Modem keeps droping out when downloading with Transmission

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by tkhiem, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. tkhiem, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010

    tkhiem macrumors newbie

    tkhiem

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #1
    Hi :apple: guys,

    I am using Transmission as my Torrent client on my MBP. Whenever I download something, about 1 or 2 hours after that, my modem starts to loose its connection (drops out). I then have to unplug it and re-plug (soft-reset) to make it start again. After the reset, it works just fine, but only for a couple of hours then it starts to drop again! and this keeps happening until I finish the torrent. :mad:

    I heard people saying if a modem drops, it has to re-connect by itself. My modem is different. When it drops, every LED on the panel just goes away, and yea, nothing else. I then have to come unplug the power cord, wait for 2 secs, then plug it in again. Gosh, that's annoying.

    I've done a research and some advised to decrease the number of Global maximum connections a bit. Mine is now 80 (peers). I also shaped my download rate to 300kb/s and upload rate to 20kb/s (under the bandwidth tab in Preferences). However, these changes do not help very much. It still drops in and out quite often. :confused:

    My router is a Dlink, and Im using ADSL2+ service from Internode (Australia).

    I used to set all the torrents up for download and go to sleep, wake up in the next day with everything downloaded, but now it doesn't work that way anymore. If Im not there to reset the modem/router every 1 or 2 hours, then nothing can be downloaded :(.

    Has anyone had something like this? How do I gonna fix it :(
    Cheers,
     
  2. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I think you are on the right track. I have a feeling you are gonna have to decrease your global max again. Try 60, if it still happens drop it to 50 and see. I had a Motorola surfboard that would do the exact same thing, and it stopped once I set my global max down to 40 peers, and set my Upload and download at about 80% of their capacity.

    goto www.dslreports.com/speedtest and see what you up and down speeds are, then calculate them to 80% and set that as your max for each. You'll better overall performance from transmission as well.

    Don't forget to convert the speed from the speedtest to KB/s if needed. I think results are in Kb/s.
     
  3. tkhiem thread starter macrumors newbie

    tkhiem

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3
    Hi,

    Thank you for your rapid response, I just have a few more questions:

    What is the affect of decreasing the Peers number? Is that the the number of people who're seeding/uploading the file for me to download? If that's true, then will decreasing this number eventually decrease the download speed?

    What do you think is the main cause of this problem? Is that because of the ISP or it's my Mac or the router? Will changing another router be better, in terms of maximum possible download & upload speed and the chance of dropping out?

    I'll definitely try your way tonight when I get home. Hope there's still another way that doesn't require shaping of the speed down :(.
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    I'll second that--Bittorrent puts a lot of pressure on network hardware, and some older/weaker modems or routers are well known for freezing up under those conditions. Also, your modem isn't just losing its connection, it's crashing, if all the lights go out. I'm assuming here that you have a combo modem/router, not that it makes any difference--whatever is crashing is what the problem component is.

    If you don't reduce your throughput limits below your actual up/download speeds, like bmcgonag suggested, your torrents are going to perform badly no matter how good your router/modem is (especially with too high of an upload--that will very nearly kill everything on your connection). It's the high number of concurrent connections that are most likely to cause routercrashes, though, so more likely going to be what you'll have to play with to fix the dropouts.

    It's the number of people who you're actively connected to at any given moment--the more there are, the more the network hardware has to deal with (as opposed to a single connection with a lot of data--like a streaming video site). Eventually you might see a lower total torrent speed, but generally speaking unless the torrent is both very unhealthy AND has a lot of peers, it's not going to make any practical difference.

    If it's a smaller torrent with less peers than the limit you've set, it'll do nothing (but then, you're not going to see crashes on such a torrent unless the total peers is still above the level your router can handle).

    It's almost certainly not your Mac, especially if you didn't have the issue before, and it's very unlikely to be your ISP, either. It is very likely that it's the router, though, since that's what's crashing.

    Of course, there is one other possibility: Your router is dying. That's pretty much the behavior you'll see from dying network gear--more and more frequent crashes--and it does have a finite lifespan. Might be time for a new one, especially if it starts cutting out even when you're not using bittorrent. Could even be overheating--normally the lights will just stick "on" when a router crashes, but if they're all going out I wonder if it isn't kicking in some kind of thermal protection by shutting down completely. Which would likely still be caused by a dying router.
     
  5. tkhiem thread starter macrumors newbie

    tkhiem

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    Thank you for your detail explanation which addressed my questions very clearly!

    Sorry, I was quite unclear about the status of the "dropping-out" of my modem, but I'm pretty sure "crash" is a more appropriate word to describe this phenomenon. When it crashes, there is only one LED left, the other 5 or 6 LEDs are all out. I'm pretty sure the one LED that's left is the power indicator LED.

    I've had quite a number of issues with the modem, but non of the issue is related to the torrent-downloading. I bought i back in 2006, it's a DLink. The problem that I usually gets is the modem does not automatically save all the settings that I set, and it takes a few restart/reset for it to save the configuration/settings. Turning off the power or the modem is the same with loosing every saved configuration, and I had to re-configurate everything. Well, it's been 5 years :).

    Back to the problem, what do you think I should set my Global maximum connections. Is this gonna be a fix setting, i.e. I don't need to change it anymore in the future?

    So does it mean if the torrent that has more peers than what I've set, say 100 peers (my setting is 80), then will that mean my downloading speed can be slower? Sorry I m not too good at these things, quite confused :p

    If it's the problem with my modem then things become easier, I can get a new one and everything is fixed, this one is just too old.

    Bsed on the story. Is there any possibility that this is because of the nature of the service delivered to me? i.e. the problem with the phone line or the ISP's intention? Cos I wanna make sure buying a new modem/router will fix everything :(.

    Again, thanks for your time & effort, @Makosuke :rolleyes:
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    Ok, it actually sounds like your modem has been malfunctioning for quite a while, and this is just the latest symptom. Frankly, in your situation, I'd just buy a new one--they're not all that expensive, and it sounds like it'd reduce hassle considerably. I'm also assuming that you've updated the DLink's firmware to the latest version, if an update is available--DLink, in my somewhat limited experience, seems to have an unusually high number of bugs in their firmware, but they do tend to fix them.

    No way to say for sure; if the router just can't handle above some certain level, then setting it below that will fix it permanently. The only way to find the number is trial and error--I'd start at 50 and work down in increments of 10 if you still have problems.

    If, however, it's failing hardware, it will probably get worse with time.



    Depends entirely on the torrent. On a healthy torrent, no--a single seeder with a fast fiber optic connection (particularly in parts of Asia) could easily max out your 300K download. On a very unhealthy one, maybe--if each peer is only giving you a small amount, and there are more available (and willing to give you data) that you aren't asking for parts from, it might be a little faster.

    No way I can see; if your internet connection was suddenly slowing down--or JUST bittorrent traffic was slowing down (that's called "traffic shaping, and some ISPs do it)--it could well be your ISP. Normally restarting the modem wouldn't kick it in if it was your ISP. But since the modem is completely cutting out, that means the problem is upstream of the phone line. You can double check by trying to connect to the modem's control screen after it's died--if you can't connect to it, the modem has crashed. If you can, and it tells you that the DSL connection has been dropped, then it could theoretically be your ISP, but I'd still doubt that, since that's not usually how they operate.

    I, for example, used to use Cox cable internet in the US, and at some point they started de-prioritizing bittorrent traffic. Everything else worked fine, bittorrent wouldn't go above about 20K/s. I switched ISPs after their tech support lied to me and told me they didn't do this, and everything was perfect again. And I know it was a lie, because it came out in the news a few months later that Cox had been doing exactly that.
     
  7. tkhiem thread starter macrumors newbie

    tkhiem

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    Seems like buying a new modem has a high probability of fixing the issue.

    Whenever the modem is restarted (after it dies), the (torrent) downloading speed just gets back to where it was before. It could be as high as 400-600 kb/s sometime. I used to get 700 kb/s, but it's very rare. So, according to what you said and your story with COX, my ISP doesn't seem to shape my traffic, it's just the modem that drops out and when it gets back, everything's normal again!

    So for now, I just need to set my max speed equivalent to 80% of my max possible speed (detected by some of the speedtest sites) and re-adjust the Peers number to make it "more suitable" for the modem, is that correct?

    What would you recommend for a new modem? Mine is a Dlink DSL-G604T. (I think I bought it for $190 AUD). If not specific, what brand do you think is reliable or most of the brand is reliable :D? I looking at spending something under $150.
    [​IMG]

    Cheers, man, for your useful advices.
    :apple:
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    Yes.

    In recent years I've had the best luck with Netgear hardware, personally, so all the non-Apple stuff I've bought for clients recently has been from them. I've only set up one combo modem/router from them, which it was a little older but worked without issue, and all the standalone routers I've set up have been quite reliable (weeks at a stretch without issue). I've only seen one that died out of probably a dozen or so at various client locations (it was very old), and I only once had a set-up problem with Netgear hardware, which was quite frustrating but I was doing something fairly arcane with multiple linked routers--nowhere near as simple as your use case.

    Linksys is generally solid, though they seem to have reliability problems--I've seen a lot of dead ones after being in use for maybe 4-5 years, but then they're also VERY common, so it might just be larger sample size. That was also before Cisco bought them, which theoretically may have improved quality--no idea.

    The only D-Link router I've personally set up, about two years ago, was disappointing enough to me that I haven't bought another since.

    Oh, and I'd avoid 2-Wire; they're common ISP-supplied combo modems (at least in the US), but kind of crappy.
     
  9. tkhiem thread starter macrumors newbie

    tkhiem

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    Thanks a lot for your comprehensive explanation!

    Netgear and Linksys look very solid. I'll definitely get one of these two brand! My university here in Australia uses all CISCO Linksys modem, everywhere in the campus, seems like linksys is doing quite a good job.

    Again, your advices are really helpful :). Cheers bro. :apple::apple:
     
  10. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    First, Makosuke, thanks for covering the rest of the questions, I only get to check in once a day or so...and all your info was spot on.

    for the OP, an upgrade in gear may help resolve your modem dying issue, but you'll still want to setup the 80% on UL and DL, and check how the peer connection max affects you. I have a much better modem now, and still use these things to max out my torrent experience.

    Remember to be a seeder for as long as you can, leeching is fine, but if we all just leech, no one get's anything in the end.
     
  11. tkhiem thread starter macrumors newbie

    tkhiem

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    I have set my Peers number down to somewhere like 50 or 55 and increase my max speed to 400 KBps, and haven't seen drops out in the last 9-10 hours. Still observing, but look like adjusting peer number is a good way.

    Yes, I always seed :). At least 1 day after my torrents finished.

    Just wanna ask you guys about torrent monitoring, has anyone heard about this term? I've done a few searches in google and didn't find much info about it. I heard they (may be the police) have some sophisticated ways to monitor the torrent that is being used to download the file and track the downloader down. Is this true? If its true, does it always happen like that? I heard an advice somewhere saying that you need to check the torrent's comments (from the users/downloader) to see if anyone can detect whether that's a monitored torrent. But that takes so long, and I've been using torrent for years and haven't been doing that (checking the cmts).

    Thanks, guys. :apple:
     
  12. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #12
    Unless you have a very fast upstream rate, so this isn't an issue, you might also want to set your torrents to seed until they've reached a >1 ratio. On slow torrents, or if you have a low upload rate, this can actually take days, but conceptually as long as every person gives up at least one full copy of the file then everybody should be happy. I have mine set to 1.05, then seed further if it's actually needed by the torrent (though I can easily go way over on torrents in need of help, where it takes a long time to get the full file).

    As for the prospect of someone snooping on a torrent and potentially taking legal action against the people downloading, of course it could happen. You're using your ISP's bandwidth, and the data is passing through several other networks on its way to the destination, and they can inspect every byte of data you send through their system. You can only allow encrypted peers, if you want to be extra paranoid, in which case it's much harder to inspect packets passing through the ISP's networks (or interim ones), but of course someone targeting a specific torrent can always just connect as an encrypted peer and see who else is downloading--you need to offer your IP address to get data from them, after all, and that can always be traced directly back to your internet connection.

    And, frankly, if you're downloading something you're going to get in trouble for, and you do, that's on you.

    [ rant ] I come from a rather international household, and my wife likes to watch the occasional Japanese TV series that isn't available legally through any means in the US--in some cases for older stuff, not even in Japan--so while it's unquestionably not legal, there are no current rightsholders in the US to be directly harming (or who would sue you), and I don't feel particularly bad about it. On the occasions I watch fansubbed anime, I ALWAYS buy the DVDs when a legal copy becomes available (which really hurts when the show was crap), because a strong legal anime market helps everybody. At times I honestly wonder if the world wouldn't be a little better off if there wasn't a bit more accountability for grabbing a free anime or J-drama series. Of course, that's why Apple was so successful--they offered a superior experience to illegal music downloading for a relatively reasonable cost, one a lot of people obviously are willing to pay. Such a thing is still a ways off for anime and other foreign TV, but it's gotten a lot closer in recent years--anime companies seem to get it where the big US networks do not. [ /rant ]
     
  13. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    I absolutely agree. I have my share ratio set to > 2, and over-ride when there is still a lot of activity on a torrent. I use it for downloading / distributing freeware.

    If you use torrents for illegally obtaining material that you do not own, then you can absolutely be tracked and sued. Be smart with torrents. I don't want to see the same injunctions come down on torrent use as with Napster, and Limewire (gnutella network) due to their abuse of P2P sharing.
     
  14. tkhiem thread starter macrumors newbie

    tkhiem

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #14
    Yea, downloading illegal things is never a good/wise way!

    @MAKOSUKE: thanks for the technical advise, my modem is quite stable now with the setting that you and bmcgonag recommended :). Cheers bro.
     

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