How to Speed Up Torrent Downloads?

Torrents are used by the tremendously popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution system known as BitTorrent. This P2P system is used to transfer huge files within a large network of online users. Torrents are used for downloading music, video, games, books, television shows and more.

Torrents are very popular because they can be easily downloaded. However, not all torrents, torrent clients and computer systems are created equal. Below are some ways to speed up torrent downloads.

  1. Choose the most effective BitTorrent client. Aside from the BitTorrent client itself, you can also choose from Vuze or uTorrent, both extremely popular clients.

  2. Choose the right seeds and peers. To speed up torrent downloads, always look at the numbers. In torrent principle, the larger the amount of seeders, the higher the download speeds. It is also advised to choose torrents with a small amount of leechers.

  3. Limit your upload rate to around 80 per cent of your maximum upload speed. You can verify your upload speed by looking for websites that carry out torrent speed tests. Once you have determined your maximum upload rate, modify it via your client’s preferences.

  4. Modify your firewall since it can block incoming torrent connections. In Windows XP, go to the Windows Firewall and then check your torrent client on the list of allowed connections. Go to "Options," then "Preferences," then "Connection." Check the "Add (name of your client) to Windows Firewall." Make sure to check the option "Windows Firewall" exception (if turned on) in your torrent client. Do not however turn off the firewall since your system will be susceptible to attacks.

  5. If your system is using a router, configure the setting via the Port Range Forwarding feature to allow torrent traffic. Refer to the router's documentation for this.

  6. Utilize a different port. The default port used by the BitTorrent protocol is around 6881 to 6999. You should use a number above 10000 for preventing problems with other programs and getting around Internet Service Providers (ISPs). If your client randomizes ports each time it starts, do not enable your client's "Randomize Port" setting.

  7. Boost the number of Max Half Open TCP connections. This identifies the amount of connections your client can try to simultaneously establish at any given time. Windows XP with SP2 and newer operating systems has limited this to 10 for preventing the spread of viruses, however, this is not good for torrent speeds since torrents need a huge number of concurrent connections. To address this, a patch from can be used for modifying the Windows TCPIP.sys file. This will allows a higher amount of TCP connections. When the patch has been run, set your client’s amount of connections. You can configure a number from 50 – 100. Regularly check if your client is still patched since downloading some Windows updates can overwrite it.

  8. You can also enable outgoing protocol encryption so that your ISP will have difficulty detecting torrent traffic. Also check the option "Allow Incoming Legacy Connections."

  9. Familiarize yourself with your torrent client's documentation and FAQs. Regularly check for updates of the client as well.

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