Torrents are a common way to send and receive large files. Compared to downloading files from a single server, a torrent file is less likely to fail mid-download and you can always pause and resume downloading a file. That said, you might have noticed that at times, some torrents download slow. You might have several downloads in progress and any one or two of them might be ridiculously slow. There’s actually a reason why, and a few possible solutions to the problem.
Torrent clients have the option to limit download speed for files that are downloading. This feature is applied selectively i.e., you can download some files at your normal speed and limit the download speed for other files. To check if you’ve limited the download speed for a file, right-click it and look for a bandwidth allocation or similar option. Make sure you’ve allowed the file to use maximum available bandwidth.
We should also mention that if you have one too many downloads in progress, you will not get uniform speed across all files that are downloading. Some files might download faster than others. The only way to work around this is to allocate bandwidth to each file you’re downloading. This will be limited to how much bandwidth you have to allocate in the first place. For example, if you have a 20Mbps connection and five torrents in progress, you cannot allocate 10Mbps to each one.
Check Download Speed
It’s worth heading over to Speedtest.net to check if you are indeed getting as much speed as your data plan promises. We should also mention that some ISPs try and throttle internet speeds. If you suspect that’s the case, try downloading a different file, or try downloading one via your browser to see if there’s an improvement. This particular fix is only worth trying if all your torrents are slow to download instead of just one.
Seeders vs Peers
Torrent files need seeders in order to ‘send’ a file. A seeder is a system that has a complete copy of the file you’re downloading. A peer is someone who is downloading the file i.e. you. In an active Torrent transfer, if the number of seeders is less than the number of peers, your file will take longer to download. The greater the seeder-to-peer ratio, the slower a file will download. For example, if there is only one seeder for a file, and ten peers, it will download much slower than a file that has five seeders and ten peers.
It’s always a good idea to check how many seeders a torrent has before you start downloading it. In the event that you’ve started downloading a file that doesn’t have enough seeders you can pause and resume the download when there are more seeders. Alternatively, you can look for a different torrent of the same file that has more seeders.