Bit Torrent and Road Runner

Recently, I noticed that my Time Warner Road Runner connection hangs whenever I use Bit Torrent. Its perfectly fine for a hours, then everything hangs. Lights on the modem and router blink away but no progress on downloads and everything else (web, mail, etc) stops working. I can usually get things back in order by shutting down Bit Torrent, power cycling my modem, Vonage box, and router.

I was feeling fiesty to today, so I headed over to the Road Runner help site. Hmm, nothing in the FAQs. Lets try a search for ‘Bit Torrent’. Hmm, search page returns a report a problem form? Oh, wait, way down in the bottom of the page, it says “Please refine your search and try again – no matches found.” Yar, I almost wanna give up now.

Hmm, Live Chat Support. Why not? I enter my details and click the launch chat button. Sorry, the chat gadget doesn’t work in Firefox. Grrr. I should stop now, this isn’t going to be pretty. I fire up an IE window and copy and paste the URL over. Frag nabbit, gotta put in my location details again. I enter my details again and click the launch chat button.

It works this time and says there 6 people ahead of me in the queue. At first, it doesn’t seem to be moving, but after 2 minutes I’m connected with a tech. That’s pretty good response for a Saturday morning. Transcript follows (tech name changed to protect the innocent/ignorant)

user JasonCrowther has entered room

analyst JoeBlow has entered room

JoeBlow> Thank you for choosing Time Warner Cable – Road Runner Internet Technical Chat. My name is JoeBlow, could I have the first and last name, and the phone number with the area code of the account holder please?

JasonCrowther> jason crowther XXX XXX XXXX

JoeBlow> Thank you,and with whom am I speaking with?

JasonCrowther> this is jason

JoeBlow> Thank you, what technical issue may we assist you with?

JasonCrowther> ok. lately, whenever I use bit torrent, after a hour or two my whole road runner connection hangs.

JasonCrowther> I can get things running again by power cycling my modem and router, but it seems a bit drastic.

JoeBlow> Unfortunately, we can not support whether your connection hang when you use bit torrent or other file sharing programs .

Funny, its worked fine until recently. I don’t remember getting anything that says that Bit Torrent isn’t allowed.

JoeBlow> Are there any other technical issues that I can help you with today?

Whatever… Maybe he thinks I’m ranting because Bit Torrent is hosed…

JasonCrowther> eh? not my bit torrent connection, my entire road runner connection.

JoeBlow> File sharing programs take up bandwidth, which in turn will slow down your connection.

Wow, I never would have thought of that.

JasonCrowther> its not slowing down. it hangs my entire connection. nothing works no dns, no web, no mail.

JoeBlow> Unfortunately, you just said when you use you bit torrent connection, your connection slows down. There is nothing I can do in this case, unfortunately .

Grr.

JasonCrowther> I never said it ‘slows down’ I said it hangs.

JoeBlow> Unfortunately, either way, you are using bit torrent. There is nothing I can do.

JasonCrowther> I understand that it uses bandwidth and when things are working fine, it will take up bandwidth that other applications can use.

JasonCrowther> (includings browsers, vonage, etc.)

JoeBlow> Do you have any other questions.

Whatever.

JasonCrowther> can I talk with another tech?

I know techs love to hear that question.

JoeBlow> Unfortunately, the other tech guy is going to say the same thing as I have and I am unable to transfer you to one. Bit torrent is causing this issue, unfortunately we can not support this .

First, the other tech guy? Some how, it wouldn’t surprise me if they had only 2 techs for all of Central New York (or all of New York for that matter.)

JasonCrowther> ok. whatever. can you tell me if you have any monitoring that automatically cuts my service if you think I’m abusing my connection?

JasonCrowther> I ask this because bit torrent works fine for a few hours and then hangs up.

JoeBlow> No, we do not .

Sure… none that you know about, anyway.

JasonCrowther> I’m not trying circumvent anything, I’m just trying to know what you guys allow. that’s not spelled out clearly any more.

Not that I really care if thinks I’m a scumbag hacker, but really, I’m not.

JoeBlow> Bit torrent when it is running will take all your bandwitdth .

Right…

JasonCrowther> no it will not. I have it limited to 10k upstream, 50k downstream. far less than what my connection is capable of.

JoeBlow> Unfortunately, I giving you the information necessary to correct this situation, Bit torrent is file sharing program that is known for the issue you are describing. When you open Bit torrent, you can literally have 1000 sharin connections. If you internet only hangs with Bit torrent is enabled, then there is nothing I can do.

Geez, I wish people would get a clue. I specifically dial down my Bit Torrent settings so I don’t abuse bandwidth. With a few computers and a vonage phone on my Road Runner connection, I’d be shooting myself in the foot.

JoeBlow> Are there any other technical issues that I can help you with today?

JasonCrowther> nope. thanks. bye.

JoeBlow> You’re Welcome.

Thanks again, for nothing. The real kicker for me is that I’m not using Bit Torrent for illegal transfers. I’m only downloading legit music from bands that are trader friendly.

If anyone has any Bit Torrent configuration settings for the official Bit Torrent client (WinXP or Linux) or suggestions for other clients that work on Road Runner without hanging, please post something in the comments!

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