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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

How To Increase Torrenting Speed 2024: Speed Up Downloads

Andjela Nikolic Updated on 5th March 2024 Fact-checked by Eric Raue Cybersecurity Researcher

If your torrent speed is slow, there are immediate actions you can take to speed up your downloads. Start by closing any background services and programs while torrenting. Also, stick to only seeding one torrent file at a time to maximize your bandwidth.

If those steps don't work well, I've gathered a comprehensive list of easy tips and some slightly more advanced solutions. Don't worry if you're not technically inclined — I've ensured all my methods are explained in clear and easy-to-follow steps so anyone can try them out.

Important. You should only torrent files you have the legal right to download and share. Downloading or seeding copyrighted material is against the law. We at vpnMentor are strictly opposed to illegal downloading and all forms of piracy.

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Ways to Increase Torrent Speed in 2024

  1. Close background programs and services — This will allocate more resources to your torrent client and potentially increase download speeds.
  2. Choose a good torrent client — Major torrent clients come with different features for optimizing your download speed.
  3. Stick to files with healthy seeds and peers — Make sure to use a torrent health checker before downloading. Torrent sites usually have icons or ratings that show this.
  4. Use an Ethernet cable instead of WiFi — This is especially helpful if several people and devices are using your WiFi while you download.
  5. Add a firewall exception for your torrent client — Firewalls can slow or stop torrenting entirely, so add firewall exceptions to open your device to peers.

See 4 More Great Ways to Increase Torrent Speed That Work

Easy Fix: Use a VPN to Increase Your Torrent Speed

If your torrent speed is unusually slow, your ISP might be throttling your bandwidth. Many ISPs do so when they detect torrenting activities, even though you are torrenting non-copyrighted files. A VPN can mask the connection, making it difficult for your ISP to identify what you’re doing online and impose unfair limits.

VPNs help you stay safe and private when torrenting, too. They encrypt your data and mask your IP so peers can’t see your location. Without a VPN, other P2P users can see where you are, and they can use this information to track, stalk, and harass you. In some previous cases, people have used exposed IPs on P2P apps to launch DDoS attacks, dox, and even falsely call the authorities other users.

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Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

9 Ways to Increase Your Torrent Speed

1. Close Background Programs and Services

I suggest always closing apps that aren’t in use every time you torrent, like cloud services, streaming platforms, and other download processes. This lets your computer allocate more bandwidth to your torrent client and potentially increases your speeds.

2. Choose a Good P2P Client

Choosing the right client can impact your download speeds and overall experience. Here’s a quick overview of five widely-recognized ones, focusing solely on features related to optimizing performance:

  • uTorrent: Automatically orders downloads to prioritize speeds by focusing on those with the most seeders first.
  • qBittorrent: Lets you prioritize downloads with automatic queuing and schedule bandwidth to maximize the amount devoted to downloading.
  • BitTorrent: Comes with a built-in bandwidth booster that makes your downloads as fast as your internet connection allows.
  • Vuze: Feature-rich environment with plugin support to add your own performance optimization tools.
  • Deluge: Its selective downloading and prioritization features let you optimize download speeds choosing which downloads get the most bandwidth.
Screenshot of uTorrent bandwidth optimization optionsI set uTorrent’s maximum speed rate to 100kb/s for faster downloads

3. Stick to Healthy Seeds and Peers

When downloading a torrent, your client links to other computers or peers sharing the same file. More peers means faster download potential. However, some peers might have poor connectivity or incomplete files, slowing you down.

To connect to reliable seeds and peers:

  • Check the seeder-to-leecher ratio: A healthy torrent will have more seeders than leechers. Seeders are users who have already downloaded the file and are now sharing it with others. Leechers are users who are still downloading the file. The more seeders there are, the faster the download speeds will be.
  • Read the comments: Before downloading a torrent, read the comments to see if other users have reported any issues with the file. If there are a lot of negative comments or warnings about viruses or malware, it's best to avoid that torrent.
  • Use a torrent health checker: There are several websites that allow you to check the health of a torrent before you download it. These sites analyze the seeder-to-leecher ratio and other factors to determine if a torrent is healthy or not.

4. Use an Ethernet Cable

Using an Ethernet connection can significantly enhance your torrent speeds compared to WiFi. Downloading via Ethernet is especially helpful for large files or when you have multiple torrents active simultaneously.

WiFi is susceptible to interference, distance limitations, and multiple device connections, which can lead to fluctuations and reductions in speed. Connecting your device directly to the router via an Ethernet cable solves these issues for a faster, smoother flow of data.

5. Add a Firewall Exception for Your Torrenting Client

A firewall can prevent incoming and outgoing traffic on your network, which sometimes slows down torrents. By adding a firewall exception, you allow the torrenting client to communicate freely with other peers for faster downloads.

A screenshot showing how to access your computer's firewall settings to add your torrent client to the allowed app list.Changing your firewall sounds technical, but it’s easy to do

6. Download During Periods of Low Activity

When fewer people are using your network and ISP, there's usually more free bandwidth. That’s why I recommend conducting downloads late at night or early in the morning when internet traffic tends to be at its lowest. Scheduling your torrent downloads during these off-peak hours can help you avoid slowdowns from congestion.

7. Adjust the Settings of Your BitTorrent Client

You can find your BitTorrent client’s settings in menus named Options, Settings, Preferences, or similar. When it comes to changing those settings, there are a couple of general ones to consider:

  • Adjust the upload and download speed limits. These are the steps you can take if you use uTorrent, but it’s similar on most other clients, with some differences in the wording of the features:
    1. Connection > Port used for incoming connections: Increase this number to any value above 10000.
    2. Bandwidth > Global Maximum Number of Connections: Increase this value to 500 or higher to maximize the number of peers you can connect to.
    3. Bandwidth > Maximum Upload Rate: Set this to 80–90% of your maximum upload speed to prevent your downloads from slowing down.
    4. Bandwidth > Maximum Download Rate: Set this to 0, or set it to a high number if you have a fast internet connection.
  • Enable port forwarding: Port forwarding allows incoming connections from other peers. It's recommended to use a random port between 49160 and 65534 to try increasing your speeds.
  • Increase the maximum number of connections per torrent and per client: This will allow your client to connect to more seeds and peers, which can increase your download speed.
  • Enable uTP: uTP (micro Transport Protocol) is a protocol designed to automatically adjust its own bandwidth usage to avoid interfering with other activities on your internet connection. This helps prevent saturation and maintain a fast and stable connection while torrenting.
  • Prioritize your downloads: If you have multiple downloads in progress, you can prioritize specific files or torrents by right-clicking on them and selecting Bandwidth Allocation > High on uTorrent.
  • Limit the number of active torrents: Most torrent clients have this option where you can add a max number of torrents that you can download at a time. If your chosen client doesn’t have this option, just make sure that you don’t download more than 2 smaller files simultaneously if your connection is slow.
  • Add more trackers: Trackers are servers that help your BitTorrent client find other users who are sharing the same file. You can find trackers online or use a tracker exchange website like OpenTrackr.
  • Prevent torrent standby: To prevent your computer from entering Standby mode during active downloads, navigate to your torrent client’s preferences and look for an option like Prevent standby if there are active torrents.
  • Activate UPnP: UPnP lets your torrent client access the proper router ports. This prevents port conflicts and restrictions from slowing your downloads. Look in your chosen client’s connection settings and find an option similar to Enable UPnP port mapping.
Screenshot of uTorrent settings useful for increasing torrenting speedsI enabled this uTorrent setting to prevent my laptop from going into sleep mode

Remember to save your changes and restart your torrent client for the settings to take effect. Keep in mind that some settings may not work well with certain ISPs or network configurations, so it's recommended to test different settings to find the optimal configuration for your setup.

8. Get a Fast VPN That Supports Torrenting

If your connection speed is fast but it gets painfully slow while torrenting, your ISP might be throttling your bandwidth. While VPNs typically reduce speeds somewhat, in case of throttling, a fast VPN can help by masking your torrenting activity. Once you download a fast VPN, you can follow these tips to maximize your speeds:

  • Select a server nearby. This reduces the distance your traffic travels, increasing your speeds.
  • Use an optimized server. Some VPNs have special options fine-tuned for torrenting. If you’re unsure, consult your VPN’s customer support and ask which servers are best.
  • Change your protocol. WireGuard is known for its speed, but you can also look for proprietary protocols like ExpressVPN’s speed-optimized Lightway.
  • Change ports. Some ISPs block certain ports used for P2P traffic, so switching to a different one may help improve your speeds.

9. Change Your ISP

Sometimes, the issue with slow torrent speeds isn't the torrent or your settings but the speed of your internet connection. If you're frequently facing slow downloads, it might be time to reconsider your data plan or even your ISP.

While selecting an ISP and plan, prioritize those with higher bandwidth. This directly impacts your download and upload speeds, and how much file-sharing you can do. Additionally, avoid ISPs known for interfering with torrenting activity and throttling speed. Read the user agreement carefully to see if this is part of your ISP’s policy.

How to Stay Safe While Torrenting

Diving into torrenting without precautions is risky. From potential legal pitfalls to cybersecurity threats, the P2P landscape has its share of hazards. Here's a concise guide on how to torrent safely:

  • Use a reliable VPN. A good service encrypts your traffic, hiding your torrenting activities and IP address from hackers and other third parties.
  • Download from reputable sources. Only use well-known and trustworthy torrent indexes to minimize the risk of downloading malicious files. Check for lots of seeders and positive comments, which add to a torrent’s trustworthiness.
  • Install antivirus software. Regular use of a good antivirus can shield your system from malware hidden in torrents.
  • Respect intellectual property rights. Only download and share content legally and be aware of the rights of content creators to avoid legal repercussions. Downloading copyrighted content is illegal, but it’s also dangerous since these files can be added by dishonest uploaders.
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Our Score: 10.0
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Best VPNs for Torrenting in 2024

  1. ExpressVPN — Advanced features including military-grade encryption, RAM-only servers, and a proprietary Lightway protocol to maximize speed and security.
  2. CyberGhost — Strict no-logs policy and servers optimized for P2P traffic for fast and private downloads.
  3. Private Internet Access — SOCKS5 proxy and port-forwarding to maximize your torrenting speed.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

FAQs on Increasing Torrenting Speeds

Is it legal to use a VPN to increase your torrenting speed?

Yes, it’s legal in most countries to increase torrenting speed with VPNs. However, while a VPN can potentially improve torrenting speed by bypassing certain ISP restrictions, it’s important to note that downloading copyrighted content is usually illegal and strongly discouraged.

Laws regarding torrenting vary, and engaging in illegal activities can lead to fines or criminal charges. It’s essential to comply with the laws of your region and respect intellectual property rights. My team and I don’t support illegally sharing or downloading copyrighted content.

Which VPN will give me the fastest download speeds?

ExpressVPN had some of the most consistently fast speeds during my tests. I also liked that it can prevent ISP throttling for unrestricted torrenting. Its entire network is also P2P-friendly, unlike most VPNs which have a limited list of torrenting-only servers.

How can I increase my torrent speed with a BitTorrent client on PC and mobile?

This depends on a few factors. There are a few easy steps you can take to speed up your downloads. Some of the best tips to try are to stick with only healthy torrents with lots of peers, and to allocate enough bandwidth to torrenting. You should also close other sites and apps while you share files, since they take up extra resources.

Which torrent client downloads faster — BitTorrent, uTorrent, or qBittorrent?

All of these are fast, so it's best to try for yourself and see which one works best for you. All decent torrenting clients offer different features to optimize speed, so if you’re experiencing issues try changing your settings. However, your download speed is most influenced by overall torrent health and your network, rather than which client you use.

Why do my torrents sometimes stall at 99.5%?

Your torrents may stall at the end due to small pieces of the file being unavailable. This is usually because of seeders going offline. Try choosing torrents with a higher seeder-to-leecher ratio to increase the probability of finding all file pieces. You can also see if you can add more trackers via online lists.

Why does my download sometimes stall at "Queued"?

A download might stall at Queued due to a limit on the number of active torrents in your client settings. You can either increase the active torrent limit in the client settings or try pausing some lower-priority downloads to free up bandwidth. If that doesn’t fix it, there may be a setting causing communication problems with the P2P network. Resetting my torrent client to the default settings or reinstalling it always fixes this for me when nothing else works.

Conclusion

Boosting your torrent speeds often just requires a few small adjustments to your connection or P2P client settings. Even if you can only apply one or two of my strategies, they’re easy to follow and can make a big difference.

Keep in mind that nothing can give you fast speeds if a file simply doesn’t have enough peers sharing it. A large network of active participants is crucial for efficient P2P file sharing. For an otherwise healthy torrent, it usually only takes one or two tweaks to see a noticeable improvement.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Andjela is a technology and cybersecurity writer for vpnMentor, dedicated to helping readers protect their privacy online with detailed VPN reviews, testing all features, and providing the facts.

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