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How I Stopped Torrent From Killing My Internet Connection

UPDATE: I have more exciting news to share. It turns out that you actually can use old hardware, because the source of all my problems was specific to old AT&T hardware. I'll update this blog post with more details shortly.

Does your Internet connection slow down to a crawl when using torrent software, even when you're not downloading or uploading anything at all? Read on to find out how I solved this problem once and for all. Long story short, the source of the problem was my old DSL modem equipment. Here's how I solved this weird conundrum that's been bugging the hell out of me for the past few years:

1) Symptom:

Basically, it's exactly what I said above. When using torrent software (I use Vuze), my Internet connection slows down to a point where I can't do anything. Here are some details:

A) To be fair, the Internet connection sometimes goes back to normal speed. However, the speed goes down randomly, about once every few minutes or so. And when the speed goes down, it stays down for a few minutes. And it's like this all day long. The only way to really solve this problem was to just close Vuze. So I would only use it when downloading something, and then immediately close it afterwards.

B) When the Internet speed goes back to normal speed, it doesn't matter whether I'm downloading a file at full speed. This is normally how it's supposed to be. But if I'm uploading a file, the speed goes down somewhat, but nowhere near where it would interrupt what I'm doing.

C) It should also be worth noting that I offer a lot of files for upload. From what I remember (although I can't be 100% sure about this), the more files I offered for downloading, the slower my Internet connection became. To elaborate, I originally offered a few files for upload and don't initially remember the Internet being slow whatsoever. But as I offered more and more files, I eventually started noticing what was happening.

I eventually did a significant amount of research over the past few years, and tried everything imaginable. But the real problem was that I found more than enough people with the same exact problem that I had, none of which had found a solution, so I pretty much gave up on it myself.

2) Solution:

A) About two weeks ago, I noticed that my modem would reboot itself quite frequently, like maybe once a day or so. Then it became worse, to a point where it was rebooting itself every few minutes.

B) I called AT&T, and the tech support rep said that there was something wrong with the modem and that a technician will show up the following day to see what's wrong with it.

C) The technician saw the modem and immediately said that it was old equipment and just gave me a new one. In the screenshot below, the left is my old equipment (which came with a separate wireless router) & the right is my new one (which has wireless support built in):

AT&T Old & New DSL Equipment

AT&T Old & New DSL Equipment

Once I got back online is when I immediately noticed that my slow Internet problem disappeared completely. And not only is my Internet connection at supersonic speed now, it's like this whether I'm uploading at full speed or not.

So I hope this will help others that might have the same problem that I had. YMMV, so good luck! :)

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