One of the coolest features about Azureus is the fact that has so many plugins available as compared to other BitTorrent software for one to download and use. Being that there are so many, and that obviously those just getting started may rightly be intimidated by the prospect, I have taken the time to go through many of them for you to take a look at and perhaps download for yourself.
Furthermore, being that there are in excess of 50 plugins available, I will cover a number of them in this article, with the remainder to follow in succession.
Table of Contents
If you haven’t already downloaded Azureus, of course do so now. Also, for those unfamiliar with any of the terminology thus far or hence, a guide can be found here at Zeropaid which covers the basics of BitTorrent Terminology
To begin, visit the Azureus main page and select the plugin section.
This of course will take you to a list of the plugins available to download, a portion of which can be seen in the picture below.
Though not listed in alphabetical order, we will go over some of them as such to make it easier for you, the reader, to follow.
The first is a “progress” tab, which displays a time-line of the data downloaded per torrent in linear format. The X-axis is the time from when the torrent was first opened, and the Y-axis is the percent of completion.
The second is the “activity” tab which displays a comparative analysis of each torrent. It marks the limit of both the download and upload speeds and then shows a color-coded band per each torrent in the confines of those limits.
The third is the “transfer” tab which displays a variety of data transfer statistics. It shows not only the amount of data downloaded and uploaded per the current session that Azureus has been open and active, but also per a daily and complete system history that dates to when Azureus was first installed. I don’t know that I’ve ever needed to know such information, but I’m sure there are those who could find such numbers useful. Note: I’ve refrained from including a snapshot of this tab as such information regarding my transfer history is something I do not wish to publicize.
This is an interesting plugin that I really consider a “must have.” It automatically adjusts the global upload speed limits based on network latency in order to maximize download speeds. It pings a configurable IP address and uses the ping times to continually update the upload speed limit.
If you’ll notice in the picture below, it can be seen continually adjusting Azureus upload speed so as to indeed maximize the download speed.
This plugin does pretty much what the name implies, displaying a 3-D view of a torrent’s swarm. This is probably one of my favorites because it provides a graphic visualization of the data being transferred among you and the connected peers.
In the picture below you can see what the 3-D View plugin looks like. The cylinder in the center represents you, with the green and pink ones to the outside representing seeders and leechers respectively. The data you are downloading is denoted by the color blue, which you will notice flows inward to fill up your cylinder in the center. The data you are uploading, or actively sharing, is denoted by the pink “bullets” that are flowing from the center to the leechers on the outside of the ring.
To rotate the 3-D view, place the mouse arrow on your screen and hold down the “left-click” button. Now simply move the arrow around to rotate the display as you please.
This one isn’t exactly for me, as I’ve never been a big chat guy, but others may find it to their liking. It essentially creates 1 chat channel per torrent for connected peers to talk with one another. I don’t know that I’ve had much to say other than maybe “thanks” or “gimme,” though one could discuss a music artist for example, and recommend additional albums or alternative artists for one to take a look at. To use this plugin, simply click on the torrent you wish to chat about and it will log you in to the chat channel automatically. Then simply type your comments in the chat box at the bottom of the window as shown below.
For those who use Firefox as their internet browser you are familiar with it’s download manager. The FireFog plugin offers the same thing, providing a separate window that displays the status of your torrents as the data is either being leeched or seeded. As shown below, the progress bar shows the percentage of completion just as it does in Firefox’s download manager. So for those who want a simple progress display to place on the desktop while doing other tasks without having to keep Azureus open, give this plugin a try.
The I2P Network plugin allows use of the I2P anonymous network. I2P is an anonymizing network, offering a simple layer that identity-sensitive applications can use to securely communicate. All data is wrapped with several layers of encryption, and the network is both distributed and dynamic, with no trusted parties. According to I2P’s site, I2P is not “perfectly anonymous,” but instead is a means to make it more difficult and expensive for people to collect data and mount attacks on users.
This one can get a little complicated as it involves proxy configuration and advanced port setup. So for those advanced users who wish to learn more about getting this plugin up and running properly, a configuration tutorial can be found HERE.
This plugin imports a list of IP addresses from Blocklist.org to use as an IP filter before connecting to peers. It is the same list used by the PeerGuardian program, so for those that normally run PG in conjunction with a firewall, you can simply run this plugin instead. This is definitely at the top of my list when it comes to essential Azureus plugins. Once you download and install this plugin, it will forever do the hard work of keeping the “streets” just a little bit safer without any additional hassle. Be sure to check the automatic update box however, after you install it so that it keeps the list of “bad” IPs up to date.
With the Speed Scheduler you can create an unlimited number of schedules to adjust your download and upload speeds. One can define the schedules based on day, time, global limits for uploading and downloading, and also too can outright pause either downloads or seeds. This can be useful if you are running a wireless network off your internet connection and want to throttle the used bandwidth so that others may surf the internet in a reasonable fashion.
It’s fairly simple to set up a schedule of your own choosing. As an example I’ve set up a schedule below that throttles my upload down to 20KB/S, and my download to 100KB/S on Sundays from 3 to 4 a.m..
First select “new schedule” to the right of the menu box.
Then merely select the times, the rates, and the days that best suit your needs.
This finalized schedule will then appear in the main menu box. Notice that you can create more than one schedule, so you can truly set up Azureus to perform as you please.
I hope these Azureus plugins provide you with a glimpse of it’s seemingly infinite accessories. Stay tuned for coming articles that delve further into it’s extensive library of plugins. In the meantime, enjoy the ones we’ve covered if you aren’t already.