We’ve all heard people ranting about how great BitTorrent is. Until a few days ago, I was in the dark as to why people were so excited. I had never seen download speeds greater than about 10k. Limitless bandwidth? Ha!
That was true, until last week when I had a burning need to download a particular file via BitTorrent. Unwillingly, I started the download and frowned at the 24 hour estimated download time and the abysmal speed. On a whim I decided to ask Google how I could improve BitTorrent download speeds. Google, obligingly, returned this page.
The solution, as it turns out, is rather simple. Basically, BitTorrent uses the ports between 6881 and 6889 for high speed transfers. If your firewall has these blocked you’re not going to see very high transfer speeds.
I happened to be behind a Linksys router. After pestering the owner a bit I was able to extract the logon information and open the ports up. Subsequent downloads were much faster. I was seeing 100k and higher download speeds. This brought my download time to under an hour. Woo hoo!
So, if you’re seeing slow BitTorrent download speeds, you need to open these ports up on your firewall.