The Torrent Master Is Back

very good
key review info
  • Application: Azureus 2.3.0.6 Final
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
application features
  • Multiple torrent downloads
  • (12 more, see all...)

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I've come to realize that torrents are the recent craze nowadays. Well, they've been a craze for a while, I'm not a complete noob. I've also realized that using the default bittorrent downloader can be a bit clunky when you have more than 3 torrent going at once.

As one of the leading torrent clients out there, Azureus brings together functionality, multi-tasking and definitely fast download speeds. I want to see if it really is the best bittorrent client out there.

Inside the belly of the beast

After installing Azureus, I purposely left my taskbar manager open to see how much of a resource hog Azureus actually is. Since it's based on a java platform, I wanted to see if it did in fact use more and more of my system's resources.

On startup, I was asked what sort of user I was (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and chose to go with the advanced user so I can have the most options at my disposal. I then chose my connection speed and specified my open ports and was on my way (I did have to disable my firewall since it had detected it was blocking an essential port). I had to specify a default folder while enabling resume capabilities.

The layout of Azureus can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. It's a dual pane GUI with different tabs for different features. The most basic one is the 'My Torrents' tab, which includes the basics like, the rating of your files, a status of your files (how good of a connection you have), the name of the file being downloaded.

You also get more in depth information like how many seeders and peers you're connected to, your download speed, ETA and a few more options, but you don't have the ability to fully control what you get from your download.

The cool part about Azureus is that it creates new tabs for appropriate functions. Instead of bringing you lots of unsorted and clustered windows, you receive a nicely organized tab list. From there you can go back and forth between information windows.

Your second major tab that gets created if you choose so is your 'Statistics' tab. Here you can view activities, transfers, your cache, and the distributed database. The last mini-tab is the 'Vivaldi' tab, which is part of Azureus' DHT (Distributed Hash Tables). Vivaldi is a virtual positioning system that computes a position for every peer in the system.

I liked this tab's functionality because you can actually take a comparative view of what your torrents are doing at any given time.

Azureus lets you track and specify maximum upload and download speeds like many other clients. Azureus also gives users the option of opening files from within a torrent that hasn't fully finished downloading yet. Azureus' functions can be heftily increased with the use of plugins.

When it comes to download speed, Azureus can be your best friend, this latest release still holds that to be true. But, because it is an overall system drain the longer you leave it running, it leaves a little more to be desired.

On startup I noticed that the memory usage was around 10Mb; after about a half hour I was up to 55Mb of usage. For a lot of users who don't have a great system to begin with, this fact might enlighten the disillusioned. Yes, it is a great torrent client, yes you do get great speeds, but the bottom line is that you're going to get significant system draining the longer you leave it running.

The Good

It currently supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix. Azureus has resume capabilities, it's packed with goodies and support. You can log onto an IRC help channel if you ever need the help. Has tracking capabilities and a lot of configurable settings. It has nearly everything you want from a torrent client. Tons of supported languages and a whole lof of added features. Check them out.

The Bad

I had some trouble since I didn't have the latest java release. Without it, Azureus seems to start up and runs in the background, you get no window pane to work with, but instead you get a silent program tolling your system. It will slowly but surely take over your RAM usage, so beware.

The Truth

As one of the best torrent clients and one of the most popularly used, it's pretty hard to say that this is not a great product, because it is. But remember, for those who don't have as much RAM, this will become a system hog. You should take this into consideration for the typical size of torrents you usually download. If they tend to be longer, you're going to get a larger system toll. If you really don't care, then this program will be your best friend. This latest version has a lot of updates, bug fixes and some changes. Check out the full list right here.

Check out some screenshots below.

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user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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