These days, nothing worries an internet service provider more than peer−to−peer file trading.Depending on where you live, P2P can account for between 50 and 75% of broadband internettraffic. We mostly have the popularity of BitTorrent to thank for this crazy amount of data going toand fro.This amount of traffic can raise the ISPs daily costs of delivering service, cause congestion either inyour neighborhood or on the ISP's network, and force the ISP to buy increased bandwidth capacity.But if you've been paying close attention to your BitTorrent transfers lately (or if you've simply beenreading the news) you'll notice that ISPs have begun to take drastic measures to slow that flood ofdata currently clogging up their pipes.Even though many of them deny it, most ISPs actively engage in traffic shaping, bandwidththrottling, connection denial or some such tactic to keep the amount of bandwidth consumed by hightraffic applications on their networks to a minimum. While this does often ensure better performancefor everyone in the neighborhood, it can mean painfully slow transfer speeds for those dabbling inP2P −− legit or not.While there are valid arguments for and against shaping, we're not here to debate. We just want thefastest BitTorrent transfers possible.
Methods of Fooling ISPs
So how to get around an ISP that's throttling your BitTorrent traffic? You can try encrypting or yourtraffic, changing the default port number, changing the way the protocol behaves, reducing theamount of one−way traffic, or hiding your traffic within an encrypted tunnel.Of course, different ISPs are employing different methods of control. None of these methods areguaranteed to work. But each one is known to work for some, and they are certainly worth a try.
How To Encrypt to Your BitTorrent Transfers:
The RC4 encryption offered by many popular BitTorrent clients today will obfuscate not only theheader but the entire stream, which makes it considerably more difficult for an ISP to detect thatyou're using BitTorrent. Even if your ISP does not force you to enable encryption, you may beconnecting to peers with ISPs that do.Encryption began appearing on clients in late 2005. By the end of 2006, most actively−developedclients were updated with encryption. While not all torrent clients in a swarm will support encryption,most of them will. As a result, this small percentage of non−encryption capable peers may be areason not to
encryption on a full−time basis, but there is no reason not to
encryptionthat allows the falling back to a non−encrypted connection when needed.If your favoriteclient isnot listed below, check your documentation.
Azureus (which now calls its official client Vuze) is written in Java and therefore cross−platform. Toturn on encryption, head to the
. Check the "Require encrypted transport" box and select
in the "Minimumencryption" drop−down menu.Azureus/Vuze also offers an "Allow non−encrypted outgoing connections if encrypted connectionattempt fails" option, which means you'll still be able to hop on torrents that don't have anyencrypted seeders.