Although many Internet Service Providers around the world offer a nearly or fully unlimited amount of traffic or bandwidth, many do not. One of the common ways to restrict traffic is to throttle the connection or specifically reduce Peer2Peer speed until a certain time when the network will be quieter, such as midnight. Others will reduce your connection speed if you exceed a specified quota during certain times of the day, most likely when the amount of users online is at its peak.
Some ISP’s that offer set limits of say 30GB per month, sometimes don’t monitor or count what you download when the network is at its quietest, mainly overnight. If you’re a heavy torrent user that downloads or uploads torrents nearly every day, you either have to physically be there at the best time to start things off to run overnight, or start the torrents going when you can, even if it means running them during peak hours and possibly risking restrictions.
Luckily there are ways to automatically start or stop downloading and seeding your torrents, and most of the popular torrent clients have this feature built in or easily available. Here’s a selection of 5 popular Torrent clients and how to schedule bittorrent downloads in each one, saving you the trouble of starting and stopping torrents yourself.
Schedule Downloading on BitComet
1. Go to Tools -> Options or click the Options button on the toolbar (or press CTRL+P).
2. Go to Scheduler on the left, then tick the box to enable the Scheduler.
3. Click on the individual blocks to enable High Speed, Low Speed or Turn Off. This looks and behaves similar to the uTorrent scheduler above.
The BitComet scheduler doesn’t have a seeding only schedule, but does have High speed and Low speed limit settings so you could always get creative with them and set download to 0 if you only want to seed torrents at set periods.
Enable Scheduling in Deluge
1. Click the Preferences button on the toolbar or go to the Edit -> Preferences.
2. The scheduler plugin is not enabled by default so it needs switching on before you can use it. Click on Plugins down the left and in the window put a tick next to the Scheduler plugin.
3. A Scheduler option will now appear on the left for you to select and make changes to the grid of blocks in a similar way to uTorrent and BitComet.
There are no label descriptions but the 1 hour blocks and colors speak for themselves. Obviously orange is the limited mode for which you alter the settings below for upload / download limits in addition to the amount of active torrents during this time.
Scheduling in Tixati
Tixati has quite an advanced scheduling component, but this does inevitably come at the expense of not being as easy to set up like the clients above.
1. Click the Settings button on the toolbar, click on Scheduler down the left and select On from the “Active Scheduler Feature” drop down. There are a couple of options you might like to look at in the window such what happens if a schedule is missed and default schedule options.
2. Close the Options window and a Scheduler button will now be present on the toolbar. Click on it and then on the Add button.
3. In the Add Scheduler Task window, enter a name for it and set your options for which days and time the task will be executed. Then click on Add which will determine what happens. There are a number of options here and you are not limited to just 1 action. For example, you can set 1 task up to simply start the torrents, or also add in another action for bandwidth limiting. Similarly, a task can be configured to stop all torrents and then close the program or even shutdown the computer.
Obviously if you set up a task to start, stop or limit etc, then an opposite task needs to be configured to provide the reverse effect, eg; if you set up a task to begin downloading at 11PM every night, you will also need another task to stop downloading at 8AM etc. All created tasks will show in the main Scheduler window and can be started, stopped, removed or edited. A useful column is status which will also tell you when the task is next due to run.
There are more torrent client schedulers on page 2 including uTorrent and Vuze.
Using the uTorrent / Bittorrent Scheduler
As these 2 clients are pretty much identical, they both have the same (although different colors) interface and the Scheduler is also the same for both.
1. Go to Options -> Preferences (or press CTRL+P).
2. Click on the Scheduler category down the left and tick the box to enable the scheduler.
3. You can now set your schedule by clicking on the blocks in the grid.
All blocks default to Full Speed and simply keep clicking on the block to cycle through the other Limited, Turn Off and Seeding Only options. Each block represents 1 hour and starts at 12AM midnight which should be enough for you to set it to your liking. The downside is you have to click each block manually which is a bit of a pain if you have a complicated schedule to configure. There is also the option to set the upload / download rate when running in limited (light green) mode.
Scheduling in Vuze (formerly Azureus)
This is a slightly more involved process because the scheduler component is not built-in into Vuze by default and needs downloading.
1. Go to Tools -> Plugins -> Installation Wizard. Leave the option as “By list from sourceforge.net” and click Next.
2. Find Speed Scheduler in the list and put a tick next to it, then click Next.
3. You can leave the option to install for all users as default or change it if you wish to only the current user. Click Finish.
4. Click the Install button when the Vuze Plugin Installer appears and wait for it to download and install, then click Close twice.
5. Go to Tools -> Plugins -> Speed Scheduler and put a tick in the box to enable it. Click the New Schedule button to the right.
6. Now you can create a new schedule by either choosing to leave or tick the pause downloading / seeding boxes which obviously will start or stop the torrent transfers at the specified times and days. The time increments are smaller in Vuze with 15 minute intervals.
Something the plugin can’t do is span the time across 12AM midnight so you can’t setup a simple start at 11PM and stop at 8AM type schedule. There either needs to be 2 separate schedules (1 up to 11:59PM and another starting at 12AM), or the reverse and tell it not to download or upload from 8AM to 11PM etc.
Setting up multiple schedules is pretty easy and they can also be be disabled or removed. The green tick is there to tell you which schedule is active at the current day and time.
Scheduling in BitSpirit
You might notice the BitSpirit scheduler looks pretty much identical to uTorrent with full, limited, seeding only and off options available.
1. Click on the Options menu -> Preferences.
2. Expand the Advanced tree on the left and click on Scheduler. Then put a tick in the Enable Scheduler box.
3. Click on the required hour boxes in the window to cycle through Full, Limited, Seeding and Off. Hold the mouse button down and drag to change several boxes in one go.
Each box shows a 1 hour interval and the left side starts at midnight, the limited speed settings can be configured in KB from the text boxes below.