Please Encrypt Your BitTorrent Client !

Some evil ISPs implement traffic shaping to specifically limit BitTorrent bandwidth. This brings slower downloads to you and your peer.

All modern BitTorrent clients have encryption capabilities but most of them came disabled by default.

Please configure your client to encrypt connections. You will have faster downloads even if your ISP does not limit your traffic, but because your peer’s ISP does that.

By the way, today I started to use the ultimate BitTorrent client for Linux, BSD and UNIX: rTorrent. It is text and console-based, superlight, superfast, runs very well in my K7/192MB machine, accessible from anywhere through SSH and a screen window.

To install it:

Debian: bash$ sudo apt-get install rtorrent
Fedora/Red Hat: bash$ sudo yum -y install rtorrent

To enable encription I added this line to ~/.rtorrent.rc:


8 thoughts on “Please Encrypt Your BitTorrent Client !”

  1. Encryption may help if the ISP is looking specifically for torrents, but it will not help against what Comcast and some others are doing.

    In the case of Comcast, anything that opens a bunch of connections (like torrents or Lotus Notes) will cause RST packets to be sent. That said, it seems that in my location at least, Comcast has now stopped interfering.

  2. I use bttornado, also a text-mode torrent client. It works very well, and is also accessible from an SHH + Screen. But this idea of encrypting the traffic is nice. Gonna test it.


  3. Hello there!

    Good tip! I didn’t know rtorrent. I always used btdownloadcurses wich cames by default on ubuntu.

    Congrats about your blog, i always read it 🙂

  4. Hi,

    I have used rtorrent for years now, and never used encryption. I tried it out, but the performance was terrible. I use a Netgear ReadyNas Duo, rtorrent uses normally 40-50 % CPU without encryption, but with encryption went to 94%, and was not so responsive.

    Definitely I’m not going to use encryption again. I really don’t think that my ISP or the peer limit anything.

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