Next uTorrent version to be browser based

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 24, 2017

In the latest episode of Torrentfreak's Steal This Show podcast, BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen reveals that the next uTorrent version will run in a web browser.

When it comes to popular BitTorrent clients, uTorrent is probably the most popular of them all. With about 150 million active users per month, it easily beats other popular Bittorrent solutions by a large margin.

While that is the case, development has stalled more or less in the past five or so years. Updates were released regularly for the application, but new features that would get users excited about were not really released.

One of the main reasons for that was the focus on other endeavors by uTorrent's parent company BitTorrent Inc.

While uTorrent attributes to a large percentage of the company's revenue, focus was laid on expanding the business in other directions using the popular technology as the backbone. The company launched BitTorrent Sync -- which was renamed to Resilio Sync later on and moved to its own business -- and BitTorrent Live, a P2P real-time streaming technology for instance.

uTorrent meanwhile continued to be successful, but criticism of the program and its parent company rose. Ads were introduced in the program, and it all culminated in the bundling of a Bitcoin miner with the application. The company promised later on to move away from the bundled software monetization model.

Things have calmed down at BitTorrent Inc, according to the interview. About 50 people work for the company which wants to focus on proven products in the future.

uTorrent in the web browser

The company makes most of its money from advertisement in uTorrent. This is not going away, according to the interview. What must come as a surprise to many users of the program however is that the future version of uTorrent will run in a browser.

Moving a desktop program to the browser is a major undertaking and cut, one that will certainly be disliked by part of the program's userbase.

According to Cohen, the web based uTorrent will offer a "nicer experience", "modern widgets", and a "greatly improved streaming experience" as users may stream torrents directly from the browser.

What is going to happen to the desktop client? Cohen does not say; maybe some form of integration is planned, a side by side option at least for the foreseeable future, or, and that is also a possibility, it is abandoned once users start to move to the web based version.

A web-based version offers advantages and disadvantages over desktop programs. On the pro side, there is nothing to run or install anymore, as it runs in a browser. It may also be run from any location, but it is unclear right now how the actual handling of the torrent files is going to happen.

On the negative side, users will likely have to register accounts to use the web version. Some data will be stored in the cloud, which, depending on what uTorrent is being used for, may not be in the interest of part of the userbase.

As far as the future is concerned, BitTorrent Inc could introduce subscriptions, cloud-based storage options, VPN support, use of its own servers for file transfers, and more.

Closing Words

A web-based version will certainly be more lucrative than the standalone client. The main question is how many of uTorrent's current users are willed to move to the web-based version of the client, and how the migration will take place.

Now You: What's your take on the decision?

Next uTorrent version to be browser based
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Next uTorrent version to be browser based
In the latest episode of Torrentfreak's Steal This Show podcast, BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen reveals that the next uTorrent version will run in a web browser.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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