Yesterday I noted that I prefer the Deluge BitTorrent client for my torrenting (is that a word yet?) listing several reasons. Today I want to show you how to set it up to maximize its usefulness. From configuring network connection settings, to setting up the block list plug-in, there are plenty of features to tweak for more speed and reliability. Going tab by tab (in the settings window) I will be sure to point out what is most important.


In the "Downloads" tab, you can configure how your files will be managed on a directory level. This means you can have your torrent app do some smart things in terms of automatic organization. What I mean by this is you can have one folder for incomplete files and one for completed ones. This way you always know what files are finished and what files are in progress.

Change the "Download to: " option first. I have mine set to ~/Downloads/incomplete. This is a special folder that I use only for incomplete aka in-progress downloads!

Enable the "Move completed to:" option by clicking the check box. I have mine set to just ~/Downloads. This way new downloads move from the incomplete folder to the Downloads folder automatically on completion.

Next make sure "Use Full Allocation" is selected. This we set aside reserved hard-drive space for the download before it even completes. This does two things, first it reduces disk fragmentation, second it it reduces hard-drive thrashing.

Finally, enable "Prioritize first and last pieces of torrent." This helps ensure that you will actually be able to complete some files where there are a low number of seeders who are also on sporadically.


Under the "Network" tab, you will find the options for changing handful of features, most referenced only by acronym. UPnP, DHT, and NAT-PMP are confusing if you don't already know what they do.

First, disable "Use Random Ports" for the "Incoming Ports" section. This makes it easier to set up port forwarding. Port forwarding allows people on the Internet to connect directly to your machine on a specific port when your behind a firewall. When working, this speeds up your downloads and uploads considerably.  As far as the actual ports go, just about any random port over 1024 is good. If you don't know what to use, use the first few digits of pi (31415). Check Port Forward for instructions on how to configure your router, modem, firewall etc.

UPnP stands for "Universal Plug and Play" and is use to auto set up port forwarding. I usually don't rely on this (that's why I disable "Use Random Ports") since a lot of wireless routers I have used work only with certain BitTorrent clients and not others YMMV however. UPnP is also considered vulnerable to certain attacks. It really should only be used when you are unable to rely on your router handing out the same address over DHCP (due to finite lease times or router restarts) each time you connect to the network.

NAT-PMP is a newer alternative to UPnP and once again YMMV.

Peer Exchange is a protocol for finding additional seeders and leechers that may not be associated with a particular tracker of a torrent but are in fact downloading it.

LSD stands for Local Service Discovery. This allows your BitTorrent client to search the local network for others who are downloading the same thing. This will speed up the downloading since local network traffic is usually much faster than your Internet down stream or up stream pipe.

DHT (Distributed Has Table) is used for tracker-less torrents.


Most people will have a finite limit as to how much they are able to upload or download. Either bandwidth caps (like ISPs have begun implementing) or just restrictions based on physical limitations of the connection speed. Many BitTorrent clients, including Deluge, support bandwidth management.

I might get some negative feedback for this, but what ever. Change your "Maximum upload speed (KiB/s):" to something other than -1. -1 means unlimited. If this is set to unlimited a few things can happen. First if your bandwidth starts maxing out your upload, usually your download speeds are retarded a bit. This is because more resources are going to uploads than downloads. Also if you download while browsing the Internet, if you let your uploads run wild, pages load slower (see previous sentience). Also some places have caps of total amount of data they can upload or download. Limiting how much can be sent or received at once can prevent hitting those limits.

How do you know what to set this to? Well that depends on your Internet speed. If you use DSL Reports to do a speed test, you can find out your upload speed. Lets assume you have an upload speed of 320 Kb/s, this works out to 40 KB/s (to convert bits to bytes divide by 8). You can safely set your upload speed between 20 and 30 KB/s in Deluge with out serious degradation of browsing speed.  At home I have a 6Mb Comcast plan. I usually leave my upload throttled at 40 KB/s when I am home and 50 KB/s when I am either sleeping or away.


To make sure new torrents are auto started we need to tweak the queue. Under general enable "Queue new torrents to top" so that new torrents are set to begin automatically and older torrents are queued.

If you have a decent system (at least a 1GB RAM, 2 GHZ CPU, and a 3Mb Internet connection) increase the "Total active:" setting to at least 10.

Change "Total active downloading" to at least 8. Enable "Do not count slow torrents."

Finally enable "Stop seeding when share ratio reaches:" and set that any where between 1 and 2. If you can afford to share more please share more, if your Internet connection is either terribly slow or you have upload caps, share less.


Enable "Blocklist"

In this case the blocklist is based on IP addresses. There are several different block lists available (depending on your needs). The default one is fine for most users and blocks many many people. Enable "Import blocklist on startup" and click the "Force download and import" button. This will download the newest blocklist set and import.

There is another option however. I have my own block list that is updated every Sunday morning (00:00). It is a compilation of certain Blocklist Pro lists.

You can find it here:

To install my list, just copy and past that link to the "URL:" box, and add "" to the end. Then change the "Type:" field to "SafePeer Text (Zipped)" click apply and then click "Force Download and Import" and your done.

Wrap it up

Learning how to tweak your software to be just a bit better for you can have great results. These settings are just recommendations based on my person experience and knowledge. Feel free to borrow as much or as little from this guide. Suggestions and tips are always welcome!