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When I am downloading 2 or more torrents through my torrent client (Transmission on Ubuntu 11.04), I can no longer access the internet. This happens even if I throttle the download and upload speeds to well below my bandwidth (about 120 KB/s).

As well, connecting to a VPN connection sometimes renders my internet unusable. I have no idea why.

My router is a Linksys WRT54G2.

What could be going on?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have also had slow internet speeds related to ISP bittorrent throttling. The solution is to use a non-standard port for bittorrent (mine is like 8253 or something) and force encryption.

I'm not entirely sure if Transmission offers those features (it should, but you never know). If not, you can check out uTorrent (which you would have to run under Wine for Ubuntu).

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Thank you! Transmission does have these features, and now it works. –  Hypercube May 23 '11 at 2:49
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I'm not sure why that would be for the torrent, but I have seen this happen before with VPNs.

What's happening is that your NIC is completely dedicating itself to that VPN network. That means, any network communication that happens with your computer is going to be handled by whatever network your VPNing into.

I don't know if this is a limitation of your VPN client or your VPN server, but one of the two does not support passing a connection out of that local network. This is actually a very intelligent way to do things - allowing internet connections while connected to a remote network could potentially open up a lot of security holes. The only way around this is going to be get a second NIC, or get a new VPN client/server.

The short answer is nothing is wrong - it's most likely a "feature" of your VPN.

For the torrents, try running a speedtest while downloading. It could be that your ISP is throttling you when they notice that your are downloading torrents.

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This VPN connection (from my university) is supposed to be for accessing Internet resources, so I don think this could be the case. It does work sometimes though (now, for example). Thank you for the help. –  Hypercube May 23 '11 at 3:00
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