Head to Head – Transmission vs Tomato Torrent

What’s the best BitTorrent client for Mac? On Softonic it seems the favorite is still Azureus. I like Azureus, especially because it has so much statistics and features that you can go and tweak for hours. Still, I think it’s pretty resource intensive and probably not the friendliest torrent client for somebody who’s new to downloading. You can go with the basic BitTorrent client, but why when there are better ones around? Two highly popular alternatives are Tomato Torrent and Transmission. Let’s see how they compare to each other.

Tomato TorrentFirst up, Tomato Torrent. On start up this client doesn’t look like your usual BitTorrent client, as it shows a starting point window, where you get to choose different actions depending on whether you’re downloading or serving torrents. Even after you’ve launched a torrent you’ll have to get accustomed to it, as Tomato Torrent only displays the selected torrent with its own options and status.

You can adjust the different settings, like the number of incoming connections and upload maximums and minimums individually. Once a download is started you’ll see a progress bar, including percentage and status detail, like the download rate or the number of peers and seeds. From the preferences menu you can set how Tomato Torrent automatically stops completed torrents: according to time, percentage or amount of data. You can also choose the default maximum upload rate and have it automatically changed when finished.

TransmissionTransmission has a more common interface, similar to most download managers, which shows all your torrents in a list. Torrents can be viewed in five different ways: all, active, downloading, seeding and paused. Transmission automatically shows upload and download rates and it includes a search box to find torrents more quickly. You can pause and resume downloads any time and add colored labels to them.

In the preferences you’ll see you can set download and upload limits. Even better is the speed limit mode, which overrides total bandwidth limits. This comes in handy if you don’t want Transmission hogging your connection. Speed limit can be scheduled during the day. Similarly you can set limits to the number of global connections and connections for new transfers. Even better, Transmission lets you prefer encrypted peers and block bad ones.

My personal preference goes to Transmission, as I find it very easy to use, yet fitted with just the right set of features, like encryption or speed limit. It’s simple yet complete. Tomato Torrent is a bit more basic, but it has a step through feel that makes a good choice for first time downloaders. Nothing can really go wrong with Tomato Torrent, as the application takes you through the downloading process all the way. After that, the choice is yours.

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