uTorrent bundles Bitcoin Miner, time for some alternatives
Update: This is uTorrent's official statement on the matter.
This morning users on the uTorrent forum started to report that EpicScale, a Bitcoin miner, was installed on their systems without their permission after upgrading to uTorrent 3.4.2 Build 38913.
According to those users, they did pay attention to the third-party offers displayed in the installer and did not accept any of those.
EpicScale on the other hand was not offered to them according to their reports. This was refuted later on by a uTorrent staffer who stated that partner software downloads would not occur without user approval.
We have reviewed the issue closely and can confirm there is no silent install happening. It is in fact impossible for partner software to be installed without user permission. We are continuing to look at the issue. But it is almost certain these users accepted the offer during install.
A quick test installation showed that several partner offers were included during the installation process but EpicScale was not one of them.
What makes EpicScale particularly worrying is the fact that it uses the computer's cpu cycles to mine Bitcoin.
Windows users who have installed that version of uTorrent should check the Task Manager (with a tap on Ctrl-Shift-Esc) to make sure EpicScale is not running on their system.
Even if those allegations are not true, bundling a software like EpicScale with uTorrent is highly problematic as it uses system resources all the time while running.
It may be time to switch to another torrent client.
List of uTorrent alternatives that you may try
All torrent clients below do not include third-party offers or are portable.
Deluge (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Deluge - This is a cross-platform BitTorrent client available for windows, Linux and Mac OS X. supports a wide variety of features: ButTorrent Protocol Encryption, uTorrent Peer Exchange, Local Peer Discovery, Mainline DHT, RSS, bandwidth scheduling and speed limits.
Deluge supports client and server operations meaning that you can run it on a remote server and connect to it from your desktop. That's one option though and if you want to run it only on your desktop, you can do that as well.
Deluge looks fairly similar to uTorrent before BitTorrent took over. So, a clean interface without advertisement that puts you in control.
Torrent downloader for Android. Is powered by advertisement but supports a variety of features including universal plug and play, nat-pmp, DHT, RSS feeds, magnet links, priorities and more.
If you like to download torrents on Android Flud is one of the apps you can use for that. What speaks for it is its support of all important features.
The one thing that you may dislike is that it is powered by ads. An ad free version is offered on the other hand that you cant purchase to get rid of those ads.
qBittorrent (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Another cross-platform client that ships with a clean installer and an impressive list of features. Supports all Bittorrent extensions (magnet and BitComet uris, DHT, Peer Exchange, Full Encryption), torrent queuing and prioritizing, UPnP and NAT-PMP support, RSS support, bandwidth scheduler, IP filtering and sequential downloading. The interface is similar to that of uTorrent as well.
- Aria2 - If you don't mind working from the command line, Arira2 may be the tool for you. It is a full featured BitTorrent client for Windows, OS X and Android.
- Tixati - It takes some getting used to time as the interface is different than what you expect from a client. Tixati is available for Windows and Linux.
- Transmissions Win - Available for Windows, it is an unofficial build of the popular client for Mac OS X and Linux.
The uTorrent client has been walking the path of the dark side for quite some time. The two biggest issues right now from a user perspective are the partner offers that the installer ships with and the advertisement that has been integrated into the client.
While you can avoid the installer by downloading a portable version and disable ads, it may be time to switch clients for good and forget about uTorrent regardless of what a great client it was in the past.
My pick? I switched to qBittorrent some time ago and never looked back. You can read my review of qBittorrent here.
Now You: Which Bittorrent client are you using?Advertisement