to the answers at Am I connected to ALL the people who are currently downloading/seeding that Bittorrent file? we can confirm that bittorrent indeed selects only a subset of clients instead of selecting ALL clients in the Whole Wide Web.

Now I have a problem. I've got a file that is stuck at 99.8% for 2 weeks already and it seems that my client is hurting me by selecting only a subset of clients. I would rather he simply select ALL clients to connect for me in the entire globe.

How do I tell my client to do that?

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I'd already have these settings set (for the past two weeks unchanged):

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  • youll likely get faster speeds by using encryption, and putting speed limits on uploading to 80% of your bandwidth to prevent choking the line. - work for me anyhow – Sirex Aug 14 '11 at 21:28
  • @Sirex, speed isn’t the problem; availability is. – Synetech Aug 14 '11 at 21:40
  • in this example yes. It was a general comment in relation to the question's title. Seemed odd to have a extensive torrent setup without any throttles or encryption. – Sirex Aug 15 '11 at 9:45
  • @Sirex what do you mean by using encryption ? – Pacerier Aug 16 '11 at 13:21
  • image 6, @ bottom. "protocol encryption". Set that to true, or possibly even forced. The theory is that many isp's throttle torrent traffic and encryption usually helps speeds as it hinders identification of the traffic. In my experience it does seem to help speeds, i usually force it and turn off legacy connections. – Sirex Aug 17 '11 at 17:19

The problem isn’t the number of clients that you are connected to (you are already configured to connect to as many as 1,000 clients with 800 per torrent—note, with high-activity torrents, this might choke your Internet connection and/or router, and/or slow your system). The problem is the availability of the file.

There are two types of people in a torrent swarm, seeds and peers.

Seeds are people who have the complete file and peers are people who have part (or none) of a file.

When you want to download a file, you need to make sure that the entire file is available in the swarm. Seeds are good for this since they have the whole thing. However a swarm with no seeds can still have the whole file if the peers have different parts so that all parts available (eventually they will be converted to seeds as they get the parts that they’re missing). This is called the availability and is represented by a rational number; 1.0+ means the whole file is available and the higher the better.

In the case of your file (in the screenshot), there are 34 peers trying to download that file in the swarm, of which, you are connected to 12. You’ll note that there are zero seeds. Also note that the availability column indicates that only 99.7% of the file is available in the swarm, therefore that is the maximum you can attain.

Your options are limited:

  • You can wait until a seed shows up (different times, different days are good ).
  • You can ask someone to seed the file if you know somewhere to ask.
  • You can make sure that DHT is enabled for that file if it is not.
  • You can search for the file and add new trackers to it (try searching by its filename and/or its hash—in the General tab in the bottom pane).
  • You can search for another torrent that has the file(s) and point the new torrent at your existing file(s), then force a re-check to avoid re-downloading the pieces you already have. Then, when finished, consider doing a re-check with the original torrent so that you can be a seed and help out the others who are stuck.
  • If the torrent is a mult-file torrent, you could try searching for the individual files and getting torrents for those, then again, pointing those individual torrents at your existing files, re-checking, then continuing them. Again, consider seeding the original torrent to help the others (you don’t have to do it for too long since the others will quickly pick up the missing pieces and become seeds themselves).
  • so basically you are saying that it is not true to assume availability is below 1, but availability is below 1 right now because my tracker is not updated, and once i update my tracker availability may immediately increase? if this is such a useful function why isn't there an option to automatically add new tracker for the files? – Pacerier Aug 14 '11 at 16:48
  • wait i don't get you, aren't the trackers automatically updating themselves? screenshoot.me/1npmQM – Pacerier Aug 14 '11 at 16:51
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    No, I mean that you may be able to find a different tracker that you are not already using that happens to have the same file, but with a different set of clients, which if you’re lucky includes some seeds. .torrent files usually include a few trackers, but there could be others that you can manually find and add (or not; it depends on the torrent). – Synetech Aug 14 '11 at 16:57
  • I tried many times to add trackers from outside the torrent but they don't work. What is the issue with them. – avirk Aug 14 '11 at 17:08
  • @avrik, are you sure those trackers were tracking the file you wanted? – Synetech Aug 14 '11 at 17:09

The answer to your question is found in your first screenshot. There is no one seeding the file! In simpler terms, there is no one out there sharing the file you need anymore.


You can achieve very high download speeds much much faster by increasing net.max_halfopen at the cost of higher bandwidth overhead.

From personal experience I can say that changing that setting greatly improved download speeds, especially in the first few seconds/minutes after adding the torrent.

It can be found in Preferences => Advanced. I have it set to 2000.

This is most helpful in torrents that have a very large amount of seeds (more than 100) and the vast majority of them are not uploading or uploading at very low speed (your typical public bittorrent tracker). It is useless for torrents that have something like 30 seeds (but in that case it doesn't increase the bandwidth overhead either).

  • 2
    Speed isn’t the problem; availability is. – Synetech Aug 14 '11 at 21:40
  • cool, btw what does max_halfopen means? – Pacerier Aug 16 '11 at 13:25
  • @Pacerier: the max half open connections.. Or rather, the maximum number of connections you can have "pending" – Thomas Bonini Aug 16 '11 at 14:29

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