Switchers – Mac alternatives to PC internet apps

Times readerIn this switchers series, I look for the best PC program in its category, find a Mac counterpart, and explain why it’s better, all in the hope that those of you that are still on PC will be tempted to switch, and those that are on Mac hopefully discover something new. We started off last week by looking at common computer tasks, like communicating with friends, exchanging emails or burning discs. It’s now time to take this series a little deeper and compare more specific PC and Mac applications. Today I want to focus on programs only related to internet, albeit without counting browsers, messengers and mail clients as these were already covered last week.

The term ‘internet application’ is pretty vague, especially nowadays when we are connected most of the time anyways.  This is why I’ve limited this list to very specific applications: BitTorrent clients, P2P tools, download managers, RSS readers, Usenet clients and FTP programs. I’ve tried to pick what I consider the best application in each category for both Mac and PC, however give a shout if you think there is a better program than the one mentioned.

  • uTorrent – Transmission – uTorrent is fast, lightweight and gives you extensive information on torrents. Transmission does all that AND has a speed limit mode, filtering and priority settings.
  • Ares Galaxy – Acquisition – It’s no surprise that Ares is so popular with PC users. It offers a large network, is fast and responsive and isn’t bogged down in features. Acquistion can search both the Gnutella and BitTorrent networks and has a beautiful and structured interface.
  • Internet Download Manager – Leech – Heavy duty downloaders will like having a program to handle all their files. Leech keeps downloads well organized, adds password protection and lets you mark URLs for future downloads.
  • Abilon – Times – News junkies will appreciate having a powerful desktop RSS reader. While Abilon for PC is both attractive and powerful, I prefer the original newspaper view of the Mac Times reader , the way you can stack articles to read and toggle feeds and pages.
  • UseNeXT – Unison – Addicted to newsgroups? UseNeXT provides a great way to browse through them and download at once. Unison for Mac is nothing short of impressive though: simple and intuitive, yet filled with features like multiple browser views, grouping and easy server setup.
  • SmartFTP – Transmit – The Mac client still beats the feature rich SmartFTP thanks to Amazon S3 support, handling of remote URLs, droplets and a functional interface.
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