BitTorrent technology has been around for quite some time now and I guess many of you should already know how to download stuff from there. Actually BitTorrent is a very effective way of sharing files and it is used by many pirates to spread movies, softwares and etc. There are also legit sites such as Open Office and some Linux distros that uses BitTorrent to distribute files which is absolutely legal. So you can’t really say that BitTorrent is illegal since it is merely a technology. Problem nowadays is a lot of Internet Service Provider (ISP) are shaping (in other words, limiting) the speed of transfer via torrent.
One example is normally you can achieve a maximum download speed of 150KBps on HTTP sites but then on torrent, even with optimal configuration with many seeders, you are still downloading at the speed of less than 20KBps. That is a sign of your ISP limiting your torrent speed. I have recently stumbled on a website that provides free test to check if your ISP is limiting the speed for BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, Email (POP and IMAP4), HTTP, SSH, and flash video (YouTube).
Glasnost tests easily enables you to check whether traffic from your applications is being rate-limited, throttled or blocked. It is created based on 3 challenges which is tests must be easy to use, tests must be short and results are accurate. The only requirements to run the tests is to have a working Internet connection, a web browser, the Java Runtime Environment and 8 minutes of your time. To have a more accurate result, it is best that all application that uses the Internet connection are terminated so that the Glasnost test won’t be affected.
When you are at Glasnost website, there are a few selection for you to choose from.
Some example of applications that uses BitTorrent are uTorrent, BitComet, Vuze. As for Gnutella, they are Limewire and Frostwire. To test if torrent speed is limited, simply select BitTorrent and click Start testing button. Wait for 500 seconds and you will get a report page. If you see the sentence “There is no indication that your ISP rate limits your uploads/downloads”, then your ISP does not limit or shape the BitTorrent speed. However if you see “Your ISP appears to rate limit your downloads/uploads”, now you know why your download speed is terribly slow.
Here are a list of ISP that are known to limit BitTorrent; Bell Canada, Cogeco, Rogers, (Canada), BT, Tiscali (UK), City Telecom (Hong Kong), Clearwire (USA), Free (France), Kabel D (Germany), ONO (Spain), TM Net (Malaysia), TVCabo (Portugal), UPC (Netherlands). Oh look, Malaysia made it in the list! Fortunately there are paid VPN services such as BolehVPN which allows bypassing Bittorrent P2P throttling.