Thursday, 4 October 2012

6 Great Ways to Maximize Your Torrent Downloading Speed Right Now

Don't you just hate it when you have a mind blowing internet connection that has the power to bring world to peace and put out forest fires but your supermanly internet speed gets bottlenecked while downloading torrents due to limited seeds, unlimited break-dancing leechers or blackmagic.  Fret not, for i will share with you, five effective ways to boost your torrent download speed right now. 

Courtesy: Dennis Skley, Flickr

DISCLAIMER: These methods only help you to attain the maximum possible download speed as promised by your ISP in your internet plan and remove any speed throttling if there is any. I do not promise any mind-blowing changes in your download speed. These methods work for most of the people but not for all.

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The internet is flourishing with numerous peer to peer (p2p) clients but the two most used file sharing clients are uTorrent and BitTorrent. Although you can also download torrent files through IDM, BitTorrent and uTorrent are the most widely used file-sharing clients. 

Although they both are quite similar to each in terms of user-interface, I personally prefer uTorrent more because the BitTorrent client at times causes data loss due hash fails however uTorrent bans the curropt source after repeated hash fails thereby preventing any further data loss also because uTorrent has a smaller memory footprint, meaning that uTorrent uses minimal computer resources while offering functionality comparable to larger BitTorrent clients.

However, no matter what torrent client you are using, they all seem to share one common user complaint and that being the torrent downloading speed being much lower than the direct download speed.

There are several ways to boost your torrent downloading speed:

I.   Making changes in the software settings [uTorrent / BitTorrent ONLY]

II.  Using CheatEngine 

Before we start with the 1st method it is important to understand that to get great results with your torrent download speed, make sure that your torrent has a significant number of seeders as compared to the numbers of leechers.
If the number of seeders of the torrent is much lower than the number of leechers then the actual downloading speed will be much less then what you'd expect. To increase torrent downloading speed in such seed-less torrents you'd have to increase the seeds by manually adding trackers.

I:  Tweaking the Settings

NOTE: These settings modifications are specific to uTorrent or BitTorrent only because they are the most used file sharing clients in the world. However, if the settings of your torrent client seem similar to the ones specified below you may test it out.

1. Select "Options" and click on "Preferences".

2. Go to "General"

(i)  Pre-allocate all files                          - CHECKED

(ii) Append .!ut to incomplete files        - UNCHECKED

3. Go to "Connection" and check the following settings:
(i)* Enable UPnP port mapping            - CHECKED
(ii)  Enable NAT- PMP port mapping    - CHECKED
(iii) Add Windows Firewall exception   - CHECKED
(iv) Randomize port on each start          
-If you do not have a firewall or router or/and you want an extra layer of security then you can check this option. However checking this option may lead to small delay in download start depending whether your client has found a working port or not. 

*NOTE: Some other tutorials advice that you uncheck the "UPnP port mapping" option. Unchecking that option honestly did not work out for me. On the other hand my download speed started fluctuating like crazy. While unchecking it has worked out fine for other users, it hasn't for some. Hence, i'd advice you to test this option on your own and check/uncheck it accordingly.

4. Now select "Bandwidth".

(i)  Maximum upload rate                                                    - 1 (1 kbps)
(ii) Maximum download rate                                                - 0 (Unlimited)

(iii) Global maximum number of connections   
-Give it a high number like 500 etc. but not too high otherwise it will use up your bandwidth and slowdown the downloading process.

(iv) Maximum number of peers connected peers per torrent  

- Give it a high number like 500 etc. 

(v) Number of upload slots per torrent  
- 3 [Giving it a much lower number affects the download speed too]

(vi) Use additional upload slots if upload speed <90%          - UNCHECKED

5. Now select "BitTorrent".

Except for protocol encryption, by default most of the important options are checked already, but still check if the options mentioned below are checked or not.

(i) Protocol Encryption                                                           ENABLED

(ii) Enable DHT network                                                        CHECKED
(iii) Enable DHT for new torrents                                           CHECKED
(ii) Enable Local Peer Discovery                                           CHECKED
(iii) Enable Peer Exchange                                                    CHECKED
(iv) Ask tracker for scrape information                                   CHECKED
(v) Allow incoming legacy connections                                  CHECKED

6. Select "Advanced"

(i) net.max_halfopen                                                           - 50

6. Select "Apply" to apply all the modified settings and click "Ok" to get out of "Preferences". Now again select "Options" and go to "Setup Guide"

The setup guide has an option to "run tests" which automatically tests your network and configures itself for the best performance. Although ĀµTorrent already does this when you first install the software but if you still want to ticker with this option you can go ahead and do so. Please note that this will also reset your port number and uTorrent bandwidth settings hence you should take note of your previous settings before you explore this option. By the way i am using port number 41682 so you can use this if nothing works out for you.

II. Improving Torrent Downloading Speed with CheatEngine.

CheatEngine is a free to download, open source tool that can be used to boost the torrent downloading speed using it's "speedhack" feature. If tinkering with settings as discussed in the previous method did not work out for you, you might want to give this one to try.

Step 1 : Download CheatEngine from

Step 2 : Open uTorrent and then open CheatEngine as administrator and click on the computer icon on the extreme top-left side of the window as depicted in the screenshot.

Step 3 : It will show you a list of on-going processes. Select the torrent client   that you are using from the list of processes and then click on "Attach debugger to process" and select "yes" when you are asked for confirmation.

Step 4 : Now click on "Enable Speedhack". Once that option is checked, enter   values 0.1 or 0.5. The default value "1" makes no change to the download speed whatsoever. Reportedly, 0.1 value increases the download by 10 times and 0.5 by 50 times. After entering a value, click on "Apply".

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