BT Infinity and Torrent speed checks

I recently upgraded my Internet connection from an 8mb ADSL2+ circuit to an up to 40mb fibre to the cabinet service from British Telecom (last leg to premises is via cable).
 
I ran some tests to compare the two circuits – these were from the UK:
 
8mb old ADSL2+ circuit – Speedtest.net reported 7mbps:
1. Testmy.net: 100mb file downloaded from Dallas – 304KBps = 2.8mbps 
2. Thinkbroadband.com: 100mb file downloaded in UK – 830KBps = 6.6mbps
3. msdn.microsoft.com: 2.766GB file download – 850KBps = 6.8mbps
4. uTorrent encrypted: on BT – 300-680KBps = 3-5.5mbps
5. uTorrent encrypted: on Proxy VPN – 400-500KBps = 3.2-4mbps
 
40mb new VDSL2 Infinity circuit – Speedtest.net reported 34mbps:
1. Testmy.net: 100mb file downloaded from Dallas – 1700KBps = 14mbps 
2. Thinkbroadband.com: 100mb file downloaded in UK – 2400KBps = 19.2mbps
3. msdn.microsoft.com: 2.766GB file download – 4600KBps = 36.8mbps
4. uTorrent encrypted: on BT – 2000-4000KBps = 16-32mbps
5. uTorrent encrypted: on Proxy VPN – 1300KBps max = 10.5mbps
 
Pretty good huh!
 
It shows that using protocol encryption in Utorrent stops BT from throttling – without PE I was getting 10KBps!
It also shows that there is a limit to my VPN Proxy connection.
It also shows how crap some ISPs bandwidth is compared to someone like Microsoft.
 
The uTorrent tests were done using one torrent file. I also had another torrent on pause while doing these tests but forgot to pause it at one point when I reloaded uTorrent – suddenly I started getting 3500KBps on this torrent and 1100KBps on the test torrent – 4600KBps in total! It turned out that although the test torrent had more peers (4200) they were all fairly low bandwidth. The other torrent had 2200 peers but many more were of high bandwidth (a couple over 1000KBps). So if you connect to quality peers (like myself now!) then you can max out your connection. Happy days.
 
I did read up on the protocol encryption in uTorrent clients – this merely makes torrent traffic invisible to the ISPs throttling, it does not obscure your IP number etc like a proxy would – swings and roundabouts. The best would still be a proxy with high bandwidth – but then you would probably be paying $100s a year, so might as well buy the DVD 🙂
 
PS. Can report that I am consistently getting 4500-4700 KBps on most torrent downloads.
PPS. Can confirm that protocol encryption does not stop BT from throttling bittorrent traffic. During restricted times (see: http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/10495/~/broadband-usage-policy section B) I am getting 10KBps if i’m lucky! Outside of restricted times I am getting the maximum approx 4600KBps. Please also note that althought they say it is restricted at weekends I have been getting maximum during the day but it drops right down to 10KBps again after 4pm.
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Author: James

IT Manager - Network, Web coding, MS SQL and Online Mapping expert

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