As one of the most popular torrent clients, uTorrent has a passionate community of users which has contributed hundreds of different skins. These skins can change the look and feel of the icons and buttons in uTorrent so you can personalize your torrent downloading experience. Some skins have over half a million downloads and counting which tells you how many uTorrent users are looking to customize their client.
Unfortunately, while uTorrent skins are easy to find, they are hard to install. There is no option that you can find in the uTorrent interface or preferences to replace a current skin with a new one. Instead, you will need to open up Windows Explorer and type in “%AppData%\uTorrent” (without quotes) to bring up the uTorrent settings folder. Download the new uTorrent skin and place it in this directory. After you restart uTorrent, you should be greeted with a brand-new user interface.
Recently, uTorrent has listened to the concerns of users and created a Skins app that can help you preview and install skins right from uTorrent itself. While this is a step in the right direction for usability, it would still be better if skins were supported directly by the uTorrent client.
Downloading torrents can sometimes be risky because you are sharing files with thousands of other BitTorrent users. Some users are actually organizations like the RIAA or MPAA which are trying to track the IP addresses of BitTorrent downloaders. Others are companies have been hired to upload junk data to slow down the process of torrent downloads.
To block these fake BitTorrent users, uTorrent has an advanced hidden option which allows you to add an IP blocklist which will block the connections from IP addresses that have identified as bad users. The blocklist feature can be turned on by going to Options -> Preferences and selecting the “Advanced” tab. Scroll down to the “ipfilter.enable” option and set the value to “true.”
Once the ipfilter option has been enabled, you will need to download a blocklist so uTorrent will know which IPs to block. Bluetack.co.uk is one of the best sources of blocklists available. Download the blocklist to your C:\Users\<username>\%AppData%\uTorrent\ folder and restart uTorrent.
uTorrent has an often overlooked feature that lets users control their torrent uploads and downloads even when you are not in front of their computer whether that means you are not at home or traveling. This simple feature is called Web UI and is a basic webpage that uTorrent creates that you can access anywhere in the world once you have turned it on.
To enable Web UI, go to Options -> Preferences and select “Web UI.” Check the “Enable Web UI” box and set up a username and password that only you know. Otherwise, it is possible that unknown users will be able to access your uTorrent client. An added security feature lets you restrict Web UI access to specific IP address which is especially helpful if you are accessing uTorrent from work. Simply determine the IP address of your work computer and enter into the uTorrent settings.
To access Web UI, simply type in http://IPAddress:PortNumber/gui/ in any browser. “IPAddress” is your home IP address, and “PortNumber” is the port number that uTorrent is listening to connections from. Once you are logged in, you can control uTorrent just as if you were sitting in front of your home computer.
One of the most common issues when downloading torrent files is bandwidth throttling which can occur when your ISP decides to restrict the amount of upload and download bandwidth available to BitTorrent users. This can mean slow download speeds even when you have signed up for a broadband Internet connection. Luckily, the makers of uTorrent have thought about the problem and have come up with several solutions to avoid bandwidth throttling.
The first step is to check your uTorrent setting by going to Options->Preferences and looking under the BitTorrent settings. Make sure “Protocol Encryption” is set to “Forced”, which can help to hide your torrent downloads from ISP scrutiny. Also, uncheck “Allow incoming legacy connections.”
One downside is that you may no longer be able to download from BitTorrent users who are not using protocol encryption which may slow down your downloads, but not as much as ISP throttling will.
You should also make sure that under Connection settings, “Randomize port each start” is checked because ISPs will often block or throttle certain port numbers that are used by BitTorrent clients.
By making sure that these two settings are set up correctly, you can ensure that your BitTorrent downloads are the fastest possible and not slowed down by your Internet service provider.
The latest version of uTorrent now supports third-party applications, or apps. Apps are lightweight add-ons to your favorite BitTorrent client and can either add additional features or open source content like games or videos to uTorrent.
Some cool apps include the Khan Academy app, which lets you download the newest educational content released by the non-profit organization, and the Make Magazine app, which features videos teaching you how to do-it-yourself. Other apps like uBrowse help you search for torrent files you have previously downloaded with uTorrent.
The uTorrent App Studio is still new so there are still less than 50 apps available, but apps are easy to build and install. In new versions of uTorrent, an “App” tab is has been inserted below the “Feeds” tab and features a complete listing of all the apps availabled for uTorrent. After selecting an app and clicking “Install”, uTorrent will ask you whether you want to install the app or not. Click “Yes”, and the app will be listed under the “App” tab in the uTorrent sidebar. Whenever new content is released, you’ll be able to discover it immediately by clicking on the appropriate app.
Every uTorrent user has their own list of the top uTorrent features. Our favorites range from the generally agreed-upon to the more obscure:
1. Fast: Not only is uTorrent fast to download, but it is fast to load.
2. Light: Everyone knows uTorrent is the most lightweight client in the world which is why so many people choose to use it as their main BitTorrent client.
3. Skins: Literally hundreds of skins are available for download for you to customize your uTorrent interface.
4. Apps: True to its mission to be the slimmest client, uTorrent lets the user community contribute non-essential client features as apps to be installed as users see fit.
5. Web Access: If you are way from home, you can still remotely access uTorrent securely and manage your torrent downloads.
6. Easy of Use: uTorrent just works without any technical knowledge or arcane firewall adjustments.
7. Regular Updates: Perhaps our favorite uTorrent feature is the regular updates which ensures that the newest protocol updates are being used for the fastest downloads.