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Global connections and Firewall questions


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I have two questions. First, my D-Link DSL modem/router combo died and I replaced it with a plain Motorola DSL modem that has no networking capabilities and I don't think it has any fancy built-in firewall in it. I am directly connected to the modem, and like my first DSL modem, a Speedstream, which I had to use windows to dial in to (the new one is automatic), the connection speed isn't any faster than having a router as a middleman to connect to a modem, but webpages load more instantaneously, silmilar to the speed jump when you turn on the parallel piping for Firefox, which makes me happy. Should I be worried that I don't have a hardware firewall anymore and only have the windows xp firewall for protection? I have an old Buffalo router with DD-WRT that I can use, although it is a bit finicky, if having a router in the middle would be a better idea.

Second, I usually limit my global maximum connections to 170 or so in utorrent because all the routers I've used would crap out on me if I set it any higher. Since the DSL modem is directly connected to my computer, should I increase this number to possibly improve performance or allow for more torrents to run simultaneously since I'm not bottlenecked by the amount of memory on a router? Or do I have this completely wrong?

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2nd link in my signature.

Max connections is limited effectively by how many you can UPLOAD to.

I recommend setting global connections no higher than DOUBLE your upload speed.

Per torrent max connections can be as high as that, but obviously that'd mean 1 torrent could "use up" all the connections. :P

If you're not uploading to peers or uploading very slowly, they will ignore you and not upload back...end result will be you're connected to a lot of peers that only want to download from you. That's vaguely how BitTorrent's Tit-For-Tat (This for that, something-for-something) system works.

Occasionally, a peer or seed will upload to you via their optimistic unchoke upload slot...but they only have ONE such slot per torrent. Since they may be connected to 100+ peer/seed connections themselves, this can be quite rare for any given peer/seed to give you anything. Download speeds from that only get WORSE as people increase max connections further. :(

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