Frostwire, Bittorrent Client With Built-In Search

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 8, 2012
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
File Sharing, Software

One of the reasons for the success of the file sharing application Limewire was that it offered everything that one needed to get started. The program came with built-in options to search for and download files. All you had to do was to key in names that you were interested in, wait for the search results to populate, to start downloading any interesting sounding files with another click.

Frostwire takes that concept and makes it available as a Bittorrent client. While you can use the p2p software like any other Bittorrent client, it is the built-in search that many users will find most useful. The program supports eight different torrent indexers, including The Pirate Bay, Mininova, Isohunt or BTJunkie.

frostwire p2p client

All you need to do is to enter a search term and hit the enter key to search all or only selected torrent indexing sites. Filters allow you to limit the search results, for instance to only display audio or document results, or files with a specific minimum file size.

Results are displayed with their name, number of seeders, total file size, source, creation date and file extension with options to sort by all values. This can be helpful to sort from largest to lowest file size or seeder count for instance.

Once you have selected files you have options to download them all at once to your computer with a click on the download button or by double-clicking individual files. All downloads are added to the transfer display that is displayed beneath the search results. Controls at the bottom of the page are available to pause, resume or cancel file downloads, or to play media type directly in the interface.

All downloads are automatically available in the Library tab. Files are sorted into categories such as programs, images or audio with options to create audio playlists right in the program. A search is also provided to find files faster, which appears to be necessary as it is not possible to display files by download. The explore option, available in the bottom bar and on right-click, lets you open the folder containing the selected file in Windows Explorer.

frostwire library

Frostwire can transfer files to connected phones or tablets, the interface does not seem overly intuitive though. There is also a chat available for users who'd like to chat with the FrostWire community.

The options hold several interesting preferences. Users of Apple's iTunes software can configure Frostwire to automatically import downloaded songs into iTunes. It is furthermore possible to add or remove folders that are included in the library, to configure keywords that should not be displayed in the search results (with an extra option to ignore adult contents), and to change Bittorrent related preferences like the port that is used for all connections.

Users who would like an all-in-one program should take a closer look at Frostwire. Combination of search and downloading makes it much more usable than comparable clients. Features offered by other Bittorrent clients like uTorrent are on the other hand not available. This includes the ability to play media while it is still downloading or a web client to manage downloads remotely.

The program will install the Ask Toolbar and another program during installation if you do not pay attention to the process.

Frostwire is available for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Android 2.1+ operating systems.


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  1. charliechan said on January 10, 2012 at 7:47 am


    I really think you should highlight the following comment in RED in your article, “The program will install the Ask Toolbar and another program during installation if you do not pay attention to the process.”
    I see this tool bar installed on so many client’s computers because they don’t pay attention to the install process and its a useless toolbar!

    1. Midnight said on January 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

      Like many silly people, your clients click too fast, without reading what’s on their screens, then end up with useless toolbars and other crap!

      Once the toolbars are installed, their systems are wide open for spyware/malware and other nasties that get filtered through those waste of time toolbars!!

      Tell them to slow down and smarten up! :)

      1. charliechan said on January 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        You did! I was just recommending you highlight the sentence in Red or Bold typeface.

      2. charliechan said on January 11, 2012 at 10:45 am

        I always tell them to read before they start click, I just want Martin to point that out too! I know most people who read the articles here are quite technically inclined, but there are lots of people who search for stuff and end up here reading an interesting article, like myself (and then subscribing to them) who would benefit from knowing a program wants to install a useless toolbar.

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on January 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

        I thought I did add that to the article?

  2. FrostWire said on January 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the most spot on review of our software we’ve read in over a year.

    You guys truly tried it.

    Feel free to write us if you want to know what we’re up to.

  3. Midnight said on January 9, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Well, folks, should SOPA get put through in law, by the U.S. Congress, we may just see Every Torrent client and P2Ps disappear!!

    Let’s hope that the politicians come to their senses and smell the coffee for what it really is and not commit political suicide, for no valid reason!!

  4. Midnight said on January 9, 2012 at 2:13 am

    Thanks for this, Martin. I’ll check it out!

  5. Threshold said on January 9, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Emule is still the best all inclusive p2p protocol.
    Never understood why it never took off in the States.

  6. smaragdus said on January 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    FrostWire was a good application as a Gnutella client (all versions before 5), but since the Gnutella support was cut it is absolutely useless, it is adware, it is banned by many torrent trackers and there are many better and clean torrent clients. The worst about FrostWire is that the developers removed all versions prior to version 5 from its project page at

    1. Midnight said on January 9, 2012 at 2:12 am

      I wouldn’t say absolutely useless, as it still does what it claims to do and that’s a good start.

      Granted, the Gnutella client was what made it really worth using, but it’s still quite useful, regardless.

      So, in your opinion, smaragdus, what are some of the better torrent clients that would be better than FrostWire?

      Just asking! :)

      1. smaragdus said on January 9, 2012 at 7:04 am

        In my opinion- old versions of µTorrent, old versions of Azureus (before the Vuze era), old versions of BitComet (for example- BitComet 0.61, BitComet 0.70), BitSpirit, qBittorrent, Tixati, Deluge. My opinion is based on my own experience and on trackers’ recommendations/bans. There are many Torrent clients (even Transmission is available for Windows as Transmission-Qt) but this is not the case with the Gnutella clients- only Shareaza, Cabos, and Phex and all of them seem to be discontinued. There are some others, but either terribly buggy (gtk-gnutella), or abandoned (LimeWire), or limited free version (Zultrax), or no longer supporting Gnutella (BearShare, iMesh). So my point is that FrostWire was valuable and unique as a Gnutella client since it offered a good support for the Gnutella network, There are not many (if amy) actively developed Gnutella clients right now. While there are many and, in my opinion, better Torrent clients.

  7. Dean said on January 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Used this years ago; forgot all about it. Thought they’d stopped developing it!

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