This was surely a long time coming, but it looks like there is a real add-on available for users who want to download BitTorrent files in Firefox. Previously we had reviewed FoxTorrent that worked as expected, but it had to install an additional application that was used to do the dirty work. It basically just used Firefox as a Web interface for the application.

The new add-on, called FireTorrent, doesn’t install any additional applications on your computer. On my Vista machine I had some troubles getting it installed because the add-on does modify Firefox’s chrome located in the directory where you installed Firefox. For that reason I’m not sure if this should really be classified as an extension. This also means that it isn’t stored in your Firefox profile folder like other extensions, so you will need to reinstall this each time you wipe Firefox from you computer (even if you have your profile backed up).

With that being said the FireTorrent add-on works extremely well after you install it. I clicked on a link to a Torrent and I saw the exact same popup that I would see if I was downloading a normal file. It asked if I wanted to open or save the file, and after picking an option I was taken to the normal Firefox download manager except it had a new "Torrent" tab on it:


I like that it is so well integrated into Firefox because it now seems like a natural process to download Torrents, just like with the Opera browser.

Clicking on the "More Info" link next to a download will reveal things like how many sources you’re downloading from as well as how fast you’re uploading. I had almost though they forgot to include this essential information, but instead they just did a good job of keeping the interface free of clutter.

It also has several options available that lets you customize things like the upload/download speed limitations in addition to the port number that’s used. Here are two screenshots that show all of the settings it has to pick from:

FireTorrent FireTorrent
Click to Enlarge

Graphically FireTorrent seems to be lacking a little bit as seen in the screenshots. The background color seems to be a little off, but that might be attributed to me using this on a Firefox 3 nightly build.

As far as download speeds go I would say that they are pretty good. Not quite what I get from a dedicated BitTorrent application, but I didn’t expect to get outstanding results. The entire point of having BitTorrent capabilities built-in to the browser is for the added convenience. If I had a huge file to download (several gigabytes) I would using a BitTorrent program to download it since I’ll get the best performance.

If you’re looking to add some BitTorrent goodness to your Firefox I would recommend checking FireTorrent out. Alternatively they also create a browser called Wyzo that is based on Firefox and has the BitTorrent integration already installed (and actually has a pretty cool skin).

Source: Mozilla Links

Thanks to netster007x for the tip!