Bittorrent crashing your ADSL router

Ever had a problem doing lots of Bittorrenting only to have your router reset on you for no apparent reason?

A little known cause of this problem are two features implemented by some Bittorrent clients called DHT and PEX.

DHT stands for Distributed Hash Table and allows for trackerless torrents.

PEX stands for Peer Exchange and lets you discover peers quickly by asking discovered peers for other known peers.

These features are great and allow for more efficient Bittorrenting. Problem is that they cause the Bittorrent client to generate hundreds of connections through the router, and this will often fill the NAT tables causing the router to reboot.

How do we work around the problem? Some routers allow for larger NAT tables which will allow for the sheer number of connections generated. The other option is to turn off DHT and PEX. It’s hard to find specific information from manufacturers about how well their routers fare with Bittorrent. Your only reliable sources will be forums and Google.

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