6. Brave Browser
Brave is a Chromium based browser that’s had quite a bit of publicity in recent times due to it’s novel approach to online advertising. It also has a browser extension built in that can handle downloading and streaming torrents via WebTorrent.
The WebTorrent extension should be enabled by default but you can turn it on or off via the Settings window. Magnet and torrent links will be automatically intercepted if you click on them from a webpage or you can paste them into the address bar manually. Click the Start Torrent button and then click on the video file in the torrent. A tab will open with a small video player which will resize when it’s ready to stream.
The player can be detached from the browser to a resizeable floating window using the Picture-in-picture option. Like most streaming options that try to play video from within a browser like Chrome or Firefox, some formats like H265, AVI, AC3 and DTS will not work. H264 and AAC is natively supported by major browsers and will play almost all the time.
7. Torch Browser
Torch Browser is another web browser based on Chromium that has several media based features. These include a built in BitTorrent client, streaming, a media grabber, a music player, games and a download accelerator built-in to the program.
Click the green “Open torrents” button on the toolbar to turn on torrents and open the torrent client. Press the Add Torrent button and paste a magnet link or browse for a torrent file. To stream a downloading torrent, you need to wait until a folder icon appears on the movie cover where clicking on it will show the torrent’s files (if there is more than one file in the torrent). A video file can be streamed by clicking its play icon.
By default, the folder icon will appear after 3% of the video has been downloaded, this can be changed in Torch’s torrent settings to a higher number if you need to buffer more. A big advantage Torch has over other browser based streamers is it uses the external FFMpeg library to process the video. This means it can play formats like HEVC, AVI, AC3, DTS and more that other browsers and browser extensions can’t. Subtitles and multiple audio streams are not supported though.
Torch Browser offers a search extension during install which you don’t need. There are also search and start page extensions included but they can be easily uninstalled by right clicking on each icon and selecting “Remove from Torch”.
8. VLC Media Player With StreamTim
VLC cannot stream torrent videos by itself, which is where a tool called StreamTim comes in. It works in a similar way to some other options here by creating a streaming URL and sending it to an external player, VLC in this case. StreamTim is a portable open source program that is available for Windows and Linux.
Download and extract the StreamTim archive and run the executable. If VLC is not installed at the standard location in Program Files, click the browse button to locate the VLC.exe. It does say click on a magnet link in your browser but we found only copying the magnet link and pasting it into the box with Ctrl+V worked.
Once enough data has been downloaded the video will open and play in VLC. Although StreamTim is from 2014 we found it streamed H265 4k video with subtitles to VLC with no problem. Use torrent2magnet.com if you only have a torrent file and need to convert it to a magnet link.
9. Popcorn Time
While the original Popcorn Time has been discontinued, you can still find this popular program being independently developed by a couple of different groups which are popcorntime.sh and popcorntime.is. Both of them are very similar except the popcorntime.is version is a couple of years newer. However, it does not allow external torrents or magnet links for streaming, so the older version on popcorntime.sh is required.
You will need to click on the Torrent Collection icon near the top right where you can drag a magnet link, paste a magnet link with Ctrl+V or browse for a .torrent file. At the file selection screen click on the video file to play, there’s an option at the lower right to play the file with the internal player or send the stream to VLC Media Player.
Once the video a cached enough it will start playing. A light color on the play progress bar will show how much has been downloaded or the eye icon top right will give you some stats. Some subtitles are supported along with increasing or decreasing the font size. If for some reason the integrated player doesn’t play your video correctly, simply try sending it to VLC instead.
Zona is an alternative to Popcorn Time which allows you to easily stream movies, TV shows, live TV, documentaries, music, sport, radio and even play games for free. Not only can you watch the built in media selection using Zona but you can also stream torrents by adding a magnet link or choosing a downloaded torrent file.
Click Downloads on the sidebar and then click the Add button located at the bottom where you can either enter a magnet link or select a local or remote torrent file. Click on the torrent where it says “xx files of xx” in blue and double click on the video. This will open a small preview window at the bottom left. Open the player in a larger window by clicking the expand icon. Audio track selection and subtitles are supported.
Zona is created in Java by Russians and there are still traces of the Russian language scattered around the program even if English is the selected default.