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Trying to decide which torrent client to use can be a headache. All sorts of programs from dozens of different companies are constantly fighting for our attention, trying to convince us that their P2P client is the best to use in 2021.
Sifting through all that information takes time and effort, so we decided to take a focused look at a couple of options and really get into what makes one better and the other worse. Today we’ll be taking a look at qBittorrent vs uTorrent.
Moreover, you shouldn’t forget that downloading copyrighted content can get you in serious trouble. To avoid getting caught red-handed, you should obscure your online identity by using a proxy or VPN service.
How to use a VPN with uTorrent and qBittorrent
Using a VPN with either uTorrent or qBittorrent is really simple. Just follow the steps below:
- Choose a VPN (we recommend NordVPN, now with 72% off)
- Connect to a country where torrenting isn’t blocked
- Open your P2P client
- Visit your favorite torrent site
- Start downloading safely!
Best VPNs for qBittorrent and uTorrent in 2021
Below, you’ll find a list of our Top 5 VPNs for both qBittorrent and uTorrent:
|#||PROVIDER||CATEGORY SCORECATEGORY SCORE|
All-around leading VPN
Forward-thinking and affordable
Known for excellent security
Cheapest torrenting VPN
How we compared uTorrent and qBittorrent clients
After going through the comparison, you’ll have a better idea of how these clients compare and how you can get started with torrenting faster and safer.
To get a good look at both qBittorrent and uTorrent, we will be going over a few different categories:
- Ease of download
- Ease of installation
- Design and interface
- Safety and security
- User ratings and reviews
- Speed tests on desktop and mobile
So let’s start with the first category: ease of download.
How easy is it to download qBittorrent vs uTorrent?
When you visit the qBittorrent website, you’ll find a rather ugly little page with the typical home page listing some features and asking for donations.
Although the website interface isn’t the prettiest, it is easy to navigate with a tab leading directly to the “Download” section.
When you arrive at the download screen, you will find some public keys for the PGP signing on the various install files that the page has listed for download. Underneath these are the download links for Mac and Windows. The Windows download links are highlighted here:
Obviously, this is pretty straightforward – the website may not be pretty, but it has all the info and data you will need to install and get started with their client.
As for uTorrent: when you visit the uTorrent page, you will be met with a much sleeker website interface offering a download of “uTorrent web,” which is uTorrent’s new web-based client. This client allows you to download and stream files directly to your browser.
For now, we’ll scroll down and take a look at their classic uTorrent client:
Clicking on the big green “Download uTorrent Classic” button will bring up the different payment plans with various options available. Click on “Download Now” under the “Basic” plan to go with the free version. We can take a look at the different payment plans later on.
As we can see, both clients have pretty straightforward websites with downloads readily available for their various clients. That being said, I’m going to give the gold to uTorrent in this category since their download link was front-and-center, and their website is much easier on the eyes!
uTorrent is better because of its better website and easier download.
After downloading your client of choice, consider getting NordVPN with 72% off as well. This service will protect your torrenting efforts even in countries where P2P is illegal. Besides, NordVPN has useful features, such as split tunneling and a SOCKS5 proxy.
Next up is the installation.
How easy is the installation?
Starting up the qBittorrent installer will give you some language options and ask you to peruse a license agreement.
This is all pretty standard—if you check the box that says “Agree” and hit next, you will be allowed to choose components and options for the install:
If you want a desktop or start menu shortcuts, or if you want .torrent files and magnet links to open with qBittorrent by default, select these before hitting next.
Now you’ll be asked where you want to install the program:
The default install folder is C:\Program Files\qBittorrent. If you want the client installed somewhere else, enter a different path.
Hitting “Install” will start the installation. The nice thing here was the absence of any hidden components or sketchy packaged programs.
Moving on to the uTorrent installer, when you open up the .exe, you’ll see a much prettier program, and a warning about illicit software:
This is where you will want to be careful. The next page is an “optional offer” from Adaware Web Companion, and it looks just like another license agreement:
We don’t want to install anything besides a torrent client, so we can just hit “Decline” to continue installing. This will bring us to another optional offer from Avast Free Antivirus:
Again, hitting “Decline” will continue the install without installing any unnecessary software. Next, you’ll be asked if you want Start menu, Quick Launch, and Desktop icons. Hitting next from there will bring you to a few more options. We can choose to start uTorrent on Windows startup, and we have an option to associate .btsearch files as well. Hitting next will begin the install.
The main problem here was the sneaky little optional installations that uTorrent tried to sneak into the package. qBittorrent will have to take the top spot for this category since they had the decency to not pull a fast one on us.
qBittorrent is better because uTorrent had too many offers and optional installations.
So now that our client is installed, we can take a look at which one looks and handles better.
Design and interface
Opening up qBittorrent gives us a typical little torrent interface with tasteful minimalist icons:
All the basic functions are present as buttons near the top. You can add torrent links, add torrent files, and delete items using the first three buttons.
The other controls here are pretty self-explanatory: play, pause, priority controls, and settings. It’s nice to have these functions easily accessible, but there’s nothing special about the layout.
The sidebar has options to sort the torrent list into status categories. Other options for tags and categories are also available, along with a list of trackers with a few different sections.
It’s a very clean interface without any extra stuff sitting around anywhere. There are some options in the drop-down menus at the top which control how things are displayed or give you access to various options.
At the very bottom, there are some stats and an option to switch to alternative speed limits, which can be set from the options menu.
The options menu is fairly straightforward and contains all the settings you expect to find:
There are some features that qBittorrent offers that uTorrent does not, including email notifications for completed downloads and web-based remote management.
Moving on to the uTorrent interface, we have some glaring differences we can notice right away:
That’s right, advertisements. I’ll talk about this more in-depth in a second, but this is a huge turnoff right off the bat.
All the same controls are here: we can add links or files and control priority with buttons. Overall, interface design seems a little bit more polished for uTorrent. All the typical tabs are available for displaying files, info, peers, etc., for the selected torrent.
There are also links to get torrent files and upgrade to pro, as well as social media links. The dropdown menus at the top are significantly more minimal, but all the same functionality is available.
It’s worth noting that uTorrent has links to forums and other useful resources that qBittorrent can’t really match. There’s also an RSS downloader function and the ability to link mobile devices. The options menu is also a lot more versatile, with dozens of extra options compared to qBittorrent:
Overall, if you’re going with the basic version for uTorrent, it’s a bit of a toss-up. The increased functionality and streamlined interface are nice, but the lack of advertisements is a huge advantage for qBittorrent vs uTorrent.
That being said, unlike qBittorrent, uTorrent offers paid versions of their client with various advantages:
- Ad-free costs $4.95 per year:
- disables the ads displayed in the client
- offers the same fast downloads and automatic bandwidth management of the basic client.
- Pro Costs $19.95 per year and adds the following features:
- watch torrents without waiting
- convert files
- play in HD and “on the go”
- protection against viruses and malware
- Pro+VPN package is $69.95 per year and includes:
- all the bonuses of the Pro package
- also includes Cyber Ghost VPN.
The Ad-free option is a no-brainer for the extra functionality that the basic package offers in uTorrent vs qBittorrent. The price works out to around 42 cents every month. If the luxury streaming features of the pro package are attractive to you, $19.95 is also fairly reasonable.
The added security of the Pro+VPN package may be what you’re looking for if security is your main concern, but the price seems a little steep, working out to around $5.82 per month. Instead, we recommend getting NordVPN with a 72% discount.
Again, this is a toss-up since qBittorrent is entirely free. uTorrent seems to pull ahead in this category, however, since their package offers a significant amount of versatility, while still offering more options than qBittorrent in their free basic package.
Close, but uTorrent is better because of better package offerings.
Safety and security
Taking a look at qBittorrent, it can function quite safely if you use the correct settings (a tutorial for which can be found here). But there have been some concerns about the visibility of the user’s IP when using qBittorrent. A post on GitHub detailing a hacking attempt through qBittorrent can be seen here from March of 2018.
For uTorrent, they’ve had some issues in the past with their install being bundled with sketchy software, but it is largely considered safe to use at the moment. Of course, safe downloading practices and a proper setup are always important (a tutorial can be found here).
It’s also worth noting that uTorrent offers package deals for VPN services, which are important for security.
So now that we’ve gone over all the features and other concerns, let’s take a look at what people are saying about qBittorrent vs. uTorrent.
Taking a look at the Android App Store, we can see what people are saying about the mobile apps for qBittorrent vs. uTorrent.
qBittorrent has a relatively low average user review, at 3.7 stars for its free version, and 4.1 for its paid ad-free version.
The pro version also has only 1k+ downloads, compared to 100k+ for the free version. Looking at the user reviews for the free app, some are positive, but a large amount (6 within the first ten user reviews) of users are saying that the app has trouble connecting or pairing with the desktop app.
Moving on to uTorrent, we can see that the user reviews are much more favorable, and it’s one of the most downloaded apps in the entire Play Store:
The user reviews themselves mention some issues, such as the app not being able to run properly in the background, as well as complaining about the number of ads in the free version.
uTorrent has better (and much more) reviews.
Which is faster? qBittorrent vs uTorrent
One of the most important qualities that a good torrent client boils down to is speed. How fast is qBittorrent vs uTorrent?
We’ve taken a look at both clients’ speeds by downloading the same file. It’s a .mp4 video file about 307 MB in size.
Here we can see the file downloading in qBittorrent:
The download averaged about 13.5MiB/s with one seed connected. This is quite fast, and it finished in less than a minute. Overall, users will probably be delighted with this speed, although it may perform differently with different security settings.
The mobile client for qBittorrent is simply a controller which allows you to remotely manage the torrents on your computer. Since the speeds for the app will be the same as the desktop client, let’s move on and take a look at uTorrent:
As you can see, the test turned out significantly slower, at 2.7 MB/s on average during the screenshot. It ended up with an average of 5.3 MB/s and took around two minutes to complete. While the difference in speed with qBittorrent vs. uTorrent wasn’t very noticeable with this file, it was significant.
Users downloading larger files or files with less reliable seeds would definitely prefer the speed of qBittorrent. Let’s take a look at uTorrent’s mobile app and see how the speeds compare:
As you can see with the uTorrent mobile app, the speeds were much more comparable to the qBittorrent desktop client. The download seemed to average about 11.5 MB/s. The mobile app has a few advertisements, but it was easy to use and worked very well, although it was hard to find data like the average speed for the completed download.
This category will have to go to uTorrent hands-down due to its easy-to-use mobile app and relative speed capabilities.
uTorrent provides a better mobile experience with great speeds.
qBittorrent vs uTorrent: which torrent client is better?
After taking a close look at the different qualities of the two programs, we can see some obvious differences in some of the categories:
- Ease of download: uTorrent wins due to their spiffy website design.
- Ease of installation: qBittorrent takes it here for their lack of sneaky packaged software.
- Design and interface: uTorrent wins again due to its increased functionality and premium options.
- Safety and security: uTorrent is on a killing spree, thanks to its packaged VPN services and extensive online resources.
- User ratings and reviews: uTorrent is on a rampage, with their reviews and downloads blowing qBittorrent out of the water.
- Speed tests: uTorrent is dominating since their speeds on mobile were comparable to that of qBittorrent’s desktop client.
And the obvious winner is uTorrent, who pulled ahead in almost every single category.
Safety while using torrent clients
Torrenting can be a bit of a gray area in terms of both legality and safety. It’s always important to make sure you aren’t downloading illegal or unsafe content that may harm your computer or wind you up in jail.
There are many safe downloading practices you can employ while torrenting to make sure you have a decent experience. uTorrent actually features an extensive online community with plenty to say about different steps users can take to protect themselves.
One of the best ways to make sure you are safe while torrenting is by using a VPN. A VPN privatizes your connection, running it through a proprietary private network with added security and functionality. Many options are available, with some being offered in package deals with torrent clients.
uTorrent offers the CyberGhost VPN with its Pro+VPN package, as mentioned earlier, for $69.99 per year, or roughly $5.82 per month. The installer also had an ad for a deal with NordVPN for $3.99 per month. Take a look at your VPN options and see if you can’t find one that fits your budget and expectations.
So, which of these torrent clients are you using in 2021? In the battle of qBittorrent vs uTorrent, which is your winner?
Is qBittorrent still the best?
While qBittorent might still be the favorite client for some, user reviews and our comparison clearly show that uTorrent is the best in 2021. This client won in five out of six categories: speed, safety & security, and user ratings.
Is qBittorrent safe to use?
With the right settings, qBittorrent can be safe to use. However, it still lacks behind uTorrent, which offers a VPN service in its package.
Does qBittorrent hide your IP?
qBittorent had some issues with hiding user IPs in the past. In 2018, there was a hacking attempt using a qBittorent client. The attacker sent malware to the victim’s IP address, but luckily, it was blocked by the antivirus software. In contrast, uTorrent hasn’t had such issues in the past.
Does uTorrent still have a Bitcoin miner?
Back in 2015, uTorrent was bundled with Epic Sale, a Bitcoin miner. While users claimed it was a silent install, the company representative assured that there is an option to decline this add-on. As of 2021, no Bitcoin miners are present in uTorrent’s installation pack.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Jan is the captain at the helm of VPNpro. He ensures that every crew member is practicing perfect digital hygiene and spreading only accurate pro tips about technology. Besides that, he is a frequent contributor on many renowned publications, such as Forbes, ComputerWeekly, PC Mag, TechRadar, and ZDNet.