Test if your ISP is throttling Bittorrent Traffic

Martin Brinkmann
May 8, 2008
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
File Sharing, Internet

Do you suspect your ISP to be throttling Bittorrent traffic ? That the ISP is shaping traffic which reduces your upload and download bandwidth when using the Bittorrent network ? Want proof ? Without installing plugins or days of gathering data ? Then Glasnost is the solution. Glasnost was developed by the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems to provide a simple test that would tell a user in a matter of minutes if his ISP is blocking, throttling, shaping or limiting Bittorrent traffic.

The web application is simulating a Bittorrent transfer between the user's computer and the web server the application is running from to determine if the ISP is tampering with the Bittorrent traffic. The test can detect if the ISP is throttling all Bittorrent traffic, throttling all traffic at well known Bittorrent ports or throttling Bittorrent traffic at well known Bittorrent ports.

The user has the choice to perform a full test that takes roughly seven minutes or a fast test that lasts four minutes. The servers seem to be overrun currently by worldwide users and it might happen that you will receive a message that the servers are currently busy.

If you take a look at the results map you will notice a high concentration of ISPs that are throttling Bittorrent traffic in the United States and Singapore.

All blocked transfers were observed in the upstream direction (i.e., when the client host attempted to upload data to one of our Glasnost servers). No host observed blocking for downstream BitTorrent transfers.

We found widespread blocking of BitTorrent transfers only in the U.S. and Singapore. Interestingly, even within these countries, blocking was observed by hosts belonging to a handful of large ISPs.

The Danes and Brits seem to have tested the web application intensively because their countries are almost not visible anymore. What about your ISP, is it throttling Bittorrent traffic ?


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  1. JT said on May 30, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Why does this page say I’m using internet exploder when I’m using firefox?

  2. Kavin said on May 9, 2008 at 4:51 am

    I can get about 100+KB/s and I’m in SG. In the day it can to to about 200+KB/s except on weekends though.
    And the Glasnost servers are always busy…LOL..

  3. Cheryl said on May 8, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I get full speeds on torrents from my ISP. But then again, I don’t have a superfast connection.

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