I'm using Windows XP SP2. I have a 1 MB connection via a SpeedTouch 585, and my internet speed registers at 0.3 MB, with a maximum download of 30kbps. Not to mention a terrible ping at 500-1500. On the other hand, I get full speed in uTorrent - a bittorrent program - reaching up to 100 kbps; the way it should be.

I haven't made any changes to anything. And it has been functioning well until the last month. I waited in hope that it could be an ISP issue and that it would be resolved, but their support crew did not help me with this problem either.

I've tried disabling all firewalls, and all wireless connections, using different browsers, and disabling QoS. But it did not work. Me thinks it's an ISP issue, but if so, how am I getting full speed in uTorrent?

Could somebody help me out with this?

P.S. I do NOT use uTorrent while I surf or download files directly from the internet. So there isn't any downloading conflicts here.



There are 3 things you can try:

  • first, if you're having a slow speed issue, it could be related to your ISP's DNS servers. Try setting your DNS servers to Google's DNS ( & or OpenDNS's servers to see if there's a difference. The reason uTorrent could be fast may be because it's using IP addresses, bypassing the DNS lookup...

  • Additionally, I recently bought a new Cable Modem (Docsis 3.0 complient) and saw a huge performance gain from that (From averaging 30/kbps upload before to 130 after). So if you've had your cable modem for a while, you may want to get a new one.

  • Finally, you may need complain (squeaky wheel..) to find the right cable repair guy. I remember about 4 years ago i was intermittent having speed issues. I called so often, like every time it went out, that I had a string of (literally) 15 cable guys (Internet "specialists") come out in about 45 days. One day, I had 4 trucks in front of my house... Anyway, it wasn't until a cable tv specialist from the cable company ran some comprehensive diagnostics on the line coming in from the tap. He went the extra mile and fully diagnosed my issue and was able to justify the cable company coming out and rerunning the line to my house due to poor signal. That was an extreme situation, at the very least they may be able to boost your signal if you're actually having an issue.

  • I've reset my router and also tried your idea; that is, changing the DNS servers to Google's. And now it registers at 0.8 Mbps. I still think it was an ISP issue, but it's now partly resolved. Thanks. – Dr Haisook Mar 24 '10 at 10:10
  • I forgot to say I also called my ISP yesterday, and although he was unhelpful, he may have done something after the call to boost my speed? who knows. But he'd never say it's a problem with their servers, anyway. – Dr Haisook Mar 24 '10 at 10:19
  • glad it at least works better for you – Roy Rico Mar 24 '10 at 15:46

As mentioned if you're running uTorrent while trying to download there would be a conflict of interests. Commonly BitTorrent will flood your router with connections, leaving very little left for other applications even if you've throttled the speed. You would have to throttle the number of peers each torrent can connect to (or a global setting).

Another thing to consider is websites that throttle the speed at which you can download. This is most clearly evident on sites such as Rapidshare where if you haven't paid / registered you will get decreased download speed.

Using a Download Accelerator / Manager can speed up your download by using simultaneous connections to the server.

Finally you can complain to your ISP. There are a variety of problems that could be causing this, several simple solutions have been provided. If none work then you should call your ISP.

  • I would not use a download accelerator to speed up your connection. If you use firefox, you can change this setting yourself. – Roy Rico Mar 23 '10 at 20:55
  • Oops. Forgot to mention that I do NOT use utorrent while I surf or download other files directly. – Dr Haisook Mar 23 '10 at 20:58
  • Then it's most likely the website. On OS X I use Speed Download for file downloading and it uses multiple connections to try and max out my available bandwidth. I'm not sure how well comparable windows programs work. – Josh K Mar 23 '10 at 21:24
  • @Roy: If he's using Firefox. And why wouldn't you? – Josh K Mar 23 '10 at 21:25
  • But ALL websites are that slow? and what about the speed tests I've been doing at speedtest.net - they register 0.3 Mbit speed! – Dr Haisook Mar 23 '10 at 21:44

The problem with p2p and routers is usually only one: too many simultaneous open connections. Heavy p2p usage can lead to thousands or more simultaneous open connections which older routers cannot handle.

You have 2 options here:

  • Limit the number of connections in your Torrent client to something like under 100 (this is dependent on the throughput of the router)

  • Buy a new more powerful router (and depending on the throughput you can have thousands of open connections without impact on performance)

Other issues that can exist can be related to 3rd party limitations on the http side.


Are you downloading torrents while you're experiencing the issue? If so, you may want to try throttling utorrent's download speed.

I have a 1mbit connect as well. and Downloading torrents will cripple the rest of the network making the internet unusable for the rest of the household.

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