When I surf the web, I find that I have to pause my BitTorrent client, to help improve the painfully slow speed (I'm sadly on a 384kbps line). It's not too nice to have to do this manually every time.

Please show me the magic button, the one which I only need to press once in order to be blessed with speedier, higher-priority surfing, where the torrents speed take a backseat, only to resume to full speed once my web-surfing is over.

[FYI] NetworkManager manages my network, and Transmission is my BitTorrent client.

  • 4
    There's not a simple solution to this. Giving higher priority to http traffic will slightly improve things, but your best bet would be to just throttle your torrent client.
    – Falmarri
    Dec 30, 2010 at 0:17

4 Answers 4


As already said, there is no button "Give me fast surfing" somewhere on your desktop. What you want is traffic shaping which is possible with Linux.

For the complete introduction, you can read these tutorials:

But I think you are searching for something more like these:

These are scripts which will do the work for you.


If you don't want to spend too much time configuring a traffic shaper, try the transmission builtin temporary speed limit feature (which can also be scheduled).

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You can activate or deactivate it over the indicator applet.

  • This is what I do but the OP specifically mentioned in his post that he does not want to do this every time i.e., he is looking for a permanent solution.
    – Aaron S
    Jan 19, 2011 at 13:06
  • The OP edited that in after my answer.
    – wag
    Jan 19, 2011 at 13:52
  • @6pack is correct. This was my requirement from the beginning (check the initial revision). I think I edited my question to make this requirement clearer (probably as a reaction to your answer).
    – tshepang
    Jan 22, 2011 at 20:50

An alternative simple solution could be to use the QoS of your router (Quality of Service), this may allow you to give higher priority to certain protocols (i.e. HTTP/HTTPS).

If you don't have QoS on your router the only way are the one explained above.

One more link:


Be aware that if you give high priority to HTTP or HTTPS, then, almost probably, your torrent won't work anymore, this is because many applications use the HTTP protocol to exchange data over the network, so there will be always something matching the iptable rule.

I'd rather advice to use a Command line version of bittorrent, like rtorrent, this way you can write a simple shell script that will change the torrent download throttle and then execute firefox (or whatever).

You can also stop rtorrent downloading after certain conditions.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/RTorrent http://superuser.com/questions/180866/configure-rtorrent-to-stop-downloading-after-a-certain-file-size


  • Sadly, my router doesn't do QoS for wi-fi.
    – tshepang
    Feb 23, 2011 at 9:23
  • What if you don't have a router? Jul 21, 2014 at 12:19
  • Has been answered above. Read thorough the whole thread.
    – tmow
    Jul 21, 2014 at 18:45

It's easy: don't saturate your upload, so limit your torrent client's upload limit to about 50% of your total upload bandwidth.

  • Is it possible to shape the download? Jul 21, 2014 at 12:20

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