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Oct 28, 2014

How to setup connection for Torrents : utorrent

This is a walkthrough on how to setup µTorrent for your particular internet connection. It is recommended that you follow these steps in order, since the guide assumes that previous settings have been enabled.

Configuring for your connection

Since upload is a more limited resource than download, torrent clients need to be configured according to maximum upload speed for optimum performance. µTorrent has a built-in connection setup function to handle all this for you:
  1. Open the Setup Guide from the preferences. Options -> Setup Guide, or press Ctrl G.
  2. Click "Run tests" and wait! Once the tests are completed, the settings will be filled in for you. You can then hit Save & Close.
  3. If the test failed, or you think the results are wrong, you can manually choose a preset from the list. Choose the one closest to your connection's upload speed.
  4. Higher settings will not give you better speed, and may in fact make download speeds worse. Too low of an upload speed will give the same result. Make sure you pick the right setting!

Enabling Protocol Encryption

Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) actively interfere with P2P activities in order to reduce their bandwidth requirements. This causes µTorrent and other file sharing download speeds to become slow. To avoid this, µTorrent and other clients have introduced an encryption protocol to prevent ISPs from identifying BitTorrent traffic.
  • Go to Options > Preferences > BitTorrent. Set Outgoing under Protocol Encryption to Enable, check "Allow incoming legacy connections".
Some ISPs have extremely aggressive throttling methods and for those users it might be necessary to set outgoing to Forced; however this will greatly reduce the number of peers you can connect to. Enabled is sufficient for most users.

Authorizing µTorrent in your firewall

People using the Microsoft Windows XP/Vista firewall:
  • Go to Options > Preferences > Connection, check "Add µTorrent to Windows Firewall." This is enabled by default.
People using other firewalls: You will need to refer to your software's own documentation.

Trying it out

µTorrent should now be set properly for your connection. You can test your speed with any torrent of your choice. Here are a couple of torrents that are particularly good for testing your connection:
  • Slackware, one of the many Linux distributions, is great to test since it is hosted on dedicated servers. It will max out your internet connection within a few minutes (10-15 on average).
  • Open Office is a free, open-source, multi-platform, multi-language office suite. Like Slackware, it will max your connection very quickly, not to mention being a useful application to have around.
You don't need to download the entire torrent. You can leave it running just long enough to reach your maximum download speed.
If you are behind a router, then you will also need to follow the instructions on the rest of the page.

Resolving a NAT problem

In the Setup Guide (Ctrl G to bring it back up again), there is a network test function to see if your port is forwarded correctly. To perform only the network test, uncheck the "Bandwidth" checkbox. If the test fails, either your router is not configured to allow incoming connections, or your firewall is blocking µTorrent.
Some people who do not have a separate router may find that their modem is both a modem and router, and this procedure will also apply.

Using UPnP or NAT-PMP

Newer router models often have the UPnP (Universal Plug 'n Play) or NAT-PMP built in. This allows for automatic forwarding of ports, making the rest of the instructions on this page unnecessary. UPnP is turned on by default in µTorrent and in most routers, but if not, you may need to check your router's documentation for instructions on how to enable it.
  • Go to Options > Preferences > Connections, check "Enable UPnP port mapping" and check "Enable NAT-PMP port mapping."

Manually forwarding a port

If UPnP/NAT-PMP is not available or does not work, it will be necessary to forward the port manually. A forwarded port is needed for any P2P client you use, not just µTorrent. Since we want to forward a single port, we need to set the listen port for µTorrent:
  1. To set a single port, navigate to Options > Preferences > Connections
  2. Click "random port" once, and note the port number provided. This will be the port number you will be forwarding in your router. (You may also assign a port number of your choice)
  3. Uncheck "Randomize port each time µTorrent starts." The port number will no longer change each time µTorrent is started.

Setting up a static IP

Routers work by attributing a "dynamic IP" to each computer when it connects to the router. Since this IP is dynamic it can, and often does change each time. The router selects which IP to attribute from a list of available IPs called the DHCP range. This range is expressed as either:  Starting IP / ending IP, or Starting IP and number of IPs.  ( to or with 100 IPs available). In order to setup a static IP for your computer it is important to select one outside of this range in order to avoid it being attributed to another computer by the router. Finding out what the DHCP range can be hard work since I have no router specific instructions to direct you to the correct menu. You'll have to find it on your own (you may refer to your router's manual for more information).
To enter the router configuration screens : Windows Start button > Run, type "cmd /k; ipconfig /all" WITHOUT the quotes.
  1. From the DOS window that will open, copy the default gateway number to your web browser and hit enter.
  2. In the login window enter your username / password (if you have not set one try: admin/admin admin/blank blank/admin or even blank/blank)
  3. Navigate the menus and screens until you find the DHCP range.
  4. Since many routers have limits on the number of IPs they can handle (regardless of the number of computers connected). Reduce the DHCP range by one. (Reduce the ending IP by one or reduce the number of IP by one). Make a note of the newly available IP (which is outside the range); this is what you will use for a static IP further.
  5. Exit the router configuration and follow the instructions at the Portforward Static IP Guide to setup your operating system to use a static ip.

Forwarding your port in the router

The procedure for forwarding a port in the router varies with each make and model of router.

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