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Improving BitTorrent Download Speeds

Improving BitTorrent Download Speeds

A great article on how to improve your BitTorrent spreeds when downloading small or large torrents.

One of the most commonly asked questions on Zeropaid.com is how to improve BitTorrent download speeds, well Malicious Intent has addressed this issue full force with an excellent guide to improving BitTorrent download speeds. Make sure you check out or full list of BitTorrent clients here, and the our up to date list of torrent indexing sites here.

This guide relies on the use of Azureus or Yet ABC as they are highly recommended. The ABC core is currently slightly dated, but this will be updated soon. (For those using BitTornado – ABC uses the BitTornado core, but has a queuing system for better control of multiple torrents). Azureus requires Java. If after installation the application will not load, it is because you do not have Java. You are not the first to think you have Java when you do not! More information is available on the Azureus site.

Table of Contents
1.0 Why are my downloads going slow?

– 1.1 Reason 1: Your ISP is limiting your download speed
– 1.3 Reason 2: You have a “NAT Error”
–> 1.3.1 How do I know if I have this problem?

2.0 Fixing a NAT error

– 2.1 Switch off UPnP
– 2.2 Configure Your XP Firewall (ICF: Internet Connection Firewall)
–> 2.2.1 Configure ICF in SP1
–> 2.2.2 Configure ICF in SP2
– 2.3 Configure Your Router
– 2.4 Configure Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
– 2.5 Configure Your Firewall.

3.0 Multiple BitTorrent users on a LAN
4.0 Other things that could be wrong

1.0 Why are my downloads going SOOO slow?
1.1 Reason 1: Your ISP is limiting your download speed

Some ISPs are limiting download speeds by controlling the bandwidth allocated to traffic using the default BitTorrent ports, which are 6881 to 6999.

This is not just a problem for those who have nasty ISPs, it affects everybody. To avoid ISPs from damaging the efficiency of a torrent with their controls, some stringent tracker owners are blocking users trying to connect on the standard ports.

So whether your ISP is limiting you or not, all BitTorrent users should stop using the default ports.

For simplicity, this guide recommends the use of port 16881. Adding a 1 to the start is simple administratively, and is in a range unlikely to be used by other programs.

You then need to set up your client to use the new port.

1) AZUREUS
Tools -> Options -> Connection
-> Add a “1” before the current listen port number. For example, 6881 will now be 16881.

2) uTorrent
Options -> Preferences -> Connection
-> Type 16881 for the port number for incoming connections. Untick the box for Randomize Port.

Whatever client you use, make sure you update anywhere else you have entered the port numbers to account for the change.

By completing this section, you have helped to avoid problems later down the line, but this will not solve the majority of slow downloads. Therefore, move on to reason 2.

1.2 Reason 2: You have a “NAT Error”

BitTorrent works on a credit system. By uploading parts of a file to other people, they allow you to download parts of the file from them. This is BitTorrents anti-leech measure. However, if you have a problem with your NAT (anything between you and the internet, such as a router or firewall), you will not get credit for what you are uploading. The only downloading that you can do is from people who upload a small amount to you in the hope that you will return the favour. Since their client will not recognise your response if you have a NAT problem, then they will stop uploading to you shortly after. This is what is causing your problem. You may also notice that torrent speeds go very high for 5 minutes, before slowing back down to 0-5kb/s.

1.2.1 How do I know if I have this problem?

You might not have a problem at all. Before continuing with this guide, leave your torrent running for at least ten minutes. If the speed hasn’t picked up, stop and restart the torrent. If that fails, try at least two other torrents. If you are still having problems, continue on…

Start to download a file using your chosen client.

AZUREUS
Wait a while for the torrent to get started; this may take up to five minutes.
Look in the “Health” column. If it is showing a yellow spot, then you need to configure your firewall/NAT/router. If it is Green then all is OK. Your slow downloads are being caused by something else.
A full list of the different colours can be seen [http://azureus.sourceforge.net/faq.php#21]here[/url].

Azureus can also check your configuration for you.
Select “Tools” -> “NAT / Firewall Test”
The default TCP listen port is 6881. If you have changed the listening port, enter the new port in the “Incoming TCP Listening Port.”
Press “Test”
If the result is “NAT Error,” please continue with the guide.
If the result is “OK”, then your slow speeds are being caused by something else.

PLEASE NOTE: The Azureus checker can report a false NAT error if you are running PeerGuardian or Protowall. Make sure these are disabled before using the Azureus wizard.

uTORRENT
Wait a while for the torrent to get started; this may take up to five minutes.
On the status bar, look for either a yellow warning triangle, or a green dot. If there is a yellow warning triangle, then you need to configure your firewall/NAT/router. If it is green then all is OK and your slow downloads are being caused by something else.

uTorrent can also check your configuration for you.
Select “Options” -> “Speed Guide…”
Check the current port is set to the port used in the first section, i.e. 16881.
Click “Test if port is forwarded properly”.
If you get an error, then continue to follow this guide. If the port is correct set up, then skip to the section 4.0 “Other things that could be wrong”.

2.0 It’s showing yellow / warning triangle, I have a NAT error what do I do?

You need to configure your computer and/or network to accept incoming BitTorrent port connections. The tracker port is 6969. If this port is not correctly configured, downloads will not start at all. The download/upload ports used in this guide are 16881-16889. It is these ports that are causing your problems.

2.1 Disable UPnP

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), it is a feature that works with some compatible routers to open the required ports automatically. However, some routers, even if they are compatible with UPnP, have problems with this.

AZUREUS
Tools -> Options
Expand “Plugins” on the left hand tree.
Select “UPnP”
Deselect “Enable UPnP”

uTORRENT
Options -> Preferences -> Connection
Deselect “Enable UPnP port mapping”.

2.2 Configure Your XP Firewall (ICF: Internet Connection Firewall)

Please go to the appropriate sub-section.
– “Configure ICF in SP1” if you have NOT installed Service Pack 2
– “Configure ICF in SP2” if you have installed Service Pack 2

2.2.1 Configure ICF in SP1

Open up your “Network Connections”. Right click on your internet connection or LAN connection and select “Properties”.
->Select the “Advance” tab
->If the “Internet Connection Firewall” is not ticked, then this is not your problem. Research into whether you need the XP firewall or not and jump to “Configure Your Router” below. If it is ticked, please continue:
->Click “Settings…”
->On the “Services” tab press “Add…”
->Description of service = BitTorrent
Name or IP address of the computer hosting this service on your network = 127.0.0.1 (this means “the local machine.”)
External Port number for this service = 16881
Internal Port number for this service = 16881
TCP/UDP = TCP
-> Press OK.

-> With uTorrent, make sure Options -> Preferences -> Connection -> “Port used for incoming connections” is equal to 16881.

-> With AZUREUS, make sure that “Tools -> Options -> Connection -> Incoming TCP Listen Port” is equal to 16881.

Check if the torrent/health has gone green. If not, move on to section 2.2.

2.2.2 Configure ICF in SP2

-> Open your Windows Control Panel and select “Security Centre.”
-> Scroll down to the “Manage security settings for:” section and select “Firewall”
-> Decide whether you want to keep the firewall on or off. Make an informed decision based on more than the information provided by Microsoft. If you decide to switch it off, then do so and move onto section 2.2. Otherwise, continue this section.
-> Select the “Exceptions” tab.
-> Select “Add Port…”
-> Name: = BitTorrent (or anything of your choice)
-> Port number: = 16881
-> TCP/UDP = TCP
-> Press OK.

-> With uTorrent, make sure Options -> Preferences -> Connection -> “Port used for incoming connections” is equal to 16881.

-> With AZUREUS, make sure that “Tools -> Options -> Connection -> Incoming TCP Listen Port” is equal to 16881.

Restart the client and wait five minutes. Check if the health has gone green or that the warning triangle has vanished. If not, move on to section 2.3.

2.3 Configure Your Router
If you are on a LAN with a router or hardware firewall, you may need to configure it. You need to forward BitTorrent’s connection ports to your specific PC on the LAN.

If your connection is shared using Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), go to section 2.3.

There are too many routers to cover in this guide, so it is time to head to Google. Search for port forwarding, BitTorrent and the name of your router. Lots of manufacturers provide specific information on their sites. A generic guide to port forwarding for most routers can be found at PortForward.com.

-> With uTorrent, make sure Options -> Preferences -> Connection -> “Port used for incoming connections” is equal to 16881.

-> With AZUREUS, forward port 16881. Make sure this matches “Tools -> Options -> Connection -> “Incoming TCP Listen Port”

Restart the client and wait five minutes. Check if the health has gone green or that the warning triangle has vanished. If not, move on to section 2.4.

2.4 Configure Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

If you are sharing an internet connection using ICS, then you will need to forward the BitTorrent ports.

Windows 2000 users, click here for information on forwarding (mapping) ports.

Other users:
Shock Systems used to provide a useful tool called “ICS Configuration” for changing the settings of ICS to allow full BitTorrent access to a second computer. You can download a copy here thanks to Zeropaid member cpugenuismv.

-> Install the program on the serving computer and run it
-> Click “+ Add”
-> Name = [whatever you want, e.g. BitTorrent]
-> Target = Local IP of machine running BitTorrent, e.g. 192.168.0.2
-> Description = [whatever you want, e.g. “allow BitTorrent for 192.168.0.2”]
-> On the “Ports” tab, slect “+ Add”
-> Select “Port Range” from the drop-down box
-> Enter “16881” and “16889” into the relative boxes
-> TCP/UDP = TCP
-> Data translation = NORMAL
-> Press “OK”, Press “Enable”, Press “OK”.
-> Close everything and reboot the PC.

The settings will be saved in your registry. There is no need to open ICS Configuration with ICS.

-> With uTorrent, make sure Options -> Preferences -> Connection -> “Port used for incoming connections” is equal to 16881.

->With AZUREUS, forward port 16881. Make sure this matches “Tools -> Options -> Connection -> Incoming TCP Listen Port”

Restart the client and wait five minutes. Check if the health has gone green or that the warning triangle has vanished. If not, move on to section 2.5.

2.5 Configure Your Firewall

As with routers, there are too many to cover here, so time to head to Google. Unlike with other sections to this guide, ports only have to be opened, rather than forwarded.

With both AZUREUS and uTorrent, open port 16881.

3.0 Multiple BitTorrent users on a LAN

The same port can not be forwarded to different computers, so decide who gets which ports, for example:
192.168.0.2 = 16881
192.168.0.3 = 16882 etc.

Set up your router or ICS to forward the ports to the chosen computers.

Now you need to set up the BitTorrent Clients:

AZUREUS
Each computer only needs one port forwarded to it.
-> Tools -> Options
-> “Connection” on the side menu
-> On “Incoming TCP Listen Port” enter the port number that is being forwarded to that computer. Taking from the above example, computer 192.168.0.3 would enter 16884.
-> Repeat for all the users

uTORRENT
Options -> Preferences -> Connection -> is equal to 16881.
-> Set “Port used for incoming connections” to the port number that is being forwarded to that computer. Taking from the above example, computer 192.168.0.3 would enter 16884.
-> Press “OK”
-> Repeat for all users.

4.0 Other things that could be wrong

Try limiting your upload if you have ADSL/DSL. Sometimes BitTorrent can try to upload so much that it floods your upload, making it difficult for incoming connections. Slyck.com explains further:

It might seem strange to hear that your upload speed can directly affect your download speed, but it can, and quite dramatically. The reason behind it is based on the way the Internet works. When you download a file (or in this case, chunks of a file), your computer sends a tiny message back to the source computer, called an ACKnowledgement packet. These ACK packets tell the source computer that chunk #1 has arrived OK, please send #2. When #2 is down, it sends another, and so on. The source computer will not send #3 until it gets the ACK from #2. It uses a small amount of your upload bandwidth to do this. This works fine when downloading files off the Internet, but with P2P, you tend to upload as well.

This is especially true with BitTorrent  because you upload as well. If done efficiently, downloads can be very fast. The problem lies with the fact that you upload *so much* that the ACK’s do not get sent out fast enough, which slows your download. The simplest way to solve this is to limit your upload bandwidth. 80% of the maximum is usually recommended, but I find I can set it to 90% with no adverse effects. This gives your ACKs a bit of breathing space to get out with.

CCSDUDE makes this recommendation on limiting your upload:

“Try 11kbs up as your limit on a 128k upload package…double it for 256/1.5mb lines and keep going up as you hit 384/ect. That seems to be the sweet spot on BT. Enough to keep everyone happy whilst not slowing your downloads down or slowing your surfing.

Some ISPs recognise BitTorrent traffic and then limit it. Simply switching to Azureus or uTorrent will mean that you traffic will be encrypted between compatible clients. Without giving technical details, this will stop ISPs from recognising the traffic as being from BitTorrent.”

Another helpful guide on how to configure your BT client can be found here.

*** SPECIAL THX TO MALICIOUS INTENT

Jorge A. Gonzalez
Founder of ZeroPaid.com and various other websites. Follow me on your favorite social network. Twitter | Google Plus
ZmpleDarkSlayer
ZmpleDarkSlayer

thanks bro now my download speed is now 10mb/s to 10.5mb/s haha... :D

FreddyMac
FreddyMac

Thanks, didn't know about anti-leech measures, helped immediately

siva
siva

i can't download with normal speed ... i have getting only 10% of normal speed in bittorrent... even i change the port no 16881... can u help me

PASKUTZER
PASKUTZER

Great!!! it works perfect thank's

Jul
Jul

2.2.1 Configure ICF in SP1 i have open internet connection ,select properties but there's no advance tab :S and i can't continue i use windows 7

Oliver
Oliver

just kidding ;) but i do love you

Oliver
Oliver

I love you, its porn time baby!!

Kirby
Kirby

Thanks for this! I just had to change the port to 16881 :D

raj
raj

what prodedure for picktorrent website

Chathu
Chathu

I can't add 1 befor the port number in utorrent.

paofofona
paofofona

I need some help here... I've been using utorrent for a while now and it worked well at the beginning! but now it doesn't anymore... There's a message alert that says I should change the listen port... how do I do that??? It doesn't allow me to download anything!

citizenearth
citizenearth

Hi there, I have done the tweaking as per the instructions in the article, but the health is still the warning triangle. The top speed that I get does not exceed 45kb/s. Please help. Very much in need of it and really appreciate it.

James
James

Hi I am using Win 7. I am using bit torrent and my ISP has provided me with a speed of 300 kbps. The torrent speed shows a max download speed of 30 kbps. PLZZZ help !!!!. Thanks in advance..

SKJ
SKJ

I used bit torrent 6.4 version. And my download torrent status is green. But my downloading Speed is still 120kb/s maximum only. What can i do? I am used window XP SP3

chimpajnv
chimpajnv

use utorrent..........in place of bit.......

thspzone
thspzone

dsl speed is ....fine, better one compare to other software i downloaded before

sivic
sivic

hey, guys, why not download a speed up software to speed up ur system, try dslspeed, i've been using it for a while, and turns out very good, check it out

iThomaz
iThomaz

@Jazzib Simply reading this guide doesnt sole the problem, try doing whats written in the guide.

Jazzib
Jazzib

pleez help me i read ur guide and my speeds are still the same 0.1 , 0.5 i rarely get about 10 kbps

abraham
abraham

hi, iv been reading through this guide, and in my limited computer knowledge, think my problem is peculiar... (though im sure it isnt).. well, one, when i switch on torrent, my network symbol is showing green, working okay... then after sometime it turns to yellow.... secondly, i used to easily get speeds of upto 150 kbps previously ,and now my max speed is 50 kbps... i get this speed quite often... so is there a cause for concern...? thirdly i have deleted a couple of th torrents i downloaded because they werent wat i expected... do you think bittorrent would be prejudiced against me because of that? i heard that u get more previleges wen u seed regularly.... i seed the rest of the stuff iv downloaded... and my upload speed is quite often greater than my download speed.... thanks a lot for the help in advance!



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