Without a doubt, qBittorrent is our favorite torrent client on Windows 10. As a free and open-source client, we've found it to be reliable, fast, and complete without any sort of advertisements, malware, or any other unwanted software included during installation. The app is still regularly updated more than a decade after its initial launch, and while the visuals of qBittorrent may leave something to be desired, as long as you don't have an issue with the visual design of an app, qBittorrent is by far our favorite selection of the bunch. Let's take a look why.
The installation of qBittorrent is fast and easy, without the addition of any supplementary apps, plugins, or anything else that could be considered user hostile. During installation, you have the opportunity to determine whether or not you want qBittorrent to automatically insitute a Windows Firewall rule. Because torrenting applications have long been known to present firewall problems within Windows and MacOS, we greatly appreciate the added convenience, saving users time and patience during installation. The program is relatively small, not taking more than a few seconds of your time to install on your computer, and once complete, qBittorrent opens automatically on your machine. We found the app to use minimal resources while running in the background of our test machine.
The main display of qBittorrent is, unsurprisingly, fairly basic in scope and design, but that doesn't mean it isn't feature packed. Along the right side of the display, you'll find your status bar, which displays categories for downloading, seeding, completed, resumed, paused, active, and inactive torrents. This bar also displays errored-out torrents, including those that have stopped downloading due to problems on the torrent's end, or on the end of your network (like if you've been disconnected from a network suddenly). This bar can also be used to divide your torrents into specific categories, though you'll have to make those categories yourself—qBittorrent only includes "All" and "Uncategorized." Finally, at the bottom of this bar, you can view your trackers for each torrent, including those without trackers, as well as any errored-out or warning torrents.
Along the top of the display is your basic torrent tools. You can add URLs manually from the app, and open torrenting files from your download folders. The red line icon can be used to delete torrents, though the delete button on your keyboard can be used for the same thing. The pause and play icons can be used to stop or start torrents as needed without deleting the torrent completely, and the settings icon at the end of the panel can be used to access your settings—more on those in a bit. qBittorrent includes a search bar that lets you cycle through your list of torrents, and you can use the lock icon to lock your UI with a password you put in manually. The bottom of the display features your general speed, download and upload information, as well as a quick toggle to switch between unlimited bandwidth and limited bandwidth for your torrent speeds (in order to stop the app from eating up your entire bandwidth speeds and slowing down other activities on the network). Finally, the main display in the center will show you your active and inactive torrents in the top display, while the bottom display shows more detail for each selected torrent download.
Settings-wise, there's plenty to like here. Though these are mostly standard features included, we're still happy to see them included. Let's quickly break down the important features of each tab:
- Behavior: Here, you can change the user interface language of the app, in case the default English isn't your standard or first language. You can turn on and off plenty of settings and ease-of-use preferences here, including the ability to confirm when deleting torrents, using alternating row colors, hiding zero and infinity values, and so much more. There are some basic settings for your desktop too, including the ability to run qBittorrent on startup, allowing for a confirmation message on exit when torrents are still active, and changing the file association within qBittorrent for .torrent files and magnet links—super helpful if you're looking to use multiple torrent platforms.
- Downloads: A ton of stuff appears in this subcategory, but here's the important stuff. You have some basic settings for app actions when adding a torrent, like displaying content or stopping an automatic download when adding content. You can change how torrent management works here as well, including the abilities to copy torrent files to specific paths on your hard drive. And perhaps the coolest feature in this tab: you can set up qBittorrent to automatically add torrents from specific, monitored folders.
- Connection: Not a huge amount of interesting stuff for most users, but if you're trying to modify your listening ports or set connection limits per torrents or upload slots, this is where you'll head.
- Speed: A slim tab, but an important one nonetheless. Here you'll find global rate limits for most downloads—ie, when you want qBittorrent to be running at full speed. If you want to permanently have caps on your uploads and downloads, you can set them here; they're turned off by default. Your alternative rate limits are automatically set to a sensible 5mb/s down, 1mb/s up, though these can also be edited. The alternative rate limits are accessible, as mentioned above, by hitting the shortcut in the lower half of the main display, or by scheduling the user of alternative rate limits within this settings menu.
- Bittorrent: Not much here to mention or shoutout specifically. Some privacy and encryption settings that are typically best left on default, queueing torrent settings (off by default), and a seed torrent ratio limit.
- Web UI: If you choose, you can set up a web user interface to monitor your downloads away from your home computer. This tab displays all authentication and security settings for this feature.
- Advanced: Finally, most of your troubleshooting solutions will come from the Advanced tab, though unless you know what you're looking for, we recommend you leave this tab on its default settings. Some stuff you can change here: notification settings, including whether or not to display notifications for added torrents, the ability to recheck torrents upon completion, and a strict super seeding option.
So what about the actual process of downloading torrents? Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most stable torrent downloading applications we've found. As long as our clients weren't set to alternative rate limits, downloads were fast to process and complete on our side, with download speeds reaching several megabytes per second quickly. Obviously, the speed of each download will depend on the health of your torrent and the number of seeders, but rest assured things were positive with qBittorrent in our download. If you decide to stop seeding or downloading a torrent, the application gives you an option to delete the content off your hard drive, a great setting that makes it easy to choose whether or not to keep your platform going. And you can upload the download directly from within the app by right-clicking directly on a torrent within the application.
In conclusion, we think qBittorrent is the best application for most users. It's a solid, dependable choice, without any malware or unwanted software included and with a usable, if not particularly pretty interface that makes it easy to download and save content quickly using the application. We're big fans of qBittorrent, and before anything else on this list, we'd recommend checking out qBittorrent first. The settings, the speed, and the ease of setup make it the app to beat on Windows 10.