My ISP is a reseller of Bell Canada DSL service. Bell uses Deep Packet Inspection for all of its users and resellers to limit the bandwidth consumed by P2P applications such as BitTorrent.

Bell throttles between 4:30pm - 2:00am daily.

Early workarounds such as using port 1723 was good at first but has since been rectified by ISPs.

What are your suggestions?


5 Answers 5


I do not have Bell Canada, but a number of users have reported that using the uTP (UDP torrenting) feature of the uTorrent beta (now 2.0) is successful in circumventing Bell's interference.

More information at this FileShareFreak article: http://filesharefreak.com/2008/12/02/is-your-bittorrent-throttled-try-utorrent-19/


If you are using Vuze (used to be Azereus), then they have a guide for encrypting bittorrent traffic here (They recommend level 5 for Bell). They also show here that Bell is awful for bittorrenting...

I've used these for Bell before, and it seemed to be hit and miss, but it still was better then doing nothing at all.

Some of what they show here will also apply to other bittorrent clients.


If your torrent client supports it, then enable encryption. This will only help when talking to peers and trackers that also have it enabled, but it will stop the packet inspection.

  • 2
    DPI recognizes encrypted BitTorrent traffic and throttles it.
    – JcMaco
    Jul 23, 2009 at 2:05
  • How do they inspect the contents of an encrypted packet? A man-in-the-middle attack? Obviously if they see a single un-encrypted packet they'll know your torrenting on that port and shape the port.
    – pgs
    Jul 23, 2009 at 2:36
  • 2
    And why, when 75% of the answers say encryption, was only one of them downvoted?
    – pgs
    Jul 23, 2009 at 2:38
  • I don't know the details of DPI, but simply encrypting the connection in the BitTorrent doesn't work. One ISP (Acanac) offers an encrypted SSH tunnel for its customers and that seems to work.
    – JcMaco
    Jul 23, 2009 at 3:07

Only using encrypted torrents will probably fix this. However, by passing this may be a violation of your ToS. Don't get yourself into trouble.


There are tricks like Tor and UltraSurf that will completely move you out of monitoring range.
These will increase your bandwidth utilization a bit though.

Glasnost: How to find out if your ISP blocks or limits torrents? -- may be useful too.
Another ref, Google helps to test whether your ISP blocks Bittorrent

  • 6
    Do NOT use Tor for P2P. 1) It's not designed for that kind of traffic and can cause problems for the Tor network, 2) the speeds will be dismal. Jul 23, 2009 at 4:14

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