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Latest Articles

Torrent Optimization

Arrow Image A tutorial on how to get the most out of torrents



Okay, to begin with, I am aware of the administrators request to not discuss any thing illegal on this website. However, downloading via torrents, like file sharing, is not an illegal activity. It is the content which is downloaded that determines whether or not an activity is legal.

What is a torrent?

A torrent file is used by a torrent client to download other files. Just think of it as a set of instructions that tell the torrent client what to download. Torrent files are usually only a few kB big, but can be used download much bigger files.

The Anatomy of a torrent

When browsing torrent sites, you'll notice a lot of information regarding a torrent. Here are the 3 main terms associated with a torrent file:

Leech: A peer - or any client that does not have 100% of the data.

Seeder: A seeder is a peer that has a complete copy of the torrent and still offers it for upload. The more seeders there are, the better the chances are for completion of the file.

Peer: A peer is one instance of a BitTorrent client running on a computer on the Internet that other clients connect to and transfer data.

Torrent Clients

A torrent client is basically a program that you open a torrent in, allowing a particular file to be downloaded to your computer. There are many free torrent clients on the internet. These include BitComet, Azureus and uTorrent. Many torrent sites however, have banned clients such as BitComet, as it gives a better download speed than upload speed, meaning that people don't share their data, which is what torrents are all about. Personally, I recommend uTorrent. Its fast, simple and easy to use.

Downloading

***For any examples given, please note I will be referring to uTorrent on Windows***

***It should also be noted that torrents take a while to get started properly. I recommend you wait at least half an hour before really investigating the issue of poor download speeds***

Okay, so let me begin. You've just come across a torrent you really want. So, naturally enough you open it in a torrent client. So you're sitting there with a torrent. Downloading. One thing though, the download rate is shit, right? This is a common among torrent users, so don't blame your computer. There are a number of reasons for the poor download rates, some of which I will discuss below.

Routers

Ah routers. These are one of the main limiting factors of a torrent's download rate. Basically your router has to have specific ports open on it to allow connections from other peers. This is called port forwarding. I won't go into deatil here, as theres enough information for its own article, but I will tell you to go to www.portforward.com . It contains specific configurations for almost every router and program combination under the sun (Sorry martians :p). Just follow the instructions, and you should be downloading with great speeds in no time. If not, just read on below!

Firewalls

Okay, in uTorrent go to Options>Preferences>Connection you should see "Port used for incoming connections" and a box beside it. In the box there should be a number. Take note of it, its the port number that uTorrent is listening to for connections. Okay, now go into the control panel on Windows, and double click the "Windows Firewall" icon. Click the "Exceptions" tab and click "Add Port". For name type "TorrentTCP", for port type the port number you took note of earlier, and click TCP, then hit "OK". Repeat the process except this time, for name type "TorrentUDP", for port enter the same as before, and click UDP, then hit "OK". Okay, go check the downlaod speeds on your torrent, if its not improved then read on my friends.

Torrent Client Hacking

Okay guys, my saving grace. A lot of this section is taken from www.torrentfreak.com so big up to those guys.

1. Hack the max half-open TCP connections

If you’re on XP sp2, your TCP connections are limited to a maximum of 10. This might hurt your downloading speed because it wont let you connect to as much peers as you want. It is supposed to slow down viruses because their spreading strategy is to connect to a high amount of ip numbers, but it could cripple your torrent downloads. A nice way to fix this is to download this patch http://lvllord.de/?lang=en&url=downloads also http://torrentfreak.com/evid4226patch223d-enzip/

Note: Some people report that their antivir reports the patch to be a Virus, This is not the case.

Check out www.lvllord.de for more details on this.

The patch allows you to set the maximum allowed connections to any number you want. Any number between 50 and 100 is ok (more is NOT always better).

Next you need to configure your torrent client to allow 50-100 max half-open TCP connections

In uTorrent, go to: Options>Preferences>Advanced options>net.max_halfopen and change its value to 80

then hit "Set" and "OK".

2. Maximum upload speed

Probably the most important setting there is. Your connection is (sort of) like a pipeline, if you use you maximum upload speed there’s not enough space left for the files you are downloading. So you have to cap your upload speed.

Use the following formula to determine your optimal upload speed…

80% of your maximum upload speed

so if your maximum upload speed is 40 kB/s, the optimal upload rate is 32kB/s

But keep seeding!

3. Maximum download speed

Although setting your maximum download speed to unlimited may sound interesting, in reality it will only hurt your connection. If you still want to be able to browse properly, set your maximum download speed to:

95% of your maximum download speed

so if your maximum download speed is 400 kB/s, the optimal download speed is 380kB/s

4. Maximum connected peers per torrent

Yet another setting that you don’t want to max out. I experimented quite a lot with the max connected peers settings and came to the conclusion that both high and low number hurt the download speed of a torrent. The following setting worked best for me.

upload speed * 1.3

so if your maximum upload speed is 40 kB/s, the optimal amount of connected peers per torrent is

40 * 1.3 = 52

5. Maximum upload slots

1 + (upload speed / 6)

so if your maximum upload speed is 30 kB/s, the optimal number of upload slots is

1 + (30 / 6) = 6

6. More Tips

Check seeds and peers

A simple tip, but very important. Always look for torrents with the best seed/peer ratio. The more seeds (compared to peers) the better (in general). So 50 seeds and 50 peers is better than 500 seeds and 1000 peers. So, be selective.

Disable Windows Firewall

It sucks. Windows Firewall hates P2P and often leads a life of it’s own. So disable it and get yourself a decent (free) firewall, Kerio or Zone Alarm for example.

Turn on Encryption

Encrypting your torrents will prevent throttling ISP’s from limiting your bittorrent traffic. Go to: Options>Preferences>Network Go to ‘Protocol encryption’, you can choose between ‘enabled’ and ‘forced’. ‘Enabled’ will give you more connections but offers less protection against traffic shapers. I would recommend to try ‘enabled’ first, if that doesn’t increase your speeds you need to swich to ‘forced’. Ticking ‘Allow legacy incoming connections’ allows non ecrypted clients to connect to you. This improves compatibility between clients but makes you more vulnerable to traffic shapers.I would recommend to tick this box, but if that doesn’t increase your speeds, untick it!

Optimize your internet connection

The TCP optimizer is a freeware utility that optimizes your internet connection. I found it very useful and it helped speeding up my connection for regular internet activity and for downloading torrents. Just download it, and move the slidebar to your maximum download rate (note that it’s in kb/s). Don’t try to set it higher because that will hurt your download speeds!

Getting the most out of your connection

The following information will make browsing and downloading with torrents possible.

Okay, I just recently updated to the latest version of uTorrent, but it wasn't as effecient as the older version I had so I downgraded to 1.2 using www.oldapps.com

Go into the preferences menu again in uTorrent, and look for the global maximum number of connections and the maximum number of connected peers per torrent. Set both these values to 20. This should make it possible to do other things like browse the web at a respectable speed whilstdownloading torrents.

And thats the end of my article! Please rate it guys!

Sources:

www.wikipedia.org
www.torrentfreak.com

Comments

Mr_Cheeseon July 18 2006 - 10:17:35
nice. i use torrents alot so this is rather helpful.
Darth_Pengoon July 18 2006 - 11:01:07
I am a torrent professional yo! lol not really.. but great.. long.. oh god why is it so long! nah You're a great article writer.. you should write an article on some other download thing... i dunno.. great article anywayGrin
shabouwcawon July 18 2006 - 12:18:43
i appreciate it when people list their sources
drew_m_noelon July 18 2006 - 14:47:39
thanx for listing sources Wink, few ppl do it anymore. uTorrent? what's the form you get from the bittorrent site? it uTorrent any better?
mastergameron July 18 2006 - 15:43:53
I prefer Azureus (needs Java) avaliable from getazureus.com Thanks for the link to the TCPIP.SYS patcher, it helped me a lot.
system_meltdownon July 18 2006 - 16:04:14
Awesome article man, very informative, torrenting is fun Grin
regiton July 19 2006 - 08:00:41
Great artical
Uber0non July 19 2006 - 13:24:41
Wow.. Here we have a good article. A really good one. Don't want anyone to miss things like this Grin Thanx!
sting627on February 27 2007 - 01:51:23
Thanks for the inf0! I consider myself pretty proficient in the world of torrents...however I prefer Azureus as a client. I managed to mirror the settings just fine. I knew about the hack for TCP connections...however I dind't know you had to adjust the value in preferences in order to utilize that. Great info, thanks!!:ninja:
ThorsDecreeon October 09 2007 - 19:06:58
thanks, i get sooo tired of waiting so long downloading... then coming back after a few days only to find there are no seeds anymore! And the slow speeds are just terrible, so thanks for this great article! (and listing sources Pfft) //Awesome!
smack300on December 25 2007 - 08:03:04
Thank you, great article
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