How many times have you cursed your ISP for utorrent download speed slow internet download speed? How many times have you stopped and restarted your torrents on utorrent, hoping that it would somehow seed/leech fast?
Well, you are not entirely wrong for blaming your ISP, but restarting your torrents won’t do any good. How to increase utorrent download speed?
Utorrent speed up of course depends on your connection, resources of your ISP, traffic, etc. But there are some tweaks you can perform on your utorrent client to show a permanent and significant improvement in speed.
And these tweaks are not limited to just speed. These 14 steps will help you with security and overall how to make utorrent faster experience as well.
14 tweaks to improve utorrent experience
- Changing the bandwidth settings
- Improve upload speed
- Setting up queues efficiently
- Bandwidth allocation of individual torrents
- Improving the health of torrents
- Automation of Peer discovery
- Port Forwarding
- Improving disk cache
- Ads removal
- Downloading anonymously
- Encryption of files
- Preventing Malware and viruses
- Remote management
- Upgrade/Downgrade utorrent
Changing the bandwidth settings
The first step is to eliminate high expectations and get realistic. By that I mean you have to check what is the connection speed of your internet or the internet you are going to use for torrenting.
You can check your internet speed using tools like https://www.speedtest.net/.
Now that you know what your speed limit is, we can move on to making configuration changes.
The first step is to check how much speed is your utorrent client able to pull. Open “options” and then go to “Setup Guide”.
Check the utorrent bandwidth settings and network box and click on the “Run Tests” button.
Ideally, the utorrent automatically configures to give you the best result possible. You can still go for changing stuff manually but it can get complicated and is beyond the scope of this article.
By Default, your global upload and download rate limit is 0 kB/s, which means unlimited and is ideal for power users.
Improve upload speed
If you have been torrenting for a while then you know that maintaining a ratio is one of the most important parts of torrenting.
Therefore, the algorithm of utorrent is designed in such a way that uploads and downloads are symmetric. Meaning, if you limit upload to much then your download will get restricted automatically.
If you have a fixed bandwidth of the internet then leaving this setting as default is the best option for you. But if you are using limited bandwidth for example your mobile hotspot then you can decrease your upload by 25%.
So if your upload speed is 100 kB/s then reducing by 25% means 0.75 kB/s.
The better alternative to decrease upload speed is to limit working on large queues and pay more attention to small queues.
Setting up queues efficiently
There is no such ideal combination of queue settings in the utorrent client. Everything depends on your needs and your resources. You can queue more than 50 torrents and the client will run, but each torrent will take a piece of your bandwidth.
So logically speaking, to improve the download performance you have to shorten your upload queue. Click on “Options”, then “Preferences” and then “Queuing”.
If you have high-speed internet then you can go for a 1:1 download/upload ratio but if not then 2:1 is what I recommend.
Once you have found your best match, head over to the main dashboard, right-click on your torrent and click on “Force Start”. This will override any utorrent settings
Bandwidth allocation of individual torrents
The next thing you can do is prioritize important torrents. If you have many torrents downloading simultaneously then you can set high priority for the torrent you want to download quickly.
Right-Click on the important torrent, scroll to “Bandwidth Allocation” and click on “High”.
This does not mean that you will set “High” bandwidth allocation for all the torrents. Because then there will be no difference as it will not increase your internet bandwidth. All it does is give more bandwidth to selected torrents.
One thing that you can do is set a low bandwidth for the least important torrents, in that way you will have more available bandwidth for important torrents.
Improving the health of torrents
How to increase seeds and peers?
Before we get into some techniques to improve the health of a torrent file, we need to understand what a torrent file is.
Torrent files are essentially files containing meta-data. This meta-data has information about the main content(which you want to download) with links and information about peers. Peers are of two types:
- Leechers: Peers who are downloading the torrent.
- Seeders: Peers who are uploading the torrent.
So it makes sense to choose a torrent that has high seeders and low leechers. This is what a healthy torrent is. Before downloading any torrent that you find, make sure the seeder to leecher ratio is good enough.
You can check your torrent files directly from the utorrent, but only after adding them. If you are serious about choosing a healthy torrent from the beginning then you won’t mind doing an extra step right?
Just head to linuxtracker.org, and check the file before downloading. This website will give you a pretty good idea about the torrent and its health.
Now that you know what a healthy torrent is and how to check a torrent, let us move on to how you can improve a torrent.
Adding trackers to torrents
Getting more peers for a torrent will definitely improve the health of a torrent file, especially if they are seeders. All the data of the content is served by servers known as trackers. Therefore, more trackers mean more seeders.
Right-click on any torrent you want to add more seeders to, at the end of the menu you will find “Properties”, click on it and a pop-up will appear.
Copy and paste the list of trackers you have in the pop-up and click on okay. This will add extra servers to your torrents and will result in a better download speed.
This is just one way of finding more peers. It is simple but you are dependent on the list of trackers. The next point will help you find peers automatically.
Automation of Peer discovery
These methods of peer discovery will find peers automatically for you. So you don’t need to add trackers to torrent manually. Go to “preferences” from “options” and select “Bit torrent”.
Here you will find the following 3 settings which you need to enable:
- DHT: Also known as a distributed hash table or bootstrapping. This will enable decentralization for finding peers, which will reduce the load on the central server.
- PEX: This will help you find new peers through a single peer.
- Local Peer Discovery: This method will enable the discovery of peers in LAN connections. Thus, improving security as ISP will not be involved.
Utorrent uses the BitTorrent network to share files and data. And due to multiple obvious reasons, your ISP may ban or reduce the speed to a bare minimum for the BitTorrent networks. This will result in little to no speed at all.
To stay connected with the network, you will need to map or forward the utorrent port, so that your device can be connected. In the case of utorrent, it will allow your peers to connect with you through a specific utorrent port.
Enabling NAT-PMP and UPnP mapping
NAT-PMP and UPnP are mapping protocols that automate the best ports for utorrent forwarding for you. These Protocols help you connect with peers directly and at a much faster rate. You have to enable them on your utorrent client and on your router as well.
Just go to “options”-> ”preference”-> ”Connections” and check both options.
Improving disk cache
Utorrent by default uses “disk cache”, this helps store frequently accessed data in memory. Using cache memory, utorrent loads faster as it doesn’t have to read and write data into the computer’s hard disk every time you access utorrent.
You are suggested not to change the settings if you are not a power user. But if you are one then open “preferences” -> “Advanced” -> “Disk Cache” and check the override automatic cache and assign value 512and uncheck Reduce memory usage, so that the value stays the same throughout.
NOTE: This can often lead to disk overloading and result in an error “Disk Overload 100%”. So only enable this when you are sure you need high speed for a lot of torrents.
Utorrent is free thanks to ads, it can be irritating but this is what brings them revenue to sustain. Although you can purchase a paid plan which will have no ads, there is a way in which you can disable those noisy ads in the free version as well.
Head to the “Advanced” section in preference. You will find a filter to search for specific flags. Write sponsored and a flag with the name “offers.sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled” will appear.
Select and set the value as “False”. Do the same thing for the following flags:
Restart your client for changes to take effect.
If you are interacting with the torrent network without hiding your information, then you are really giving an invitation to trouble. The files that you are trying to download are probably illegal to share.
As we know that torrent network is based on peer-to-peer connection, all the information of peers is visible and necessary for file transfer. You can find information about your peers as well.
Open your utorrent client and press F5. Select “peers” from your downloads. Voila, all the information that is needed to get you in trouble is visible, to all your peers.
One of your peers can be a hacker and you won’t even have a clue. But before deciding to quit torrenting read the below segment of the article.
There are ways to be anonymous and interact with torrents, namely seedboxes, VPN, and remote servers. Let me explain them in brief for you.
A Virtual Private Network is nothing but a tunnel that connects your Original IP address with a VPS using strong encryption. This tunnel hides all your information from leaking out and even if someone is targeting you, the strong encryption will make sure that it won’t be an easy task.
There are many VPNs available in the market and the majority of them are paid. But, you get a free OpenVPN with every cheap seedbox that your purchase, and your Seedbox becomes your VPS.
Each VPN has a different set of steps for configuration but they are easy to do.
Proxy servers will not completely hide your IP address but will hide the specific application that you choose. So you can hide all activity from utorrent client. The upside is that it is much cheaper than a VPN but a downside is that it is less secure.
Steps to setup proxy server with utorrent:
- Open utorrent
- Follow this path: Options > Preferences > Connections > Proxy Server Section
- Fill in your proxy server information and check all the boxes
- Click on apply
This is the best option you will find to interact with torrents. Seedboxes are basically remote servers that provide your space to keep your torrents and security to hide your information. These servers are specifically made and configured to interact with torrents.
Cheap Seedbox comes with a VPN for free. Using this VPN you connect with your seedbox and all that interaction with the torrent network is done by your seedbox. Thus, you have complete anonymity and security.
Seedboxes come with some applications as well like Plex, Emby, etc. using which you can stream your files on the go too. They have high-speed bandwidth so that you can get a perfect ratio and download without cursing your own internet connection.
Encryption of files
ISPs are smart and can recognize patterns of BitTorrent network with your online activity. So it is wise to enable encryption of traffic from your utorrent client.
Open “Options” -> “Preference” -> “BitTorrent”. Here you will find a “Protocol Encryption” section. Select “Enable” from the drop-down menu and check the box beside it.
But this is not enough, you have to combine it with VPN encryption to make a lethal combo to challenge the actions of your ISP.
Preventing Malware and viruses
Even after taking all the measures that you can, you are still at risk. The Perr-to-Peer world is full of hackers and scammers, ready with their toolkit for utorrent speed hack. All they have to do is upload an infected file to the network.
All the systems that are downloading that will are done for. So you have to be very vigilant of the files that you are choosing to download.
These are some simple measures you can take to be extra cautious:
- Check the torrent health, contributors profile, and comments to make sure the file is good to interact with.
- If the file has low seeders, then there must be something wrong with the file.
- If you are iterating with torrents for downloading software then you have to be 100% sure of the source from which the file is coming.
- Check the file size after downloading. If you think that it is too low or too high, then say goodbye. For example, if you download a Bluray move and the size is 2 Mb, then it is definitely what you intended to download.
- Use antivirus software and keep your system and applications Up-to-date.
A premium vision of utorrent comes with an antivirus, but that will only scan your files. So being vigilant is the best option for you.
Utorrent has the functionality for you to manage it remotely. So you can manage all your torrent on the go with an application.
But you have to configure the utorrent client with your application first. Follow these simple steps to enable remote management of utorrent:
- Go to Options > Preferences > Remote.
- Check the box “Enable the uTorrent Remote Access”
- Give your computer a name and password.
- Set a Security Question in case you transfer the remote account to another computer.
- Once logged in, you will be able to see your uTorrent app with current downloads/uploads right from the web browser.
One piece of advice that I would like to give you is, do not update an application every time there is an update. Check the features and changes it has and is it suitable for you or not.
Utorrent has many versions and users are mostly satisfied with what they have. Most of them are satisfied with v2.2.1, it is light, gives good speed up utorrent, doesn’t have any advertisements.
Newer versions are better but you have to consume those advertisements as well.
So choose what is best situated for you and your usage. Be vigilant and take as many steps as you can to get the best out of your utorrent client.
If you have more points to add, do mention them in the comments below.