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Slow Bit Torrent downloads? Router configuration tips.

This discussion thread has 1943 messages.

When I first started downloading torrent files, I was amazed at how slow they seemed to be. I never got above 10k a second on a good day, and my friends claimed a wooping 240k+ at time... I was sick, and so I went to find answers.

First off, this problem is with blocked ports in your router. I see in these forums that many people know that a problem with blocked ports is happening, but not sure how to solve the problem. Ill explain how it’s done with a Linksys router, and its very similar with other routers.

first off, you need to find your routers ip address so you can log into it and work with its ports. to find your routers IP, do this

1. Go to 'Start ---- Run' and type in 'cmd'

2. This opens a black 'dos' screen, don't be alarmed. type
ipconfig /all

3. you will see some information like this

your routers Ip address is going to be the 'Default Gateway' and in most linksys cases,

4. You need to go to a web browser, and type in that ip address where you would normally go to a website, like this

5. you will be prompted for a user name and password, and if you have linksys, and never have been here before, it will be

user name : admin
password : admin

EDIT : Depending on your model and make of your router, your screen might look different, and your default passwords might also be different. Contact your manufacture to get this information. If it is not obvious which screen you are to open ports in, contact your manufacture and ask them. Also, download your newest firmware for your router, as this might help.

6. You will need to find the area that says Port Range Forwarding and go to that screen, it looks like this.

7. As you can see, i have added in the ports for Torrent files, 6881 ~ 6889. You need to do the same, allowing those ports that are used for high speed downloading, into your computer.


In that previous picture, you need to make sure you have it forward to YOUR INTERNAL IP ADDRESS. To find this, look at the screen shot that is in DOS, that you used to find your routers IP address, and look for 'IP Address'. On linksys, primary computer, it should be

anyways, save changes, and that should do it.

Hope this helps out, I have to go because my wife just got home from work, and wants me off the computer ;) /sigh

EDIT : today (April 6) I just read the responses and questions some of you had, and it seems that most people are having problems because of different manufacture of router. Although the idea is the same, the steps will slightly differ depending on what router you use, and also depend on if you have a software firewall. For those of you that have software firewall (Norton’s personal firewall etc) you will have to add the ranges into the software. For those of you who are using windows XP built-in firewall, search Google for 'ports in windows xp firewall' or something similar. I hope this helps out. if you have more questions, post them, and I will try to answer.

Opening ports within windows xp's built in crap firewall. It can be a bit time consuming, because you can not add port ranges, only single ports, so you will need to do this about 16 or so times, for each port between 6881 ~ 6889...

1) Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections and then click Network Connections.

2) If you have a cable modem or digital subscriber line (DSL) connection, under LAN or High-Speed Internet, click the connection you use for the Internet.

3)Under Network Tasks, click Change settings of this connection.

4) On the Advanced tab, make sure that the check box Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet is selected.

5)Click Settings.

6)On the Services tab, click Add.

7)In Description of service, type a name so that you can identify the port you want to open. For example: Torrent. Type a name that will help you remember the service and the port. You can use any name that you want. The name does not have any effect on the functionality but is only to help you remember.

8) In Name or IP address of the computer hosting this service on your network, type your ip address

9) In External Port number for this service and Internal Port number for this service, type the port number (the same number in both boxes).

10) Click either TCP or UDP, and then click OK.

11) Repeat this process for each port that needs to be opened. That means you need to repeat every step, adding both TCP and UDP ports for each number from 6881 ~ 6889. When your done, you should have 16 services added in there when you are done, i would recommend naming them something like

and so on.

Hope that helps, if not, all you need to do is this...

Go to your local college; enroll in network engineering, and take a few years of those courses and that should straiten all this out.

Good Luck!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 May 2005 @ 8:03
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Some questions tho'

What BT Client are you using?
If Azureus, do you have the latest version?
Do you have the safe_peer plugin installed?

If it is another BT client, do you have PeerGuardian installed on the PC that runs the BT Client?

If you dont have some protection like that, your PC is now WIDE OPEN to the authorities!!!

Your router will provide no protection for those ports, because you have forwarded them, therefore bypassing the protection inherent in the router.

Anyway, the port forwarding is only of use if you intend to publish via BT - there is no benefit otherwise, the speed increases you have seen are coincidental, as the forwarding only allows the initiation of remote connections, otherwise all connections would be initiated locally.

The major factors affecting D/L speeds are:
upload rate
capacity of the tracker
traffic on the tracker
tracker latency


Life is just more of the same:
strange, for some reason, me, and about 10 others I have worked on their machine is the same,

when those ports are not open, we CANNOT get over 15k a sec. the second we open those ports, and change nothing else, it bumps up immediatly to over 150k a sec.

coincidental? How can that be, it effects every machine I have done it to immediatly after those ports are open?
btw, for torrent files I use PTC, and use PeerGuardian.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Feb 2004 @ 18:21
coincidental? How can that be, it effects every machine I have done it to immediatly after those ports are open?
a common factor is: YOU have configured ALL those machines


You should have a good look at your configuration then, and do some more investigation to try and discover what you are doing that causes that effect.

I use Azureus v2.0.7.0,
behind a gateway machine with a full NAT firewall,
all incomimg ports are stealthed,
no port forwarding,
all connections are initiated locally,
personal firewall on the machine the BT client runs on,
Azureus has the safe_peer plugin installed (uses peerguardian lookup table)

So, my BT client has to traverse 2 firewalls (the main NAT/Router and the personal one) both of which refuse incoming connections without entries in NAT requested by the application.

I have NO port forwarding.

Yet I regularly get 80K+ download speeds from a 1 Meg cable connection, with upload limited to 2 connections @ aggregate upload of 5K/sec (I have an asymetric connection).

It is all down to correct configuration - unless I have managed to achieve the impossible somehow!!!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Feb 2004 @ 18:31

Life is just more of the same:
Yes, i have configured each of the machines, this is true, but I know what I changed on each machine, only one thing. and by doing that ONE thing, my downloads go from 10 - 250. and your telling me it is coincidental? Im smart enough to see that by changing one thing, my speeds increase. its not like I have changed 100 things and need to go back and see what I did ;)

This is not an arguement at all, I want to know if I am doing something wrong, thats for sure heh, thank you for your opinions, i was just posting the procedure I use to make my connection downloads from torrent files extreamly fast.
Cool, no argument here.

I just don't like to see security compromised.

I am in the UK, so don't have to worry about RIAA/MPAA etc as much as you, seeing as you are in the USA, on an AT&T network.


Life is just more of the same:
elfranger Suspended due non-functional email address
anyone know how to change the ports in bittorrent? I am behind a firewall, and specific ports are open... On bittorrent homepage it says that the portrange is changeable, but I can't seem to find where...
Depends on which client you are using..

Read the documentation (helpfile, forum, authors page etc)

Or change to a client that allows you to configure that easily (Azureus for example).

Have Fun...

Life is just more of the same:
I know I'm a bit late for this thread, but I was wondering if I could get away with doing this sort of thing. I'm in the uk, and I'm getting a mere 5-6kb/s, if I'm lucky

Don't take a leak on a electric fence
DrChips stop lying and messing with people. It is obvious that you have to open up your ports to get optimum speed. This is documented EVERYWHERE!! Including the website of your program you use
I agree with camdog; my upload increased from 2kbs to 100skps after I opened my ports! Unless you're able back up your statement stop wasting people's time.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Mar 2004 @ 13:13

dorkhead: May I compliment you on your nickname, it is rare that someone knows themself :o

I think I shall take some time to deal with the points raised in your post:
DrChips stop lying and messing with people.
I think it best to let others decide about that, as you have already judged and condemned me, your prejudice becomes a factor in that process...
It is obvious that you have to open up your ports to get optimum speed.
That is a very open statement: I am not sure what speed you are referring to (u/l, d/l, swarm, total etc).
Further analysis may give us a hint as to what you are referring to.
I agree with camdog; my upload increased from 2kbs to 100skps after I opened my ports!
UPLOAD speed!
Yes, I agree that your upload speeds would show drastic improvement upon opening ports (as camdog did).
BUT: camdog was complaining about poor DOWNLOAD speeds
When I first started downloading torrent files, I was amazed at how slow they seemed to be.
I posted with respect to DOWNLOAD speeds, as camdog had complained about DOWNLOAD speeds - are you somehow confused about the differences between UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD?

From the link you so kindly provided:
When allocating bandwith, please allow at least 2kB/s per uploads, that means that using the default value of 4 uploads per torrent, you need AT LEAST 8kB/s of upload per downloading torrents. Not uploading will result in poor performances, trying to increase the number of uploads while the bandwidth is limited WILL result in a serious slow down.
If you read my posts, you will see that I have limited the number of uploads to 2 (down from the default of 4) so each upload EXCEEDS the minimum.

Admittedly, the torrent will start off slowly (that is quite common), but the DOWNLOAD speeds improve dramatically as it goes on.

I know the d/l rates because I run perfmon continuously in the background on that machine, and regularly see high figures on the graph (without opening ports, though occasionally I may increase the upload bandwidth to 10k overnight, depends on how much has been used - ISP monitors bandwidth VERY closely).

The important point here is:
camdog was complaining about DOWNLOAD.
I responded about DOWNLOAD.
You talk about UPLOAD.

If the original post complaint was about upload, AND I made those statements about upload, I would agree that I was wrong and you were right, but that is not so...

I have spent a LOT of time fine-tuning that machine, and the network it is on (java programming, QoS, routing etc) to get the best out of a limited resource (upload bandwidth), and I monitor it very closely.

I feel that it will be impossible for me to "back up" my statement to YOUR satisfaction as your prejudiced viewpoint would not allow you to accept anything I say.

Short of you actually coming round and seeing the d/l in action, there is no way I can convince you (screenshots can be PhotoShopped, logfiles can be faked etc).

I shall just happily carry on doing the impossible, if you don't mind ;)


Life is just more of the same:
Im not here to debate, but I do have to say I tested out opening these ports, I did only this, and my download speeds increased dramatically. I went from 1-3 to up to 60k. It works for me, great tip! Thanks!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Mar 2004 @ 5:46
what about a speedstream router? i think i config it right but just wanted to make sure didnt know about the udp or tcp thing. i notice u had both on urs for port application. and i changed mine under special applications ,and are the download and upload ports the same? or should i use a diffrent port for up load than downloads?
tanshin Suspended due non-functional email address
thanks this helped a lot
I too have had trouble with this... the thing is I have a D-Link router, and i cant figure out where to do it, although i think i have it right. The one thing that i need to know is what port bit torrent triggers on... my options are trigger port, and incomming port. I have 6881-6889 under incomming port, but im not sure what to put on trigger port. so, i just put 6881, hope that works.


CamDog, I'm having a little difficulty understanding some of your instructions. I got into my Linksys router config page and followed the directions for the "Torrent" settings but I don't know what to do for my Internal IP settings. You blurred out the text input fields so I don't know what to put there. Can you please tell me what to put there?

AIM= supergojita64
Hi, and thanks for the info. The problem when I type ini my gateway adress in IE or Mozilla it just says it cant be found. So, I dont know what the problem is there, any tips? I'm using a Motorola SB4200E cable moden if that help, with a USB connection.

Any help would be most appreciated as I have too many yellow lights on bit tornado!!!!
paiste Suspended due non-functional email address
Hey there guys,

I'm having the same problems as morris as well. I have a custom made computer someone has made for me and I opened up cmd and typed in iconfig/all and it said "iconfig' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file Camdog, would u happen to know how I can get around this so I can try your idea? Or does anyone else know? Thanks.
paiste Suspended due non-functional email address
btw, I'm using a Motorola SB4200E cable moden with a USB connection as well.
I opened up cmd and typed in iconfig/all and it said "iconfig' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file
Did you try ipconfig?

Afterdawn channel on IRC: #ad_buddies
yea the p would be kinda important

Philadelphia Flyers

Tronto Mapple Leafs

paiste Suspended due non-functional email address
K, so I typed it with the p and error pops up. It says the application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005). Click on OK to terminate the application . That's all that comes up. Is there something wrong with my isp?
I just keep coming up with cannot find server, click refresh

Don't take a leak on a electric fence
tuckergud Suspended due non-functional email address
Hi ive been reading through all of this and ive tried it yet nothing works

I have a I mbit connection and usally download at bout 110 k/b but when i doownload with bit torrent im downloading at 0KB and uploading at 29kb - it doesnt make no sense and thats wot its like with all the files

Ive port forwarded with my router which is a Linksys BEFSR81 i set it up as instructed yet nothing happens i have turned both firewalls off yet still nothing

Any Help welcome


Remember I am Great - TuckerisGREAT
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