How to Make Your BitTorrent Downloads Fast & Secure

2.Automate Your Client & Free Up Bandwidth

These are some tricks that have been around for a while, but they are useful for keeping BitTorrent from overtaking your internet connection, especially if you’ve experienced some heavy speed increases from the above tips. Here are a few ways to automatically manage BitTorrent’s use of your bandwidth.

>Set Global Bandwidth Limits

BitTorrent downloads and uploads can hog a lot of your internet connection’s bandwidth, especially if you’re sharing popular content. The simplest way to keep BitTorrent from hogging your connection is to set global upload and download limits. In uTorrent, you can find them in the Connection section of the Preferences. The settings are fairly self-explanatory. You just have to set your max upload and download rates (in kB/s), or choose 0 to keep the rates unlimited.

In Transmission, it’s under the Bandwidth pane of the app’s preferences, just check the “Download Rate” and “Upload Rate” boxes and set your speeds however you want. You can also set a “Speed Limit” mode, if you want to switch between to different bandwidth limits, give it more bandwidth when your just checking email and the like, and cut the limits down when you need that bandwidth for streaming video or online gaming.

>Throttle Your BitTorrent Downloads on a Schedule

You could just quit your BitTorrent client (or manually turn on Speed Limit mode) whenever you want to conserve your bandwidth, but if you’re like us, you’ll forget to start it back up which means you’ll end up delaying your downloads (most likely until you want whatever was supposed to be downloading, at which point you will slap your forehead).

To remedy this situation, uTorrent and Transmission both come with simple Scheduler features that you can access through the Preferences. In uTorrent, go to Options > Preferences, then find Scheduler in the sidebar. Tick the box next to “Enable Scheduler” and you’ll see a grid of green boxes light up. The grid runs Monday through Sunday, midnight to midnight (or 0:00 to 23:59), one box per hour. Here’s how it works:

  • Dark green boxes indicate that uTorrent will download and upload at full speed (or whatever you’ve set as its full speed).
  • Light green boxes indicate limited download and upload rates.
  • White boxes indicate that uTorrent will not download or upload any content.
  • Pink boxes indicate that uTorrent will only seed, not download. I’m not exactly sure when one would be inclined to use this, but it’s there if you want it.

We have always got a little bandwidth to spare on our connection, but we certainly don’t want uTorrent hogging our bandwidth while we are working, so we set the Scheduler to limit speeds from 8am to midnight every day. In morning, when we very unlikely to be at our computer, we open the flood gates and give uTorrent unlimited upload/download speeds. Also, since we generally stay away from our computer on Saturday, we keep uTorrent at full throttle. See the screenshot above to see what this sort of schedule would look like. Like we said, our connection can handle a little bit of bandwidth bleeding all of the time, so when we are running at limited rates, we set our upload speed to 5 kB/s and our download speed to 15. 😀

In Transmission, it’s a bit more basic. Just open up Transmission’s Preferences and to to the Bandwidth tab. You only have two modes instead of three, your global bandwidth limits and Speed Limit mode. You can schedule the speed limit mode to turn on and off at a specific time either every day, on weekdays, weekends, or on a specific day of the week. It’s not quite as flexible as uTorrent’s scheduler, but works well enough. Generally people just limit its speed during the day, and let it tear up their connection when they are sleeping.