Downloading anything via BitTorrent is, generally speaking, quick and painless, but with so many torrent clients to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.

Built from the ashes of well known client Azureus, Vuze is one of the most powerful and feature-packed free options around today, making it an excellent choice for new and experienced users alike.

During the installation of Vuze there are various optional settings that you can configure. What’s great to see here is that everything is very clearly explained. For example, without the helpful descriptions, most people would have little idea what was meant by the Swarm Discoveries and Location Provider options.

Unfortunately, there’s also a bundled browser toolbar and extensions with the installer, but you can opt out of these if you pay attention.

Everything you would expect from a robust torrent client is present here, including magnet link support, bandwidth limiting and IP filtering.

here are also several interesting extras. Plugin support opens up a world of opportunity, and there’s a handy option to pause transfers for a set period of time before resuming them automatically.

Vuze Plus is a premium version of the client available for an annual license fee of US$14.90 (about £11, AU$19). The main differences are that you won’t see advertisements, you can preview media files while they download, and there’s built in virus protection and DVD burning. If you can live without these features and can ignore the ads, there’s no need to part with your money.

User experience

Vuze offers three modes: beginner, intermediate and advanced. All three are perfectly capable in their own right, but extra features such as proxy usage, running a tracker, and the ability to specify which peers should be used for individual torrents are available in the higher levels.

Vuze supports Tor, which is great news if you’re concerned about privacy, but isn’t something beginners are likely to tinker with.

There’s also a Vuze Android app, which can be used to control your download remotely, and there’s the option to download torrents automatically via RSS feeds.

Vuze won’t be for everyone (even the beginner mode feels a little complex at first), but it’s well worth persevering with.

The competition

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