This guide shows how to speed up downloads in the freeware bittorrent client, Deluge. All bittorrent programs need to have their incoming and outgoing communications flow freely in order to achieve the highest download speeds and that is what this guide is about.
This guide was put together using information given by the developers of bittorrent programs at their forums, guides and FAQs. There are no secret tricks, just the real basics of proper set up of a bittorrent program. Following these simple steps should result in increased download speed.
These are the basic principles of optimizing a bittorrent client, like Deluge, for speed:
- Choose a proper port to avoid ISP blocks and conflicts with other programs
- Forward that port through any software firewall and router to allow incoming connections
- Adjust internal settings based upon upload capacity of the internet connection to allow room for outgoing communications and to distribute upload efficiently.
There are some programs that claim to optimize speed in Deluge. Such programs are a scam and generally contain adware or spyware. I have seen it said, by the developers of all bittorrent programs, that nothing will increase your download speed in a bittorrent client more than the basic steps set forth herein.
If you are not using Deluge, there are several other specific guides for other clients and a general guide here:
Optimizing Bittorrent Clients
Accessing The Options Screens
Parts of this guide involve accessing the Options screens of Deluge. The Options screens can be accessed through "Edit" (then Preferences) in the menus on the upper left of Deluge or through the Options icon up top in Deluge.
Choosing A Proper Port
To avoid messing up a network connection that is already cleared, first check and see if your communications are blocked or are already clear. Have Deluge running while testing the port.
You can see the port used by Deluge at Edit>Preferences>Network. All boxes for incoming and outgoing should have the same numbered port and the "Use Random Ports" options should be unticked. You can also test the port within Deluge by pressing the "Test Active Port" button.
If you failed the port test above, then you should first set your port to a proper one. The most important choice here is to avoid using a port within the 6881-6999 range. This was the range originally used by bittorrent programs and is often blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). (If your port was in this range, change and re-test).
The safest choice is a port in the 49160-65534 range as this will avoid ISP blocks and possible conflicts with other applications. This range used to be 49152-65534, but apparently Vista and Windows 7 grabs some of those ports in between.
Windows users, if you want to make certain there is no conflict. Go to the command prompt and type in netstat -a >c:\log.txt This will check to see which ports are being used and save a log text file at C:\. Looking at the text file, you will know which ports to avoid.
Vuze-Wiki: Port is Blacklisted
Forwarding The Port
A router will block incoming communications unless an exception is made. All software firewalls will block incoming communications and most will also block outgoing communications, unless an exception is made. If you are "firewalled", then other people will not be able to initiate connections with you (see Why Is Being Firewalled Bad).
As there are many firewalls and routers, this guide can not give explanations as to each. However, there are guides available, on the internet for most firewalls and routers and this guide will link you to them. Note that PortForward.com does not have guides specific to Deluge. Choose a µTorrent guide and substitute Deluge where µTorrent is indicated.
Software Firewall - The permission should be set to allow TCP and UDP in both directions. Generally, you will have a choice to set permission for the Deluge port or for the Deluge program. Setting permission for the port is the safer choice. You can check these options for guides:
- The help file of your software firewall is the best place to look
- PortForward.com Firewall Guides (choose firewall and then µTorrent)
- The µTorrent forum has some guides posted
Router - There are two choices here. The easier way is to use UPnP. However, this has a possible security issue. Using UPnP allows any program to create a port mapping through the router without consent of the owner. Note: Given the recent findings of Rapid7 regarding security flaws in UPnP, it is generally suggested here that manual forwarding be used. If you still want to use UPnP, then it would be a good idea to test and see if your device is vulnerable to attack through UPnP.
The other choice is to manually forward the port through the router. This does not have that security issue, but involves going through several steps to accomplish. Using the guides linked herein, this should not be that difficult and is the preferred method.
UPnP - The Easy Way - Enable UPnP in Deluge and router.
In Deluge the setting for UPnP is at Edit>Preferences>Network
Manual Forwarding-The Preferred Way
- UPnP (NAT-PMP) Must be disabled in Deluge (see image above)
- Use the Static IP Guide
Set permission for Deluge port. This should be set to allow both TCP and UDP communications.
You can check these options for guides:
- The help file of your router is the best place to look
- Portforward.com µTorrent Router Index has guides for most routers
The most important setting here is to cap upload in Deluge to 80% of your overall upload capacity. Setting upload in Deluge is a fine line. The more upload you give, the more download you will get from other peers. However, if upload is set too high, or to unlimited, then download speeds will suffer as outgoing communications (acknowledgment signals, resend requests etc) will be interfered with. Other adjustments are made here to distribute your upload so that you receive back the most download from other peers.
Speed Test: Speedtest.net (Click for Test)
First the upload capacity of your internet connection must be determined by taking an online speed test. Speedtest.net has test locations worldwide and will highlight the one closest to you.
Before taking the speed test, press Settings in the upper right of the speedtest.net page. This will take you to another page. At the bottom of that page is the "Global Settings" options. Set "Speed Measurement" to kilobytes and press "Save" . This will facilitate entry into the calculator below and will lessen confusion as Deluge shows speeds in kilobytes.
You should stop all internet activity, including torrents, before taking the test and the test should be taken a few times to obtain a reliable average. Results will now show in KiloBytes. It is the upload rate that is important here.
Another Way To Test Upload Speed
For most people these test results will be reliable (Comcast users see Note). However, you may wish to do a double check on real life upload speed. When you are active on a torrent with a good number of peers and you are using your upload cap, set upload to unlimited and watch for about 5-10 minutes and see where upload settles in at. Then input that number into the calculator in the kiloBytes section.
Note: Some ISPs will show inaccurate results on the speed test. If your ISP has anything like Comcast's PowerBoost, then your results will show higher than the actual speed of your connection. PowerBoost provides a burst of download and upload speeds above your provisioned download and upload speeds for the first 10MB and 5MB respectively. Since the speed test involves relatively small files, this will skew results upward.
If you have PowerBoost, or something similar, my findings from my own results and those of others is that the actual speeds are 60% of the test result. So if you get 200kB/s for upload at the test, you should enter 120 in the kB/s box in the calculator. Using Google ("speed result" x .6) will get the proper number to enter in the calculator and this actually turns out to be very accurate. You should end up with the calculator showing a cap that is about half of the test result.
Calculator: Azureus Upload Settings Calculator
Once you have an average upload speed for your connection go to the online Azureus Upload Settings Calculator. Although designed for Azureus, this calculator will work for all bittorrent clients.
This calculator was created by the8472 a contributor to Vuze (fka Azureus) and part of the team that created Bittorrent Protocol Encryption.
Enter your average upload speed in the appropriate box
The calculator will automatically give the proper figures to adjust bandwidth and queue options in Deluge.
Input Results Into Deluge - Screen shots of locations in Deluge of settings to be adjusted
Speed In Deluge at Edit>Preferences>Bandwidth are the settings for upload speed, max connections (global), max connections (per torrent) and max upload slots (per torrent).
Under "Global Bandwidth Useage", change "Maximum Connections" and "Maximum Upload Speed" to match calculator. "Maximum Upload Slots" and "Maximum Download Speed" should be set to -1 (unlimited). The "Maximum Half-Open Connections" and "Maximum Connection Attempts per Second" should be left at default settings.
Under Per Torrent Bandwidth Usage "Maximum Connections" and "Maximum Upload Slots" should be changed to match the calculator. "Maximum Download Speed" and "Maximum Upload Speed" should be kept at -1 (unlimited).
The "Ignore limits on local network" should remain enabled. I could find no definition for the "Rate limit IP overhead" option. I presume it includes overhead in determining capped bandwidth, but I am not sure. I found no difference with it ticked and unticked, and have left it at the default enabled. You could try either way (if you see a difference, please post here about it).
Peer Sources & Encryption
Having the proper peer sources enabled, such as Peer Exchange (PEX) and Distributed Hash Table (DHT), will help download speeds as they will help you find additional seeds and peers for a torrent. Local Peer Discovery should be enabled as it supposedly searches for peers on your ISP or those on an extended network or on a LAN party. it can be very useful on a LAN party. I have not found it to make much of a difference when not on a LAN or extended network.
Encryption was primarily designed to thwart Internet Service Providers interference with bittorrent. Having encryption enabled and allowing incoming legacy (non-encrypted) connections will provide you with the largest pool of seeds/peers to select from.
The settings for these options in Deluge is located at Edit>Preferences>Network
In my install of Deluge, the option to prioritize the first and last pieces for a torrent was enabled at default. Theoretically, this option will allow you to view the contents of a download (particularly a video) before the download is complete. This is to avoid a fake download. Fake downloads can easily be avoided by only downloading content that has comments or ratings that indicate the content is clean and real. Many search sites also offer "verified" torrents that are clean and real. This option will slow download speed if enabled and should be disabled for best download speed.
The setting for this in Deluge is at Edit>Preferences>Download
The general rule here is to choose torrents that have a high seed to peer ratio. Seeds have 100% of the content associated with the torrent and are only uploading to peers. Peers also upload to other peers, but are also looking for other peers to upload to themselves and their download capacity is almost always higher than their upload capacity.
This applies even though one swarm has significantly more active users than another. For example, a torrent with 30 seeders and 70 peers (30% seeders) will generally be faster than one with 500 seeders and 2500 peers (20% seeders) as the average upload capacity available to the peers will be higher. (TorrentFreak).
For more information see Good Torrents
- Searching for Torrents Popular and unique torrent search sites, with comments.
- Finding Legal (and Free) Torrents sites that offer only legally downloadable and distributable content.
If you still have issues after using this guide and would like some assistance, you may post here or our Forums. The comments section here is not well set up for ongoing discussions, so the forums are a better place.
When posting on a speed issue, please provide
- Your speed test result for both upload and download speed in kiloBytes per second (kBps)
- Your result at canyouseeme, both before taking any steps and after. Just indicate Success or Error do not post your IP address.
If you have a suggestion or correction for the guide, please post here.
Those who wish to post a thanks may post here or in the forums. I always appreciate hearing from those who this helped and I do read the posts regularly. I used to respond to each thanks, but realized it was clogging up the comments section. I thank all those who have posted their appreciation and all those who will.
So, to those who post a "Thanks", I appreciate it.