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Assuming ISP is throttling BitTorrent traffic....... Any ideas?


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Well first off my ISP is Eastlink and I'm on the 15mbit / 1mbit plan. My latest speed test showed 14200 / 940. Something like 1775 kB/s down and 117 kB/s up. So I'm getting most of my rated speed. Thinking back I remember downloading from a private tracker and later from mininova in speeds in excess of 900 kB/s. I've hit 1500 kB/s before. I've always had my upload speed capped at 80 kB/s and usually I've always maxed that out. This pretty much ended like a year and a half ago but I was away working for a while and didn't realize it. I just noticed recently that my download speed has never been above 600 kB/s and my upload speed has never come close to the 80 kB/s cap. I may have seen it as high as 50 kB/s.

I was going through some of the guides on here outlining the basic settings for utorrent trying to increase my download speed. I came across one that said to test out the new settings on a test torrent, specifically Slackware Linux. I added the complete DVD ISO image torrent and my download capped off at 580 - 620kB/s while my upload hovered around 15 - 20. I then tried the basic settings (peers per torrent, upload slots, etc...) and found no difference in my download speed. I then adjusted these settings up and down and still found no difference. The peers per torrent was the same at 50 and 350 (what I normally have it set to). My upload speed hardly ever gets above the 15 - 20 mark. I tried all possible combinations of encryption and allow legacy settings.

My first thought was that it's my new router causing the problem. I picked up a D-Link DIR-655 for christmas. I power cycled the modem and connected the computer directly to it. No change in utorrent. The next thing I thought about was the whole Comcast fiasco in the States. I did a search for Eastlink and learned that pretty much all Canadian ISP's are throttling BitTorrent traffic, including Eastlink. This would explain why no matter what I do I'm capped at 600 kB/s down and like 20 kB/s up. I usually have 3 torrents downloading at a time and it still won't go over 600. It just splits it up among the 3.

I've also tried setting utorrent to use a VPN port and setting Encryption to forced while unchecking Allow incoming legacy. There was a guide that said to do this. It also tells you to uncheck DHT among other things. There's also a setting under Advanced. It says to set bt.transp_dispostion=10. I learned this has something to do with forcing utorrent to only use UDP, I think. This is how I'm running now. My combined download of three torrents is only averaging 120 kB/s. One of these torrents is pretty hot at the moment and definitely should be hitting the capped speed of 600. It's taking up like 90 of my total 120 kB/s right now.

What I'm wondering is do you think that Eastlink is capping me at 600 kB/s? Or is it a Vista thing like so many other problems? Any ideas on what I can do about it? Sorry for the long post but I like to be thorough.

Http downloads can easily reach 1700 kB/s. Latest Speed Test:


Edit: I tried setting the port to 52415 and setting encryption to forced with no incoming legacy connections. I set bt.transp_dispostion back to 5 and re-enabled dht and peer exchange. Basically normal except forced encryption. I left it there for the last three hours. I still have three torrents running. If you can see I'm maxing out my upload speed (finally!). So forced encryption will allow me to upload but probably hurt my download.


I'm going to try setting everything back to normal again. Encryption to enabled, allow incoming legacy. I'll leave it there until I get up and work out an average speed. I'm thinking throttling is in effect but setting encryption to forced may be hurting what little speed I'm capped at.

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Try with more conservative settings for your upload (fewer peer connections, lower upload rate) and see how that handles.

Additionally, you might consider the fact that it MAY just be the torrents you're trying.

I've got a friend on eastlink within about 1.6km of my place and I know his speeds skyrocketed when I put them more conservatively.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had the peers per torrent set between 200 and 300 for years. When I first got into torrents I was using Azureus. It seemed to work better with that many peers.

I tried using more conservative settings the other night. I had a torrent going at 200 kB/s with 350 peers per torrent. I noticed that I was only downloading from 50 or 100 peers at any one time. I then set the number of peers to 50 and the speed capped off around 100 kB/s. I then increased it to 100, then 150, then 200, and then 250. The speed increased and maxed out at 150 peers and 500 kB/s. It took a little drop at 200 but then took a major drop at 250 to about 380 kB/s. Set it back to 150 and the speed increased again.

This shows that my optimum amount of peers is around 150. Any more is useless because it won't download off of the extra peers and too many peers hurts my speeds.

The number of upload slots per torrent is set at 5 and I found no change really when going up or down a few numbers. Capping my upload at 60% of my upload speed instead of 80% also made no difference.

The only conclusions I can make is that Eastlink is definitely capping torrent speeds at 600 kB/s. They may be capping the number of connections as well. Although it could be my router capping the connections. I've checked online and the router could handle 200+ connections without any problems so I don't know.

But again to my original question. If Eastlink is actively throttling torrent traffic and possible using DPI, is there anything I can do to possible get around this? Like I said before, encryption has no effect, setting Utorrent to only use UDP didn't help, and using other ports like a VPN port also didn't help. I don't think it makes a difference with the port numbers.

Edit: Yeah this torrent wouldn't go higher then 500 kB/s, but on one of the test torrents on one of the links on here my speed always capped off at 600 kB/s. I think it was the slackware linux torrent. I think it said they had dedicated servers so you should max out your connection. I only hit 600 of my full 1750 kB/s. What did you guys get with this torrent?

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My speed guide doesn't recommend over 200 connections per torrent even for 100 megabit/sec upload lines. (...With presumably equal or faster download!)

With 1 megabit/sec upload max, that same chart only recommends 60 connections per torrent and 200 connections GLOBAL. You may even have closer to 800-900 kilobit/sec upload though...

That your own tests showed an actual negative change when increasing connections is no surprise. TCP overheads eat a connection alive with 100's of connections at once.

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  • 3 months later...

After trying numerous things I finally gave up and accepted the 600 kB/s cap. A few weeks ago I reinstalled Windows Vista Ultimate x64. After tons of Windows updates and reinstalling all of my programs, I finally got around to reinstalling Utorrent. After configuring it properly I started to download a torrent from a private torrent site. After a few minutes I went to check on it and to my surprise it was downloading at 1.4 MB/s! Something like 1570 kb/s! That's like 90% of my download speed.

I tried downloading the Slackware Linux torrent again and it hit the same speed in less than a minute. Tried another torrent from the private site and again it took less than a minute. Of course running two torrents split the speed in half for each one. So I was maxing out my download speed for every torrent.

Well the increase in speed only lasted three weeks. As of yesterday I am capped at 600 kB/s again. I didn't change anything in Windows. The computer is the same as three weeks ago. Tried resetting the router and the modem with no luck. I think this proves that the problem is not on my end. So now I'm wondering why my speed returned only to be taken away again? Anybody have any ideas? I wonder if the ISP filters are IP based? Maybe the lease time is only three weeks? And maybe the filters are not set on everybody but are triggered by so much torrent traffic in a set period of time? I know that they throttle upload speeds for torrent traffic. I have my max set at 80 kB/s and it never hits more then 50. Usually it hovers between 20 and 30 kB/s. This started sometime in the last two years because I remember my upload speed always hitting my cap at the old house.

On a side note, my tests have shown that the most efficient number of peers per torrent seems to be around 100. 50 more or 50 less hurts my speed.

So can anyone help me understand why my speed was uncapped and then capped again? All other traffic is fine. HTTP and FTP both max out my download speed.

Edit: You can tell it's capped because in Utorrent the speed goes to 598 kB/s and then jumps to 620 or 640 and then back to 590 - 598 for a few seconds and then back over 600 again. It never sits over 600 for more then a split second. I just tried an HTTP download and hit 1650 kB/s.

And I just tried on my cousin's account through the same ISP. His Utorrent is also capped at 600 kB/s.

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  • 4 weeks later...


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