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After learning a bit, next question: How Can I Maximize Connections?


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Hey everyone,

I've been a away for a while from torrenting due to some life circumstances, but now I'm back and seemed to have forgotten (or never fully learned) a few important things about how Utorrent functions. I had a few torrents that seemed to have plenty of seeds, but my download speeds were barely existent.

This was getting frusterating to see apparently hundreds of seeds, and yet not being able to get any bandwidth - so I read up on a few posts regarding the meaning of the "seeds" & "peers" tabs within Utorrent, and this one helped out quite a bit:


Thanks to the contributers in that discussion - especially Serial 007, Switeck & Ultima. So after going through this a few other resources I realized that what I **had been** thinking were actual seeds showing up were not really seeds that made the situation better, they were just possible seeds and may as well have been ignored (could be old data being reported).

I now understand that the only number that matters is the one displayed outside the parenthesis, because that gives the actual amount of people I am connecting to in reality. I could probably use a better understanding of the superseeding thing, but I think I got it ok. I'm not too sure how often or rare a thing superseeding is for uploaders anyway so I won't bother with it (I've never used it for my uploads, usually just stick with tried & true).

Anyway, this is great that I actually understand whats happening when I am in a swarm, but the next logical question seeks to apply this knowledge of potential seeds vs. seeds you're able to connect to. It is:

******What are some of the things we can do on our end as a downloaders to MAXIMIZE the amount of seeds we can connect to?********

I have no idea, settings / configuring Utorrents preferences, and or the tricks of the trade (if there are any) that people use to make more connections? Maybe there are some things I should be looking for in the tabs that show up below when you highlight a specific torrent like "general" & "peers", "files", "pieces".

I used to consider that info as only relevant to the advanced user, but now I see that I really ought to have a better understanding of what that data means. Theres probably a way to increase the efficiency of the process hidden within the data. I imagine there is also a way to ask a possible seeder to open their connection to you based on what you see under the "peers" tab and "flags" column. Here again, I'm just asking to know your views and if this is even considered polite within the torrenting communities of the member only tracker sites to ask another member to open their connection (last thing I want to do is be rude or offensive).

I did read about the following flag meanings in the FAQ:

* D = Currently downloading (interested and not choked)

* d = Your client wants to download, but peer doesn't want to send (interested and choked)

* U = Currently uploading (interested and not choked)

* u = Peer wants your client to upload, but your client doesn't want to (interested and choked)

* O = Optimistic unchoke

* S = Peer is snubbed

* I = Peer is an incoming connection

* K = Peer is unchoking your client, but your client is not interested

* ? = Your client unchoked the peer but the peer is not interested

* X = Peer was included in peerlists obtained through Peer Exchange (PEX)

* H = Peer was obtained through DHT.

* E = Peer is using Protocol Encryption (all traffic)

* e = Peer is using Protocol Encryption (handshake)

* L = Peer is local (discovered through network broadcast, or in reserved local IP ranges)

I get most of it, but maybe someone could explain the subtleties in a tad greater depth between "O", "S", "K" "?" and again, back to the original question, if there is a way I could convert any of those bad flags to good ones. Is that possible? If not, maybe convert isn't the right word, let me rephrase...any advice/ hints on the things we should be doing as a torrenters to maximize the likelihood we would see "U" or "I" instead of O,S,K,?, ect....???

Also, and I know this is a whole other topic, but what are some of the things that uploaders can do (settings/ configurations, anything, etc) to maximize the amount of connections for their seed and make sure the torrent flows the smoothest for everyone down the line?

I do realize that their are probably a bunch of different theories on these subjects, which may change depending on the variables and circumstances of each situation, but I'm getting back into torrenting and I want to learn. I'm curious to hear all your methods and advice. Look forward to the discussion.


Oh yeah, this is probably relevant. I forgot to mention that I'm using Utorrent 1.6.1 and I know there is an update. Unfortantely one of my members only sites had a message that said continue to use the older version as they were having some specific problems with the Utorrent updated version. Tried to find the original message from the mod, but it's been deleted unfortunately - I definitely don't want to get kicked out of any of my member tracker sites that I've worked so hard to build good ratios!!!

As I said, its been a while since I've done this so they probably fixed these issues, but can anyone tell me if its really relevant to me to update given what I'm trying to do? And of course if I do update am I risking anything or in any way compromising their system by going through with the update?


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Optimistic Unchoke is a core philosophy of the BitTorrent protocol. That is, choose RANDOM peers to upload to, 1 random peer at a time, for the good of the torrent swarm as a whole. There is only 1 optimistic unchoke at a time. However this is not philanthropy with no intent of reward! By uploading to random peers, µTorrent is trying to find peers that will upload back to you...preferably faster than anyone else. At that point, that particular peer becomes a regular upload slot and the current 'least' productive upload slot that is not the optimistic unchoke gets throttled down and then stopped so your upload is not spread too thin...and so your upload nets you a good return download speed.

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