How to Make Your BitTorrent Downloads Fast & Secure

>Encrypt Your BitTorrent Traffic

Nowadays, many ISPs will throttle your bandwidth, prevent you from seeding, or do any other number of annoying things to try and stop you from torrenting. Apart from randomizing your ports, another thing you can do to try and keep them out is encrypt your traffic. It won’t necessarily work on every client, but we’ve found that it nearly doubled our download speeds, so it’s certainly worth a shot.

In uTorrent, go back to the preferences and hit up the BitTorrent section in the left sidebar. Under Protocol Encryption, open the dropdown menu labeled Outgoing. You have three options: Disabled, Enabled, and Forced. Try Enabled for a while, but if you don’t see a good speed increase, using the Forced setting might give you better results. Also note the Allow Incoming Legacy Connections checkbox If you have a specific torrent that doesn’t have a lot of people seeding, you might want to check this box temporarily, though we try to keep it unchecked whenever we can. This ensures that any peers you connect to will use encryption and that your ISP will be less likely to throttle you.

In Transmission, head over to the Peers pane of the app’s preferences and check the Encryption section. Definitely check the “Prefer Encrypted Peers” box, and we would highly recommend checking the “Ignore Unencrypted Peers” box, if you are noticing that there aren’t a lot of peers connecting for a specific torrent, try unchecking it to see if that helps your speeds.

>Block Peers that Might be Snooping

Even worse than throttling ISPs is the threat of the snooping RIAA, MPAA or other organization looking to take you down. Often, they’ll post fake torrents of copyrighted material (or just join in on real ones) and track those downloading, leading them right to an unprepared you. While there is no foolproof way to avoid them, a really great simple way is to use a peerblocker. Transmission has this feature built-in, while Windows users will need to use a separate program.

If you’re a Mac user, open up Transmission’s preferences and head back to the Peers pane. This time, check the box that reads “Prevent Known Bad Peers from Connecting” down under the Blocklist section. Hit the update button to make sure the list of bad peers is recent, and check the Automatically Update Weekly box to keep it up to date.

Windows users will need to download PeerBlock to block the bad boys from snooping. The first time you run it, it’ll take you through a setup wizard, in which you can decide who you want to blacklist. Check the box for anti-P2P organizations (as well as anything else you may want, though the P2P box is the only important one for BitTorrent) and schedule it to update as often as you want. You might as well update it every day as there is no reason to be stingy with your privacy here. Then, just make sure it runs when you use your BitTorrent client & it’ll keep you safe from those bad peers.

Download: PeerBlock