One of the biggest issues in the world of torrenting is the speed. Sometimes the slow download of a torrent can be very frustrating and it may even seem impossible to finally get it. Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to improve this kind of situation.
Safety Before Speed
Before we continue with our suggestions on how to increase your speed, we have to mention a very important thing. Nowadays, torrenting unprotected can be a very risky thing. From hackers to copyright agencies, there are entities monitoring your activity through your torrent downloads.
Before even thinking about speed, your priority should be getting a VPN to download torrents safely. A Virtual Private Network is a very handy software that makes you anonymous and very hard to trace. That way you will be safe while using your torrent program.
Tips to Increase Download Speeds
As we mentioned before, there are some things you can change to get a higher velocity. Some of them are obvious, but we're sure you'll find new information that will help you.
1. You Cannot Go Higher Than Your ISP Plan
The first thing to understand is that you cannot have more than what your Internet Service Provider gives you. In other words, your monthly plan limit is the maximum speed you can possibly achieve. The easiest and most obvious way of increasing your download speed is by getting a better Internet plan. You can always check what your ISP is offering, or even consider a new provider.
2. Make Sure You are Not Being Throttled
It is common for an ISP to throttle a connection when they realize one of their customers is torrenting. This kind of downloads consume a lot of bandwidth, and slowing down your connection is a way of saving resources.
This is actually another advantage of using a Virtual Private Network. A VPN avoids torrent throttling because it encrypts your Internet connection. The ISP cannot see what you are doing and won't slow you down.
3. Select a Healthy Torrent File
This is also a big one. A file that has few seeders and peers will download much slower than one that has many of them. Always check these numbers and prioritize the number of seeders. They are the reason why older torrent files are slower. They have fewer people sharing them.
4. Limit Your Upload Speed
Another advice is to limit your upload speed to around 80% of your total upload rate. When it comes to the download limit, leave it as 0, it is the maximum.
You can do that in the bandwidth options, as in the image above. Before doing so, test your upload speed and then calculate 80% of that value.
5. Adding More Trackers
A new tracker means new peers and seeders, which results in faster speeds. Keep in mind that trackers change constantly, many close and new ones appear. That being said, adding new trackers on a regular basis can make a difference.
Trackers can be found by right-clicking on each torrent, still active in your BitTorrent client. They will be in “Properties“, you can copy from other sources and paste them there. After including them, make sure you check if the number of seeders and peers increased. That would mean you included good ones.
6. Windows Firewall Exception
If you tick the box to add a Windows Firewall exception in the “Connection” preferences, you will be connected to more people sharing the same files. This means that the firewall won't block any sources, connecting you directly to more seeds.
7. The Wi-Fi Connection
Your Wi-Fi can also have an impact on your downloads. A common scenario is
Sometimes, that distance is even worse when there are metallic objects between you and the router. Metal weakens your Wi-Fi signal because it absorbs the waves.
If you can, connect directly to the router. Most users notice a big improvement when doing so.
8. Get a Light BitTorrent Client
A lightweight software like uTorrent or qBitTorrent is a better option. The program focuses its efforts on the download and upload tasks, making it more efficient.
There are others that have a ton of add-ons that allow the user to tweak it and have a lot of functionalities. The downside is that it consumes resources that will affect speed.
Doing Your Part to Have Healthy Torrents
We couldn't talk about this subject without mentioning that it all depends on you, the user. In order to have healthy torrents and good download speeds, you also have to contribute to a healthy ecosystem.
Make sure you seed the torrent files you downloaded, at least until it reaches a 1:1 ratio, meaning you gave back to other users the same amount that you took. If everyone did that, the number of seeders would be higher, meaning it would take a long time for torrents to become old and slow.
After applying such changes to your software, you should see an increase in your download speed. But always remember that your safety is more important and there are tools to keep you safe, such as a Virtual Private Network.