Stop BitTorrent from Killing Your Internet Connection

Many popular BitTorrent clients work right out of the box. Download, install, load a torrent file and it’ll start downloading, provided any needed ports are forwarded correctly. If you don’t tweak the configurations, most probably it’ll take you longer to complete downloading the torrent because the default configuration might not be very well optimized for your router or internet connection.

A slow to finish download is not really a big problem. A bigger problem you could encounter is when someone else is on the network streaming or online gaming and your computer is downloading a torrent. All of sudden, the internet connection might seem like it’s been cut off as if someone is using NetCut and there are problems browsing the web or your messenger program disconnects, etc. Pinging the router could also give a “Request time out” error message.

To get back the connection, you might need to disconnect and reconnect the internet connection, restart the router, or even reboot the computer. Restarting the router is not a good solution because when the torrent detects a connection and starts downloading, the connection gets killed again. There are ways to configure most torrent clients so that if you’re having similar problems, your internet won’t get disconnected while downloading torrents.

This happens mainly because there is a large number of connections that BitTorrent utilizes at once, and it is using more connections than your internet connection or router can handle. The default settings in a BitTorrent client are sometimes set too high and it chokes the connection. The solution is to lower the global connections limit in the BitTorrent Client. Here we show you how in a number of popular torrent clients.

qBittorrent

qBittorrent is one of the most popular torrent clients currently available for Windows. An issue it has out of the box for slower internet connections is a high default maximum global connection value (600).

1. Press the Options button on the toolbar that looks like a cog wheel. Alternatively, open the Tools menu and select Options (Alt+O).

2. Click the Connection icon on the left. qBittorrent has two values to look at. One is the “Global maximum number of connections” that affects all running torrents. The other is the “Maximum number of connections per torrent”.

3. Set the global maximum to about 100 (or lower if you wish) and the per torrent number to something equal to or less than the global number. Click OK.

Qbittorrent connections

DO NOT uncheck those two boxes because that will set the maximum connection number to unlimited and will make your connection situation worse.

Download qBittorrent

Free Download Manager

This is a popular general download manager for Windows that also includes a torrent client. A good thing here is you can raise and drop the connection limit on the fly through the traffic limit menu. The default maximum connection limit is 200 in High Mode, 50 in Medium Mode, and 15 in Low Mode. It’s easy to drop from High to Medium or Low and see if it helps before touching any other options.

1. To manually change the connection limits in Free Download Manager, click on the Options menu at the top right and select Preferences.

2. Click the Traffic Limits option on the left or scroll down. Change the “Maximum number of connections” numbers for the speed modes to suit your needs. Also, adjust the download/upload speeds to best match your connection speed.

Free download manager connections

Changing the speed mode is done from the menu at the bottom of the window. It will show as green for full speed, orange for medium, and red or low speed mode.

Download Free Download Manager

PicoTorrent

This is a small, easy to use, resource friendly, and optionally portable torrent client that also includes an option to limit the maximum number of connections.

1. Click on the View menu and go to Preferences. Click the Downloads option on the left of the window.

2. The option is simply labeled “Connections” and found right at the bottom. Reduce the default value of 200 down to something more reasonable, such as 50-100. Click OK.

Picotorrent connections

Download PicoTorrent

Transmission

There’s quite a lot of options in Transmission but the connection limit settings are quite easy to find.

1. Go to the Edit menu and select Preferences, click on the Network tab.

2. There’s two options in the Peer Limits section, “Maximum peers per torrent” and “Maximum peers overall”. Reduce the overall default of 200 to a lower number. You can leave the per torrent setting if it’s still lower than the new overall value.

Transmission connections

Download Transmission

Deluge

Although Deluge is a popular cross platform torrent client, the Windows version is currently behind the other platforms because of some programming limitations. The connection limit options are the same on all versions though.

1. Click the Preferences button on the toolbar or go to the Edit menu and select Preferences (Ctrl+P). Select the Bandwidth category down the left side.

2. The overall maximum number of connections is the first option at the top and is set to 200 by default. The per torrent setting should not need changing as it’s intelligently set up to always be one connection less than the global value.

Deluge connections

3. You could also optionally reduce the “Maximum connection attempts per second” to a lower value. This will slow down the speed Deluge is trying to connect to other peers and might help stop your connection from being overloaded.

Download Deluge

uTorrent / BitTorrent

uTorrent is possibly still the most used torrent client although many users have either moved to something else that doesn’t contain so many ads or still use the old version 2.

1. Go to the Tools menu and click on Preferences (or press CTRL+P) to bring up the settings options.

2. Click on Bandwidth and set the “Global maximum number of connections:” from 200 to a lower number such as 50 or 100.

Utorrent max connections

Whatever global connections value you settle on, make sure the per torrent value underneath is equal or lower. Note the older versions of uTorrent have the option in the same place.

Download uTorrent | BitTorrent

BiglyBT

BiglyBT is essentially a replacement for the virtually abandoned Vuze/Azureus project. The good news is BigyBT is open source and developed by previous Vuze coders, and is free of the ads and adware that plagued Vuze.

1. Go to Tools and choose Options (or press CTRL+,) to bring up the Options window.

2. Go to Mode at the top and select Advanced or Intermediate to enable the extra options.

Biglybt mode

3. Next click on Transfer, uncheck “Automatically adjust these settings based on connection speed” and set the “Max connections globally” to your chosen number. Make sure “Max connections per torrent” is smaller than the global value.

Biglybt connections

The global value is set to a rather high 400 by default and will need adjusting down to get the best for your connection.

Download BiglyBT

Tixati

Tixati doesn’t have a specific setting to control the overall maximum connections. Instead, you have to rely on setting the connections limit per transfer value and adjusting this depending on how many torrents you normally download at once.

1. Click on the Settings button (top right) and navigate to Network > Connections.

2. Set the “Maximum peer connections per seed/download” second value to the desired number. Remember, the default of 55 is per torrent so if you only ever download a single torrent at a time, 55 is effectively the number of global connections. Keeping it to one or maybe two concurrent downloads at the most should be fine for most users with the default of 55.

Tixati connections

It’s also possible to set a per transfer value for each individual torrent download so one torrent can have 10 connections while another has 50, and etc. Click on the torrent download in the main window and go to the Options tab > Peers in the lower pane. Uncheck the “Use Default Setting” for Connections and set it to the desired value.

Download Tixati

Torch Browser

There’s a few web browsers around with a built-in torrent client but Torch is the only one we found with the option to change the number of connections. Do be aware that Torch Browser has been known to contain offers or adware although they can usually be skipped or refused.

1. Click on the green Torrent icon in the browser toolbar, then click the Settings button down in the bottom left of the TorchTorrent tab. The same settings are also available from the general browser Settings and the “Default torrent application” section.

2. Look about halfway down the Options for the Connections section. Reduce the “Max peers overall” value from the default of 150 to something more satisfactory (100 or less). The default “Max peers per torrent” value of 30 should be fine for most users.

Torch torrent connections

Download Torch Browser

BitComet

Apart from possibly containing adware, BitComet also defaults to having unlimited torrent connections. This could even possibly cause issues on internet connections or routers that don’t normally struggle with connection limits.

1. Go to Tools and select Options (or press CTRL+P) to bring up the preference options.

2. Go to Advanced and click on “network.max_connections”.

3. Change the value from 0 (unlimited) to a more usable connection number (100) in the “Value” box below, then click Apply.

Bitcomet max connections

Download BitComet


You can try changing the values in any of these clients to 50 or 100 connections for starters and see if your connection can cope with it. If the router or modem is able to handle that amount without killing or severely slowing down your connection, try adding 20 more and continue until you find the limit.

For BitTorrent clients that are not listed in this article or for those that don’t allow you to configure the connection values (like WebTorrent Desktop or Brave Browser), you can try NetBalancer to limit the download and upload transfer speed.

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