BitTorrent is one of the most common protocols of transferring large amounts of data over the internet. It is a protocol is based on peer-to-peer file sharing. At any given moment, BitTorrent has, more active users then YouTube and Facebook combined according to Wikipedia.
It is capable to transfer a huge amount of data and because of that all users are trying to find how to speed up torrent downloads. The most popular BitTorrent client is uTorrent, and that is why we are going to show you how to speed up uTorrent.
Speed Up uTorrent
These tips may be used on any other BitTorrent client, not just uTorrent. Note that we are not going to show you how to speed up internet – we are going to show you how to speed up uTorrent downloads.
Increase download speed
There are a few tricks which may show you how to increase download speed. This is going to speed up torrent download speed. You can speed up torrent downloads by following these tips:
Seed and peer ratio
This is a quite simple tip, but it is extremely important when deciding which torrent you are going to download from torrent download sites like The Pirate Bay.
All these torrent download sites are going to show you the recent seed/peer ratio. So, it is important to look for torrents with best ratio. Usually torrents with more seeds compared to peers are better. So, 100 seeds and 50 peers is better than 1000 seeds (seeders) and 1000 peers (leechers).
Cap your upload
This is probably the most important thing every BitTorrent user should care about. If your connection upload speed reach it’s max, your download rate is going to suffer significantly. Capping your upload may speed up uTorrent downloads.
To change your upload connection limit, go to uTorrent Options > Preferences > Bandwidth and set Maximum upload rate (kB/s) to the 70% of your upload speed at max.
If you do not know which upload speed you have, there are many ways to find that out easily. I would recommend you to take this SpeedTest.
Optimize Upload Speed Settings
By using this upload settings calculator, you can automatically know how to apply optimal settings on your uTorrent client.
All you need is to type in your upload speed (in KiloBits/sec). If you do not know your current upload speed cap, go and check it out on these sites.
Speed up uTorrent downloads
Another important option to setup Number of Connections inside your uTorrent client. You can find this option under Options > Preferences > Bandwidth:
This is my own formula which works on my computer. For my upload connection speed of 1024 kB/s and download of 12288 kB/s (12 Mbit/s). I tested these formulas on my uTorrent clients with the same torrent downloads and it works.
Number of connections formulas
- Global maximum number of connections: upload speed / 1,95 (my connection: 525)
- Maximum number of connected peers per torrent: upload speed / 3,65 (my connection: 280)
- Number of upload slots per torrent: upload speed / 128 (my connection: 8)
Also, leave that “Use additional upload slots if upload speed < 90%” Checked.
Cap your download speed at 2x of your speed
Update: Thanks for Marko who send us this tip. I think it is worth to mention this because it helped me to go from 700 kb/s to 950kb/s on one torrent in a short time.
Go to Options > Preferences > Bandwidth and set Maximum download rate option to 2x of your maximum download speed. For my connection it would be 24576 kb/s instead of unlimited “0” setting.
Strange but seems this works on some torrents.
Use uTorrent 3.4+ Version
The uTorrent 3.4 version (and above) includes an update to the connection strategy, the optimize finding the fastest peers. Because of this, it is recommended to use the latest version of uTorrent client in order to speed up uTorrent.
Set DHT Rate
Hassan from Egypt sent me an email telling me that his download speed improved after changing default DHT Rating value (-1) to 2000. By changing this, I have noticed a small improvement in download speed on some torrents and it might work for you as well.
DHT should, in theory, increase your average transfer speeds, by potentially finding more seeds and peers than the other scraping methods.
To change your DHT Rate go to Preferences (CTRL+P) > Advanced and search for dht. When you find dht.rate in your advanced setting list, click on it and change it to 2 from -1 default value. Just like it is shown on the below screenshot:
You should limit DHT value especially when you have a lot of enabled torrents (which are downloading or uploading) and if you restart uTorrent frequently.
Set “High” Bandwidth Allocation
On some torrents you can force your client to get the better bandwidth allocation from the current seeders. To do that right-click on a torrent you wish to speed-up and go to [ Bandwidth Allocation > High ]:
Wait a few minutes and you will probably see how torrent download speed is increasing.
Change to Random Port
Some firewalls actually may block ports that are accessed by your torrent client. This might drastically affect your download speed. To change this setting, go to [ Options > Preferences > Connection > Random Port ]:
This will force uTorrent to connect to a random port. On some systems, this might highly improve your download speed with uTorrent.
Force Protocol Encryption
Force Protocol Encryption will not be beneficial to everyone. It can only make your transfers faster if your own ISP (service provider) actively slows down torrent transfers. However, you can try to force this option and see how it works for you.
To apply this option go to [Options > Preferences > BitTorrent]:
Also make sure the check box for Allowing incoming legacy connections checked if not by default.
If after applying some of these settings above you experience bad performances, feel free to restore values to default.
- August 2014, Added several speed up options (thanks to heme)
- March 2014: Added upload settings calculator.
- May 2014: Added Protocol Encryption feature.