Top Tips for Optimizing BitTorrent Download Speeds

Six simple tips straight form the lips of Olivier Chalouhi, co-founder and CTO of the Vuze BitTorrent client.

Everybody in the BitTorrent community is always looking for ways to optimize their download speeds. One of our members here at Zeropaid even compiled a guide on how to “Improve BitTorrent Download Speeds” which is arguably one of the most detailed of its kind.

Yet, rarely do we hear from the people behind the BitTorrent clients themselves, the ones who can give an insider’s perspective on how to get the best speeds possible.

So it was nice to read a recent post on the Vuze blog which gives six simple tips for optimizing your BitTorrent download speeds courtesy of Olivier Chalouhi, co-founder and CTO of Vuze. The questions were a response to an inquiry from my buddy Big E over at TF.

“The Low Down on Downloading”

1. Seed. Downloading speeds will be sub-optimal for everyone unless everyone plays their part and seeds. Private tracker sites are a great example of how the overall speed of the swarm increases when everyone is seeding and downloading in equal measure. So, play your part in seeding and tell others to as well.

2. Be connectable. Make sure you’re not “fire-walled” by opening up your incoming ports or by enabling UPnP in your router otherwise you’ll be leaving bandwidth on the table.

3. Manage your upload speed. It is all about striking a balance. You don’t want the upload speed to be too high, nor do you want it to be too low. Ideally you want to set your upload speed to be 80% of the maximum possible line speed.

4. Select the right torrents. Your download will be faster if you choose to download a torrent where there is a good balance of seeds and peers. For instance, Vuze ranks its search results according to the number of seeds and peers to make this easier.

5. Be realistic. Check the swarm average and if you’re already above average, then you just need to be patient. If you’re below average, go back and check some of these other things I’ve mentioned.

6. Get a Friend Boost. I wouldn’t be a Vuze developer if I didn’t give a plug for the Friend Boost feature we recently developed ☺ When you create a network of Friends on Vuze, you agree to seed content to each other on a preferential basis. That is, if one of your friends has a torrent that you want, you will be able to directly use a portion of their bandwidth to get it. In most cases this will increase your download speed.

“Obviously ways in which to actually implement some of these tips will differ from client to client,” Chalouhi continues. “If you want to find out how to do it on Vuze, you can check out our wiki.”

Happy downloading!


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