Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Bittorrent & uTorrent

I think most people, if not all at least heard about Bittorrent and torrent. If you advance user, this is NOT for you, I make this tutorial for the newbie who just know the online world. And I hope this tutorial can help you find your way to download the torrent and will be able to use extra functions from one of the best Bittorrent Client, if not THE best, µTorrent


What is Bittorrent and Torrent?
Some people will probably laugh if you ask this question, especially during this broadband era. But people always have their 1st step some where, and I remembered it took me days before I figured out how to download Bittorrent file, and several months later before I actually could figure out how to configure the router’s firewall, and months after that before I start used advance Bittorrent. Enough with the story, let start.

Bittorrent is some sort of method to download file, utilize to big file. If you interested to know more, you can go to this website. BUT you don’t have to know much about Bittorrent, what you need is Bittorrent Client (See Why µTorrent?) to enable you to download, and then you can go to the website like Animesuki for anime or Mininova to download torrent. Torrent is only a small file which not more then 1Mb contain information you need for download. Open the file using your Bittorrent Client, and you download will begin.

What is special about Bittorrent is as soon you begin to download, you will start to upload as well. It important to know that the download speed is pretty much proportional to your upload speed, so the faster your upload speed, the faster your download will be, theorically (I will discuss it later). It important to know that seed stand for people who already finished download (morally speaking, you should open your client even after you finished download) and peers is people who downloading the file. No seed indicate most probably you will not get finished file. It always said, the more seeds and the more peers will likely make your download faster. I normally will try to find torrent which have more seeds, to get better download speed, but that always not the case.

Most torrent you download will require your computer to connect to tracker, which stored all the computers who download files, but most current advance Bittorrent client have a function known as DHT, which make your client act like normal P2P client like Kazaa, while maintain the superb speed and functionality Bittorrent have. But unfortunately not all torrent are registered as DHT enable, mostly from private tracker (tracker is like a normal website, and private tracker means you must register to their site before you can download the file, as it will monitor your download/upload ratio, which make torrent files from private tracker faster).


Why µTorrent
There are lots of other Bittorrent client available to download, either free of paid (don’t bother the paid one). During my ‘online’ life, I try several of them, like

Bittorrent this is where it all begin. The standard Bittorrent client which as it name suggest, don’t offer a lot of option to choose from. Well it not recommended to use it anyway unless you cannot use other client which unlikely to happen.

Bittornado surely one of the 1st advance Bittorrent, offer some standard option such as limiting the upload and download speed, and port changing. The problem with this client is it use port range, and that make it harder for users to configure the firewall in their router. But I recommended for someone who connected directly through modem and want no-brainer solution to download torrent file.

Azureus probably the most advance Bittorrent client currently available. It has so much features and setting which is good. As it written using java, it can be use in any Operation System as long as the system supports java. The only drawback is it consume a lot of CPU and RAM, sometimes I have to set it priority to low just to watch the movie. You don’t want to turn it on if you playing game!

ABC - A Bittornado based Bittorrent client which add queue function and use only one port. It quite an old client and does not has lot of functions.

Bitcomet - It a very fast client, maybe faster then µTorrent. It have most of the settings and function needed for advance Bittorrent client. The big problem with this client is the reputation it has with private tracker. Some private tracker won’t allowed you to download the file if you using Bitcomet.

µTorrent - Currently probably the best Bittorrent client available to download. It free, using only one port, fast, small and have extra setting and functionality.


How to setting µTorrent
Believe or not, the reason why I still using Bittornado at the time when advance Bittorrent clients such as Bitcomet or Azureus already existed was because when I tried to use Bitcomet or Azureus (no µTorrent yet at that time) for the 1st time, there were lots of options and settings that I didn’t even know what it was.

After I did some reading and try n error method, here I’m, trying to give you step by step with screenshots on how to setting your µTorrent.

After you open your µTorrent, go to option – preferences, or you can just press ctrl+p. The new window will open which will look like this

Most of settings here are self explainable. I recommended you just follow all my setting.

On download, I just to point out the option ‘put new download in’. I recommended you to enable this function, and make a new folder in your hard disk (try not put the folder in Windows partition), so every time you download torrent, the download can start automatically without you have to tell µTorrent where to save each time you download new file. Leave other setting as default.

This is where you set your assigned port. You have to make sure you already set your Firewall (either from software, like Windows Firewall or from router) to allow this port. Normally port between 40000 – 65000 is choose as Bittorrent port. If you have router, you can refer how to here, and for software based firewall like ZoneAlarm can detect the port automatic, and you don’t have to worry about Windows Firewall, µTorrent will help you with the setup (see setting above).
In the section ’Bandwidth Limiting’, you will have to setup your setting according to your internet connection. As I said before, the download speed is somehow depending on your upload speed. Please don’t set to 0 (unlimited), you wont be able to use the internet. I would recommend that you set so that you will have at least 20% - 30% from your maximum upload speed free. If you don’t know what is your upload speed, you can check it here. (make sure you don’t use your internet during the test!).

In my case, I share my internet connection with my friend, and my maximum upload speed is 1000 kbps or ~ 100 KBps ( 1000kbps / 8 ). I make my setting so we both have upload speed of 35 KBps, so even when we open our Bittorrent, we still have 30 KBps (100 - 35 - 35) upload left for others online stuff. Just remember the most of the time, µTorrent will consume more upload speed than what we set, in my case it can go up to 50KBps even my setting only 35KBps.

In section ‘Number of Connection’ is where you maybe have to just guess, depend on your connection. Too high it will eat all your connection, even when your upload setting is set correctly. As I’m using 16000kbps connection shared with my friend and I’m alone will, supposedly have a 8000kbps (of course not, the router doesn’t work that way, see how router works here), above is my setting.

If I have a connection 1000kbps with 128kbps upload speed, I will probably set
Global maximum number of connection = 50
Maximum Number of connected peers per torrent = 30
Number of upload slot per torrent = 20
Just give a try and change it when you notice your download or your surfing is slow.

The maximum number of active torrent should be larger than maximum number of active download. Try to set it accordingly, and downloading 3 torrents at the same time normally slower (in my experience) than one torrent at a time, depend on the torrent.
It recommended you set the ratio to 100% and in µTorrent you can change the priority either seeding or downloading in section ‘seeding while’. The last option is where you set after the ratio is reached, you either can stop the seeding process by set to 0.

So in my setting only one download and one torrent will active at any given time. And µTorrent will make sure the all my torrent finished download first, after then it will begin seeding until the ratio is reach to 100%. (which is good, I want my download to finish first, I can be a good guy later by seeding)

Straight forward explanation. What really interesting is you can set any folder (mine is E:-Torrent) where you can put your downloaded *.torrent files, and µTorrent will detect the stored torrent and download the file, automatically.

I just change the default setting for ‘For Seeding Torrent’ to Open Folder, so if the download file is finished, I can directly access the files just by double click on the file in µTorrent.


Check your Firewall setting (Port for your µTorrent) is correct
In µTorrent itself, you be able to check if your firewall @ router setting (the port is open) is correct in order for your bittorrent to work properly.

U can immediately check your setting by just checking the greed right symbol on the button of your µTorrent (will only appear when you download the file).

Go to Option – Speed-Guide or press ctrl + g, the new window will appear.

On the 2), make sure the Current Port: is the same port as you set in one of the steps above. Click the button beside it and the following page will appear (in your default webbrowser)

You have problem setting your router and/or firewall to work properly with µTorrent.

You are successfully setting your µTorrent to work properly.


I hope this article will help you (the beginner) to setup your µTorrent to work as it suppose to be. You can go to FAQ in µTorrent official website if you have any problem or you can ask it here, I will help if I can.

Have a nice day.

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