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Insightbb and Bittorrent


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Insight is full of B.S. I'm experiencing the same problem and they have to be doing something. I've seen that they've started using software/hardware that recognizes p2p traffic and basically throttles those trasmissions down to almost nill. Another thing I noticed was that when you do the NAT test in azureus you'll always get a nat error. But the really interesting thing is if you test another port it well test OK! That is until you acually accept and start using that port, then after about 10-15 seconds you'll get a nat error on that port. I've done this a dozen times in a row with the exact same results every time.

And please don't respond to  this with the check your ports stuff. I've been using torrents for years and have been using Azureus for more than 2 years. This is not some type of bug or glitch or whatever other excuse some of you want to come up with. The fact that they started by blocking common ports used by a lot of p2p software shows you the mindset of these people toward us. Well I'm of the mindset " I want what I paid you for! " This is a deliberate act by Insight and they're about to have one less customer!  :tickedoff:

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First welcome to the forum. I don't know much about torrents, but this tracert is bad from Kentucky.

Tracing route to azureus.com []

over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    7 ms    7 ms    12 ms  74-129-0-1.dhcp.insightbb.com []

  2    9 ms    9 ms    8 ms  74-128-19-241.dhcp.insightbb.com []

  3    33 ms    12 ms    13 ms  74-128-16-114.dhcp.insightbb.com []

  4    18 ms    18 ms    17 ms  74-128-16-81.dhcp.insightbb.com []

  5    15 ms    13 ms    14 ms

  6    28 ms    30 ms    43 ms  so-7-1-0.gar2.Atlanta1.Level3.net []

  7    26 ms    31 ms    *    ae-1-51.bbr1.Atlanta1.Level3.net []

  8    37 ms    38 ms    38 ms  ae-2-0.bbr1.Washington1.Level3.net []

  9    41 ms    41 ms    40 ms  so-6-0-0.edge2.Washington1.Level3.net []

10    62 ms    40 ms    45 ms  abovenet-level3-oc48.Washington1.Level3.net []

11    48 ms    40 ms    41 ms  so-4-0-0.mpr2.iad2.us.above.net []

12    42 ms    42 ms    43 ms  so-4-0-0.mpr1.iad1.us.above.net []

13    42 ms    50 ms    48 ms  so-0-0-0.mpr2.iad1.us.above.net []

14  119 ms  114 ms  112 ms  so-1-0-0.cr2.dca2.us.above.net []

15  122 ms  116 ms  115 ms  so-0-1-0.mpr1.lhr3.uk.above.net []

16  123 ms  124 ms  125 ms  so-1-0-0.mpr3.ams1.nl.above.net []

17  134 ms  134 ms  143 ms  pos-9-1.mpr2.fra1.de.above.net []

18  136 ms  129 ms  132 ms  te2-1.mpr1.fra1.de.above.net []

19  145 ms  150 ms  147 ms  po-20.mpr1.vie4.at.above.net []

20  155 ms  143 ms  146 ms  web0002-p114-sw2.vie2-p3.11.abovenet.at[]

21  146 ms  170 ms  154 ms

Trace complete.

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I've been getting good to excellent speeds up till sometime during the past 24-48 hours. I have no noticeable difference when doing anything else. I started up azureus on another mathine which had been seeding last time I used it . It connected to 2 peers immeadiatly and within 10 sec. or so I was at me 75KB/s upload limit. About 5 seconds later my speedstarted dropping till i hit 0. Over the past couple of weeks, torrents that were well seeded would move along from 350-1200 KB/s. My fastest torrent d/l now hits 20KB max but averages about half that. But the fact that there are no nat errors or even speed problems until a torrent is acually up and running for about 15-20 seconds leads me to believe the rumors.

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Well, I won't say things are completely back to normal, but I'm able to run torrents without any real speed or connectivity issues.  There are some fluctuations and bursts (not in speed, but in number of peers connected), but there's no more disconnecting. I just joined a well-seeded torrent and downloaded about 200 MB in 6 min, which caught me right up to everyone else.  I watched the speed, and it hit 1000kB/s and never went below 900 during that time span.  Previously, the torrents were slowing down much quicker than that.

Two different trackers are still reporting an error from my client, but it's not affecting the up or down speeds.  It's still less than 24 hours since the routing was fixed (sometime between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST which were two of my calls to Insight yesterday), so we'll see if the last few things get better as the day goes on.

- Marshal

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marshalc, what port do you use?

it definitely sounds like you're not being throttled, but insight has told me that sandvine is in effect for the entire network.  as of today i am experiencing the port being blocked 15-20 sec after you start using it as someone else posted.  talking to insight has gotten me nowhere, need to find a way to fool their filter!

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I found this forum after I did a google search for "insightbb block port".

Beginning today, I noticed that I am no longer able to connect with highID with my emule client.  Using the Test Port diagnostic in the Emule Connection Menu, I am no longer able to get traffic through the ports that I have opened and forwarded to this machine.  I tried changing the port numbers and still no luck. 

It definitely seems that the problem is not with my set-up and something that insightbb has changed in the past few days.  Although emule will still work with lowID (meaning that other clients can't directly connect to you), it severely degrades performance.  Not good!

I'm very disappointed in insightbb's decision to block p2p traffic, especially since I use emule infrequently.

Keep us posted in ways to get around this filter.  Also, I wonder if insight will have any success in blocking Skype as well.


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If Insight is using Sandvine, then it helps explain why different users are getting different results.  Sandvine gives priority to internet traffic that remains within an ISP's network, (however the ISP defines their network).  Since I live in a college town and in a student area, there's alot of torrenting going on here, and it'll pick up when the students return from break.  This increases the likelihood that someone or someones in the network will also be using the same torrent, which means I may be getting both high priority traffic from within the network and low priority traffic from outside the network.  So I may have less trouble getting torrents to work than those in other areas.  This is also consistent with something else Insight has done, which is created their own speed test, which is within their network.  If you call about poor speeds now, they only use that test.  Of course, if Sandvine gives priority to traffic within the network, and the speed test is within the network, then the speed tests will likely always be good.

I would suggest using high #'d ports (above 10000), randomizing them, and a torrent client that uses encryption.  I can't guarantee this will work, but it seems to work for me.

This also makes sense as to why Insight can say they are not restricting peer-2-peer access. Technically, all their doing is prioritizing their in network stuff to save money.  It's still constructively the same thing, but technically not, which allows them to say so.

I don't know if it matters, but I only use torrent trackers that I know are reliable and I only torrent via a few different live music sites.  It's also possible that Insight has flagged certain sites as threats or for another reason and is limiting access to only some trackers.

ISP's have some major issues to deal with, and Skype will be one of them.  If you have problems with Skype, I would contact Skype or Ebay (they own Skype) and let them know Insight is not playing nicely with Skype.  Since Insight has it's own VOIP service, and it gives preference to in network traffic, that means a call from a Skype user will get less priority than a call from another Insight user, which could result in clarity issues and other problems.  If Ebay knows that ISP's are hurting their product, eventually they may get involved.  This issue is also running around capital hill, so at some point someone's going to do something about it, it's just a matter of when.

As a side note, I will say that prior to this new episode, Insight was always willing to give me to another tech to try to solve the problem.  Now they just say "the speed test is fine, so it must be your computer."  That's not a good thing.

- Marshal

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sandvine not only attempts to keep p2p traffic within the network, it also uses the "lowest cost path" for traffic that must go outside.  sandvine claims this wont effect the end user while saving the isp cost - bs.  i did have one torrent where a seeder was insightbb and i got decent speed from him - which still amounts to a small percentage of the speeds i used to see.  outside traffic was 0-5 kB/s. i was extremely unhappy - and that was before today 1/6/07 when bad went to worse.  with our ports being completely blocked, on the fly everytime we start using them now, we cannot seed to anyone, inside or outside insights network.

someone more familiar with torrent protocol correct me here, but i thought the tracker keeps record of what clients are behind firewall/not connectable?  sandvine already had me considering switching isps - with todays near-total blocking of p2p i guess i have no choice.  its a problem for me because i just moved the house over to vonage.

earlier i tried a few things - shut my cable modem off for a few minutes, change my router mac address and torrent ports, boot everything back up with new ip and new ports and the ports become blocked within seconds.  this was not happenning before today although i had noticed the traffic shaping for about 2 weeks now.

edit:  i think i meant a capitol K there in 0-5kB/s but this thing apparently wont let me type that :/

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sandvine not only attempts to keep p2p traffic within the network, it also uses the "lowest cost path" for traffic that must go outside.  sandvine claims this wont effect the end user while saving the isp cost - bs.

Yep, low priority = lowest cost path, I should have been clearer.  Usually, it won't affect the end user, and it some ways it actually makes things faster.  One thing it does is allocate bandwith to those actually using it at the time. 

It's like a voice activated tape recorder.  When you're not using it, it just sits there monitoring  for activity.  When it senses no activity it doesn't do anything, and in this case, shifts resources to others in need of them.  When the tape recorded detects something, it snaps into action.  Like the tape recorder, when your computer starts using traffic, there's a very slight delay while the resources are redirected for you to use.  All of this works fine for one way traffic and/or things is sees as "short term" connections.

But when it comes to peer-2-peer (and it should be any kind of external peer-2-peer like VOIP, online gaming, etc., not just torrents), the fact that the connection is "long term" and hence "using" resources for a long period of time, that's when sandvine causes problems because it will redirect the low priority/lower cost resources for those using them for the long term and outside of network, and save the faster, higher priority/higher cost resources to those using them for what it thinks will be the shortest time and inside of the network.  Of course, this is all based upon how the program determines what kind of traffic to move to high priority vs. low priority.

I am still getting tracker reported errors, but I don't appear to be having speed issues for the torrents I've been on.

I should mention, there is an alternative, but it's not cheap.  You could get a virtual server account somewhere, and then run your torrents off of there, and just download/ftp them from the server to your PC.  Some torrent sites actually offer services like this for between $20-$50/month.  The benefits are that it avoids the ISP traffic issues as well as it provides much better speeds.  I'm not saying it's the best option but for someone who wants to do a lot of torrenting, it might be the best option.

- Marshal

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update:  woke up today 1/7/07 and my ports are no longer being blocked entirely.  now it seems that with encryption and lazy bitfield i can get up to ~175kB/s down and my max up speed on a healthy torrent  -  this is actually significantly faster than i was getting 2 days ago, before the total blocking of ports.  This speed lasts for anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple hours before it gets throttled down.  I (unhappily) enabled upnp on my router, switched to utorrent and turned on upnp and random port, and i can fix the throttle (temporarily) by restarting utorrent.

I've also just noticed that I'm able to receive 50-60kB/s from a few hosts outside insight's network.  This is the first ive seen of that in 2 weeks - maybe its just cause its Sunday night.

I'm still not happy but considering I just switched from POTS to vonage, my alternatives dont include DSL, and I'll try to live with this..  I guess gone are the days of having my downloads run while im sleeping or away from home..

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Another update.  Have a tech coming out this week to look at the line, modem (he's bringing a replacement modem so we can test on that too), etc. since my speed test is a bit off tonight.

Insight told me that Sandvine is affecting different communities differently, based upon capacity.  In other words, if your community has enough physical capacity to support the users, Sandvine isn't doing much of anything, but if you're in a community where their equipment isn't sufficient for the capacity, then Sandvine will affect the peer-2-peer stuff outside of the network. 

Was told to expect to experience problems at least one a week because they're scheduled to install new equipment weekly in my area for several weeks (months?) to increase capacity on the network.

We'll see what happens.

- Marshal

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Yeah so for over a week my p2p connection has suffered severely.  I'm using Azureus and have tried every trick in the book to get it working to its full potential again. I've been using it for a few years so I know what I'm doing. Every port I check says OK!....until I switch to it...then...NAT Error. My speeds are shit, I can't connect to more than 30 seeders or 30 peers at one time. I tried UTorrent, same thing. Basically the same problems that other people have reported. So today I went on the Insight Help Chat.

You: Is Insight throttling internet bandwidth?

Tech: No

You: Are you lying? What about Sandvine?

Tech: I'm not sure what you are talking about.

You: Has Insight implemented Sandvine?

long pause....

You: The reason I ask is because I have noticed SEVERE problems with my p2p connections and I suspect that Insight is throttling. Many people in many different forums also complain about this recent change and agree that Insight is throttling.

long pause...

Tech: There are network issues affecting speeds in some areas at certain times of the day. We're working with our vendors to resolve those issues. This is one of the highest priorities at Insight.

Sounds like bullshit. Goodbye green smileys. I'm gonna look into another ISP if this doesn't change soon. Kinda sucks since now I'm at 10/1, but shit, 99% of my bandwidth goes to torrents so what's the point.

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It's not only affecting p2p.  One of my relatives uses insightbb at home to view is store security system remotely.  He has also seen a huge performance hit as his frame rates are below 1 fps now.  If insightbb has implemented sandvine, it must be mistaking this traffic as p2p file transfer traffic and applying throttling it down. 

He connects from a client on his computer to a video server at this store.  His security system is connected through DSL via windstream so the traffic is not completely internal to the insightbb network.

This is really beginning to suck.  For four years, I never gave the idea of switching ISP's a single thought, but now myself amongs others are seriously considering.  I hope insight gets its act together soon and shapes its traffic in a more fair manner.  If bandwidth was such an issue, why did they upgrade everyone for free a couple of months ago?  I'd rather have the old bandwidth limits without a system in place that decides when or when not to throttle down my traffic.

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8:39:43 PM  Chris H Thank you for contacting Insight Help Chat. How may I help you?   

8:40:13 PM  You I have heard that Insight is using something called Sandvine? Is that why my P2P programs like limewire and bittorrent has been so slow?   

8:40:50 PM  You getting like a max 27 kb/s on everything.. even high quality torrent files   

8:43:11 PM  Chris H Insight does use a program called Sandvine to throttle the amount of upstream bandwith that can be used for uploading files for file sharing programs.   

8:43:52 PM  You oh, i do not upload, i just have it set to download... but i cant get good download speeds worth crap on limewire.. etc   

8:44:44 PM  Chris H We do not do anything that would effect download of file sharing, only uploading.   

8:45:18 PM  You ok, thank you

they only use sandvine for uploading speeds =)

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I talked to Insight a lot today (they kept telling me one thing, then transferring me to another person who hung up, etc. etc. etc.). They told me this:

Me: So what is the upload limit? I've heard 10 different things.

Tech: Currently, it is 20GB/month or 5GB/week. But this is only for P2P connections. Uploading to a server is unlimited and any kind of downloading is unlimited.

Me: Your website doesn't mention this, neither did the contract that I signed. How long has it been in place?

Tech: For some time now.

Me: Then why does your website say "unlimited flat-rate highspeed service"?

Tech: That's assuming people don't upload 100 GB/month.

Me: Ok, bye.

First, they told me they're only going to be limiting my speed, then they told me they were capping it. It sucks because they NEVER mentioned this, EVER until a few days ago when I went over this "limit".

Anyway, he said with torrents and other P2P programs, you can only upload 20 GB a month, but you can download as much as you want.

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  • 2 weeks later...

:?:Hi Im new here. I had a tech out today and the way i understand it is that sandvine puts us p2p traders on the back burner up and download there is no limits if you trade via BT u will not get speeds worth crap and at 45$ a month i should be able to do what i want with my connection at the advertised speeds there should be a law against this i havn't signed any new contract since i signed with insight 4 years ago and it does not say anything about limiting bandwidth for any reason i'm gonna do some further checking into this matter because advertising one thing and then giving you less without a signed consent is illegal. I'll post more as i find out. But as far as changing ISP that will be pointless because they are all trafficshaping only when you sign with a new ISP it will stipulate the bandwidth issue. Right now i have insight right were i want them just dont no how to proceed. Any advise would be great.      Thanks


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we rent it true but we rent under the inpression that we get high speed internet. I reviewed my contract dated jan of 03 and it doesnt state that they can limit my connection for any reson. Maybe people that signed up later it might but if they want to limit my service i should be notified and then if i agree fine but that is my choice not theres. Known as a law called FALSE ADVERTISEING.

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