RESOLVED: Can't download .torrent files

EDIT (04/11/2010):

Vivid have confirmed that a permanent fix is now in place for this .torrent file download problem. I am therefore closing the thread as this workaround is now redundant.



After much testing, packet sniffing, etc etc, I can report that Vivid have been able to replicate the problem that some users have been experiencing where they are unable to download a .torrent file. A temporary workaround is proposed below. It would be great if some people having this problem could test the workaround and report back.

---------------------- problem (symptoms):
Unable to download a .torrent file (which is just a text file) using a normal web browser. If the .torrent file is available as a .txt file (some torrent sites offer this option) then it downloads okay. The problem is not necessarily consistent, in that on some occasions the file WILL download successfully. If the customer tries to download the file using another ISPs network, it always downloads okay.

---------------------- workaround:
1. stop your torrent client (e.g. uTorrent, BitTorrent, etc) ... make sure that it unloads from memory completely and that all currently downloading/uploading files/torrents have ceased ... this process may take anywhere up to 2-3 minutes, depending on the speed of your connection, how many peers were connected, and the type of torrent client software used
2. download your .torrent file using your web browser
3. once downloaded successfully, open your torrent client and add the downloaded .torrent file

This is obviously a rather crude and temporary solution. A permanent fix needs to be put in place at the network level, however since this involves obtaining a solution from third-party vendors, that might take some time.



Turbulance wrote 6 years ago

It would be nice to know why this would work.

This would be closing MS Paint so I can download JPG files in my browser.

I expect the many open connections that the BT client is creating is causing something in Vivid's network to get really upset about very specific HTTP GET requests. Hard to see how this is not by 'design'.

Appears to be a BT 'targeted' issue.

Maybe Vivid should just turn off the useless P2P killing tech and just buy some more bandwidth.


drobosson wrote 6 years ago

I've experienced the reported problem.

The solution does not apply for me though as my computer does not run a BitTorrent application. The application runs on a low power embedded device. I typically upload the file to the devices BitTorrent application when a download of the file actually occurs, which as reported, is intermittently successful at best.


Turbulance wrote 6 years ago


Try turning off or stopping you BT device and see if you can download. It may take some time before Vivid P2P killing algorithms let's you download if that is what is happening.

Vivid would see all internal traffic from your modem as coming from a single IP address.

I have a strong suspicion that something in Vivid's network starts blocking customers IP connections once it determines specific traffic types and then starts to block that traffic.

The fact that Text files can be downloaded during the times that Torrent files can't shows this is not a layer 3 issue. So routing and overloaded IP connects can be ruled out as a cause of this problem.


drobosson wrote 6 years ago

At the time of my testing, the device had not been running for several days and was not running at that particular moment. Running or not, for me, makes no difference in the reliability of the downloading of the metadata file.


emett (not verified) wrote 6 years ago

What a waste of time that solution is.
My utorrent doesn't open till the torrent file has completed so how can I close some thing thats not open?


Turbulance wrote 6 years ago

Yet I find that if I can download a TORRENT file from Start uTorrent and after a about 30 seconds I am no longer able to download TORRENT files from that site. I have to close uTorrent and wait a little while before they will again download.

While I was running uTorrent with the above test I uploaded a fake TORRENT file to my website and was able to download it.

I was able to download TORRENT files from and I could also download EXE files from Other than some sort of smart (but really stupid) filtering system in Vivid's network I can't even begin to understand how the above could be made to occur by just bad routing, bandwidth starvation, packet prioritisation, etc.

What is Vivid doing?


@emett Please remember that @stephen.frost is currently the only person that is able and willing to talk to Vivid on our behalf, relating to information we post on this forum. He is trying to help us. Please consider that when wording your replies, even though we all feel you pain. Otherwise we will all be forced to deal one by one with their tech support staff over phone and email.


Tyoson wrote 6 years ago

"Maybe Vivid should just turn off the useless P2P killing tech and just buy some more bandwidth."

Agreed. :)

Although I'm having no trouble with P2P, I don't think blocking P2P for some people is the right way to go about things.


Tyoson wrote 6 years ago

moderator's note: duplicate post removed


Turbulance wrote 6 years ago


Repetition for emphasis - or was that an echo? :-)

I am still hoping I am wrong and that this is just some sort of weird issue with the networking equipment - why would it effect just some of us and not others.

On that note:

* Do you use a Tower Modem?
* Are you on an $75 unlimited plan?

I am wondering if this is either an equipment or plan based problem. It could still be a Tower Modem problem or maybe Vivid choose who to filter - such as us 'unlimited' customers.


Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 6 years ago

Thanks to those who have tried the workaround. I'm interested in:

(1) identifying those where the workaround works;
(2) those where the workound doesn't work; and also
(3) those whose use of torrents doesn't fit the workaround (e.g. drobosson in #2)

This info will get fed back to vivid, so all the comments are useful. Yes, I know the workaround isn't suitable for everyone, and yes, I know its a blunt instrument (workarounds are like that; rarely elegant) ... but if it helps some people get through their problem until there is a network-based fix, its worthwhile.

Regarding Tyoson's questions in #9 about the scope of this problem ... I don't have the info on that, so can't answer.

Anyway, if people can keep posting to advise whether it DOES or DOES NOT work for them as a temporary solution, that would help a lot ... those where it DOES NOT can then be considered to see whether there's particular circumstances, or a pattern, which can explain it ... and vivid can potentially investigate those as a separate issue if needed.


Sorry, I missed Turbulance's musings and testing observations in post #6 above ... you're right, in the examples you give its clearly not misconfiguration or routing problems, its something to do with the way vivid detect and control/prioritise/throttle (or whatever it is they do with) the P2P traffic. Its not site-by-site, its much more targeted and granular.

Having said that, I am not yet convinced that this is a single issue; it might be several overlapping issues, which is why I think we need to clearly identify those customers where the workaround will work for them ... and then identify the exceptions and take a fresh look at them, to see whether a 2nd fault is apparent.


Turbulance wrote 6 years ago


I have added a topic to try and get bascule information on who is seething this problem and who isn't, what equipment they have, where they are located, what plan they have. Feel free to edit or add to it.

I would like to see if there are any patterns at a basic level. This information is getting posted to the forum but is scattered through many topics and posts and is too difficult to identify otherwise.

I don't mind Vivid managing the network's overall performance but the way that they are currently doing it is crippling the netwtok for some of us, their customers. Damaging any good will they had developed. Possibly turning away potential new customers. And worse, making them a potential target for future litigation. I hope they can get on top of this in a way that is equitable for all of us and that they can do it sooner, rather than later.


Cpolsonb (not verified) wrote 6 years ago

Using the workaround I DID manage to download .torrent files, which is a pleasing turn of events. HOWEVER I am currently getting 0 peers for my torrents, so the problem is far from fixed.


Ancalagon wrote 6 years ago

Work around does seem to work for me, you do need to wait for quite a few minutes before it works though, more than the 30 seconds mentioned.

Although agree with Cpolsonb that the rest of the issues persist.


Turbulance wrote 6 years ago


You caught me out. I didn't time it. What would you say the waiting time is?


Ancalagon wrote 6 years ago

@ Turbulance

I'd had it vary but 2 minutes was about the minimum to reliably go to the site and then download the torrent. It does seem to work though.


Tyoson wrote 6 years ago

Sorry for the double post guys, I've got no idea how that happened :S

I use a tower modem and yes I am on the unlimited $75 plan.

I've tested P2P at both my Mums in Quinns Rocks and my Dads in Currumbine (Near Joondalup) Both worked perfectly fine except for a one off at my Dads where I was having the same problems as you guys have been having but then the next day it was normal again

I've tested the Mininova torrent posted on here and also torrents from thepiratebay and demonoid.


Turbulance wrote 6 years ago


you must be blessed... Do you see lots of connected peers?

If you are using uTorrent does the DHT Node populate quickly and then stop around 290 to 320?


Tyoson wrote 6 years ago

The DHT node is sitting on 41 nodes and it went up fairly slowly. I see 4 (241) peers and 50 (303) seeds.


ratboy70 wrote 6 years ago

Hi Stephen.
A few weeks ago in another thread I posted that I was able to get around the .torrent download problem using the same method mentioned in your above workaround.
FYI, I still have to use the workaround to download .torrent files, but at least the workaround works consistently for me, although the 're-set' timeframe can vary from seconds to minutes.
Hopefully VW can implement a permanent fix soon.


Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 6 years ago

Thanks for the feedback about the time taken for things to work after stopping the torrent client. When I posted I'd expected that 10-15 seconds would probably be enough, so set expectation at 30 seconds ... but clearly it takes longer than that for some connections to clear. I will update my posts accordingly.


Ancalagon wrote 6 years ago


Just going to say thanks for working with us and trying to find solutions, hopefully with the communication to VW we can get this sorted.


Turbulance wrote 6 years ago

I second that thanks.


Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 6 years ago

Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.

I have a feeling that this workaround for downloading .torrent files may need to be used for some time. Whatever the system is at vivid which is causing this, it will need an update and as we all know, software updates/patches can take some time when you're depending on a third-party vendor for a fix. Its not just a configuration change. Cross fingers that the fix is sooner rather than later.

I think the other problem about the number of connected peers/seeds needs to be treated separately. Vivid are performance-managing P2P traffic and I think what you're seeing is the symptom of that. I expect you'll get a variation in the number of peers/seeds connecting at peak vs off-peak times.

The performance of P2P is noticeably better now than it was, say, 4-6 weeks ago ... but its not as good as it was, say, 6 months ago when the network launched and there was no P2P traffic control in place. I doubt that it will get back to those early days.


mellow34 (not verified) wrote 6 years ago

It was working for me up until 7 days ago where I did not have to end the torrent in UTorrent to get it to work. Now for some reason, I have to stop the downloads and let the .txt download and then it will restart on its own. I just find it odd that it worked all along for the last 4 months and then it became an issue. I really did think it was more the websites or software then Vivid.


Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 6 years ago

I think its the number of connections/peers etc that are running concurrently. That's why stopping the client works ... all the connections stop, then you get your .torrent, then restarting the client causes all the connections to start up again. If you only have a smallish number of connections to begin with then you wouldn't have noticed the .torrent download issue. Maybe you have more torrents downloading/seeding now?


ratboy70 wrote 6 years ago

For the last couple of days, I have not needed to use the workaround! Yay!
I can download .torrent files whilst still having many connections running through utorrent.
It cannot be the firmware upgrade as I am on the usb modem.
I wonder if other people who had trouble downloading .torrents are still having the same problems or whether it has resolved itself like mine has?

(I hope I haven't now jinxed myself by mentioning this!)


Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 6 years ago

I heard, in passing (might have been in the interview with the CEO?) that vivid were close to a proper fix for that ... perhaps they have implemented it?


Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 6 years ago

I've just heard back from Vivid and they've confirmed that a proper fix is now in place for this .torrent download issue.

I have therefore edited my original post to include that information and have also closed the thread.

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