So you’ve decided to try out uTorrent, the free bitTorrent client that everyone seems to be talking about. But you may have noticed several issues arising with your PC once downloads start flowing in. Most commonly, users complain about their computers slowing down while using uTorrent, something that shouldn’t normally occur for a program that’s as small as a few MB’s. Well, here’s the thing. uTorrent in itself doesn’t eat up too many resources, but when downloads are running, it can put your hard drive to the test. Not because uTorrent in itself is a massive program, but because downloading at extremely high speeds (which is not uncommon with the program) means continuous data transfers on your hard drive.
uTorrent has no limitations (at least not by default) on how fast in can download. Assuming your desired files are being shared by enough peers, your internet connection is up to the task and your hard drive (or SSD) can copy data fast enough, the sky is the limit for how fast you can download. I’ve reached speeds of nearly 30 MB/s, and the only limitation seemed to be my hard drive. At this speed however, my PC was pretty much unusable, and doing everything else (even browsing the internet) was a pain and a hassle. Another aspect to consider is the fact that uTorrent uses as much bandwidth as you have, so if you don’t manually limit download speeds, it will make viewing online videos or downloading from other sources hard or impossible. Thus, if you want to use your PC for other activities while using uTorrent, it’s best to limit download speeds. Usually a 5MB/second download speed is optimal, allowing fast downloads while simultaneously allowing you to perform other tasks (be it work, gaming, entertainment or simply browsing). The hard drive won’t sweat under the load at that speed, in any case.
Using uTorrent can also be problematic if your PC has a moderate or low amount of RAM. Caching can be problematic, so if your uTorrent client keeps filling up memory usage, try to either disable caching altogether, or update to a newer or more stable version of uTorrent. Downloading uTorrent is free, and is updating it, so if push comes to shove, just uninstall the client completely and do a fresh install. Regardless, if you don’t tamper with settings too much, uTorrent will perform remarkably well and won’t take any tolls on your PC. There are exceptions (as stated above), but these are rare, and overall, uTorrent is an extremely reliable client that we warmly recommend.