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BitTorrent - In (in)action

Once a download is started, the main download configuration screen will show its status, with information such as percentage complete, download rate, and upload rate.

To test the BitTorrent client, I downloaded a couple of torrent files from LegalTorrents.com and started them up using all of the defaults. After a few seconds, I expected to see the data really start flowing in, but instead, the status screen showed that I was only getting a trickle.

Figure N, BitTorrent Download Status

The fact that I was getting any data at all showed me that the client was working, but it didn't appear to be working well. To verify that my torrents were good, I also started them up on my iBook, where I saw normal behavior, i.e. a handful of peers, and consistent download speed. I let my iBook torrent download continue and within a couple of hours, it was complete. The ADS download, on the other hand, continued to poke along. I left it running while I was on a three-day business trip and when I returned, it had completed only 15% of the file!

I know from experience that sometimes peer-to-peer programs do better if they have a hole punched in the firewall. So using the configuration menu, I determined which port was in use for the BitTorrent client and I then forwarded that port from my firewall to the ADS. But it didn't help, as I was still getting very slow download speed. It was time to call in help from ADS.

Initially I filled out a Tech Support web form, but other than an initial automated acknowledgment, I never received a response. So after waiting a few days, I used my review contacts to get in touch with a product engineer. The engineer acknowledged that the behavior I was seeing was a known issue in some network environments and it was being worked on. But until the issue is resolved, the BitTorrent client is essentially unusable. In the several weeks I had the review unit, I never had a completed download from any of the multiple different torrents I tried.

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