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Is this Normal?


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I have an internet connection speed of 1.5Mbit/s download and 384kbit/s upload. Below are 2 issues which I would like explained:


When I am downloading torrents with large numbers of seeds and peers (around 2000 each) I usually download at full speed (190 to 200 kByte/s), no complaints there. However there is something strange that I notice when I look at the peers list. Most of that download bandwidth comes from a group of peers (about 10) that seem to be stuck (uploading but not downloading) between 99% - 99.9%. I download from them at speeds ranging from 10 kByte/s to 35 kByte/s (higher on few occasions). These peers also appear to not have encryption enabled while most of the other peers and seeds do. The download speeds from all the other peers and seeds in the swarm hardly ever get above 1 kByte/s.

With torrents that have moderate size seeds and peers (100 to 300 each), there usually aren't any of these 'stuck' peers in the swarm. Therefore my total download speed only gets up to about 35 kByte/s, even in a scenario where there are 300 seeds and I am the only peer.

This happens in both utorrent and azureus. The clients are configured properly using the speed guide/config. wizard and they are both added to the firewall exceptions list. The ports are forwarded and when they are not, upnp is enabled in the ADSL router and the clients. Both clients report that the network status is OK. A Glasnost web test reported that my ISP was not throttling bittorrent traffic.

Has anybody else experienced this? Is this normal i.e. part of the bittorrent protocol? Why can't I download faster from seeds?


If I am downloading 2 torrents, both with small numbers of seeds and peers, the total download speed for the 2 torrents only reaches about 35 kByte/s (about 17 kByte/s each). I understand and accept that the download speed for a torrent will be slow if the swarm is small, but if I stop torrent 1, then torrent 2 speed goes up to 35, and vice versa.

Why can't the total speed be around 70 kByte/s (35+35) for the 2 torrents?

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A partial answer is your upload speed isn't 70 KiloBYTES/second.

And those that are uploading faster than you typically get faster download speeds from the peers you're downloading from too.

Having a lot of peers doesn't automatically make a torrent fast. As a matter of fact, they may all be stuck on the same percentage waiting on a very slow seed. :(

But a LOT of seeds on the same torrent should give good speeds even if not max speeds. They have to be unfirewalled and running encrypted though if you're on a "bad" ISP...or the few you connect to will probably just get throttled/disconnected.

Try the 384 kilobits/second upload speed settings found in the 2nd link in my signature. It's slightly more conservative than Speed Guide (CTRL+G) xx/384k...but with a smaller ISP or lower max download speed than many similar connections, that's probably better.

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I don't think the torrent/swarm is fake the files download completely without any hash fails and they work fine when I run them.


- My upload speed is set to 35 kBytes/s. But if 1 slow torrent achieves a max download speed of around 35 kBs, why does starting another slow torrent reduce the download speed of the first torrent, so that the total download speed of the 2 torrents is around 35 kBs?

- Most of the seeds I connect to show that they are encrypted and I enable encryption as well, and they seem to remain connected for the majority of the download duration. However most of the download speeds are less than 1 kBs.

- I will give the alternative 384 kbs settings a try and see what happens.


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I don't know if your ISP throttles/disrupts BitTorrent traffic in some way, but I still consider it a possibility.

Barring that, tit-for-tat is simply in full force on the slow torrents.

1 slow torrent downloads at 35 KiloBYTES/second.

Start a 2nd, and together they download about 35 KiloBYTES/second.

But once a 2nd torrent is going, your upload speed on the first slows to roughly half what it was before. And when that happens, peers get reluctant to upload back to you...or do so more slowly.

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The Glasnost test from http://broadband.mpi-sws.mpg.de/transparency/bttest.php reported that my ISP was not throttling bittorrent traffic. Is this test reliable?

The tit-for-tat on the 2 slow torrents seems like a reasonable explanation. You download what you upload. I forgot all about that.



Regarding healthy torrents, any ideas why my download speeds are below 1 kB/s from most of the seeds I'm connected to?

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