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On my home network I have one wireless Belkin router, a desktop PC and a laptop. My PC is plugged straight into the router. The laptop uses wireless.

When ever the laptop downloads bittorrent, it will always lock up the network after an hour or so (not sure if it locks up the whole network, but definitly stop the PC from accessing the internet). Even if I shutdown the laptop the network will remain locked up. The only way to fix it is to restart the router, then everything is fine.

What is the issue here? Is it to do with BitTorrents? or my Router? or what else?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Bittorrent works by opening up many concurrent connections and quite a few routers (especially older ones) have problems trying to keep up with all the requests.

You can try on the laptop to limit the total amount of concurrent connections, apart from that, replacing the router will be your best bet.

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You're probably overloading your router's resources (bittorrent opens up a whole bunch of connections). Try turning down the number of connections your bittorrent client is using, and use bittorrent on the desktop machine. There are plenty of bittorrent clients that will let you run on the desktop and control it from the laptop.

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Check if there's a firmware update for your router, sometimes vendors release patches to fix these issues.

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You also might look into seeing if DD-WRT can be flashed on your model router; DD-WRT is usually more stable and reliable than stock firmware on home routers. – LawrenceC Jan 22 '12 at 15:12

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