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I have a 256 kbit/s connection and normally see download speeds around 30 kilobytes/second.

However, sometimes when I download torrents the download speed shows as 1.1 MBps. How is this possible?

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Does your ISp provide some sort of super charge mode? I the possibility is you have a faster connection then you realize –  Ramhound Jul 21 '13 at 14:43
It is probably some kind of data compression. Some kinds of data compress better than others. –  cybernard Jul 21 '13 at 15:54
Is it possible that your ISP puts multiple customers in a single high-bandwidth LAN and your client finds local peers in it? –  grawity Jul 21 '13 at 15:57
but the super charge mode applicable for only torrent? –  Mrinmoy Jul 21 '13 at 16:32
Some ISPs provide you with a huge connection and guarantee you what you pay for. So in your case this could mean you are guaranteed 256 kbit/s, but if most of the grid is idle you will be able to go above the limits. I have some friends who can do this as well. It's not only applicable to torrents, but also ordinary HTTP/FTP downloads. –  Time Sheep Jul 22 '13 at 1:23

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