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Speeds fluctuate wildly -- more likely my ISP than uTorrent?


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I'm using 1.8 on Vista SP1, with no router. I've been through the Setup procedures recommended in the sticky above, and the FAQ, and I've set my maximum upload speed to 640 after running various online tests (which on average came out in the low 700s). I've also enabled encryption, used TCP Optimizer to tweak Vista's TCP settings and applied the Vista Event ID 4226 patch.

I use NOD32 antivirus, but I followed the advice in a thread I found on here to exclude uTorrent from content filtering. My firewall is Comodo. I saw the thread about setting up rules but I'm not sophisticated enough to understand how to set them, so I've not tried that yet. However, I tried turning off the firewall for some time earlier today to see whether it made any difference to what I've described below, and I didn't see any difference.

I've noticed that my download and upload speeds can vary quite wildly during the course of the day. This morning, for instance, the torrent showed a download speed of 1.3MBps which dropped over the course of maybe 30 seconds to as low as 10 kBps, where it remained for some time before suddenly shooting up and then dropping again. If I have two torrents downloading (as occasionally I do) I've noticed that they're affected in precisely the same way simultaneously, even though they're coming from different places.

I've been watching it closely today because I've been at the computer trying to read up on this stuff, and for a period of several hours this afternoon download speeds remained constant at approximately 500 kBps. I've just returned to the computer, though, after about an hour away, and I see that it's dropped again to about 12 kBps.

Can anyone tell me whether there's an obvious solution to this, based on the description above? I'm not an expert computer user in any way, though I'm trying to learn in order to be sure of reliable performance from uTorrent, so it could be that something jumps out at you that I'm missing. I'm wondering whether it's my ISP, as I've heard that they're quite disruptive with torrents (which is why I've enabled encryption).

Any help would be very welcome.

Many thanks.

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@blue17 Why do you close it?

@houseuser You can check the Speed tab, change interval to 5 minutes to see 10 hours of activity. If it looks like you have consistent redictable shaping during periods, you can always call your ISP on it. The common term would be "escalation" when you want to talk to someone higher... sometimes the initial helpdesk people don't know what you're talking about.

Additionally since you have seen reports of your ISP interfering, unless you're on/reseller of Bell/Sympatico connections in canada you can dis-allow legacy connections... and should try keeping the functions LPD and DHT disabled and lower your Ctrl-P > Advanced net.max_halfopen to 4 or less. All this is in the sticky http://forum.utorrent.com/viewtopic.php?id=15992 post #2

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Indeedy that would explain it, unfortunately they don't give you shaping speeds past basic (M)... but assuming 50% shaping (2Mbit > 1 Mbit)... you should still be experiencing "fast" speeds.

For the lazy, here's minimum maximum settings (for you Virgin subscribers on their cheapest M plan)


1000 MiB 10a-3p - 55.5 KiBps

500 MiB 4-9p - 27.7 KiBps


200 MiB 3-8p - 11.1 KiBps

so set those settings in the speed guide to the lowest you'd use your uTorrent for... i.e. if you are home between 10am and 3pm and you plan to use your uTorrent and browse internet etc, keep yourself at or below 27 KiBps for downloading until 9pm to keep from being shaped. Additionally you will need to keep your upload at or below 11 KiBps ( MAJOR :`( ) to keep from getting upload shaped anytime between 8p and 1am your time.

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