Several weeks have passed since the recent uTorrent litecoin mining scandal. While the question whether uTorrent has been silently installing PUP onto your PC remains open, it’s high time to reconsider what bittorrent client you’re using. There are tons of alternatives: qBittorrent, BitTorrent, Vuze and many others. But the real question is: Do you actually need a dedicated bittorrent client in order to download a torrent? Today there are multiple alternatives that can save you an additional program installed and running.
Convert Torrents into Direct Links
The idea of downloading a torrent is simple, yet great: instead of relying on a server hosting the file, you rely on many people who already have the file and are willing to share it with you. The more seeders there are, the faster you’ll download a file. That’s the prime difference between a regular HTTP download and a torrent. However, there are ways to turn torrents into the old-fashioned HTTP downloads.
Services like ZbigZ allow you to convert torrents into regular file downloads. Paste the link to the torrent file (or upload it from your computer) and after a minute of caching, your browser will start downloading the file. The service has a 1GB file size limitation for non-Premium plan users. Keep in mind that downloading files with ZbigZ takes more time than via torrent (at least for free). If you find yourself in need of downloading a small torrent, ZbigZ is worth checking.
Download Directly to Your Cloud Storage
Storing your files on a cloud is getting more and more popular with each day. The point is that you can access the files from any device and you’re not restricted by the storage space limitations of your devices. Additionally, many cloud storage services support media streaming, so there’s no need to download music or video that you’ve placed inside a cloud in order to play it.
Ctrlq.org provides its users with a handy possibility to upload files to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, Evernote and your FTP server. The cool part is that the files will go directly to your cloud storage, without even getting on your actual device. However, for that you need to paste a URL link to the file you want to download and torrents don’t have such. In order to get one, you’ll need to use a previously mentioned ZbigZ or any other similar site. Start a regular download with ZbigZ and go to the Downloads in your browser, then copy the download link for the file.
Of course, the upload will take time and a lot depends on your connection speed. The greatest inconvenience of this method lies in the absence of the progress bar when the service uploads the files to the cloud.
Use Hive Cloud Storage
Hive is a new cloud storage that is an interesting crossbreed between a cloud storage and a social network. The cloud storage part has everything one might need: media streaming, unlimited storage (50GB every month, but I guess it still counts as unlimited) and an option to download magnet links.
Copy a magnet link from any torrent tracker that provides them and paste it into Hive. After a little bit of processing time, the download will start. The cool part is that if your torrent is popular the chances are high that somebody on Hive has already downloaded it. In this case, the file will be immediately added to your collection and you can proceed to streaming it.
Hive is limited only to magnet links, so in case you have only a .torrent file, it has to be previously converted into a magnet link. Torrent2magnet.com does this task without a hassle. Upload the .torrent file and it will be converted into a magnet link. Hive will do the rest.
Use a Browser that Supports Torrents
Opera browser was the first to incorporate torrent downloads and it was a little bit ahead of its time. Today, when we rarely even close the browser at all, this feature makes much more sense. Citrio is a Chromium-based browser that is oriented on downloading online videos, speeding up downloads and also downloading torrents and magnet links.
Citrio isn’t that much different from Chrome. It supports Google account, all of the Chrome extensions and functions basically in the same manner. The difference lies in the download manager of Citrio. In Chrome, it’s pretty basic while Citrio’s can speed up HTML downloads, pause and resume them, download torrent and magnet links. So if you tend to download a lot of files, Citrio is definitely worth considering.
Use an Extension for Your Browser
Adding a bittorrent client to your favorite browser is a great idea. Just like with Citrio, it’ll allow you download torrent without launching additional programs. However, only Firefox users are lucky enough to get this option. Internet Explorer never even had such optional functionality. For Chrome there were several extensions, like BitTorrent Surf (which now can’t be installed due to NPAPI plugins ban) and JSTorrent isn’t free at all. Firefox has always been loved for its rich collection of add-ons. Bittorrent clients aren’t an exception. Many consider Torrent Tornado to be the best among such add-ons and it’s easy to understand why.
Torrent Tornado is an add-on for Firefox that works in the same fashion as you’d expect a desktop bittorrent client to behave. Just click on the “Download Torrent” button (or a magnet link) on the tracker of your choice, select the exact files you want to download and it’s all set. Torrent Tornado runs on Java, so you’ll need that plug-in enabled.
Despite there are tons of options that enable you to download torrents without a dedicated bittorrent client, most of them have serious limitations. Using an online torrent converter will gradually reduce the download speed, while you’ll also won’t be able to download big files without paying for them.
Torrent Tornado is the best option for the Firefox users, as it’s the closest alternative to uTorrent that you can get for this browser. Chrome fans might consider Citrio as it’s basically a multipurpose downloading machine with all the benefits of Chrome browser. Considering the rise of streaming services, shutting down of the major torrent trackers due to legal reasons and bittorrent clients getting cluttered with adware, most users can do without a uTorrent on their computers. The alternatives above can make it easier.