There are many free Bit Torrent clients available on the web but the two that stand out amongst them all are Azureus (Vuze) and uTorrent. For nearly half a decade, both these clients have been leading in the Bit Torrent race and if we leave out China, these two applications combined hold three quarters of the total market share which equals close to a staggering 100 million users per month. Frankly, both have their own great features which makes them special but the argument has been going on for some time now that which is better. Although, there is no right or wrong answer, it basically depends on the liking and the preference of the user but let us take an in-depth analysis and comparison of the two clients and try to ascertain the better option. Both these have their own pros and cons which will be discussed later but however, these two have the full capability of creating, downloading and seeding torrent files as well as performing advanced functions such as automatically downloading from RSS feeds, using multiple trackers, banning specific IP addresses, or setting download priorities for each file inside the torrent separately. Let’s take a sneak peek inside both of them:
Azureus (Vuze) overview
This is a powerful open source Bit Torrent client with a massive amount of features and support for third party plug-in. It recently evolved into Vuze – a p2p (peer-to-peer) network of high quality video content – but you are still able to use the classic Azureus interface if you want to. It requires a Java Run-time Environment (JRE) which is great because it can run on any OS that supports JRE and it is bad because Java-based Azureus uses quite a lot of system resources. In addition to downloading data linked to .torrent files, Azureus allows users to view, publish and share original DVD and HD quality video content. Content is presented through channels and categories containing TV shows, music videos, movies, video games and others. Additionally, if users prefer to publish their original content, they may earn money from it.
Recently, Vuze previously known as Azureus, has a received a major update that allows users to automatically convert and download videos on the iPhone, iPod, Xbox 360 and the PS3. “Now playing, on all your screens” is Vuze’s new tagline.
This latest addition takes the client to yet another leap forward towards its goal of becoming an all-in-one Bit Torrent application where users can search, download and play videos from the Vuze network and other torrent sites.
“With today’s release, we’re unlocking HD content and giving it wings to get from the computer to the other screens in our lives: TV and Mobile,” Vuze CEO Gilles BianRosa told TorrentFreak. “We think this is a big deal because a large majority of our users actually have these devices at home. Also, consumers want to control and own their content, an ‘Open Home Theater’, if you will.”
The current devices being supported by Vuze include the iPhone and the iPod in terms of Apple devices and in the gaming console world, the PS3 and Xbox 360 integrate with it as well. Future may see it adding more and more devices but no firm decisions have been made on which ones, although in a recent poll conducted, it was discovered that most Vuze users wanted the iPhone/iPad support.
Once device support is turned on in Vuze, users can drag and drop downloaded video onto their device of choice. Vuze will then convert the video into the appropriate format and add it to the device’s library. For iTunes, Vuze will import the video into your iTunes library so it can be transferred to your iPhone, iPod or Apple TV. For the PS3 and Xbox 360, Vuze will stream the videos from your PC or Mac directly to your game console.
The device support feature is great for users who want an all-in-one solution which not only does video downloads but also readies it to play on other devices. This is a great thing for Vuze, that it is using its users’ feedback to improve itself although it is impossible to please everyone and some may still prefer a more lightweight client. That said, the Vuze all-in-one solution will especially appeal to novice BitTorrent users, but even for the most die-hard users, the new features will make a great addition.
It is a lightweight and efficient torrent downloader and is a closed source. Vuze fans are quick to point out this fact as a major flaw (it’s possible for the uTorrent developers to add anything they want to the program, such as DRM protection, or copyright breach reporting, without the users’ knowledge). There’s also no plugin support, and it has less features than Azureus (but still more than you will probably ever need).
uTorrent is not Java based which is good because it is very small and fast and uses very little CPU and RAM but it also means that for every platform, a separate version has to be developed. uTorrent now has Mac support, and an early Linux version is in development. There is no doubt that uTorrent is faster than Azureus when it comes to the program itself.
A new study comparing the download speeds of more than 10 million users found that uTorrent users achieve significantly higher download speeds than those who use Vuze. On some ISPs this advantage, which is attributed to differences in design choices, can be as much as 30%. University of California researcher Marios Iliofotou together with colleagues from Telefonica Research inspected the download speeds of more than 10 million BitTorrent downloaders last August.
An initial sample of around 600 most popular torrents on the Pirate Bay were used and were tracked for a month and one week’s representative sample was used for the final analysis. For each torrent an equal number or uTorrent and Vuze users were selected and these were also matched by ISP, so the type of torrent or ISP could not influence the results. The study showed an astounding speed difference with users of uTorrent getting 16% higher download speeds as compared to Vuze users. On average, uTorrent users reached a 176 Kbps download speed while Vuze users were stuck at 151 Kbps on the same torrents and with the same ISPs.
The scope of the report is limited to Vuze and uTorrent but in future work the researchers hope to include other clients too. In addition they plan to confirm these results in a lab environment, to try and find out what constitutes the fastest BitTorrent client.
“This work does not aim to design the best BitTorrent client, but to bring to the attention of BitTorrent implementors and users that some design choices have a significant effect in practice. Even though in our study uTorrent appears to achieve faster speeds than Vuze, we do not claim that uTorrent is the way to go,” the researchers write.
“We hope that our preliminary findings will open the door for new research efforts to better understand the impact of design choices in the performance of real-world BitTorrent implementations. Ultimately, we see such research efforts leading to the design of better P2P systems,” the researchers conclude.
uTorrent has also launched its latest version 3.0 that brings a host of awesome features to file sharing on Windows, including streaming media as you download, a new remote control interface, and drag-and-drop file sharing. Now, if you’re downloading media, uTorrent will download it from beginning to end, letting you stream the music or video as it downloads, so you don’t need to wait until it’s finished. It also has a really simple drag-and-drop torrent creation tool, which is great if you want to share files with your friends.
Among the new features, it also adds a revamped remote access interface, so you can monitor your torrents from any other computer or from your Android phone. uTorrent 3.0 is a free download for Windows only.
uTorrent 3.0 also offers under-the-hood improvements including a focus on stability as well as improved Web seeding to add speed and reliability to the process of finding the original source of a single-source file.
If we were to compare the two, then uTorrent would just have its nose in front of Vuze but that’s not undermining Vuze’s quality or its features in anyway. It only surges ahead due to its smaller size and greater downloading speeds as recently proved. But Vuze has greater integration with gaming consoles and Apple devices. Finally, it is up to the user which one he/she prefers.