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Hacks and Tips

10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

speed up torrent download speedImagine being on the autobahn with the accelerator down and then you realize that you are driving a wrecked car. The plight is not so uncommon on the information superhighway too.

Torrent users would attest to the fact that half of our time is spent looking for ‘healthy’ torrents and the other half trying to download (and a bit of upload too) at the maximum speed. The former is mandatory; the latter thankfully is within the realm of tweaking.

If you are the one who thinks that your torrent download speeds could do with a boost then keep reading. Below, you’ll find a few tips on how to speed up torrent download speed.

  • Your ISP is where it starts

  • Check the maximum download and upload speeds allowed by your ISP. Most ISP’s have specific bandwidths for both uploads and downloads. Obviously your torrent download speed won’t cross the cap set by the ISP. There are many other bandwidth testers like DSLReports which is included in the speed test within uTorrent.

  • Choosing the right BitTorrent client

  • Use the better clients out there like uTorrent, Vuze or the BitTorrent client itself.Wikipedia lists about 51 of them supporting the BitTorrent protocol. The choice of client used should always be updated to the latest version. The screenshots here depict uTorrent. The settings should be similarly configurable for other clients too.

  • Go for healthy seeds and peers

  • A peer is any computer participating in the download and upload of a torrent file. A seed (or seeder) is anyone who has one complete copy of the file being shared across the torrent network. A leech (or a leecher) is the person who does not have the complete file yet but has joined the network to download it. A leecher becomes a seeder when he downloads the entire file and then shares it across the network.

    increase torrent downloading speed by choosing healthy seeds

    For high torrent speeds, the best bet is in numbers. The greater the number of seeders, the healthier the torrent and the better the chance of higher speeds. The rule of thumb says to choose the torrent files with a high number of seeders and preferably lesser number of leechers i.e. a higher seed-leecher ratio.

  • Get through the firewall

  • Firewalls can block all incoming BitTorrent connections coming through. To ensure otherwise, a firewall should be manually configured to accept the connections and let it through the client. Windows XP has the Windows Firewall. Configure the firewall installed to accept the connections by checking the BitTorrent client on the allowed list i.e.Options – Preferences ““ Connection – check Add uTorrent to Windows Firewall. Also, check the Windows Firewall exception (if you keep it enabled) in your client too. Shutting down the firewall is not recommended as it leaves the computer open to attack.

    Note: If the home computer is behind a router, it also should be configured through the feature called Port Range Forwarding to enable torrent traffic. The router documentation should have specific information on this.

  • Limit your upload rate

  • A peer to peer network is all about sharing alike, but an unlimited upload rate hits the download rate too. Using the speed tests, find out your maximum upload speed and then set your client’s upload rate (Global Upload Rate in uTorrent) to about 80% of your maximum upload speed. You can also try varying your upload speeds ““ keep it high initially and then gradually bring it down towards the middle of the download.

    Note: Mind the speed units ““ it may be given in kilobits per second (kb/sec) orkilobytes per second (kB/sec). 1 kilobyte = 8 kilobit

  • Go to a different port

  • The default port for the BitTorrent protocol is any between port numbers 6881-6999. ISPs throttle traffic on these ports as BitTorrent sharing involves high bandwidth usage. It’s easy to configure a different port in your torrent client. Use some number above10000 to get around ISPs and also avoid problems with other applications. By default, the uTorrent port is randomized each time it starts. Set a specific port by not enabling the Randomize Port setting.

  • Increase the number of Max Half Open TCP connections

  • This figure specifies how many connections a torrent client should attempt to establish simultaneously at any given time. Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or newer, limits this to a default of 10 as a barrier against virus multiplication. But that’s a bummer for torrent speeds as torrents too need a large number of simultaneous connections.

    A patch has been available for a while from LvlLord which modifies the TCPIP.sys file in Windows to allow a higher number of TCP connections.

    increase the half open tcp connections

    After running the patch, you have to set the number of connections in your torrent client. For example, in uTorrent go to Options ““ Preferences ““ Advanced – net.max_halfopen. Set any number from 50 to 100. But see that net.max_halfopen is setlower than the value set in TCPIP.SYS. Always check if it is still patched because Windows updates sometimes overwrite it.

  • Experiment with Protocol Encryption

  • Some ISPs love to act like Big Brothers and constrict bandwidth for P2P protocols. Protocol Encryption in most of the torrent clients helps to override this bandwidth shaping. Enable outgoing protocol encryption and put a checkmark on Allow Incoming Legacy Connections.

    With protocol encryption, ISPs find it difficult if not impossible to detect that the traffic is coming from BitTorrent. Experiment with enabled, disabled and forced options because you could be getting better speeds with encryption disabled. Non-encryption makes a torrent connection compatible with someone who is not using encryption but as a minus it makes the torrent detectable to an ISP with a bandwidth restricting policy.

  • Bandwidth and connections

  • Your BitTorrent client’s settings options will let you enter figures for ““

    Global maximum number of connections gives the maximum number of connections that a BitTorrent client can make for any P2P exchange. Setting this too high does NOT mean higher speeds. Setting it too high would take up useless bandwidth and too low a figure would miss out on peers. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 130.

    Maximum number of connected peers per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client can connect to for any P2P exchange. Experiment by setting this number close to the available peers for a particular torrent. For my 256kbps connection, I have a default setting of 70.

    Number of upload slots per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client will upload to for any P2P exchange. A low setting may affect downloads. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 3.

    uTorrent has a Speed Guide which handily calculates the figures for a particular connection.

  • Some common sense

  • Most BitTorrent clients allow us to view the individual files in a download. You can selectively disable the download of files you don’t think necessary.

    Familiarize yourself with the customization settings of your particular client available in the Help files or at the website FAQs.

    Some useful resources:

    BitTorrent User Guide
    uTorrent FAQ
    Vuze FAQ

    Optimizing the speed of torrent downloads is a lot of trial & error and a bit of patience. Do you have some tips to speed up torrent download speed? Any that you have successfully tried out? Maybe we can put some wind beneath the wings with your comments.


    How to download Win 7 SP1 ISO and verify its Hash Key

    You bought a laptop with Windows 7 license (probably Home Premium or Professional). But the manufacturer did not provide you with the installation media (CD/DVD). Bummer. They did provide you with the recovery kit or recovery partition but you think that their installation has damn too many bloatware (yes brother! you are right, kudos !). You want to start anew with a fresh installation of Windows 7, SP1 all by yourself. Hold that thought….

    • You don’t have the Windows 7 <whatever version,build>SP1 DVD.
    • Since you already have the license, you don’t need to buy a new one. So, you just need to download the ISO file.
    • But where to download? (Stop scratching your head !) head out for a torrent site.
    • Then, you start nagging and wondering whether the ISO has been tampered by crackers / hackers or what not, waiting to exploit your computer to be their botnet minion. (Mind you, 99% of Windows 7 ISO that one downloads via torrent has been tampered with, which basically means that somebody has modified the original ISO and injected something (either a non-malicious software such as an unlocker, pdf reader,a new build OR an extremely malicious software such as a rootkit/trojan/etc. A big warning placard if you do use your computer for internet banking or often purchase items via credit or debit card).
    • So how to ensure that the ISO files have not been tampered with? Well, this is what you should do.

    A few years back laptops usually surfaced with Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1.

    • You will find Windows 7 Home Premium x64 with SP1 in the ‘ISO NAME AND HASH KEY (RECORD) just below. From there,copy the file name,viz :
    • Search (Google) en_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676549.iso and download it. Hell yeah !! you found it at piratebay.
    • Download the torrent. {I believe that we are not breaking any cyber laws by downloading something that we have already paid for. We own the license after all 😉  }
    • Once the download is complete, you need to check whether the ISO is genuine or has been tampered with. Download MD5 / SHA1 Download Checker. [no sneakwares] Get it here from CNET.
    • Use MD5 / SHA1 Download checker and openen_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676549.iso. Get MD5 and SHA1 value.
    • Compare the MD5 and SHA1. Ideally, the one that is generated by the MD5 / SHA1 Download Checker should be identical with the record below. (Where did I get these? Refer to the ISO NAME AND HASH KEY (RECORD) Section.
    1. SHA1: 6C9058389C1E2E5122B7C933275F963EDF1C07B9 
    2. ISO/CRC: 4A182640
    • If they are identical, you are safe.

    PS: Some tidbits for those who are feeling damn lazy…Scroll down to the end of this page. Mind you, please double check the hash. If you don’t trust the Hash record here, please check .You can use your Live / Hotmail / whatever account to check the hash key, the only complication being you cannot download a legal copy yourself from there assuming that you are not their ‘special’ subscriber .


    Windows 7 Starter with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_starter_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_678562.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:43:48 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:43:48 PM
    SHA1: E1653B111C4C6FD75B1BE8F9B4C9BCBB0B39B209
    ISO/CRC: C810B42C
    Windows 7 Home Basic with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_home_basic_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_676470.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:32:46 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:32:46 PM
    SHA1: 080EC1DE94B88B0F7E8D000690A4AAAA031E2719
    ISO/CRC: FF5299DA
    Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_676701.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:33:58 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:33:58 PM
    SHA1: 6071B4553FCF0EA53D589A846B5AE76743DD68FC
    ISO/CRC: 85B5EF4A
    Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English) File Name: en_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676549.iso Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:34:16 PM Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:34:16 PM SHA1: 6C9058389C1E2E5122B7C933275F963EDF1C07B9 ISO/CRC: 4A182640
    Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_677056.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:38 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:38 PM
    SHA1: D89937DF3A9BC2EC1A1486195FD308CD3DADE928
    ISO/CRC: E8C2AD67
     Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676939.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:46 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:46 PM
    SHA1: 0BCFC54019EA175B1EE51F6D2B207A3D14DD2B58
    ISO/CRC: AD44DB36
    Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1, VL Build (x86) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_vl_build_x86_dvd_u_677896.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:37 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:37 PM
    SHA1: D5BD65E1B326D728F4FD146878EE0D9A3DA85075
    ISO/CRC: DB028749
    Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1, VL Build (x64) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_vl_build_x64_dvd_u_677791.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:30 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:30 PM
    SHA1: 708E0338D4E2F094DFEB860347C84A6ED9E91D0C
    Windows 7 Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_enterprise_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_677710.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:29:50 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:29:50 PM
    SHA1: 4E0450AC73AB6F9F755EB422990CD9C7A1F3509C
    ISO/CRC: E3586659
     Windows 7 Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_enterprise_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_677651.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:30:00 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:30:00 PM
    SHA1: A491F985DCCFB5863F31B728DDDBEDB2FF4DF8D1
    ISO/CRC: CE09FA98
     Windows 7 Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_677460.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:45:59 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:45:59 PM
    SHA1: 65FCE0F445D9BF7E78E43F17E441E08C63722657
    ISO/CRC: 35511F11
     Windows 7 Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English)
    File Name: en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_677332.iso
    Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:46:21 PM
    Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:46:21 PM
    SHA1: 36AE90DEFBAD9D9539E649B193AE573B77A71C83
    ISO/CRC: 992B8FCD
    Featured post

    50+ FTP Sites to Download Softwares, Games, Music, Movies and e-Books

    Internet definitely has several unheard places of also known as underground websites, few of these website offer users 100s and 1000s of softwares, games, movies and music for downloads, though these sites are pretty tough to find, we were able to unearth more than 50+ FTP sites that allow users to download softwares, games, movies and music for free. Here is a list of 50+ FTP sites that will allow you download content for free.

    FTP Sites to Download Softwares, Games, Music, Movies and e-Books

    8. ftp://clubmusic:clubmusic@
    20. ftp://leech:l33ch@

    5 Software Replacements For Broken Hardware

    Computers aren’t that expensive any more but why spend money buying a new one when all you have is a broken keyboard or dis-functional power switch for your monitor. Here are great utilities that can serve as replacements when specific hardware goes haywire:

    1. Monitor Off:

    If the power button on your monitor doesn’t work any more, don’t fear. MonitorOff is a simple utility that can turn the power of your monitor off when you rub it. To turn your monitor on again, simply move your mouse or press a key on your keyboard.

    2. Optical Drive Tray:

    So your CD Rom drive works but the little button thingy on it is moody? Use this handy utility to open and close the drive tray with a simple slick. The great thing is, it supports up to 4 optical drives at any given time.

    3. Touch It (On Screen Keyboard):

    If you think your keyboard is a piece of junk, ditch it for an on-screen keyboard that can be customized. Touch-It is a great utility for this with extended features like task switching and multi monitor support.

    4. DK:Keyboard:

    If the LED light indicating the status of your CAPS LOCK and NUM LOCK keys is broken, use this great tool to have an on-screen bubble indicate their status.

    5. J-Mouse:

    Your mouse just broke but you do have an old joystick lying around? Use J-Mouse to turn a joystick or game pad into a mouse.

    Hardware Replacement

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