Networking/Torrent Question

I have WoW installed on two machines – my wife’s laptop and my main desktop system. Both machines are connected to a router which in turn connects to a cable modem.

Last night (early evening), my wife was able to surf the web while downloading/torrenting the WoW patch. It took a long time to download; probably 1.5-2 hrs total.

I downloaded the patch in 2 segments – very late last night, and during the day today. On my machine, it downloaded much faster (probably 25 minutes total), but I wasn’t able to access the Internet during the process. I couldn’t connect from either my machine – the one currently downloading – or my wife’s laptop (which wasn’t doing anything else today).

I’m wondering why my wife’s machine was able to still surf during the downloading last night, while all connections from multiple machines were disrupted during my download. I figure the speed difference was simply due to my download being done at a less busy time. I’m more curious than anything else; both machines now have the updated patch.

Other facts that may or may not be important:

  • Blizzard sent some message during their first mega-patch that suggested opening a few ports on your router to speed up downloads. I think I successfully accomplished this task back in December. I thought this should have affected both machines similarly.

  • I have a Bittorrent client installed on my machine (ABC); my wife’s laptop does not have one. However, the ABC interface doesn’t come up during the WoW download.

Thanks in advance for any help!

asynchronous connections such as the common cable modem can get choked out when the upload speed is maxed.

When you open a web page, your browser makes lots of tiny communications with the web server, in a conversation like the following:

"Hey, give me!

OK, sending the file you asked for…

Thanks, got it!

Hey, give me the 20 different GIF files and the CSS file used in the phpBB interface!

OK, sending file 1…

Got file 1!

Sending file 2…"

Even if the WoW torrent is only using half of your download bandwidth, it can be using ALL of your upload bandwidth to the point where the above conversation just doesn’t get a chance to take place, your “OK, got it, send me the next one” messages just dont get through, and web sites time out.

If you get hung up on step 4/20 or whatever, your browser might not bother rendering the page at all, even if it has all of index.php downloaded already.

Alternately, maybe you were just having unrelated network issues.

I use a network traffic monitoring/shaping tool called NetLimiter to put an a limit to the upload bandwidth available to certain applications (such as bittorrent and the WoW updater).

I know that my cable modem service from Time Warner has a 40 k/s maximum upload, so I limit those upstream hogging apps to 20 k/s. In this manner, I ensure that there is always enough upstream bandwidth left for other Internet-related activities.

Thanks Roger, I forgot to mention that there was a solution :oops:

It also depends on how you opened those extra ports. If you used port forwarding and pointed them to your machine, your wife would not have been using them (hence the slow download that didn’t max out your connection). If you used port triggering, she should have had access to them as well… (I’m in the same boat, with both my wife’s machine and my own needing updates.)

Just as a sugestion, I use Bitcomet to handle my torrents. It allows you to set the download/upload rate. This is extremely handy…


Thanks for the help; I was actually able to follow most of it! I wish I knew how I had set up the router; I tried to follow Qenan’s other threads on port forwarding/triggering, and I just can’t figure out the difference between them.

I have a follow-up question to see if I really do understand this. Since more people were trying to access the files when my wife downloaded them, relative to when I did, is it fair to say that fewer network resources were allocated to WoW during my wife’s download? That would explain why she was able to surf the web during her download – she had fewer resources allocated to WoW, leaving stuff leftover for surfing.

When I downloaded WoW at a less busy time, my entire pool of resources (bandwidth, download rate, I’m not sure which term applies) was occupied by the updater, leaving nothing left for other applications.

Is this more or less correct?

Yep, more or less.

Also, Blizzard’s downloader is using the same technology as other torrent clients, but it isn’t actually using other clients to download the patch. The downloader is their bittorent client.

That’s why it didn’'t matter if your wife’s laptop had ABC installed. I think Blizzard’s downloader also uses a few different ports than your typical bittorent client.

Since I have the recommended ports fowarded to my computer, I just downloaded the patch to it and transferred it over the LAN to my wife’s computer. You can find the patch in your main WoW folder (it doesn’t delete itself after installing).