Speed Up Your Downloads By Choosing The Fastest Torrents

Speed Up Your Downloads By Choosing The Fastest Torrents

Even if you know everything there is to know about BitTorrent apps, your downloads can still be slow as molasses. It’s not you, it’s the torrent. All-things-BitTorrent weblog TorrentFreak discusses how to speed up your downloads by picking the fastest torrents.

Photo by Rebecca...

In a nutshell, it’s all about the percentage of seeders in a swarm, as TorrentFreak’s Ernesto points out:

Many people understand these basics. A torrent with 30 seeders and 70 leechers (30% seeders) will go faster than one with 10 seeders and 90 leechers (10% seeders). However, it get confusing when you compare swarms of different sizes.

For example, a torrent with 30 seeders and 70 leechers (30% seeders) will generally be faster than one with 500 seeders and 2500 leechers (20% seeders). Why? Simply because the swarm has a smaller percentage of seeders. When picking the right torrents to download, the percentage of seeders that a swarm consists of is the most important thing to look at.

A higher percentage of seeders means that the average upload capacity available to the leechers will be higher.

So next time you go looking for a fast torrent, don’t just head straight for the download with the most seeders. Instead, find the torrent with the highest seeder to leecher ratio.

Got your own best practices for blazing BitTorrent speeds? Let’s hear it in the comments.

How to Pick The Fastest Torrents [TorrentFreak]


  • Your maths is dodgy as.

    30 seeders + 70 leechers = 30%, yeah

    but 500 seeders from 3000 total (500+2500) >< 20%. I got 16.667% myself.

    Just change 2500 to 2000.

    Aside from that, thanks for the note. I typically would’ve gone the 500 seeders, thinking that there’d be a higher chance of there being an Australian seeder in there who might give me slightly better speeds or something.

    • this is right. 500/3000 = 1/6 = 0.16666…

      Also, ratio is only one heuristic, we also have to consider reliability (such as, I’d rather choose a 30+70 torrent (30%) than a 2+1 torrent (200%)), and after a certain amount of scaling past roughly 1000 peers, the swarm/tracker becomes less efficient at maximising bandwidth.

      • Yup your maths is right but I think Ernesto was referring to the percentage of seeders to leechers (not the total), which is 1 seeder to 5 leechers, making it 20%.

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