This morning, whilst visiting a friend on the same broadband package as myself, he explained his internet connection had became rather slow and was seriously thinking of kicking off with Virgin Media (our ISP). I did a few quick checks, speedtests, scanning for malware, etc but nothing turned up - or nothing that would make me believe it was causing the issue.
But, he was definitely right, his internet connection was terrible. He is on the 50Mb service, same as myself, and pings were awful, tracert's were crawling and even trying to browse the net was just a task in itself!!.
I then started going through his programs and found uTorrent. Out of curiosity I disabled the service and instantly, his internet connection was running at full belt - previously I got something like a 1-2Mb speedtest but without uTorrent running it went straight back upto his full 50Mb connection. Initially I thought he must have been sharing files, but he had no files to share, his download folder was completely empty. Apart from explaining that downloading certain material was, in fact, illegal, I asked him when he installed uTorrent, but he couldn't remember. I asked if he ever actually downloaded anything but he said he hadn't because he couldn't really figure out how to use it!.
So, why was uTorrent causing these issues ... or was it just coincidence?. I enabled the program again, and instantly I heard the CPU fan kick into life ... this just doesn't make sense I thought .. how can uTorrent be dragging the system and net down so much, especially if it's not meant to be doing anything!. Well, enabled it anyway, ran another couple of pings and speedtest (using a London server which is usually lightening!) and here are the results with uTorrent v3 running
As is clear to see, he just does not have an internet connection at all - a ping of 2770ms !!!!
So, I then disable uTorrent v3 completely
Don't know about you, but that scared the hell out of me ... why was uTorrent causing these issues?. Well, to be honest, I still don't know as I really didn't have the interest to try and figure the whole issue out, but what I did do was completely uninstall the program, ran a complete malware and virus scan and make sure his computer was clean - restarted, and his internet connection is still running top notch. Interestingly, he mentioned that his daughter had also been complained about the internet being slow, so I had him check with her and she says it's much better now again which to me says it wasn't just an issue with the program on his computer but rather uTorrent utilising something in their internet connection - could it mean others were using their internet connection for downloading, where they a form of "zombie" computer for others to either leech from or pass through?. The mind absolutely boggles but unfortunately I can't find anything suspicious about the torrent program which means I can't remove it from our listings with justification as I'm still on the fence as to what caused the issue - could be a bug I guess but until anyone else can confirm there is an issue with uTorrent v3 I'm at a loss as to why it caused the issues it did.
Fortunately for my friend, his problem is solved so all's well that ends well in this instance