Comcast Accused of Throttling BitTorrent Traffic

Comcast is denying any filtering of BitTorrent traffic after a blog accused it and other ISPs of attempting to thwart users of the service.

The TorrentFreak blog first made the accusations last week in a post, which said Comcast and other providers had been either limiting BitTorrent bandwidth or preventing users from seeding their downloads.

“Unfortunately, these more aggressive throttling methods can’t be circumvented by simply enabling encryption in your BitTorrent client,” ‘Ernesto’ wrote on August 17. “Some users report that they can still connect to a few peers, but most of the Comcast customers see a significant drop in their upload speed.”

With a reduced ability to seed downloads, those affected may have a harder time ensuring they are uploading as much as they’re downloading, an important statistic for those using private BitTorrent trackers. Some require a positive ratio in order to maintain membership.

Comcast denied any meddling in the traffic of its users, although it did say it reserved the right to cut off any customers who were using too much bandwidth. Heavy users of BitTorrent can take up significant chunks of bandwidth, which in turn can slow access for other users.

It is being reported that an application produced by London-based Sandvine is being used by Comcast to throttle the traffic, although representatives for the company said that it wasn’t aware of any company using its products to specifically block BitTorrent traffic.

“I guess this battle will go on for a while and I would advise Comcast users to try setting up a VPN connection to get around the traffic shaping, other users who find out that they are throttles might try BitTorrent encryption first, that seems to work quite well in most cases,” ‘Ernesto’ concluded.

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