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Prioritising a download


M64117

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mTorrent vn.2.0.3

Vista 6.0

One of my downloads is crawling along – currently 1.0kb / sec, and averaging 4.2 since I started it. This is far slower than the others. I am concerned that the seed (there is only one) may not wait until I reach the end, which on the current prediction is up to three months. Is there any way to speed things up? Total amount downloaded is not an issue – at times I have gone over 1mb / sec.

M

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You're probably on a hostile ISP that disrupts and throttles BitTorrent, at least part of the time -- such as peak evening hours. Your best bet is make sure upload is fast enough to the other peers that the lone seed can get the most "use" out of its limited upload.

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I'm on Virgin, which has been mentioned in another thread as a culprit, but this affects me only in the evening and therefore only for a few hours each day (the duration varies). Upload is always slower, and since I've been monitoring it has not gone above 60kb/sec although I have not set any limits. As I write the download is at 203kb/sec, spread over ten torrents and having dropped from 443kb about three minutes ago, and upload is at 49kb.

There are 52 torrents in total, though not all of them are uploading - about a third of them take data only sporadically. Questions:

1) If I were to block certain uploads would the remaining ones speed up? With so many it would be a long process to experiment so I am hoping there is a quick answer.

2) Is desirable to do this or should I just let all of them upload and hope for the best?

M

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You should set an upload cap slightly below what's being pushed out, ie if you upload is fluctuation just under 60 try setting the upload limit as 50/45

Also I assume you know about bandwidth allocation to set the priority of the torrent (right click, bandwidth allocation) but even if you have the slow torrent on high and all the others on low if the other torrents and fast that will steal most of the available speed, best bet is to wait for them to finish or stop some of them

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So it looks as if by leaving my old downloads in place I'm breaking all sorts of rules. There seems to be no effect on the current downloads, and as a test I paused the downloading on all except the one I mentioned in my first post. There was no effect on the speed of this one.

Switec, are you suggesting that if I could prioritise my uploads to the peers then I would get more pieces from the seed because he would have more resources to service me? But I'm not sure why I should limit my overall upload speed to a rate below what I can achieve without changing anything.

My original question was whether I could give preference to a download that was in danger of becoming unseeded, and my own tests so far have not shown me a way to do it unless Switec is indeed proposing a solution. The lone seeder has since dropped out, but given the size of the download any fixes might not have worked quickly enough anyway.

M

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If you have many torrents downloading or seeding at the same time, each can only get a relatively small fraction of your very limited upload speed -- or leave all the rest almost nothing! While there's no guarantees that any specific torrent will download faster by stopping/pausing others, they certainly won't download SLOWER as a result. (So any possible slowdowns seen have other causes.)

In theory, by uploading more to the other peers it can slightly reduce the load on the seed. But more importantly, any peer you're uploading to (at faster than 2 KB/sec) is far more likely to upload back to you.

A slow seed may realize that seeding a massive torrent will take more time+speed than they're able or willing to give, and so they stop the torrent. This probably cannot be helped.

Changing priority on torrents alone will likely have little effect unless upload slots are reduced on other torrents as well. This is probably easiest done by setting upload slots per torrent to only 1 or 2, while setting the critical torrent's upload slots slightly higher. You have to watch out that each upload slot isn't too slow, or you totally defeat the purpose. Peers that get uploaded to slower than 1 KB/sec are increasingly likely to automatically snub/ban your ip -- once that happens, your download speed could take a nosedive as fewer and fewer peers are willing to upload anything to you at all! Most people never experience this problem, because they're on busy torrents with lots of seeds...but if you're on a torrent with few seeds and more peers, you can get screwed over fast.

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I paused all torrents except three with an availability of less than one – the one that prompted this thread and two others. Within five minutes there were two seeds, and at times there have been three. Before the slowdown at 7 this evening the upload as about 40 kb/sec and the download from 30 to 50. Did the news flash round the internet – M46117 has changed his mTorrent settings? I daresay some of it is co-incidence, but I'll let it run until I've got the complete download.

You say "Peers that get uploaded to slower than 1 KB/sec are increasingly likely to automatically snub/ban your ip". Why? A download means that data is being received. I would not refuse data simply because it was coming slowly. That's just cutting off the nose to spite the face.

M

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Part of the BitTorrent protocol is to favor faster peers.

Once something is uploading to you slower than 1 KB/sec, it is considered unreliable...and at worst is automatically snubbed and not uploaded to again except by the optimistic unchoke upload slot. (Which is probably very unlikely if connected to 20+ other peers!)

I think at less than 1 full 16 KB chunk in 30-60 seconds causes the snub. That is so slow that it's almost no better than timing out.

Upload slots aren't active on every peer, so the peers that aren't getting your upload slots will not snub...but they won't be encouraged to send you much either, unless you're uploading to them "sometimes".

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So the principle to observe is that I can't just start a download and sit back - I've got to monitor the uploads as well. I've already changed from three uploading to five as D****oid was reporting two of my own as unseeded, and with a large number that I'd like to keep active it looks as I'll be monitoring the speed and availability - maybe changing the settings periodically to spread the resources.

Moving on, why should the download speed be consistently so much faster than the upload when all torrents are taken together? Is it a feature of the service provider or is there something else?

M

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Only monitor it in small degrees.

If you've set it up right, it will not upload too slowly per upload slot...unless there's problems on the OTHER ends.

Almost no consumer ISPs give nearly as much upload as they do download, plus many people stop torrents not long after they finish downloading...leaving little chance to get a 1:1 ratio.

If you ever get on a very large torrent with only a tiny number of seeds but considerably more peers, that will reverse -- your upload speed will probably be larger than your download speed.

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