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26 October 2005

Improving Bittorrent speeds? [More:]I have nothing to compare it to but I *feel* like Bittorrent is one of the slower things I've ever used. I sometimes will download a TV show and it'll take... oh, days. Sometimes 2 days and sometimes 5. For a 1 hour program. WTH? I have my IP address in the preferences and I read this page but didn't understand anything after the theory as they don't once mention Macs.

How can I speed this thing up? Right now I'm downloading a file and I see these numbers under transfer:

22.0 MiB ^ 1.9 KiB/s
16.3 MiB > 4.5 KiB/s

( > should be pointing down )

That's with 21 seeds and 80 peers.

However, you will get better speeds if you can accept incoming connections as well. To do this you must use the "port forwarding" feature of whatever is performing the NAT/gateway task. For example, if you have a cable or DSL connection and a router/switch/gateway/firewall, you will need to go into the configuration of this device and forward ports 6881-6889 to the local machine that will be using BitTorrent. If your device makes it hard to enter a range of ports (if you must enter each one separately), then you can just do the first 10 or so ports, or however many simultaneous clients you plan to ever have open. If more than one person behind such a gateway wishes to use BitTorrent, then each machine should use a different port range, and the gateway should be configured to forward each port range to the corresponding local machine.
posted by dodgygeezer 26 October | 05:50
Thanks, dg, but that's greek to me. I have a cable modem that gets 5.82 mbps download and 791 kbps upload (just ran a test). That's the extent of my knowledge about my modem.

Anyone with OS X able to tell m exactly (in idiot-detail) what I need to do?
posted by dobbs 26 October | 05:55
OK, that probably doesn't seem very helpful. Basically you need to reconfigure your gateway or firewall so it forwards ports 6881 to 6889 to your computer. You may need to check the manual to know how to do this although if you name the model someone here may be able to offer more advice.

By the way, once you do this you will not see an immediate improvement. It can take quite a while for a torrent download to hit top speed, so be patient.
posted by dodgygeezer 26 October | 05:55
Ick! Sorry, I must've posted at the same time as you.
posted by dodgygeezer 26 October | 05:57
Hmm, well, I'm gonna go to bed and attack this problem tomorrow. My modem's a WebStar DPC2100 and I'm on OS X Tiger.

Also, am I right in thinking the numbers above are pitiful?

(Thanks, dodgy.)
posted by dobbs 26 October | 06:04
Yep dobbs, you have a configuration problem. Particularly for TV shows (which usually have lots of people in the swarm), it should come close to maxing out your connection, rather than the trickle you're seeing.

DG's advice should get you on the right track.
posted by killdevil 26 October | 07:43
which program are you using? I've found Bits on Wheels to be better than others (i think it's mac only)

and, of course, since it's free, i just go with it anyway, fast or slow--beggars can't be choosers. : >
posted by amberglow 26 October | 09:56
Here is an html link to your modem manual It appears this is a "dumb modem," if you will, merely providing a connection. Post what kind of router / firewall you are using and collectively we can get it groovin'

Conversely, if you are connecting this directly to your machine, I'm inclined to believe you have the OSX firewall enabled.

To open ports related to bittorrent do the following:

System Preferences; Click Sharing; Select the Firewall tab.
Click the New... button. Click the popup menu in the dialog that appears, choose other

In the Port Number, Range field, enter 6881-6999.
In the Name field, enter BitTorrent or whatever
Click OK.
posted by AllesKlar 26 October | 11:08
allesklar, do I put those numbers in the TCP Port Numbers field or the UDP Port Numbers field? I tried in both but saw no difference but I have no idea if the change should be immediate.

amberglow, I'm just using Bittorrent. I didn't know there were other programs.
posted by dobbs 26 October | 12:42
And do I have to restart Bittorrent or my computer for those firewall changes to take effect?
posted by dobbs 26 October | 12:43
What also helps (sometimes, YMMV) is changing the default ports on which Bittorrent connects to something else. A lot of providers throttle the standard Bittorrent traffic because it's illegal and because it's expensive because it uses a lot of their bandwidth. I have mine set in the 50000 range and it goes often quite fast. 150 KB/s is no exception.
posted by mare 26 October | 14:17
dobbs - you've probably figured this out by now, but it's the tcp ports, I forgot about this thread; rebooting shouldn't be necessary.

mare has a good suggestion.
posted by AllesKlar 26 October | 21:57
allesklar, no I hadn't figured it out. Well, I mean, the numbers are in there but I see no difference in the speed. At one point today it was less than 1 KBps.

I don't really understand Mare's suggestion, though I'm sure it's a good one. :)

My Mac is screwy and really pissing me off. It behaves like it has a virus. For instance, about a week ago I started getting no sound from WMVs or Flash animations or Quicktime movies unless they're in a browser. It's very frustrating as it seems whenever something gets fixed something else breaks.

With Bittorrent, I gave some numbers above with ^ in between them. What do the first set of (high) numbers mean? The ones to the left of the ^. The ones on the right are obviously my dl / ul speeds as they constantly change but what are the other numbers?
posted by dobbs 26 October | 22:07
My BT also has things constantly in the log:

Tracker announce still not complete 120 seconds after starting it
Tracker announce still not complete 180 seconds after starting it

Etc etc. Over and over again every minute.
posted by dobbs 26 October | 22:08
Also, re: my soudn problem. VLC has sound. iTunes have sound. No idea why WMVs and Flash don't. It was fine a few weeks ago.
posted by dobbs 26 October | 22:09
Okay, so now the numbers to the left of the ^ are and down arrow are very high. Between 285 and 515.
posted by dobbs 26 October | 22:53
Linux: is it awesome or is it totally wack? || *YAWN*