Over the past six months the developers over at BitTorrent have been working on a new web client. Today they have announced that the official Alpha version of the client, BitTorrent Surf is ready to use which will allow you to download torrents directly via your browser.
The client is for Chrome only at the moment and can be downloaded directly from the Chrome Store. There are plans for a Firefox release, so stay tuned.
Once you have installed the add-on, you will notice the new icon at the top-right of your browser. Using it is very simple and intuitive.
The first time you click on the icon, you will see an introduction to the client which you can simply dismiss by hitting Done.
Next it will let you select your default search engine. Once you have selected it, hit Use Selected
Next you will want to search for a torrent to download. The default sites that it will use to search for torrents at first will be via The Internet Archive and the Search Engine (Google) you chose earlier
You can add more URL’s to search for your torrents if you wish like, The Pirate Bay, Kick Ass Torrents, Mininova etc. Note if The Pirate Bay is blocked by your ISP in your country then just add the URL of the proxy workaround instead. The site is blocked by my ISP BT (UK ISP) so I just added the proxy I use which is (http://pirateproxy.net/)
Another very useful feature of this add-on is that it will automatically recognize a torrent indexing site when you land on its page. For example if I were to head on over to Kick Ass Torrents, then the add-on would notify me via a small red + showing on its icon that it has found a new URL that can be added to your list of torrent indexes.
Clicking on the notification will ask you if you want to add it to your list
Searching for torrents is a breeze. In my example I wanted to download a copy of Ubuntu, so I just clicked on the BitTorrent Surf icon and simply typed Ubuntu in to the search area. Note the search results that you can see below are using the default search settings (no extra URL’s were added) which are The Internet Archive and Google
Now just hit the download icon (Green Arrow) to start the download. If you do add multiple URL’s to search more sites like TPB and KAT you will see more results, but you won’t be inundated. It appears that only the best seed/leach ratio appears which is great. Speed wise was really good for me and maxed out my connection.
By hovering over the health bars you can get an indication of the seed to peer ratio
By default your files will be downloaded to My Documents. (I tested this on a PC running XP so your folder may differ) You can change the default saving folder easily though by hitting Options>Set Download Options
Bear in mind that this is an early Alpha though, so there are going to be some bugs. That said it worked great during my testing. As always if you don’t want other people to see what you are downloading then use a VPN for added security.
If you do find any, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org as the devs would love your feedback.