVPN!

Quick Overview: qBittorrent vs. uTorrent

Of all the BitTorrent clients out there, qBittorrent and uTorrent are among the most popular. While they share lots of settings and similarities, including embedded trackers, DHT, PEX, NAT-PMP, UPnP, LPD, IPv6 protection, and RSS support, they've also got their differences.

qBittorrent — Compatible with Windows/Mac/Linux

qBittorrent is a free, open source BitTorrent client with a clean interface and fast speeds. It doesn't display ads, supports sequential downloading so you can stream while downloading, can automatically add torrents, preloads metadata, and allows you to set several limits to control things like how much bandwidth you use and the hours the client can operate.

uTorrent — Compatible with Windows/Mac/Linux/Android

uTorrent is also free, but it's proprietary software that's ad-supported, so you'll have to deal with banner ads unless you pay to upgrade or use a VPN to hide them. You also don't have any access to its code to see for yourself that it's safe. On the plus side, it has a built-in search engine, uses little RAM so you can keep using your computer for other things, supports file prioritization, allows for super-seeding, and has an Android app. There's also uTorrent Web for torrenting straight from your favorite browser.

qBittorrent uTorrent
Free Yes Yes

(but with limited features)

Fast torrenting speeds Yes Yes
Easy to use Yes Yes
Simplified GUI Yes Yes
Ads No Yes

(upgrade to remove ads or use a VPN)

IP filtering Yes Yes
Port forwarding Yes Yes
Cross-platform Yes

(Windows, Mac, Linux)


(Windows, Mac, Linux, Android)

CLI Yes Yes
Manage torrents remotely Yes Yes
Supports bandwidth scheduling Yes Yes
RSS (Broadcatching) Yes Yes
Plugin support Yes No
Embedded tracker Yes Yes
Proxy server http, https, SOCKS4, SOCKS5 http, https, SOCKS4, SOCKS5

Speed – qBittorrent Outperforms Every Time

I conducted several tests with video and audio files, and while each client offered similar download times, qBittorrent came out with faster speeds each time.

Your download speeds are determined by your internet connection speed, the number of seeds a torrent has, and any speed limits imposed by the client.

There are also some things you can do to speed up your downloads:

  • Enabling port forwarding improves torrenting performance by allowing you to connect to more seeds. Rather than just connecting with peers that your client finds, you can also connect with peers that find you. Both qBittorrent and uTorrent support port forwarding, so I activated it before starting my speed tests.
  • Some ISPs throttle your speeds, especially when they see that you're doing high-data activities like torrenting. You can get around this by using a VPN — these programs encrypt your connection so that your ISP can't see what you're doing. I use ExpressVPN because it's the fastest and safest VPN I've tested.

I conducted one of my speed tests by downloading the same 163 MB AVI video file using each client. For context, my internet download speed was 49.5 Mbps, and I ran each program separately so that the apps could have full use of my computer's resources.

You can see the download on qBittorrent here:

Screenshot of a file download on qBittorrentWith an average download speed of 1.4 MiB/s, qBittorrent downloaded this file faster

There were 3 seeds available at the time of download, and qBittorrent downloaded the file in 1 minute and 53 seconds, with an average download speed of 1.4 MiB/s. Considering how few sources were available, this download completed faster than I expected.

You can see the download on uTorrent here:

Screenshot of a file download on uTorrentuTorrent's average download speed of 859.9 kB/s was noticeably slower

There were 4 seeds for a short while at the beginning of the download before one dropped off. Despite this, uTorrent took 3 minutes and 2 seconds to download the same file, with an average download speed of 859.9 kB/s. While this download was also relatively fast, it still took more than a minute longer than qBittorrent.

You can see the download on uTorrent Web here:

Screenshot showing the download progress of a torrent file on uTorrent WebuTorrent Web doesn't provide file stats, but it did finish the download in about 2 minutes

uTorrent Web doesn't provide as many details as its desktop version does, so there's no way to tell what its average download speed was during my test. However, I watched it, and I saw it reach speeds of up to 1.9 MiB/s, so it definitely was downloading as fast as qBittorrent. The fact that it took a total of 2 minutes and 10 seconds to download the file also supports this. This was faster than I expected, but still not quite as fast as qBittorrent.

Ease – qBittorrent Wins

When it comes to ease of use, qBittorrent is the clear winner. I ran into a little runaround with its download link, but after that, qBittorrent's installation process was straightforward, whereas I felt like uTorrent tried to trick me into agreeing to bloatware I didn't need. I also found that qBittorrent's interface was much easier to work with.

Downloading qBittorrent and uTorrent

Both clients faced issued with the downloading process, but qBittorrent's weren't as severe.

I was a bit surprised to see a rather dated-looking page when I arrived at qBittorrent's website. However, the page was clean and easy to navigate, with the download link prominently displayed at the top.

Screenshot showing the somewhat outdated appearance of qBittorent's homepageThis page doesn't look modern, but it's easy to follow

On the downloads page, you'll find information about the client's public key, followed by download links for various operating systems. It's compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and a few smaller operating systems like Haiku OS and FreeBSD. I liked that there were also mirror links available; this helps ensure there's always a valid download link available.

Screenshot highlighting download links on qBittorrent's download pageYou'll have no trouble finding the right download link for your platform

As I'm a Windows user, I clicked the first link, which I thought would automatically download the right version for my computer. Instead, I was taken to another download page where I had to choose my download once again — this was repetitive and unnecessary.

Screenshot showing another page of download links from qBittorrentIt's frustrating that you have to go through two pages before real download links appear

Hint: If you're a Windows user and don't know which version to download, type "about" in the Windows search bar and select "about your PC". You'll see your system type displayed with other info about your machine.

I found uTorrent's website to be much more modern-looking than qBittorrent's. I was immediately presented with a button to download uTorrent Web, followed by uTorrent Classic.

Screenshot showing the modern look of uTorrent's homepageI like uTorrent's modern-looking homepage much better than qBittorrent's

I clicked uTorrent Classic, and instead of heading to a download page, I had to choose which version I wanted. There were three paid versions offering things from no ads to premium support, but I went with the free, basic version.

Screenshot showing uTorrent's free and paid subscription optionsI don't see enough value in uTorrent's paid options

As the next page promised that my download would start automatically, I thought it was going to be smooth sailing. However, I ran into a huge problem: The download would not start. I tried several times, but it seems that uTorrent's server was down. I had to try again the next day to finally download the file. This was an instance where it would have been nice to have access to mirror download links, but uTorrent had none.

On the plus side, uTorrent automatically downloaded the right installation file for my operating system (it's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux), so I didn't have to choose myself.

Installing qBittorrent and uTorrent

qBittorrent is the obvious winner for its streamlined installation process. It took only a couple of minutes, and there were no devious tactics. Utorrent, on the other hand, took longer to install and tried to install bloatware.

Installing qBittorrent was very straightforward. After choosing my installation language, I had the option to choose what components to install. Everything on the list was standard, and I didn't see anything sneaky that I had to uncheck.

Actually, I found it nice that qBittorrent had already unchecked the two options I would have done myself: creating a desktop icon that will clog up my home screen and starting the program on Windows startup (I prefer to launch these types of programs only when I need them and only when I'm protected by a VPN).

Screenshot showing the components selection section of the qBittorrent installation processAll of these components are exactly what I expected to see

From there, I only needed to choose my install location. The program requires just 137 MB of space and took about 15 seconds to finish the installation process. When it was done, I could click to immediately launch the app.

After uTorrent's shaky download start, I was hoping for a smoother installation. Unfortunately, the client didn't come through.

The first screen was a warning about scammers charging for the company's free torrenting client. I'm not sure how this warning was supposed to help me, as I would have already paid for the free version had I downloaded the client elsewhere.

Screenshot of a warning from uTorrent about scammers selling the free version of the programThis warning would be more helpful on the uTorrent homepage

The next two screens prompted me to agree to uTorrent's terms and conditions. This was normal and expected, but the next screens weren't. I was dismayed to see uTorrent trying to sneak in bloatware under the guise of an optional companion.

Screenshot showing Adaware Web Companion bloatware that uTorrent tries to include with installationIt was very disappointed to see bloatware bundled with this installation

As if that wasn't bad enough, uTorrent then tried to push a new browser on me. Worse, it appeared I only had the option to go back to the previous bloatware screen or accept the browser. I really had to look to find the tiny checkbox to opt out of the new software.

Screenshot showing how to avoid installing Opera browser during uTorrent installationuTorrent tried to make it more difficult to bypass this installation

At this point, I felt that the installation process had already taken too long, so I was not happy to see further installation options broken up into two screens. Nonetheless, these options were safe, and the installation was finally complete 20 seconds later.

Screenshot showing the last two steps in the uTorrent installation processThankfully, the rest of the installation process was straight-forward

Hint: If you're not in the habit of always having a VPN running, be sure to disable the "start uTorrent when Windows starts up" option during this part of the installation process. This will allow you to start the program only after activating your VPN. If you don't already have a VPN, I suggest trying ExpressVPN— it's safe and affordable, and you can try it risk-free with its money-back guarantee.

Using qBittorrent and uTorrent

Both clients offered clean interfaces and loads of features, but qBittorrent was better because it was ad-free. uTorrent's GUI was clogged with ads, and it tried to make me pay to remove them.

I was pleased to see that qBittorrent has a lightweight and minimalistic interface. If you're new to P2P sharing, you're not going to be overwhelmed by too many buttons or commands.

Screenshot of the qBittorrent interfaceI really like how clean and uncluttered qBittorrent's interface is

At the top of the window, you'll find a control bar to add, delete, play, pause, and prioritize torrents. On the left side, you can quickly locate and sort torrents using the status, categories, tags, and trackers menu. The center of the screen is where you'll find your torrents list. When you click one, you'll see stats populate in the area below it. This is helpful for seeing how large a torrent is, how fast it's downloading, and how much longer it will take to complete.

I found uTorrent to have a similar clean feel, and it also had a handy control bar and various menus. However, it was hard to ignore that uTorrent also had two large ads at the top and side of the screen.

Screenshot highlighting the ads on uTorrent's interfaceIt's hard to miss the large ads on uTorrent's interface

Aside from being unsightly, ads can be dangerous because hackers can easily inject them with malicious programs that download in the background without your knowledge. While you can disable ads by upgrading to a paid plan, I have a better solution: Use a VPN with an ad blocker. I connected to CyberGhost with its ad blocker enabled, and it blocked every ad — I couldn't even click on them.

Screenshot demonstrating how CyberGhost blocked all ads on uTorrent's interfaceDon't pay to remove uTorrent ads — use CyberGhost instead

In addition to the ads, uTorrent further reminds you that it has paid options with a link nestled into its menu on the left. If you're wondering whether a paid version is worth it, take a look at what you'll get:


  • No ads
  • Less bandwidth usage
  • Premium support

Pro offers the above and:

  • Security against viruses and other malware
  • Play files while they're downloading

Pro + VPN offers the above and:

  • CyberGhost VPN subscription

Personally, I'd suggest that you stick with the free Basic plan and purchase a VPN on your own. You won't enjoy instant streaming, but you won't need it if torrents download in minutes. (Also qBittorrent includes this feature for free; I discuss it in the Features section). CyberGhost is a great VPN and will give you valuable ad blocking and security features, plus here's a secret: You'll pay less for it when you use this coupon.

When it came to adding torrents and monitoring their progress, I found that each client offered a similar experience. Neither was laggy, but I felt that qBittorrent was easier to use since its functions were more prominently displayed and the interface looked cleaner without ads.

In terms of settings, both clients offer plenty. Whether you're a beginner or experienced with P2P, you'll find lots of ways to customize the clients to your needs. You can have the clients launch when you start your computer, have updates automatically install, and set bandwidth limits. You'll find qBittorrent's full list of settings by clicking Tools > Options (or clicking the cog icon on the control bar), while uTorrent's can be found by clicking Options > Preferences (or clicking the cog at the far end of the control bar).

Screenshots of the settings menus for qBittorrent and uTorrent

A nice feature you'll find with qBittorrent that its competitor lacks: email alerts when torrents finish. This is helpful for tracking torrent progress when you're away from your computer.

One place where uTorrent comes out on top is its inclusion of a tutorial button for torrenting newbies and a link to its forums under the Help menu. Forums are an easy and convenient way to get help and interact with other users. qBittorrent has its own forums, too, but you won't find a link for them in its client.

Safety – qBittorrent is More Trustworthy Overall

qBittorrent wins again when it comes to security and safety. Both clients have a lot going for them, but in the end, qBittorrent's lack of ads and open source code offers enormous transparency.

Software license — qBittorrent wins with its open source code

qBittorrent easily comes out in front of uTorrent here — all of its code is open source, so anyone can review it to make sure it only offers what the company promises. This means you don't have to worry about qBittorrent embedding malware, trackers, or other dangerous code.

uTorrent is proprietary software; this means it doesn't share its code with the public. The problem with this is that it’s impossible to verify which privacy and security features it uses and whether it's hiding any malicious code.

Ads — qBittorrent wins because it has no ads

qBittorrent is clearly the superior client when it comes to ads because it doesn't have any.

As explained earlier, ads aren't just intrusive, they can also be dangerous because they may contain trackers or malware. They can also be inappropriate, as many uTorrent users have pointed out over the years — they sometimes advertise dating sites and other adult-oriented services.

uTorrent gives you the option to remove ads, but you have to pay for it. Rather than pay the company for its bad behavior, consider using a VPN instead. During my tests, ]CyberGhost removed all of uTorrent's annoying ads.

Software updates — both stay up to date

BitTorrent clients aren’t renowned for their safety. However, I found that both clients provide regular updates to patch security flaws, implement new features, and ensure you're using the best possible version of the program. I dug through release reports and can confirm that each client updates several times a year, and sometimes as often as every month.

Security protocols — both offer equal protection

Both apps use PE and MSE protocols, extensions that enhance confidentiality and privacy by making it difficult to identify your BitTorrent traffic. When an ISP can't tell you're torrenting, it's less likely it will throttle your speed and bandwidth.

qBittorrent and uTorrent also both have an encryption setting. When you enable it, you'll only connect to peers who have also enabled the setting.

While it's called encryption, what it actually does is obfuscate — it makes your torrenting traffic look like regular web traffic so that your ISP won't throttle your speeds. If your ISP cares to individually review your traffic, it will see what you're actually doing.

If you truly want to keep third parties like ISPs, movie studios, and even the government from seeing what you're doing, you need the real encryption that's provided by a VPN. Top VPNs like ExpressVPN offer military-grade encryption that even the world's fastest supercomputers can't break, so your online data, personal details, and location are always a secret.

Security breaches — both resolved their issues

When it comes to security breaches, I was happy to see that there have not been any significant problems reported with either client. However, each company has had small problems that do not appear to have been widely exploited because they were fixed in time.

qBittorrent had a minor bug in 2017 concerning its WebUI function. In a security report, developers noted that users of qBittorrent v3.3.12 or lower could be susceptible to CSRF attacks where hackers could make changes to a user's tasks, including adding downloads or uploads to the task list. This issue was immediately resolved by updating to a newer version of the software, and torrenters who didn't use the optional WebUI functionality were not affected at all.

In 2018, uTorrent's Classic and Web apps experienced a similar problem. A security researcher found a flaw that could allow third parties to control a torrenter's system through the same interface that allows users to access their apps remotely. If a hacker had been able to breach a system, he could have executed malicious code. uTorrent created a patch and urged users to upgrade to its newest version soon after learning about the exploit.

Proxy servers — both support this feature

You can set up proxy servers on qBittorrent and uTorrent. The setup process is similar for both and easy, and they both support http, https, SOCKS4, and SOCK5.

Proxy servers allow you to hide your IP address so that third parties can't figure out where you are. Your real location will be kept private from other torrent users, marketing agencies, and online snoopers.

But remember that a proxy only works with the site or app you're using. Your internet connection itself isn't protected, so your IP address and other personal information will still be vulnerable outside the individual website or app. To 100% protect your connection, you have to use a VPN. My top recommendation is ExpressVPN — it's fast and secure, and you can try it out risk-free because it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Trackers — both have embedded trackers, but private trackers are out

Both qBittorrent and uTorrent have an embedded tracker for seeding your own torrents.

However, when it comes to using private trackers, you'll find that most are banning both clients. There are two primary reasons for this: the private trackers fear that these clients may leak their private passkeys or expose their users' IP information.

Many people tout the benefits of private trackers, including access to more content and especially rare media, but most private trackers have strict rules for their use that make them impractical for many torrenters. In addition to dictating which BitTorrent clients you may use, private trackers require you to maintain a high seed-to-leech ratio and use your own IP address. The latter is of great concern because anyone who sees your IP address can track your activity, pinpoint to your location, and even figure out who you are. It is much safer to use public trackers, as well as encrypt your connection and hide your IP address with a VPN

IP Filters — both have them, but they're not useful

qBittorrent and uTorrent both have an IP filter setting. The purpose of this setting is to block the IP addresses of users you don't wish to engage with. This may include users who maliciously upload malware-ridden files, or those who are using your IP address to harass you.

However, with the advent of proxy servers and VPNs, anyone can mask their IP addresses, including the people you may want to avoid. A much better alternative to IP filtering is to use a VPN yourself — no one will be able to see your IP address and all your online activities will be kept private.

Features – qBittorrent Wins Again

qBittorrent and uTorrent share a lot of features, including file prioritization, NAT traversal, selective downloading, and sequential downloading, but in the end, qBittorrent edged out its competition thanks to better implementation of its features and the fact that it's 100% free.

Below, I'll discuss some of the more convenient features that all beneficial to all torrent users, no matter your skill or usage level.

Bandwidth Limits and Scheduling

Both clients allow you to set bandwidth limits and schedule when those limits are enforced. These features help ensure that your downloads don't cause your internet to slow down at inopportune times.

Screenshots showing the torrent scheduling options for qBittorrent and uTorrentScheduling lets you control each client's bandwidth usage throughout the day

During my tests, I set each client to limit the amount of downloading that would occur during the day when I was using the internet for work and allowed for unlimited downloading at night when everyone was asleep. These settings worked flawlessly.

Immediate Playback

uTorrent offers this option with its paid Pro option, but qBittorrent includes it for free. With immediate playback, you can start watching your content while it's still torrenting.  I tried the feature with qBittorrent on a couple of movies, and it worked with no issues. While I didn't find this feature very useful because most of my downloads completed quickly, I can see the benefit for people who may have slower internet connections.

Remote Management

Both qBittorrent and uTorrent offer remote management, with qBittorrent calling it WebUI and uTorrent calling it Remote. Remote torrent management allows you to add, cancel, and pause your torrents from anywhere you have an internet connection. This lets you control your downloads and set new priorities, even when you're away from your computer.

Setting up remote management with each client was a straightforward process, and I was able to start and stop torrents as promised. Between the two clients, I was happier with uTorrent because it also offered mobile apps in addition to its web access. Its Android app was clean and simple, and I could view and manage my torrents with just a few taps.

RSS Feed

qBittorrent and uTorrent both include this helpful feature and make it easily accessible within their respective clients. You do have to do a little work to set up rules for downloading, but after that, the clients take care of everything else.

With RSS feed support, you can automatically download torrents that have been added to your favorite sites. As soon as a new title is added to your RSS feed, your BitTorrent client will add it to your torrents list.

Torrent Creation Tools

With qBittorrent and uTorrent's torrent creation tools, you can create a torrent file in just a couple of minutes.

While many people use BitTorrent clients to download files, you might find yourself in a situation where you want to share a file instead. After creating mine with each client, I uploaded them to The Pirate Bay, added them to the index, and had some colleagues try downloading them — we were successful with both clients' output.

Search Function

qBittorrent and uTorrent both have search features built into their respective clients, but they each work a little differently. Having the ability to search for torrents from within a BitTorrent client saves time and reduces your exposure to torrent search engines that might be plagued by ads.

qBittorrent requires that you install Python to use its built-in search engine. Once you do this, you can choose which search engines you'll comb whenever you conduct a search. If you want to add more, you can install additional plugs. Right now, qBittorrent has more than 40 plugins for various popular torrenting search engines.

uTorrent doesn't require any additional installations to use its built-in search feature, but the search engine isn't great without some configuration. That's because its default setting relies on Google to return results. This means you may receive lots of irrelevant results, such as the IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes listings I got when I searched for a recent blockbuster movie. Under advanced features, you can change the settings to use your favorite torrent search engines instead.

Web Interface

Between the two clients, only uTorrent offers a web interface that allows you to download and play torrents right from your browser.

Downloading uTorrent Web is a simple process, but installation is plagued with the same bloatware issues as the traditional client. Once you've completed the installation process, you'll see uTorrent Web operating in your system tray. When you double-click it, the app will launch in your default browser. It's compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Edge.

The interface is rather simple. If you're a new user, you'll see a search field and a button to add torrents at the center of the page; links to torrent activity, BitTorrent Speed, and TronTV on the left, and a huge video player (ads) at the bottom of the page.

Screenshot of the uTorrent Web interfaceuTorrent Web is extremely stripped-down and lightweight

When you add a torrent, the center of the page changes to your torrents list. Like qBittorrent's and uTorrent's traditional apps, you can add torrents to uTorrent Web by clicking a button or simply dragging and dropping the torrent files from your download bar.

Screenshot showing active torrents on uTorrent WebAll your active torrents appear on your activity list

One of uTorrent's most touted features is that it lets you play your torrented files before they've finished downloading. I was unable to play my first two torrents (AVI and MP4 files), even after they were finished downloading. Instead, I received a message that "this file type cannot be played".

Screenshot showing uTorrent Web's playback error messageI constantly saw this error message, and it took several tries to get around it

On my third try, I was able to play an AVC file, but only after 56% of the file downloaded (I received the same annoying error message about the file type when I tried any earlier). I deleted the torrent and tried again, and it let me play starting at 8% this time. Unfortunately, this inconsistency with playback means uTorrent Web is not a solid choice for instant watching.

When it came to speed, I also found uTorrent Web to be somewhat disappointing. It took about 14 minutes to download a 2GB file that had over 850 seeds. It took qBittorrent about 5 minutes and uTorrent about 8 minutes to download the same file. During another test, uTorrent Web downloaded faster than uTorrent, but qBittorrent was still faster.

In all, I found that using uTorrent Web was not a satisfactory experience. Instant playback might be beneficial for some, but uTorrent's consistency in operation and speed was lacking.

And the Overall Winner is... qBittorrent

After a thorough review of each client's speeds, ease of use, safety, and features, I find that qBittorrent offers a better overall experience.

  • Speed: Neither client limits speeds, but qBittorrent was faster every time.
  • Ease of use: Both clients were easy enough to use, but qBittorrent was more straightforward during download and installation (and it didn't try to sneak in bloatware).
  • Safety: Both clients offer several security options, but qBittorrent's open source code offers complete transparency.
  • Features: Both clients have a range of features, but qBittorrent comes out on top for its better (and free) offerings.

For all of its benefits, qBittorrent does have a few drawbacks. Its website was offputting at first because it seemed so outdated, and downloading the program also took longer than necessary due to repetitive pages. I also had to do a little work to determine which version to choose. If it invested in some web design here, I'm sure the process could be greatly improved.

At the same time, I can't say that uTorrent was bad. It’s very similar and just as reliable as qBittorrent. But limiting its features on the free version and displaying ads were uTorrent’s most significant letdowns. It frustrated me that I couldn’t improve my security without paying, and I think it’s unfair that it holds users’ security over them by trying to get them to upgrade to the paid version.

qBittorrent Advantages uTorrent Advantages
Fast, easy download and setup More remote management solutions
Faster download speeds More help for new torrent users
Transparent open source code uTorrent Web for torrenting in your browser
Better search options via plugins Android app available
qBittorrent Disadvantages uTorrent Disadvantages
Dated-looking website Tries to add bloatware during installation
No web-based interface Ads on the free version
No mobile apps Must upgrade to unlock all features
Proprietary software, so no open source code

How a VPN Can Improve Torrenting

BitTorrent clients are not generally safe, but one way to make these apps safer is by using a VPN.

While torrenting without a VPN, your IP address and other sensitive information is laid bare for all to see. This includes your network administrator, cybercriminals, and intrusive marketing companies.  A VPN protects you by encrypting your internet connection and routing you through a new server. This keeps anyone from spying on your online activity and assigns a new IP address so that no one can track you down.

VPNs can also help you bypass network restrictions. Torrenting sites are commonly blocked in schools and workplaces, but as the VPN is encrypting and routing your connection through a private server, you can easily evade these restrictions and torrent as much as you like.

Another concern is that ISPs can throttle your speeds while torrenting. When they see that you're doing something that uses a lot of data, they can restrict your connection to save on bandwidth. This results in big slowdowns. A VPN helps you defeat speed and data throttling by hiding your activity — your ISP won't know what you're doing when you go online. Many VPNs also provide access to P2P-optimized servers for even better performance.

Best VPNs for qBittorrent and uTorrent (Updated 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Military-Level Security to Protect You While Torrenting

  • Super-fast speeds on P2P-optimized servers
  • Network Lock and military-grade encryption ensures maximum security when torrenting
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Deluge, Vuze, uTorrent, qBittorrent, and BitTorrent
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more

ExpressVPN's security features protect your online activity. With its DNS leak protection, you bypass your ISP's servers, preventing it from seeing what you're doing online. Instead, you connect to ExpressVPN's private network. This protects your identity and keeps your ISP from throttling your speed and bandwidth because you're torrenting. My tests easily supported this: I connected to several ExpressVPN servers and torrented through qBittorrent and uTorrent throughout the day for several days. My speeds never slowed, even during peak times.

ExpressVPN’s kill switch shuts down your internet traffic if you lose your VPN connection. This ensures your personal information doesn't travel over an unencrypted connection and prevents you from being exposed to your ISP, torrent peers, advertisers, movie studios, and other third parties. Once your VPN connection is restored, your data flow resumes through an AES-256 bit encrypted tunnel, rending your personal information unreadable.

When it comes to using ExpressVPN for torrenting, things couldn't be simpler: All of the VPN's servers support P2P traffic, and they're really fast. During my speed tests, I connected to 7 different servers in the US, UK, and Australia — my average download speed was 46 Mbps. To put that in context, I downloaded a 500 MB torrent file. It took about 1 minute and 45 seconds to download 500 MB with qBittorrent and 2 minutes and 15 seconds to download through uTorrent.

The minor catch with ExpressVPN is that it’s slightly expensive. However, if you love saving money like me, you’ll be excited to know you can get 49% off your entire subscription.

You can even try ExpressVPN to see if it's right for you. If it's not, you can request a refund per its 30-day money-back guarantee. To see if my money would really be returned, I asked for my subscription to be canceled on day 23. When speaking to the customer support team, I was asked a couple of questions, and then my refund was processed. My money was returned after 4 business days.

ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. IPVanish — Speedy Connections for Fast Torrent Downloads

  • Maintains fast speeds for torrenting on all of its 2,200 servers
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Deluge, Vuze, uTorrent, qBittorrent, and BitTorrent
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

IPVanish allows for torrenting across all of its 2,200 servers, and its speeds are fast — so you won't have to wait too long for your torrents to finish. I tested 10 of its servers across the US, UK, Australia, and South America, and my speeds stayed steady. I saw the best results when I connected to nearby servers; one in my country clocked in at 42 Mbps — barely a decrease from my starting speed.

To see what IPVanish’s speeds meant in terms of torrenting, I tested how long it took to download my 500 MB test file. It took about 2 minutes for me to download the file through qBittorrent and 2 minutes and 30 seconds through uTorrent — very impressive.

I don't like that IPVanish is based in the US, a country that's part of the Five Eyes Alliance. Being headquartered in America means that it can be compelled to share personal information about its users should the government request it. However, IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption and has a solid no-logs policy, so you trust that your online activities will be private —it can't hand over data if it doesn't have any.

If you’re a bargain hunter like me, you’ll be excited to hear this: You can save up to 77% when you use its latest coupon. (Be sure to opt for the annual plan for even more savings!)

To be sure that IPVanish is right for you, take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee. I wanted to test this policy myself to be sure IPVanish did as it promised, and here's what I found: First, you have to subscribe to the annual plan to qualify. I canceled my subscription on day 24 via live chat and asked for a refund — and my money was returned in 5 days.

IPVanish February 2024 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 77% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

3. CyberGhost — Blocks Ads and Other Threats for Safer Torrenting

  • P2P-optimized servers and fast speeds for quick downloads
  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites for safer torrenting
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Deluge, Vuze, uTorrent, qBittorrent, and BitTorrent
  • Compatible with: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more

The standout feature for torrenting in CyberGhost is its integrated blocker for ads, trackers, and malware. These pose risks to both your computer and your personal data, and CyberGhost offers one-click protection against them. Upon activation, the blocker safeguards you from viruses by restricting access to websites known for hosting malware, which is common among sketchy torrent sites. The ad blocker performed exceptionally well in eliminating the intrusive ads in uTorrent. After activating it, the advertisements I had seen before disappeared.

In terms of speed, CyberGhost performed well, especially when I used its P2P-optimized connections. During my tests, local servers were the fastest — my average speed was about 39 Mbps (just a 20% drop from my starting speed). However, when I connected to servers across the world, my speeds fell as much as 60%. This was disappointing, but it's not a problem so long as you have nearby servers (and as CyberGhost has 11,683 of them around the globe, you're sure to find something close.)

CyberGhost employs 256-bit encryption and has a strict no-logs policy, so your torrenting activities will always be private. It also has a kill switch to protect you in case your VPN connection fails. If the VPN disconnects, so will your internet connection — your data won't leak, and no one will know what you were doing.

CyberGhost is a little pricey if you pay by the month, but you'll see substantial savings if you choose a longer term. Even better, snag its latest deal to pay as little as $2.03/month.

If you need to see if CyberGhost is right for you first, you can try it risk-free with its 45-day money-back guarantee. I canceled my subscription via live chat and asked for a refund. I did have to answer a couple of questions about why I was canceling, but all said, I got my money back later that week.

February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

FAQs on qBittorrent and uTorrent

Is qBittorrent better than uTorrent?

qBittorrent is better than uTorrent because of its superior features.

In contrast to uTorrent, qBittorrent offers an ad-free interface and utilizes open source code, allowing transparency in its construction. Additionally, qBittorrent provides various search engine plugins, enabling users to discover and download torrents without the need to visit external torrent sites.

Which has the fastest download speeds, qBittorrent or uTorrent?

During my tests, qBittorrent consistently offered faster download speeds.

While uTorrent often had similar speeds (which means it wasn't imposing limits), qBittorrent downloads always finished first.

If your downloads are taking too long, you can try to increase your torrenting speeds by using a VPN. It will keep your online activity hidden from your ISP to prevent it from throttling your internet connection.

Is qBittorrent or uTorrent better for Mac?

qBittorrent is better than uTorrent for Mac because it’s compatible with a larger number of macOS systems.

While qBittorrent is compatible with all macOS versions, uTorrent is not compatible with macOS Catalina and Big Sur. You’ll need to use uTorrent Web or switch to another BitTorrent client for these systems.

Does Reddit prefer qBittorrent or uTorrent?

At first glance, Reddit seems to prefer qBittorrent over uTorrent. While there are arguments for both sides on Reddit, there'is overwhelming praise for qBittorrent. The most popular thread that compares these two is titled “uTorrrent free is garbage, here's a much better alternative (qBittorrent),” which has a high approval rating. Most of these comments favor qBittorrent as well.

Rather than reading Reddit, the best way to make an informed decision about VPNs is to read trusted sources that have researched which client is best — like I did above!

Do I need to use a VPN with my torrent client?

It's highly recommended that you use a VPN with your torrent client.

A VPN will hide your real location and protect your identity so that you can remain hidden from third parties. It’ll also protect you from malware and DDoS attacks by encrypting your internet traffic. Staying private, safe, and secure online is essential when torrenting, and a VPN makes sure of this.

Pick a Client and a VPN to Start Torrenting Safely Today

qBittorrent and uTorrent are two of the most popular BitTorrent clients out there, and both are capable of downloading torrents quickly and without hassle. However, when comparing the two, qBittorrent is better and safer. Its open source code proves there’s no malicious malware installed, and it not having any ads makes for a pleasant experience.

However, remember that torrenting comes with risks. To ensure your safety and security, always use a VPN. A VPN will encrypt your connection and mask your true identity and location. It’ll also prevent your ISP from throttling your bandwidth, so you can download and share torrents quickly. I recommend ExpressVPN for its quality security features and fast download speeds. You can even try it with confidence because it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, the best VPNs for qBittorrent and uTorrent in 2024 are

Our Score
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9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 77%!
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 84%!
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VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Cassandra is a tech researcher and writer who loves finding ways to make it easier for everyone to access all that the internet offers.

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