If you’ve been on the internet for a while, you must remember the torrent craze of the early 2000s, when it was very popular to use a torrent client for Mac to download pretty much anything, from cracked software like Photoshop to movies and music. As a result, torrent client downloads forged a strong association with piracy, the one that still persists and haunts them to this day.
What’s a torrent client after all? It’s a program that relies on the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol, essentially meaning that instead of there being a single download stream from a single server there are users contributing their own bandwidth to help others download the file.
The way BitTorrent works, it’s the perfect system to download large files, such as media. That’s why downloading pirated videos has become so popular. But by the time the Netflix app for Mac and Spotify got released, the wave of using free download managers illegally was already on the massive decline. Still, by some conservative estimates, BitTorrent continues to be used by 250 million users every month.
As you can see, there’s nothing illegal in an internet download manager per se, it’s all in the way it’s used. If you’re downloading copyrighted material (e.g. the latest Game of Thrones episode), you’re likely infringing on someone else’s intellectual property, unless you’re using this material in some specific circumstances, such as critique or satire.
While this is not legal advice and laws change from state to state, what you definitely shouldn’t do with your internet download manager is share parts of the downloaded copyrighted files back to the web.
At the same time, there are lots of completely legal uses for a torrent client for Mac. As the BitTorrent protocol allows any number of users to support downloads by sharing their bandwidth, it makes getting large files to your computer much faster. In fact, companies such as Blizzard and Facebook, and even the UK government have used BitTorrent in the past to share files they own, either internally or with the general public.
The rise of on-demand media aggregators (e.g. Netflix app for Mac) offering nearly unlimited amount of content for a small monthly fee has largely decreased the popularity of free download managers.
However, it’s good to have a reliable internet download manager available just in case. And if so, what’s the best torrent client around? How do you choose among dozens?
Given the popularity on streaming websites, like YouTube and Vimeo, a modern torrent client for Mac should not only be able to fetch torrents but also grab videos (or music) from the streaming websites and download them to your computer while converting to your format of choice at the same time.
That’s why the best torrent client for Mac today is Folx download manager and torrent client app, which is able to download files from any URL or streaming website, in addition to acting as a robust torrent manager. Folx also splits downloads into multiple streams to speed up the process and even features a built-in torrent search. Best of all, the app itself is lightweight and doesn’t demand lots of power from your Mac.
In the end, whichever internet download manager you pick, remember to make sure that the files you download with it are free from copyright or you own copyright on them. Most importantly, never share copyrighted files with others or sell them at any price. If you abide by these rules, using a torrent client for Mac would be no different than any other software you have installed.