Test if Your ISP is Throttling BitTorrent

Test if Your ISP is Throttling BitTorrent

Potential throttling of BitTorrent traffic by major ISPs, such as Comcast and AT&T, means that your Internet access could be affected. It's not just the downloading of illegal movies and applications that utilizes BitTorrent traffic; there is plenty of legitimate BitTorrent traffic out there as well, such as Valve's Steam game distribution platform. Some legitimate Steam users have reported interference from ISPs.

While the government investigates and contemplates enacting net neutrally legislation, what is a broadband user to do? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems have created a couple of tools for detecting if an ISP is manipulating BitTorrent traffic. They call their project: "Glasnost: Bringing Transparency to the Internet."

"ISPs are increasingly deploying a variety of middleboxes (e.g., firewalls, traffic shapers, censors, and redirectors) to monitor and to manipulate the performance of user applications. Most ISPs do not reveal the details of their network deployments to their customers. We believe that this knowledge is important to help users make a more informed choice of their ISP. Further, such knowledge is also useful for researchers designing protocols and systems that run on top of these networks."



The Glasnost page currently hosts two tools: One tests to see if your ISP blocks or limits BitTorrent traffic; and the second tool measures characteristics of your broadband connections, such as router queueing delays. The researchers promise more relevant tools in the near future. At the time of this news post, the BitTorrent traffic manipulation test tool was consistently providing the message, "We are sorry. Our measurement servers are currently busy. Please try again later." Therefore we were unable to test its effectiveness.

UPDATE: Several users have reported that links on the Glasnost pages result in popup windows with inappropriate content. Visit these pages at your own risk, and at the very least make sure a popup blocker is active.
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 i would love to see them compile a list of known bit torrent isp blockers so that people would know what isp to choose off the bat. right now im gonna ask my friends to test their isp's so i can see which isp to get for myself since right now im using wifi :-/ been meaning to get internet for awhile ha. 

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I work for an ISP and we throttle any file sharing programs.  If the firewall notices more than a set number of concurrent connections it throttles the connection to 256k from the 7MB of bandwidth they would normally have.  Our users are completely understanding on this, however, as it improves overall performance of the network and reduces latency.  Never had a single complaint and we've been doing it for years.

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1nteljunki3:

I work for an ISP and we throttle any file sharing programs.  If the firewall notices more than a set number of concurrent connections it throttles the connection to 256k from the 7MB of bandwidth they would normally have.  Our users are completely understanding on this, however, as it improves overall performance of the network and reduces latency.  Never had a single complaint and we've been doing it for years.



256 per connection? so 50 connections x 256 = 12800 unless you mean the overall conection? because bit torrent uses alot of connections.

also alot of people dont know isp's limit bandwidth, and a few people know how to uncap cable modems and redcieve unlimited bandwidth. as long as there is a good amount of speed im happy. however having my overall connection reduced to 256... is too low.

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The overall connection is throttled to 256k at the firewall, rather than at their modem where it could be overriden.

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ice_73:
also alot of people dont know isp's limit bandwidth, and a few people know how to uncap cable modems and redcieve unlimited bandwidth. as long as there is a good amount of speed im happy. however having my overall connection reduced to 256... is too low.
 

 

Uncap your cable modem and you will set off a whole mess of red flags with your ISP. Dunno if the usual folks will notice that but the people who work at the NOC definately will. They may be even inclined to turn off your access. 

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Not only will they notice but most ISP's in the USA consider this as theft of service and will (1).  Disconnect your service forever  (2) Seriously consider criminal charges against repeat offenders.   This isn't a joke.  Uncapped modems can cause interference with other users.

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1nteljunki3:
  Our users are completely understanding on this, however, as it improves overall performance of the network and reduces latency.  Never had a single complaint and we've been doing it for years.

 

I don't care if a ISP throttles traffic, thats a business decision. My problem is if they do it and don't state it or do it secretly and deceitfully. If I'm paying for a 7 MB connection I bloody well expect a 7 MB connection.

-Dev

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Interesting. I tried the "broadband link characteristics" test and it popped up a decidely NSFW web site. I feel betrayed somewhat!

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"We are sorry. Our measurement servers are currently busy. Please try again later." =(

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I went to the site to do some testing and out of nowhere a window pops up with some naked girls on it called fling.com. Guess thats the last time i will visit that site..... : ( 

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Hey, entermymatrix03, that's what I warned about. At least I know it's not just me!

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UPDATE: Several users have reported that links on the Glasnost pages result in popup windows with inappropriate content. Visit these pages at your own risk, and at the very least make sure a popup blocker is active.

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The server's are too busy.  But I'll try again later because I am interested.  Though I think I'm fine because I use a local ISP.  It's the regional or national ones that you have to worry about.  Support the small companies! 

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