How to Increase Torrent Speeds

How to Increase Torrent Speeds

Don’t you hate slow torrent speeds?

You’re patiently waiting for that hot piece of content to finish downloading, but it feels like you’re on a dial-up connection from 20 years ago.

But not to worry. Because there are several methods you can use to troubleshoot and increase torrent speeds. Let’s take a look.

How to Increase Torrent Speeds?

Follow the steps and tips below to boost your torrent speeds. 

1. Check for and avoid throttling

Many internet providers will “throttle” torrent downloads, limiting their bandwidth while the rest of your traffic continues as normal. Some networks, like the one at your work or school, can do this too. 

At times, throttling can be so extreme as to make torrenting impossible. And some networks will even stop your torrent from downloading completely. 

That is, unless you know how to get around it.

There are two simple ways to bypass torrent throttling:

  • Using a different internet connection, one that’s not throttled. For instance, if you’re using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, try waiting until you’re back at home to download.
  • Using a virtual private network or VPN, which will encrypt your traffic. Since the ISP can’t read the encrypted traffic, it can’t throttle it.

Our favorite VPN for this is PIA VPN, since it's so easy to use and affordable. 

2. Check your total bandwidth

You can apply all the different tips or tricks that you want – but at the end of the day, your torrent speeds are still tied to your base internet bandwidth, whether it’s your home internet or the local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi.

So, if you’ve done everything you can to maximize your downloads and they’re still not fast enough for your liking, either switch to a better connection or upgrade your internet plan entirely.

3. Check your Wi-Fi (or use a wired connection)

That being said, even the fastest fiber-optic connection can feel slower if you’re connected through Wi-Fi. For one, your distance to the router – and anything that may be obstructing it, like the walls in your home – can weaken the connection.

Plus, not all wireless routers and cards are created equal, and many simply don’t have the hardware necessary to put out (or take advantage of) top speeds.

With that in mind, try troubleshooting your router and its location. Or better yet, switch to a wired connection to help maximize your torrent speeds.

4. Use a lightweight torrent client

In theory, most torrent clients should provide the same download speeds. However, some clients are filled with unnecessary add-ons that use extra system resources, which could cause small speed losses. Especially if you’re using a less powerful system.

So, go with a proven, lightweight torrent client instead.

5. Choose a torrent with enough seeders

The speed of your torrent is largely determined by the number of seeders it has. A torrent with lots of seeders will download faster, while a torrent with just one or two seeders may crawl along.

And if there are no seeders? The file won’t download at all. So, for the best speeds, try to always choose healthy torrents with lots of seeders.

Of course, this isn’t always possible. In that case, you just have to accept that the old or obscure file you’re trying to download from a single seeder is going to take longer than usual.

6. Add more trackers

Trackers add seeders, and seeders are good for your download speed. So, add more trackers.

You can do this pretty easily by copying them from another source and then pasting them into your torrent client. In qBittorrent, you’ll find the place to do this by right-clicking the torrent and selecting ‘Edit Trackers’. In uTorrent, it’s under Properties > General.

You can find a complete list of torrent trackers here.

7. Reduce torrent upload speed

When you download a torrent, you’re actually uploading it too, as long as there are currently other leechers. This is the default setting in most torrent clients.

However, it’s possible to reduce the upload rate to save on bandwidth. We wouldn’t recommend reducing it entirely, since that’d make you a 100% leecher – and no one wants to be just a leecher. Plus, it can actually make your downloads slower.

But dropping it from the unlimited upload speed it’s set at by default to something like 80% of your maximum bandwidth can help improve your download speeds, especially if there are a lot of peers for that particular torrent.

This can be accomplished from the settings menu in most torrent clients. In qBittorrent, it’s under ‘Speed’.

8. Add a Windows Firewall exception

Firewalls block apps from connecting to the internet. And that’s the last thing you want when you’re torrenting, especially since fast torrent speeds require multiple connections.

So, add an exception to your Windows Firewall to stop it from blocking your torrent client. For uTorrent, this can be done within the app under Options > Preferences > Connections. Just click the box for ‘Add Windows firewall exception’.

If you’re using qBittorrent, it may already be set, but you can check Windows Defender Firewall to be sure. Select ‘Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall’ and check to see if qBittorrent is already allowed. If not, just click ‘Change Settings’ and click the boxes.

Using firewall exceptions to increase torrent speeds

The Downsides of Fast Torrent Speeds

There’s nothing wrong with optimizing your torrent speeds. But at the end of the day, it’s worth taking a small hit to your downloading capabilities by protecting your torrent traffic with a VPN.

Because everyone from internet service providers to copyright trolls are going after torrenters harder than ever these days. So, if you don’t want to get a letter from your ISP (or worse), you should encrypt your connection when torrenting.

Fortunately, VPNs like PIA VPN cause minimal, if any, loss in torrenting speeds. Especially now that they've added Wireguard servers. 

How to Increase Torrent Speeds: Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of steps you can take to increase your torrent speeds. And most of them can be applied in only a few minutes.

If you apply all of the above and are still having problems, you may have some deeper issues with your computer or your ISP. Of course, you could always switch to Usenet to grab media even faster than torrents can manage.

February 1, 2023

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