January 26th, 2006


BitTorrent speed tip.

I just configured my BitTorrent client to not allow connections from people using the default 6880-6889 data ports... and I'm seeing about a 5x sustained improvement in transfer rates. (~20K/sec to ~100K/sec.) My guess is that this is related to the cable modem companies who either traffic shape or throttle BitTorrent traffic. They apparently haven't implemented stateful packet inspection yet, and are only shaping/throttling by port number. Hence, anyone who uses the default ports (or anyone who tries to transfer files with someone using the default ports) gets throttled. Anyone who doesn't, gets the kind of speeds that BitTorrent was designed to give. (I'm assuming, of course, that you've correctly configured your firewall for BT in the first place. Cuz you won't ever get above 10K/sec without doing that.)

Also, if you're using a LinkSys WRT-54 series router (and a lot of us are), their TCP/IP implementation sucks donkey balls. You can install an embedded version of Linux on it that will perform better. But this is recommended only for advanced users, since if you screw it up you can destroy the router.

So now you know.
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