Torch is a Chromium-based browser with an integrated torrent downloader. A media grabber helps you to download web videos and audio, and there are tools to help you share websites, media and search results via Twitter and Facebook.

The program's installer makes multiple attempts to install toolbars, set your browser home and search page, and configure itself as your default browser and torrent application. You can avoid this by watching closely during setup and clearing the relevant checkboxes as they appear, but be careful, this is trickier than usual (tell the program you don't want it to be the default browser once, and it still asks again later).

Once set up, most operations seem straightforward. If you want to download the video or music you're playing, for instance, just click the "Video" button and Torch grabs a copy for you. Torrents were downloaded easily enough with the integrated client. And you're able to post directly to Twitter or Facebook from within the program.

There are occasional problems, like Torch's inability to download anything from the Apple Trailers site. Issues we've experienced before seem to be fixed now (we could play movies at Yahoo! Trailers), and we found some worthwhile extras, like the program's ability to extract audio from the videos it downloads.

There are useful features here, then, and if you'd like a more media-capable browser then Torch can certainly help. But anyone looking for real multimedia power will still be better off equipping their favourite PC with a few well-chosen extensions.

Verdict

Torch looks good and is easy to use. It also has some reliability issues, though, and unless your needs are simple you'll probably be better off with Chrome or Firefox and a few media-oriented add-ons