The Internet uses billions of IP addresses to route data to individual computers. Likewise, your Web-connected PC uses many ports -- 65,535 different ones -- to transmit and receive various types of data. Some ports provide access to useful or wanted data, while others potentially expose users to malicious software or exploits. Therefore, most firewall applications block access to many unused ports. uTorrent relies on port forwarding features in firewall applications to send or receive data -- over a specified port -- when downloading or uploading torrent files. If you connect to the Web via proxy or a router without port forwarding, you must use bypass port forwarding restrictions, and set up uTorrent to use a port always accessible.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Navigate to the uTorrent website download page at utorrent.com/downloads/complete?os=win. Download the latest version of the uTorrent client, and save it to your computer.
Click "Start," then "Computer." Browse to the folder where you save the uTorrent installation file. Double-click the file to launch the installation wizard. Accept the default installation parameters, and follow the prompts to install uTorrent on your computer. When prompted to make uTorrent the default application for ".torrent" file, click the "Yes" option.
Launch uTorrent on your computer. Wait a minute or so to see if uTorrent can access the Internet without changing the default port settings. Sometimes, uTorrent can use integrated protocols to bypass some firewall or router restrictions, but the process is not always successful. If you see a green coloured circle -- with a white check mark -- in the lower left-hand corner of the uTorrent window, the utility successfully connected to the Internet, and you do not need to change the port settings. If you see a yellow "caution" or red "stop" icon, uTorrent cannot connect to the Internet to upload and download torrent files.
Click the "Options" link on the uTorrent menu bar if the utility cannot connect to the network. Click the "Preferences" link on the drop-down menu.
Click the "Connection" label on the left side of the "Preferences" window. Click and enable the "Enable UPnP port mapping," "Enable NAT-PMP port mapping," and "Add Windows Firewall exception" options if not already selected.
Enter "8080" in the "Port used for incoming connections" field, then click the "Apply" button. Close uTorrent and restart it. After uTorrent restarts, the program should be able to connect the Internet without issue. However, if for some reason, uTorrent still cannot connect, change the port setting in Connection Preference window to "80."
Tips and warnings
- Using port "8080" or "80" in uTorrent provides access to torrent files because these are the ports used to send and receive normal Web data when browsing the Internet. ISPs typically do not block access to these ports as normal Web surfing requires they remain open. Some ISPs, though, do throttle, or reduce, bandwidth speeds if they detect excessive data traffic over these ports. Furthermore, using uTorrent with ports "8080" or "80" does significantly reduce your Web browsing speeds. Nevertheless, this method works when network router or firewall settings prevent you from using uTorrent with other ports.
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