June 13, 2005 09:36 PM PST
is one of the most popular BitTorrent
clients out there. It's written in Java which I typically avoid due to massive memory and CPU hogging, but I decided to try it out on my AMD64 machine anyway. I'm actually pretty happy with it. It is a nerd's paradise of statistics graphs and tweakable settings for each download. It is also open source and spyware free, which is a lot better than the recent crop of spyware laden p2p apps.
A few things... Make sure you've mapped port 6881 on your router to the machine running the BitTorrent client. Without opening this port to your computer, your download speeds will be severely limited. Azareus has a built in test menu option to test if the port is properly accesible from the outside world.
Also, from the menu "Plugins -> Installation Wizard -> From sourceforge.net", select SafePeer and install it (takes a few minutes). This is basically an IP blacklist that will "optimize" your client. Notice that downloading plugins and updates for Azareus happen over BitTorrent! Pretty cool; they "eat their own dogfood".
Azareus likes to keep seeding files long after you've downloaded them, but you can tweak this behavior by tweaking the Options -> Queue -> Seeding -> Ignore Rules section and ignoring torrents with a low number of seeds and peers. Also, there is no anonymity in standard BitTorrent (there's a reason the index is called a "tracker").
BitTorrent was developed to distribute very popular, large files over the internets, such as Linux distributions, game demos and movie trailers. Of course all manner of other data is available from sites that always are at risk of being shut down, such as mininova, torrentreactor.to and torrentspy. Regardless of your socialist leanings or personal feelings about fair use - do not download executable files from any untrusted P2P system
! Even a virus scanner cannot detect custom modifications that add trojan horses to an executable.