Apr 8, 2009

Is Your ISP Throttling Down Your BitTorrent Traffic?

If there is one thing I hate it is ISP's telling me what I can and can't do online! WTF? Who the hell do they think they are? What ever happened to net neutrality? I pay for something, and I expect a certain level of service with that. That service better not include restricting whatever it is I want to do with said service.

Well, a lot of ISP's think that it is their job to police your network traffic. That includes limiting your bandwidth while downloading BitTorrents, using P2P networks etc. Once again, to that I say WTF!?!?

A group called Glastnost feels the same way, and in an effort to fight back they are offering a free online test to see if your ISP is limiting your BitTorrent downloads. Here is a description from their page:

Certain ISPs have been shown to rate limit or block BitTorrent traffic sent by their customers. While there are multiple reports of this on the web, only a few ISPs have admitted that they manipulate BitTorrent traffic. And, to date, it is hard for users without networking expertise to gain evidence about the behavior of their ISP.

This test suite creates a BitTorrent-like transfer between your machine and our server, and determines whether or not your ISP is limiting such traffic. This is a first step towards making traffic manipulation by ISPs more transparent to their customers.

I just did ran the test and lucky for me there were no indications that my ISP was manipulating my traffic at all (Whew). That doesn't mean yours isn't. Comcast has been all over the news for doing this. If you are a Comcast user, you may want to run this test, and if they are throttling you, you may want to switch to a different service.

I want to know what your ISP's are up to. Let me know in the comments if your ISP is throttling you down, and also let me know which company you are with. I am curious to see which companies we should stay away from.

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