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I installed the official BitTorrent client to download (legally, I hasten to add) a Radiohead DVD made by fans after a gig in Prague, and have suffered from a really slow internet connection ever since. As soon as the download completed I uninstalled the program, but it seems to have made no difference. Can anyone explain this, and what to do to fix it?

Using XP Home Premium.

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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Well, I found out the answer to this, and even though it's not directly caused by any particular BitTorrent client, it is related to torrenting in general, so I thought I'd answer in case it helps someone else.

As a result of the large download, and seeding to other peers, I exceeded my monthly bandwidth usage allowance, and my ISP (Optus, in Australia) slowed me down until the start of the next billing period. That's it! I never even considered that explanation, until I chatted to a friend and that was the first thing he thought of.

So, do your BitTorrenting at the end of the month if you're on a similar plan - that's my advice.

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Oh dear, I didn't consider that volume caps are still used somewhere in the world on broadband connections. –  knitti Oct 30 '10 at 20:37
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There's no need for any BitTorrent software to install additional stuff (could be, but if that would cost you bandwidth, you'd had installed some malware), so there are other possibilities:

  • if your IP is still present in the BitTorrent tracker, dozends or hundreds of BitTorrent clients might try to connect to your (now non-existant) client. This can impact bandwidth severely and will cease after your IP isn't in the tracker anymore (or changes...)

  • there are ISPs which detect BitTorrent (and other file sharing) traffic and throttle the connection of their users.

Unless your contract states you having a fixed IP address (costs usually more than without), try dis- and reconnecting your DSL or cable modem. Im most cases your IP changes and the problem goes away (unless you get the IP of someone who just disconnected a BitTorrent client)

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So, for a relative newcomer to bittorrenting, how do I tell if my IP address is still in the tracker? I have kept the torrent files on my hard drive - should I delete those too? Is that where the problem might still be? –  Ralph Lavelle Oct 25 '10 at 23:09
    
there are only indirect ways to tell (connecting from another ip and looking for this IP), but generally trackers do the housekeeping themselves and remove IPs which don't send any status anymore. Then after this, the clients which got the IP have to expire it too. Overall, this shouldn't last for much more than a couple of hours or a day or so. -- the torrent files have nothing to do with this –  knitti Oct 25 '10 at 23:46
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I encountered a similar problem one time. If I'm not mistaken the bittorrent software I installed, installed other programs with it. So after uninstalling it some garbage remained. The garbage software can opening a lot of network connections.

You should check "Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features" for unknown programs installed, and remove them. You can also open "the task manager" and search in the "Process" tab for process you do not know the origin. If you find any, try to search the web for the name, and if necessary delete it.

If all things fail, you can go to start/run , type "msconfig" without the cotes and in the "Startup" tab, remove again any process you do not know the origin, so that way the process won't start with windows. Here is an example of my msconfig.

Ah, and next time try µTorrent (microTorrent)

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You may still have some remnants of the client in your registry. Try downloading CCleaner (http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner) and using the "Fix Registry Issues" button.

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