The Best Free Bittorrent File Sharing Software

Download free and legal music by using a BitTorrent application

screenshot of uTorrent client running in Ubuntu

ThyArmageddon / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

File sharing software (commonly referred to as P2P) can be used to connect to BitTorrent networks in order to download digital music files and other types of media that others share. The only problem with this is that you could be breaking the law by inadvertently sharing copyrighted material if you're not careful.

However, if you stick to free and legal BitTorrent sites, there's a huge amount of freely available music, videos, etc., that you can download (and share) without fear by using a​ free P2P program. Here is a selection of file sharing programs that have been chosen for their popularity and features.

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What We Like

  • Create your own .torrent files.

  • Works on most operating systems, including Android.

  • Automatically download torrents from RSS feeds.

What We Don't Like

  • Interface includes ads.

  • Must use a browser to search for torrents.

  • Tries to install additional software during setup.

A lightweight client for Microsoft Windows that is fast on downloads and light on resources, µTorrent is an ultra-compatible program that works with all versions of Windows and uses less than 6mb of memory. Even though this slim-lined program is small on stature compared with other P2P clients, it is feature-rich and has become one of the most popular file-sharing programs in use on the Internet.

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What We Like

  • Streamlined and easy to navigate.

  • No ads.

  • Excellent antivirus integration support.

What We Don't Like

  • No Mac or Linux versions.

  • Can't adjust bandwidth settings for individual torrents.

  • Installation attempts to make changes to your computer.

A very popular file-sharing program for Microsoft Windows that uses the BitTorrent protocol. It supports HTTP/FTP downloading and employs P2P to further increase download speeds. A nice feature of the BitComet interface is an embedded Internet Explorer window to make searching for BitTorrents easier.

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Azureus Vuze

What We Like

  • No size or speed restriction for downloads and uploads.

  • Password protection.

  • Highly customizable.

What We Don't Like

  • Bloated installation.

  • Your ISP may limit your torrent traffic.

Azureus Vuze is a Java-based program that is used for BitTorrent networks. It has an incredible list of features and a user-friendly interface. A unique feature of the program is the use of I2P and Tor networks to enable anonymous file sharing. Azureus Vuze has good support with regular updates and is available for many operating systems due to its use of the cross-platform Java programming language.

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Ares Galaxy

What We Like

  • Works behind firewalls.

  • Network with other torrent enthusiasts.

What We Don't Like

  • Only works with Windows.

  • Frequent connection problems and security concerns.

Ares Galaxy is an open source file sharing program that utilizes the Ares network. The program also supports BitTorrent and SHOUTcast radio stations. This P2P client uses swarming technology to maximize download speeds and has its own web browser. There is a chat facility which you can use to connect to a community of people or even set up your own channels. A built-in media player and organizer makes it possible to preview and organize your downloads easily.