Is qBittorrent Safe and Reliable? [2024 Update]

Yes, qBittorrent is safe and reliable.

First, it is open-source, so its code is transparent (anyone can see inside the code). Second, it is also free and supported by donations, so they are not interested in adding bloatware or showing you ads. And third, qBittorrent also has a positive and strong reputation. It is widespread and quickly gaining traction as a favorite BitTorrent client. qBittorrent has never been caught for including any type of bloatware, crapware, or malware in its software, as other popular BitTorrent clients had. 

If you want to learn more about why qBittorrent is safe and reliable to use, keep reading. If you want to learn how to use it safer to download torrents, keep reading. 

is qBittorrent Safe?

Disclaimer: This material has been developed strictly for informational purposes. It does not constitute endorsement of any activities (including illegal activities), products or services. You are solely responsible for complying with the applicable laws, including intellectual property laws, when using our services or relying on any information herein. We do not accept any liability for damage arising from the use of our services or information contained herein in any manner whatsoever, except where explicitly required by law.

Table of Contents.

  1. What is qBittorrent?
  2. How Safe is qBittorrent in 2024?
  3. What do Others Say About qBittorrent?
  4. Four Ways to Make qBittorrent Safer.
  5. Final Thoughts.

1. What is qBittorrent?

qBittorrent is one of the best BitTorrent clients but, unfortunately, highly underrated. Despite being cross-platform, free, open-source, ad-free, fast, and feature-rich, it has been under the shadow of the two popular Bittorrent clients (uTorrent and BitTorrent). qBittorrent was designed to be an alternative to uTorrent and other popular BitTorrent clients. 

qBittorrent is developed in C++ / Qt 5 toolkit (software for creating GUI and cross-platform apps) and the libtorrent-rasterbar library (an alternative library to other BitTorrent implementations). It is known for its built-in torrent search engine (written in Python and installed via search plugins), which lets you search for your torrents in your favorite torrent indexers and download them, all from the same place.  

The latest qBittorrent stable release is v.4.6.2 (released in 2024), with various bug fixes and improvements. 

Reliable and safe qBittorrent sources: 

  • The best place to download qBittorrent is from its official website. Always check the latest stable version. 
  • You can also download and see the open source. Check the official GitHub qBittorrent project.
  • If you already have qBittorrent but want to download qBittorrent’s search plugins, check GitHub’s qBittorrent project.
  • qBittorrent does not provide support (it is free and open source), but you can look for similar questions as yours or post new ones through their qBittorrent forum

2. How Safe is qBittorrent in 2024? 

To keep it simple, yes, qBittorrent is safe in 2024.  

qBittorrent has a clean reputation and thus has had a steady growth in popularity. Being open-source guarantees transparency. Anyone, the entire community’s eyes, can see inside the code and examine it to find malicious codes of lines, suggest bug fixes, or spot vulnerabilities. Fortunately, no one has ever found anything “malicious” with the qBittorrent code, and suggestions are quickly updated.

Another reason why qBittorrent is safe is again due to its open-source nature. qBittorrent does not attempt to make money from you by selling you a license or showing you ads. The way qBittorrent project pays itself and stays alive is through donations.

is qBittorrent Safe?
Photo by qBittorrent

a. qBittorrent is safe to install. 

As long as you download the software from an official and reliable source, the qBittorrent is safe and free from crapware, bloatware, or Malware.

Crapware (or bloatware) refers to the additional software included in the initial software package; it can be anything from a search bar (i.e., Bing), a web browser (i.e., Opera), antivirus (Symantec), or even a crypto-miner. This type of bloatware is usually installed in some tricky way during the installation wizard and, in a few cases (hidden) without the user’s knowledge. Crapware does not usually benefit the user in any way, and in some cases, it can be harmful. An extreme example of this is uTorrent’s infamous older versions which came with a hidden crypto-miner that stole the end-users computer resources to make money for someone else.

How to know if qBittorrent is free from Malware? 

If you Download qBittorrent from its official website or project, the software should be free from Malware. So, avoid unknown third-party websites that can bundle software with the qBittorrent’s initial installation. 

My antivirus blocks qBittorrent installation. In some cases, your antivirus or OS’s security system might flag qBittorent as a potential risk or block installation due to an unidentified developer. These kinds of detections are known as false positives. Due to the context in which qBittorrent is used, the software is “unfairly” often blocklisted under piracy apps, but this doesn’t mean the software is unsafe. Again, as long as you download the software from the official site, you should be good to install it. 

b. qBittorrent supports SOCKS5 Proxy. 

All the qBittorrent client versions (Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, and OS/2) can be used with a torrent proxy. qBittorrent comes with in-client support for SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies. Proxies are an excellent way to hide your local IP and remain anonymous while torrenting. When you configure qBittorrent with a proxy, all your BitTorrent traffic gets re-routed through the proxy server; the traffic receives a new IP and uses this IP on the torrent swarm. A proxy does not encrypt traffic as VPNs do. It masks the IP and is generally faster for downloading torrents (VPNs vs. proxies).

Although qBittorent supports HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies, we recommend using SOCKS5. The SOCKS5 proxy is a Session (layer 5) protocol, capable of re-routing all traffic and protocol information and including authentication as a security mechanism.

is qBittorrent Safe?
Photo by qBittorrent

3. What do Others Say About qBittorrent? 

qBittorrent is the most popular P2P BitTorrent client in SourceForge (a web service for managing and controlling open-source software projects). In addition, it was awarded SourceForge’s Open Source Excellence badge. The badge goes to software that reaches 100,000 total downloads or 10,000 monthly downloads for the first time.

is qBittorrent Safe?
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In addition, according to user ratings from SourceForge, the qBittorrent software gets 4.6 out of 5 stars. People rate qBittorrent highly for its ease of use, features, design, and support (via issue reporting on GitHub). 

is qBittorrent Safe?
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qBittorrent is also the most popular download in FussHub. Fusshub is a website and platform that offers free, popular, and clean applications (free from adware, spyware, bundles, and malware). It does not bombard its visitors with ads; they just have a single ad on top of its download page.

According to the FussHub website, qBittorrent is the top application with the most downloads (197,998,720) as of January 2024. To compare qBittorrent with other torrent clients, Deluge has 23K, Tixati 7.5K, and BitComet 230K downloads.   

is qBittorrent Safe?
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4. Four Ways to Make qBittorrent Safer. 

When it comes to the application itself, qBittorrent is safe, reliable, and legal. In addition, you can tweak specific qBittorrent settings to make it safer. For instance, you can change your application’s ports, use qBittorrent’s built-in BitTorrent encryption to enforce encryption between torrent peers, or configure it to route the BitTorrent traffic through a SOCKS5 proxy.  

But still, due to the nature of what is generally downloaded with the BitTorrent protocol (on any of its clients), qBittorrent can be easily turned into a gateway to unsafe and illegal content. 

qBittorrent can be made safer with the following torrenting best practices and recommendations (as is with any other BitTorrent client):

a. Download torrents from safe and legal sources.

As a protocol, BitTorrent is legal to use, but how you use it can determine everything in the legal context. You can legally download the free Ubuntu Linux distributions (offered via alternative torrent downloads), distribute your own creations, or push updates to your large distribution of global servers. Do all of these, and qBittorrent is safe and legal. But use qBittorrent to download copyright material, and you are using the torrent client for illegal activity.

b. Use proxy or VPN.

As stated before, qBittorrent supports proxy configuration. When you configure a proxy with qBittorrent, your BitTorrent traffic gets re-routed through the proxy server and gets a new IP. With a new IP, you can be anonymous in a torrent swarm. A VPN is another way to keep qBittorrent safe. VPNs not only mask your IP (as proxies do) but also encrypt your traffic, so no middle man (ISP, hackers, governments, or network admin) can open your traffic and decipher it. 

c. Use a seedbox.

A seedbox is a Virtual Private Server (VPS), generally deployed on the cloud and offered via SaaS. Seedboxes are built for 24/7 torrenting and usually come with pre-installed torrent software such as qBittorrent, and other media-related apps like Plex, Handbreak, Jackett, Radarr, etc. Seedboxes are generally deployed in high-speed data centers with strong security and privacy measurements. A Seedbox is the ultimate protection level for your online anonymity and to keep you safe while torrenting. 

d. Join a private torrent tracker.

qBittorrent can be unsafe when you download from untrusted sources, but the same goes for your trusted web browser or cloud-based file sharing system. Public torrent trackers are generally unsafe places to download content. First, they can be nests of malware and viruses, as torrent creators can easily upload viruses masked like a movie, software, or song. And second, public trackers are more frequently monitored by copyright agencies. On the other hand, private trackers are closed communities with rich (and niche) media libraries, strict enrollment policies, and firm sharing ratio requirements. Private tracker communities tend to invite and know their members and content. 

5. Final Verdict.

Knowing that qBittorrent is open-source, has a clean reputation, and has no commercial intention of you using the software, we can imply that qBittorrent is safe. However, using it for careless torrenting can turn qBittorrent into a potential gateway for malware and viruses. When using qBittorrent, we always recommend using it with any suggested methods above to make it safer, including (proxy, VPN, seedbox, private tracker, or the suggested qBittorrent settings

About Diego Asturias

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Diego Asturias is a tech journalist who translates complex tech jargon into engaging content. He has a degree in Internetworking Tech from Washington DC, US, and tech certifications from Cisco, McAfee, and Wireshark. He has hands-on experience working in Latin America, South Korea, and West Africa. He has been featured in SiliconANGLE Media, Cloudbric, Pcwdld, Hackernoon, ITT Systems, SecurityGladiators, Rapidseedbox, and more.