Used by more than 150 million people, uTorrent is one of the most widely used BitTorrent clients across the globe. While the software is ideal for downloading torrents, there are some tactics you can use to make it faster. If your uTorrent speed suddenly drops to zero, is limited to 1Mbps, goes up and down, or is generally slow, you may be able to fix it.
Irregular or slow uTorrent download speeds can be caused by incorrect settings, issues with your internet service provider (ISP), or a number of other factors. Fortunately, most of these can be resolved by taking a few simple steps. So when your uTorrent download speed is slow, take advantage of any of the remedies included in this article and get them back to where they should be.
Why Is My uTorrent Download Speed Slow?
There are a number of reasons that your uTorrent download speed is slow, these include:
- Internet data cap or speed: The internet package you’re paying for may have a cap on the amount of data you’re able to consume each month or offer low Mbps download rates. The best way to fix this is by getting a better internet package.
- Few seeders and too many leechers: Seeders are the number of people who have the complete file who you’re able to download from. Leechers are those who are also downloading the file. Files with more seeders and fewer leechers give better download rates.
- ISP throttling your bandwidth: Some ISPs throttle your bandwidth when doing things like streaming or downloading torrents. A VPN can get around bandwidth throttling, otherwise, you’ll need to find a better ISP that doesn’t have this policy.
Other possible reasons for slow uTorrent downloads include your firewall getting in the way, your uTorrent settings, and your Wi-Fi connection. These things can all be adjusted, which we’ll cover in the following sections.
How To Make uTorrent Download Faster
Add a Firewall Exception
If your download speed drops to zero, it could be due to Windows Firewall. You want to make sure the firewall isn’t blocking incoming connections to your BitTorrent client.
This is relatively easy to do with uTorrent and involves a few steps:
- Go to the Options menu and click Preferences.
- Click the menu labeled Connections.
- Check the box next to Add Windows Firewall exception and hit the Apply or OK button.
Adjust Bandwidth Settings
Adjusting the bandwidth settings is another way to get your uTorrent speed up. There are several settings you can adjust in the Bandwidth menu that could help increase uTorrent’s speed.
The first setting you need to change is Global Upload Rate Limiting. Too high of an upload rate could make your uTorrent download speed slow down. However, setting your upload speed too low can also affect speeds. Ideally, you want to set it to about 70% to 80% of your maximum upload speed.
Next, you should make sure your Global Download Rate Limiting is set correctly. This setting affects how quickly you can download a file. For example, if it’s set to 1,000Kbps, then your download speed will be limited to 1Mbps. In uTorrent, setting the download rate to zero will set it at unlimited. This should improve uTorrent’s speed by giving you the highest possible download rate your connection will allow.
Finally, you can adjust your number of connections. The best numbers to use will vary depending on your internet, but too many connections could lead to overload. A little trial and error with different numbers will yield the best results. However, setting your global maximum to 150 and the maximum number of peers to 100 could help increase uTorrent speeds.
To make these adjustments, you’ll need to:
- Click Options in uTorrent and select Preferences.
- Go to the Bandwidth menu.
- Under Global Upload Rate Limiting, set your maximum upload rate to around 70% to 80% of your max upload speed.
- Now, set your Global Download Rate Limiting to zero.
- In Global maximum number of connections, type in 150, or test different amounts to find the ideal connection number for you.
- For Maximum number of connected peers per torrent, you can either test out different numbers or just opt for 100.
The more seeders you have the faster your file will download. A good way to increase the number of seeders is by adding more trackers to a particular download. You can find lists of active trackers through a simple Google search.
Once you have the trackers you’d like to add to a download, follow these steps:
- Right-click on the file you’re adding trackers to and open Properties.
- Copy the trackers and paste them under Trackers. There’s no need to worry about adding duplicate trackers but try not to erase the ones that are already present. Separate each tracker with an empty line.
- Click the OK button.
Enable Automated Port Forwarding
If your BitTorrent port is blocked, this could be making your uTorrent download speeds slow. Port forwarding can bypass this block and allow your device to be accessed remotely through the internet. When torrenting, this lets you connect directly with peers to quickly exchange files. Port forwarding is also how you speed up seeding to other downloaders.
uTorrent has an option to automate port forwarding called UPnP port mapping protocol and NAT-PMP port mapping protocol. However, these won’t work unless the protocols are enabled on your router or network first.
Set up automated port forwarding through uTorrent by:
- In uTorrent, click the Options dropdown menu and select Preferences.
- Go to the menu labeled Connections.
- Check the box next to Enable UPnP port mapping.
- Click the box next to Enable NAT-PMP port mapping.
- Hit the OK or Apply button.
Manual Port Forwarding
You can also set up port forwarding manually, in which case you won’t need to use the automated port mapping functions. To do this, you’ll need to set the port used for incoming connections in uTorrent and tell your router to connect through this same port.
When choosing a port number, you’ll want to pick something over 10000. While the typical BitTorrent TCP port range is between 6881 and 6889, using these port numbers is not necessary.
ISPs know these port numbers are often used for torrenting so many ISPs will throttle them causing slow uTorrent download speeds. Since the BitTorrent protocol can run on any port number, using one over 10000 is better to avoid ISP throttling.
You’ll need to do the following to set up manual port forwarding:
- In uTorrent, choose Options and select Preferences from the dropdown menu.
- Go to the Connections section.
- Type in a port number that’s higher than 10000 in the Port used for incoming connections box.
- Login to your router and open its settings.
- Go to the Port Forwarding menu and enter the same port number you decided to use in uTorrent. This process can vary somewhat depending on the router you use.
Choose Torrents With More Seeders and Fewer Leechers
Since more seeders means faster download speeds, it stands to reason that a file with more seeds will improve uTorrent speeds. Most torrent sites let you arrange your search results by seeders, with the files that have more seeds being at the top and those with fewer further down on the list.
If your uTorrent download speed is slow on a specific torrent, see if you can find a comparable file with more seeders and fewer leechers. Many torrent sites will have multiples of the same file, so find the one with the best seeder/leecher ratio and choose it instead.
Allocate More Bandwidth
When downloading multiple files at once, you can give priority to certain files by allocating more bandwidth to them. This way, the files you want first will download quicker and the lower priority files will take up less bandwidth and come in a little slower.
Allocating bandwidth is easy in uTorrent, it requires you to:
- Right-click the file you want to allocate bandwidth to.
- Hover over Bandwidth Allocation to open the menu.
- For files that need to download quickly, choose High, and for less important files, choose Low.
Use a Wired Connection
Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient, but it usually doesn’t give you the fastest possible internet connection. For a quick and easy method to increase uTorrent speeds, use an ethernet cable to connect directly to your modem or router.
Download One Torrent At a Time
Another easy way to increase uTorrent speeds is to only have one file downloading at a time. You can set this up by allowing only one active download at a time so any additional files will go into queue. When the file is finished, the next queued file will begin downloading.
To set up one active download at a time, take the following steps:
- Select Preferences from the Options dropdown menu in uTorrent.
- Open the Queueing menu.
- Set the Maximum number of active downloads to one.
How to Increase uTorrent Speed in Android
There are a few things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best possible download speeds when using the uTorrent app on your Android device. Some of the methods mentioned above are viable on the app as well. These include choosing torrents with more seeders and adjusting the bandwidth settings. You can also download over a fast Wi-Fi network rather than using data.
To change the bandwidth settings in Android:
- Open the uTorrent app and go to Settings.
- In the Bandwidth menu, go to Download Limit and slide it to Max KB/s.
- Open the Upload Limit slider and lower it to around 20 KB/s.
- Tap the Set button.
How to Speed Up uTorrent With a VPN
Bandwidth throttling is when your ISP intentionally limits your bandwidth and effectively slows down your internet connection. BitTorrent protocols are a common target of bandwidth throttling, directly affecting your uTorrent download speeds. However, there is a simple solution to bypassing the effects of bandwidth throttling — using a VPN.
A VPN will encrypt your internet traffic and conceal your online activities from your ISP. Therefore, your ISP will have no idea what services, websites, or applications you’re using making throttling your download rates impossible. Furthermore, using a VPN protects you from fines and prosecution when downloading copyright-protected materials through torrent sites. Whenever you download torrents, it’s important that you always use a VPN.
Which Strategies Work Best?
Any of the above strategies can be utilized to improve uTorrent speeds, but some work more consistently than others. The quickest and most effective method to bring an end to slow uTorrent download speeds is to add more seeders. This can be done by choosing a file with more seeders and fewer leechers and by adding trackers to your download. Adjusting settings such as bandwidth and using a wired connection can also be quite effective.
To quickly download a single file, make sure to allocate more bandwidth to it and put any other files you may be downloading into queue. You need to make sure that uTorrent always has a firewall exception as well, and port forwarding can be used to speed up both seeding and downloading.