Though qBitTorrent has been my go-to P2P downloader for a long time, I do like to try new clients once in a while, and was impressed with PicoTorrent. I came across a new BitTorrent downloader (not a proper client, explained further) which is open source, and has a minimalistic approach. This is TorSwarm.
It is in a very early stage of development. So, I wouldn’t compare it with polished applications.
TorSwarm is a portable software and comes in a tiny 227KB archive. The extracted folder is less than 1MB in size. The program’s interface doesn’t have a toolbar or menubar. Drag and drop a torrent file from explorer onto TorSwarm’s GUI, or include the path manually. You may also add a magnet link to download torrents. Set the download path, which is the folder where the torrent’s data will be saved.
The application does not have an options page or a right-click context menu or tray icon. Instead, the TorSwarm interface has a few settings that you can tinker with. This includes setting the maximum number of connections, connection timeout, minimum threads, handshake timeout, peers from tracker, piece timeout, metadata piece timeout.
Click the Start button to begin downloading the torrent. The Files pane, which is on the left side displays the list of files available in the selected torrent. The Output pane on the right logs the task.
Hit the Stop button to stop the download. As of now, the application does not support pausing and resuming downloads. So, if you stop a torrent midway, it re-downloads it from the start. This can result in a lot of data usage if you’re on a capped connection. That’s not a good thing, but I’d like to remind you again that the application is still in an early phase.
However, that’s not its biggest con. TorSwarm does not support uploading torrents, meaning you can’t seed back to other peers. This is considered unethical, aka leeching.
The program displays the current, average and max download rates in the bottom left, while the ETA details are displayed on the opposite side. A status bar is located on the bottom edge, and that displays the download progress, peers, among other information. A visual progress bar is displayed towards the far right corner. TorSwarm saves a log file in plain text in the output folder, with more stats about the download process.
The developer’s GitHub page acknowledges that the program does not support uTP, NAT, PnP, etc., currently. There is no way to set the upload or download limit either.
TorSwarm is written in C#. The source code is available on GitHub. The program doesn’t have anything to do with Tor, the letters in the name represent “Torrent”.
TorSwarm does a reasonably good job of downloading files, and I would term it as an interesting concept application in its current state. Its main flaws right now are the lack of support for uploading (seeding), pause and resume, as well as management features such as blocking IP addresses. If these features arrive in a future update, the program can be considered a proper BitTorrent Client. I’d also like to see options to add trackers (you can do this with a magnet perhaps), add or ban IPs, etc. As far as the performance is concerned, it is is quite light on resources.
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