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The Best QBittorrent Settings for Faster Downloads

Posted by Jamie on October 31, 2018

QBittorrent is pretty good out of the box and will download bit torrent files quickly enough without having to touch any settings. There are always advantages to be gained with a little tinkering and QBittorrent is no different. With a few specific tweaks, you could increase your download speeds significantly. If you’re all about marginal gains, this post will show you the best QBittorrent settings for faster downloads.

The actual speed you achieve depends on the health and speed of the torrent file you’re downloading but if you do all you can to grease the wheels on your side, should a new faster peer arrive, you’re already set to take advantage of it. Follow these tweaks to maximize download speed in QBittorrent.

Set your download speed

It may seem counterintuitive but if you set the download speed of QBittorrent to 80% of your maximum download speed it can help you download faster. It is important to make sure you perform the speed test with your VPN enabled as you will always download using it. You will won’t you?

  1. Enable your VPN.
  2. Type ‘speedtest’ into Google and use the built-in speed tester. You could use net too if you prefer.
  3. Run the test and note your maximum download speed.
  4. Open QBittorrent and select Tools.
  5. Select Options and Speed.
  6. Set the upload speed to 80% of that shown by the speed test.
  7. Set the download speed to 80% too.
  8. Select Global maximum number of connections to 150.
  9. Set the Maximum number of connected peer per torrent to 100.

Limiting connections and peers helps manage the overhead involved in handling so many connections. You can check the peers display within QBittorrent and drop the slow ones or those who download but don’t share.

Set your port

Bit torrent clients are one of the few programs left where you need to manually select and forward a port. Most other programs play nicely with NAT and firewalls so you no longer need to do this, bit torrent is an exception.

First we need to see if the default port is open. We can then either change it or forward it as you see fit.

  1. Open QBittorrent and select Tools. Options and Connections.
  2. Located the port used for incoming connections.
  3. Visit this website and enter the port you want to check in the box. Hit Check Port when ready.
  4. Manually set a port in QBittorrent if you like, preferable within the 49160-65534 range as others are used by other programs or are blocked by some ISPs. Run the test again to see if the port is open.

If the port is open then you’re golden. No more action is necessary. If the port is not open, make sure you have allowed QBittorrent through your firewall and forward it in your router. Different firewalls do things in different ways but you want to allow QBittorrent to send and receive traffic.

In my Comodo firewall, you select Tasks, Firewall Tasks and Allow Application. Navigate to the QBittorrent.exe file and select it to be allowed. Any port used by QBittorrent will pass through the firewall without being slowed or blocked. I also needed to forward the port on my router firewall too. You may need to do the same. Port forwarding is a meaty subject and Portforward.com has some extensive guides on getting bit torrent to play nicely.

Selecting seeders and peer sources

Seeders are the people sharing the file and peer sources are the systems that help share them. Peer sources are usually DHT or PEX and ideally you should help find quality peers.

  1. Open QBittorrent and select Tools.
  2. Select Options and Bit Torrent.
  3. Ensure DHT and PEX are checked and enabled.
  4. Uncheck Local Peer Discovery unless you’re on campus or a huge LAN.
  5. Set Encryption mode to Prefer encryption while you’re there.

Encryption helps hide your activities from ISPs but is no substitute for a VPN. It helps widen the pool of available peers though so it helps to have it enabled.

Selecting peers is about choosing those that have a high seed to peer ratio. Ideally, most of the available peers would have 100% of a file and the ratio of peers to seeders would be healthy. For example, 100 peers to 50 seeders means a ratio of 2:1 Which is healthy. If it were 500 peers to 10 seeders, it would not be so healthy.

Bit torrent is not illegal but some of the files you may be tempted to download might be. Always use a VPN when downloading using QBittorrent even if it is completely legal. You never know who’s watching!

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