There are many ways that BitTorrent traffic can be handled. This article provides general tips and best practices to keep in mind when handling BitTorrent traffic.
Handling BitTorrent traffic is never easy, as it requires fighting against a continually evolving protocol with fail-safe and users working on it at all times. While Exinda appliances can help, it is never foolproof due to the speed that BitTorrent can change. However, here are some best practices that can be applied to Exinda when handling BitTorrent traffic:
- Do not block BitTorrent traffic entirely.
- Instead, throttle it down to 1kbps. BitTorrent can detect that a connection has no packets being received and can start changing ports and masquerading as protocols, as it knows that it is being filtered.
- When it starts hopping ports and changing its signature, the effectiveness of Exinda at catching the traffic will fall.
- Furthermore, if it changes its pattern so that it is passing itself off as mission-critical applications, it will get more bandwidth than wanted, choking the network.
- Throttling it down to 1kbps ensures that the connection will stay alive, but those connecting through it will never receive any meaningful data.
- That way, BitTorrent will not detect it is being filtered, and the end users will get frustrated long before they can get any file.
- Change the BitTorrent Sensitivity as needed.
- In the Monitoring tab, under Configuration > System > Setup, there is the option to change the BitTorrent sensitivity level.
- By default, it is set at Medium. This is an acceptable setting.
- However, if traffic is seen as BitTorrent, it might be a good idea to turn the setting up to High. This, however, can cause false positives.
- Legitimate applications that use P2P (peer to peer) connections, e.g., .NET, P2P heart beating mechanisms, etc., can be wrongly classified as BitTorrent due to the heightened sensitivity. If this happens, please contact Exinda Support.
- Keep a BitTorrent policy at the top of the Optimizer Tree.
- This ensures that the BitTorrent traffic will hit that policy first.