Here is a list of common misconceptions that are shared by many, often not computer-savy, users. We hope this article will clear at least some of those up ;)
Written in Q & A style.
About connections to peers
Q: When i can't get incoming connections does that mean i can't download, only upload?
- No, a connection can be initiated by you or by a peer, but once it is established data can flow in both directions.
Q: My internet line has 5MB/s speed, why isn't it downloading that fast?
Q: I can download with 5MB/s, how do i configure Azureus?
- There is no central server from which you download. Everything that users download, is at the same time uploaded by users. So, their upload speed has a huge impact on your download speed.
- In addition, your download speed doesn't matter that much since BitTorrent is filesharing and the faster you upload the more willing the peers are to upload to you, too. (There is a built-in tit-for-tat mechanism.) So you have to adjust your settings according to the upload speed of your internet line.
Q: I see many peers that aren't uploading to me! How can i get rid of them!??
- You don't want to. Many peer connections sit idle and are kept as a replacement once a peer you're currently sharing with becomes too slow or he hasn't anymore data to offer. Thus only a small fraction of the established connections will actually be used.
About BitTorrent's way of working
Q: I'm not connected to any seeds, how can it download then?
- As long as the availability is above 1 you should be able to download the file(s), regardless whether you're downloading from seeds or peers.
Q: I'm only downloading files, why is it uploading?
- Azureus is uploading the parts of the data you've already recieved and since BT is filesharing it's important to do so, otherwise nobody would have a reason to share his bandwidth with you.
Q: How can i put something in my share folder to improve my ranking?
- Your download speed is determined by your current upload speed and not by a global ranking. And since there is no direct search function a share folder would be rather useless.
Q: I want to download faster, how can i connect to more peers?
- More connections won't make your download faster since only a small fraction of them is used and the rest is sitting idle, instead that'll increase only the overhead and waste your bandwidth and that of your peers.
Q: I have set a file to high priority! Why is it downloading pieces from other files?
- That's because bittorrent is not FTP, pieces can't be fetched sequentially, otherwise the speed would deteriorate. To keep yourself interesting for other peers Azureus has to fetch rare pieces which are usually scattered over all files. Generally the priority settings are honored on a best-effort basis.
Q: My download is slow, how do i start another one to download faster?
- By starting another download you'd spread your upload even thinner and thus both downloads together could be slower than the single slow download alone, hence it's not a good idea.
About anything else
Q: How do i turn on the encryption, i want to hide what i'm downloading from <insert name of law enforcement agency here>.
- Encryption is only intended to help people who are affected by the traffic shaping of their provider, it doesn't provide anonymity.
Q: Why isn't encryption enabled by default? If it's off it won't help shaped users!
- Azureus always accepts incoming encrypted connections and creates outgoing ones to those peers that require it. So in fact it's not really off but only used with users that require it by setting theirs to enabled. This is because encryption requires some extra bandwidth and cpu time.