Download torrents with Torrent Tornado for Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 11, 2014

Firefox users who download torrent files occasionally can install the Torrent Tornado add-on for the web browser to do so.

The main advantage over installing a dedicated torrent client is its simplicity. Torrent Tornado does not require the installation of binary components or another program outside of the browser which means that it can be used right after installation of the extension in the browser and the required restart of it.

The browser extension adds a new icon to Firefox's main toolbar which you can move around or hide if you prefer to do so.

Torrent Tornado maps magnet links and the torrent file type so that it is automatically used whenever you click on either in Firefox. It is possible to disable that in the options which can be useful if you use a dedicated client most of the time but want to use the add-on occasionally only.

The extension displays an add torrent dialog whenever you click on a torrent file or magnet link in Firefox. The dialog highlights information about the torrent in the first step and displays all of its files in the second.

Each torrent is added to the download queue of the extension which you can open with a click on the icon in the Firefox interface or by loading about:downloads-torrent directly instead.

There you find all relevant information listed including names, save locations, the download speed, connected peers, completion and more.

Additional information are displayed at the bottom for the selected torrent. This includes the trackers used, a list of files and their completion status, and the connected peers.

Torrents can be paused, resumed or canceled at any time from the interface. It is furthermore possible to add new torrent files manually. This can be a torrent from the local system or a url pointing to a torrent or a magnet link.

As far as options are concerned, they are limited in comparison to dedicated torrent clients.

You can change the maximum memory cache size and maximum number of peers in there. Options to set download and upload limits, to block IP addresses or configure other advanced features such as prioritized downloading are missing from the client.

Not every user needs those features on the other hand.


If you are using Firefox and prefer to use a client integrated in the browser, then you will find that Torrent Tornado fits that profile.

While it does not offer many advanced features, it makes up for that somewhat by being easy and comfortable to use. It can also be a valid option in environments where you cannot install torrent clients on the computer system but are allowed to install browser extensions.

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5 based on 2 votes
Software Name
Torrent Tornado
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  1. kevin wayne said on May 8, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Using torrent tornado. I find it a bit slow, it won’t go much over 2.5 MB speeds but hey it works fine. I would like to see it go faster though maybe the developers can take care of that part all in all great add on

  2. Ray said on November 13, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Just read the addon description on the Firefox Addons site.

    Uploads are not implemented yet. Some might say this is a good thing, however, you might get banned for not uploading anything.

    Addon download size is quite small (around 120kb), which is quite amazing! Haven’t tested it yet though. I do want to stop using my older version of uTorrent. (I’m still using an older version b/c of bloat in v3).

  3. XenoSilvano said on November 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    For someone who already uses a dedicated torrent client on the computer and a portable version of the same on a USB drive, would it be worthwhile for them to get this add-on?

    Whenever I boot-up the computer, one of the first two programes that usually take the initiative to start-up first are the browser (Firefox of course) and the torrent client (so that I may continue seeding/leeching), I will typically leave these two programes on for as long as the computer stays on.

    Seeing as the browser and the torrent client are two programes that are on persistantly throughout the entire time the computer is on and as all of the torrents I get are always done so through the browser itself, it would then make it rather convenient to have an add-on within the browser that could sustitute the function of the torrent client.

    Although I will give this a try to see whether a trial will sway my opinion, as alluded to in the article above, I question its performance in comparison to the dedicated client that I already use. It is rather hard to substitute a mainstream programe that you have become accustomed to for a lesser known add-on, that is, unless it can offer something that the mainstay does not.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      I don’t think this is worthwhile for users who run a dedicated client already as you don’t really gain anything by running it in the browser (apart from running one instead of two programs)

  4. Ray said on November 13, 2014 at 1:21 am

    How’s the memory usage in Firefox when using Torrent Tornado?

    I would imagine it would increase the memory quite a bit.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 13, 2014 at 8:24 am

      It is limited to a certain amount in the settings (I think it is 250 extra but am not 100% sure). Have not tried to add a massive amount of torrents though to see what happens then.

  5. Sukhen said on November 12, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Java again? I am also critical of.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      JavaScript not Java.

  6. CHEF-KOCH said on November 12, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Looks promising, I’m not that javascript fan but if it’s well designed, why not?
    Sad that it not works on mobile devices, using utorrent there but the app is an battery eater and bugged as hell.
    On the desktop it works quite good, some options are missing from other well known clients but nothing that can’t be fixed. The browser getting more and more to an all-in-one solution, I only hope that there will be one day an native firewall or av integrated to better protect people without need an software desktop based solution.

    1. fokka said on November 12, 2014 at 11:17 am

      in-browser antivirus sounds convenient, but i’d still prefer a standalone solution, since that also blocks malware from email and other sources like usb, network, etc.

      if you don’t like utorrent on android you can give flud a try. i didn’t test it myself, but i heard positive things about it:

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 12, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Browsers one day can do nearly anything I guess and better security is definitely one of the things that needs to come as well.

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