Help With WinMX and Internet Service Provider Troubles



There are many problems that users have that can be attributed to Settings, Firewalls, and Routers while using WinMX.  Sometimes however, a user will go through weeks and months of trying to fix problems that are actually related to problems with the Internet Service Providers (ISP).  Many ISPs are practicing throttling, shaping or blocking of P2P programs, and WinMX seems to be one of the ones most effected by this type of behavior.  Because it's always a good idea to assume it's a settings problem before we consider it to be ISP throttling and shaping, I suggest that you go through some of the other help pages and tutorials on the site, or post a topic in the Forum to make sure those things can be ruled out.

For those of you that are fairly certain or need a way to 'be' certain it's your ISP causing problems we will discuss some useful tips.  Obviously, at this time there is no sure fix for this and truly the best advise for serious p2p users experiencing this is to change to a different ISP when possible, unfortunately there are many users that have no choices available.

The first step is to find out if your ISP is actually the problem.
Its important to note that if you suspect your ISP of capping (limiting speeds to slow KB/s) that this may not be a way to test, and simply calling the ISP usually will answer the question.  They don't seem to mind admitting to capping, where as customers that are throttled or blocked are usually lied to most of the time.

There is a fairly simple way to find out, first you need a dial-up modem.  If you don't have one installed on your PC, they are relatively cheap and extremely easy to install.  Once you have the dial-up modem installed visit this site:
Juno - Free Account Sign Up
Here you can sign up for an account and their offer of a 'free 10 hours' of dial-up service per month.  Once you get this set up you're ready to test.
Note: This site is available to USA customers, those out side the USA should do a google search for Free Dial Up in your area to avoid long distance charges on your phone bill.

Simply use your WinMX like normal, although if your a normal primary user you will have to use secondary for this.  Dial-up speeds are usually 5KB/s download (top speed) and approx. 3-4KB/s upload.  Remember its not the speeds you're testing.  The important things to note are
Do your uploads work consistently?
Do your downloads work consistently?
Do your speeds maintain themselves?
Does your connection seem to be more stable?

Once you have tested it I think most folks will know if this has answered any questions, and as mentioned since the Broadband companies doing this seem to like to lie to customers that are not VERY persistent in asking about it, this gives you some proof when you talk to them about it.

If your transfers continue to start but then fail, or most but not all of your uploads time out still (the tell tale signs of ISP throttling), then you may need to reconfigure your settings for WinMX before you blame the ISPs.


When throttling and shaping first began they were usually based on ports that certain programs used by default ie: WinMX uses 6699 TCP & 6257 UDP.  This allowed users to simply get into different port numbers to find ones that were not as affected by this practice.  Sadly, most of them have moved to new software that actually throttles or finds the traffic by packets of data sent.  Making changing ports almost useless for getting around this.

It might be helpful to do some research online of other sites. A search for your 'ISP, throttling' or 'ISP, area you live, problems', or 'p2p'.  Those terms often will find you other users on the same ISP as you and people are generally fast to want to tell about the experiences and problems they have so its usually easy to find information about your ISP and if they are doing this.

A few good sites for information about ISPs are:

DSLReports.com
Whirlpool Forums

If you continue to have problems after trying the above please visit the forum and post your information so we can look at the issues.

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