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Sun - Feb 10, 2008 : 11:47 am
   rated 2 times
Comcast Bit Torrent Filtering
I've been using Comcast for my personal Internet connection now for about 5 years.  Personally, I think they do a great job.  My connection goes down on average about once per year, and it just works really well with my lifestyle.  I think the price is a bit much, but having a steady Internet connection means a lot to me, so I keep it.

That said, about a week ago, I engaged in an innocent download of a file which I paid for, and I downloaded it via bit torrent.

I started the download in the morning, and later on the same day my Internet connection was completely closed down.  I couldn't get in via SSH, or out with a browser.  So, I reset my modem and all was well.

Well... If by "well", I mean I could use my Internet for the next 15 minutes before it magically went down again, then yes... All was well.

The problem with this is, I use my Internet for my phone, too.  So when my Internet went down, my phone did too.

I continued this charade for 2 days.  My wife told me she needed to reset the modem 3 times during the morning of the 2nd day before she got fed up with it, and gave up.

All during this time, I was trying to download my file.  At the end of the 2nd day, I paused the file to see if that would help.

Nope.  Another 15 minutes later and my connection was gone.  After two more resets and an hour later, I decided to shut down my bit torrent program, and, as if the Comcast gods were suddently pleased, my Internet connection magically stayed up, and has been up for the past 2 weeks, uninterrupted (as usual).

If Comcast denies (which is does) having anything to do with bit torrent packet filtering, I believe this is just a notch in the "you're lying" belt.

Anyone else having similar problems?
Comment by lotso on Feb. 10, 2008 @ 01:51 pm
And and this time, you never called up comcast customer service to see if anything is happening on their end?
Comment by PoeticIntensity on Feb. 10, 2008 @ 10:22 pm
Lotso.... No, I didn't.  This is just the most recent time I've done this,  2 other times I've downloaded bit torrent-based files and had the same results.  It usually happens after the torrent has been downloading for awhile.  Both torrents were over 1 gigabyte.

I'll have to try again, and this time, have enough time to actually call them.  Good idea.
Comment by Pro on Feb. 27, 2008 @ 09:27 am
YES.  I have the exact behavior with Comcast when i'm trying to use Bit Torrent.

I don't understand why I get this behavior and other people experience slowdowns, but it is unacceptable and I think I will contact Comcast today finally to deal with this (FiOS just came to town - so I might have leverage). 

When it happens, the lights on the modem are blinking as they normally would - and accessing the internal log on the modem reveals no strange events.  Do you happen to have the white RCA modem?  Maybe we have the same model...
Comment by PoeticIntensity on Feb. 28, 2008 @ 10:34 am
Yup...  That's precisely what happens to me, Pro.  The lights are still going, nothing irregular, and yes, I have the white RCA modem.
Comment by Pro on Feb. 28, 2008 @ 11:29 am
Did you ever get anything out of Comcast?  I didn't get around to poking at them last night...  It sounds like we have the same modem.
Comment by Pro on Feb. 29, 2008 @ 09:35 am
Comcast appears to be uninterested in owning up to the problem...

user Stephen_ has entered room

stephen(Fri Feb 29 10:49:39 EST 2008)>RCA modem ceases to function upon Bittorrent usage.   Power cycle required

analyst Ehsan has entered room

Ehsan(Fri Feb 29 10:49:46 EST 2008)>Hello Stephen_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Ehsan. Please give me one moment to review your information.

analyst Denise has entered room

Ehsan(Fri Feb 29 10:50:33 EST 2008)>Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:50:34 EST 2008)>Hello Stephen_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Denise. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:50:39 EST 2008)>Hi, how are you today?

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:51:24 EST 2008)>Hi, I'm well

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:51:27 EST 2008)>Thanks...

analyst Ehsan has left room

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:50:56 EST 2008)>Good.

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:51:23 EST 2008)>One moment while I bring up your account information.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:52:08 EST 2008)>ok

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:54:42 EST 2008)>Stephen, may I have your Comcast account number with the date and amount of the last payment for verification please?

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:55:38 EST 2008)>That's a tough one, cause I'm at work...  Let me see if my wife is online

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:56:48 EST 2008)>She's not.  I don't have access to either

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:57:08 EST 2008)>Stephen, would you be able to chat back when you are at home, as we will need to go through a powercycle with you.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:57:59 EST 2008)>Let's assume I'm who I say I am, what can we do about the RCA modem?  The issue appears to be reasonably well documented on the internet

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:58:11 EST 2008)>Oh, are you going to upgrade the firmware?

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:58:29 EST 2008)>I am sorry Stephen, I cannot help you or troubleshoot unless you are at home where the equipment is.  I am sorry.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 10:59:32 EST 2008)>Ok.  I'll chat back when i'm home today

Denise(Fri Feb 29 10:59:59 EST 2008)>Thank you for contacting Comcast. If you need assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us through Live Chat or E-mail (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Simply visit and select Help.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:00:54 EST 2008)>Is there any know solution for this other than getting a different modem?  Is this related to bittorrent traffic shaping? 

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:03:02 EST 2008)>One moment please.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:04:04 EST 2008)>ok. 

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:09:44 EST 2008)>I do apologize for the wait.  Her is some information I found for you.

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:09:48 EST 2008)>Do you block access to peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent?
No. We do not block access to any Web site or applications, including BitTorrent. Our customers use the Internet for downloading and uploading files, watching movies and videos, streaming music, sharing digital photos, accessing numerous peer-to-peer sites, VOIP applications like Vonage, and thousands of other applications online.

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:10:06 EST 2008)>Do you discriminate against particular types of online content?
No. There is no discrimination based on the type of content. Our customers enjoy unfettered access to all the content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer. We respect our customers' privacy and we don't monitor specific customer activities on the Internet or track individual online behavior such as which Web sites they visit. Therefore, we do not know whether any individual user is visiting BitTorrent or any other site.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:11:40 EST 2008)>ok, I should tell you a couple of things.  1)  I'm a software engineer.  2)  I'm active in several internet threads currently on slashdot and techdirt that are interested in the result of this conversation.  That being said, how can you explain that the only kind of traffic that shuts down my modem is bittorrent traffic?

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:13:29 EST 2008)> Please go to,help, and search bittorrent, this is where you can get the information.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:14:25 EST 2008)>none of the information there prevents my modem from shutting down when I use bittorrent

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:17:46 EST 2008)>Please chat back when you are home, so we can troubleshoot with you as I have already mentioned.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:19:25 EST 2008)>very well...  however, you should understand that when I get there, diagnostics will be difficult, as when we turn on bittorrent and the connection promptly closes, I'll lose my internet connection and thus my session with comcast

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:20:04 EST 2008)>but I can discuss that with the analyst that I speak with tonight I suppose

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:22:44 EST 2008)>Comcast does not block access to any applications such as P2P, including BitTorrent. We do not alter Internet speed or traffic.

We respect our customers’ privacy and we don’t monitor specific customer activities on the Internet or track individual online behavior, such as which websites they visit. Therefore, we do not know whether any individual user is visiting BitTorrent or any other site.

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:23:10 EST 2008)>No. We do not block access to any P2P applications, including BitTorrent. We also respect our customers’ privacy and don’t monitor specific customer activities on the Internet or track individual online behavior, such as which websites they visit. Therefore, we do not know whether any individual user is visiting BitTorrent or any other site.

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:25:36 EST 2008)>If that's your stance, that's what I'll post..  But when I told you I was a software engineer, what I meant to convey was - I've worked on protocols and protocol analyzers, I understand how the internet works.  you'd have a hard time explaining my cable modem shut downs.

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:24:56 EST 2008)>Comcast is not traffic shaping or packet shaping. We have a responsibility to manage our network to ensure that our customers have the best broadband experience possible. That means we use the latest technologies to manage our network to provide a quality experience for all Comcast subscribers. This is standard practice for network operators around the world.

Denise(Fri Feb 29 11:25:55 EST 2008)>Only thing is to chat back later when you are at home, ok Stephen?

Stephen_(Fri Feb 29 11:26:50 EST 2008)>Very well...  i'll resume tonight when I'm at home.  Thanks for your time Denise
Comment by Ryan W on Sep. 20, 2008 @ 11:42 pm
Some routers have trouble dealing with hundreds of connections all at once and freeze up.Maybe this is what your dealing with. Try setting the connections allowed lower and lower untill you don't have problems anymore. I have run into this problem a couple of times.

 I am not saying that they dont block peoples stuff only that that could be possible.

Also , a friend keeps getting letters from his ISP threatening to cut his internet if he keeps downlosding torrents.They state the exact torrents and that those files are protected under yadda yadda whatever law.I have seen these letters and know that Comcast wiretaps its customers internet connections.


If you want some joe smoe reading all your traffic then get Comcast internet service.
Comment by jeff on Jan. 29, 2009 @ 06:24 pm
Yep, the exact same thing is happening to me too!  Magic "Comcast" gods are suddenly pleased when i turn off the torrent program.  did you ever find a solution?  this is still going to this day with me.
Comment by anonymous on Feb. 21, 2009 @ 10:59 am
I have started having this exact same problem with Comcast. too The internet connection works fine until I start downloading torrents, after about a half hour or so of downloading a torrent, my connection drops. Completely. Internet and everything. The only way to get it back is to unplug the modem and plug it back in, it will not even automatically reset after 15 minutes or so. Resetting the modem doesn't work. It is apparent Comcast is completely shutting down internet connections for some bit torrent users.

The interesting thing is that I have generally used ABC torrent in the past for torrent downloads and have not had this problem. I recently switched to uTorrent and this problem popped up; even enabling forced encryption and randomizing ports doesn't solve it. ABC torrent still appears to work fine. It appears there is something different about the traffic that uTorrent generates (program setting maybe?) that causes Comcast to shut down the connection completely.

If I am not downloading a torrent, I never have this problem. I'm off to try Vuze next and see if it has the same issue. But Comcast is definitely blocking BitTorrent traffic where it sees fit.
Comment by anonymous on May. 07, 2009 @ 04:03 pm
 Comcast is an liar it tracks the websites you go to. this is what happens if they catch you using torrent downloading or some spys on the seeders thing catch you downloading torrents they will report you to com and send an letter like this.


{!!!WARNING!!!} {!!!WARNING!!!} {!!!WARNING!!!] 

Notice of Action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 

Abuse Incident Number: NA0000005945*** 
Report Date/Time: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 05:46:38 -0700 

HO*****TT, NH 03*0*1115 

Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Subscriber: 

Comcast has received a notification by a copyright owner, or its authorized 
agent, reporting an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works made 
on or over Comcast‘s High-Speed Internet service (the ‘Service‘). The copyright 
owner has identified the Internet Protocol (‘IP‘) address associated with your 
Service account at the time as the source of the infringing works. The works 
identified by the copyright owner in its notification are listed below. Comcast 
reminds you that use of the Service (or any part of the Service) in any manner 
that constitutes an infringement of any copyrighted work is a violation of 
Comcast‘s Acceptable Use Policy and may result in the suspension or termination 
of your Service account. 

If you have any questions regarding this notice, you may direct them to Comcast in 
writing by sending a letter or e-mail to: 

Comcast Legal Response Center 
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC 
650 Centerton Road 
Moorestown, NJ 08057 U.S.A. 
Phone: (856) 317-7272 
Fax: (856) 317-7319 

For more information regarding Comcast‘s copyright infringement policy, 
procedures, and contact information, please read our Acceptable Use Policy by 
clicking on the Terms of Service link at 

Comcast Legal Response Center 

Copyright work(s) identified in the notification of claimed infringement: 

Title: Call of Duty 4 

Infringement Source: BitTorrent 
Infringement Timestamp: 22 Mar 2008 09:39:58 GMT 
Infringement Last Documented: 22 Mar 2008 09:39:58 GMT 
Infringer Username: 
Infringing Filename: Call of duty 4 [PC-DVD] [English] [] 
Infringing Filesize: 6789794354 
Infringer IP Address: **.***.***.*** 
Infringer DNS Name: c-**-***-***-***.hsd1.** 
Infringing URL: http://2**.1**.***.

Comment by eddy on Oct. 19, 2009 @ 01:19 am
hey use Mtorrents with encription and that will the end of your problems 
Comment by Simon on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 11:42 pm
Hey Guys,

          Just landed here thru Google(who else)...I'm having the same problem with Comcast using uTorrent...frequent connection drops when I do downloads using uTorrent...other times also it keep dropping connections and packets. Definitely Comcast is discriminating againsta type of data..

Comment by MaxAmoeba on Nov. 28, 2009 @ 07:45 am
Been using comcast for 5 years now. I download torrents often using BitTorrent. I had to have my router replaced this week and had comcast do it. They installed a 54Mbps router to replace my old 108. I started having problems with my internet shutting down. Had to reboot to get it going again. When I opened BitTorrent my connection would last about 10 minutes then shut down again. I never had this problem in the past. I had several large torrents going so I shut some down, leaving only two. One was 7 gigs the other was 4 gigs. I had ten seeders on the 7 gig torrent and began pulling close to 2MB/s. My connection stayed up.

Obviously, the problem is with the amount of downloading I am doing and not with comcasts service. I am going to try to port forward BitTorrent and see if that helps improve my performance, but the shut down was on my end and not comcasts.
Comment by weird1 on Dec. 28, 2009 @ 09:06 pm
Hello!  Just thought I'd share my own observations with regard to the apparent Comcast/BitTorrent "incompatibility" issue.  I've been attempting to download a software update (that is a little more than 300 megabytes) via uTorrent.  I started the transfer while I was at a relative's house over the Christmas holiday and had no problem connecting to seeds/peers or maintaining download/upload speeds.  The ISP?  Verizon DSL.  However, as the speed of their line is at the lower end of most broadband lines, nowadays, I did not finish downloading.  Hence, I aimed to resume torrenting upon returning to my own place where I have a 16/2 mbps Comcast line.  Ironically, I have been connected for longer than I was at my relatives' and have downloaded 1/20 (one twentieth!) of what I downloaded in the former location.  Within 5 minutes of connecting, here, my download/upload speeds decreased (from above 100 k/s) to 0 k/s.  Restarting results in the same occurrence, each time.  Limiting rates and/or encrypting has no positive effect.

Anyway, I guess I should stop, there, but I do want to mention, as well, that I, at one time, relied heavily on BitTorrent to transfer files.  The line I currently have was the one I originally used for such.  I purchased it through Adelphia and never had any lack of connections/bandwidth.  Upon the takeover of Adelphia by Comcast, I did notice that my seeding capabilities were severely impacted.  I could upload while downloading, but once a file had finished downloading, I would remain online as a seed with 0 connections (and users that did connect to me were quickly dropped).  More recently, all BitTorrent traffic simply stops (as described in the first paragraph).  Other internet applications also experience a huge slowdown when BitTorrent is open (even when it is not downloading).

Alright, this time I'm really stopping.  It is what it is, I guess.  I don't have to rely on torrents for essential information, so the problem only affects me sporadically (as I only sporadically use torrents).  If need be, maybe I'll switch to Verizon!  Hope you all have better luck with Comcast and torrents than I! 
Comment by Lenny on Dec. 29, 2009 @ 04:13 pm
Landed here from Google.

Appears I am not the only one with this problem.  Connection is perfect until I turn on uTorrent.  Then modem resets every 2-3 minutes.  Once I turn off uTorrent, connection is perfect again.

Comcast is definitely discriminating against torrent users.


Comment by reserve on Dec. 31, 2009 @ 02:04 pm
Im not sure if this is a dead thread or not, but i have seemed to notice that the amount of peers you are uploading to (seeding or downloading) affects this problem. Im running Vuze with the standard encryption settings and only allow 2 upload slots per torrent. I also keep my upload limit extremely low and i dont have too many issues with it.

I know it sucks as far as if you are wanting to seed something, and i also do like to give back when i get a complete file, but its what needs to be done to avoid the drop in connection.

Even though i still drop from time to time, it doesn't happen every time i download something. =D

Hope this helps

Comment by explode on Feb. 12, 2010 @ 06:54 pm
 hey, landed here from google.


just some interesting info for anyone else watching this or who happens to come by it.

im 18 and i live with my parents so of course im not paying for comcast but weve had it for about 5 years now. we just moved into a new house last month and decided to use comcast for phone service s well so now we have a internet + phone modem. Big surprise when after 5 years of service i never had trouble torrenting and now i do. same problems as everyone else here. The real answer is its the modem. Comcast has had lawsuits against it for limiting bittorrent traffic since it is against the law for them to monitor your connections. Of course some people get cease and desist letters but i dont know what to say about that. The big thing ive read though is comcast's newer modems are programmed to auto restart when you have a certain amount of connections or reach a certain bandwidth usage. Just some info i came across to help guide you through circumventing it. Im in the process of buying a motorola surfboard anyways.
Comment by Smiley on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 01:41 pm
I am guessing that most of you rent the modem from Comcast. I am using my own and just had service hooked up the other day and have been downloading torrents non-stop with no problems. I am guessing that Comcast themselves don't watch what you do, but could it be posable that your modem is actually set up to block torrent ports...? Just an idea. Get yourself your own modem and see if things change. I am using a D-Link modem that I have had for years. I have always used and serviced my own equipment ... best way to go I would say.
Comment by houseman on Mar. 21, 2010 @ 10:22 am
I Had This Exact Problem, Modem Resetting Every Two Or Three Minutes While Using UTorrent, Ended Up At This Thread And Did What "Reserve" Suggests A Few Posts Up..Everything Is Fine Now, No Restarts For The Past Hour Just By Changing Those Settings, Still While Downloading The Same File That  Was Disconnecting Before  Changing Settings
Comment by bill on Apr. 19, 2010 @ 10:16 am
   We have had Comcast for a while, no problems with Bit/UTorrent.  Then in December 09, we moved, and were given a different modem. About 1-2 months ago, evertime I start uTorrent, it connects, then the modem resets itself.  Every single time.  I called Comcast and asked why it would be reseting itself.  I didnt mention about torrents, I mean the **** is 99% illegal.  They told me, they would have to send someone out to look at it.  I said **** it. 

   Every other time in the past when I've had similar problems with a modem, they were able to attempt to fix, or fix it over the phone.  I can't see them doing anything other then killing your connection every time you connect to utorrent.  Honestly, I don't think they are doing for the legality of the matter, I think they are doing it because it uses alot of bandwidth for them.  They don't wanna get calls from your neighbors about their internet slowing up a bit.  So they just block you from high bandwidth ****. 

   I'm most likely just gonna call my congressmen, or senator, and complain that I think they are altering connections, or monitoring atleast some aspect of what I'm doing over the internet.  If enough people call and complain, they will have to at least check it out, because as far as I know, it's illegal to do either of those.
Comment by PISSOFF on Jun. 02, 2010 @ 08:11 am
I believe Comcast is now blocking Internet Explorer from accessing any torrent websites.  I tried to go to Isohunt, TPB, Rarbg and was unable to access any of these sites through IE8.  Anyone else having this same problem?
Comment by Dar on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 06:12 pm
I've had the same issue with Comcast. I'm using the Motorola Modem. If I fire up Bit Torrent (and try to download a single file) my connection completely drops. Have to recycle and everything comes back up after which I can usually continue downloading whatever it was.

This has been going on for a year or more, I finally got tired of it and stumbled here via google. Glad to see it's not some configuration issue on my end. (Actually I wish it was so I could fix it instead of rebooting my modem a couple times trying to get a connection back.)
Comment by Comcastic? on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 08:09 pm
This started happening to me yesterday.  uTorrent has worked fine before but now when I open uTorrent I suddenly have no internet.  Tried everything else to bring it back, but never did get my internet back until after closing uTorrent and cycling modem/router. 

@ Dar - This has been happening to you for a year or more??  Wow.  I'm on my second day of this and already shopping for a new ISP.  It doesn't look like I have many options so far, but there are a few.

@ PISSOFF - I'm not having any problems getting to those sites on IE8, yet...
Comment by Edward Melville on Jul. 10, 2010 @ 11:07 am
I'm having the same issue using OnLive. It's almost guaranteed to go out when I access high definition streaming on a 20 mbps connection. I'm paying comcast $120 a month for this. 
Comment by Nick Rodriguez on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 12:08 am
I'm glad I was guided towards here. Obviously same problem here as everyone else and was wondering if there is any other solutions available besides changing my torrent program (using BitComet), changing my ISP, or trying what reserve did a few posts up (haven't tried it yet but sounds like the best alternative so far). Previously I was using AT&T and it worked seamlessly but now that I moved, had to switch to Comcast and this crap happens...Comcast now places 2nd on my hate list with Charter at the top
Comment by MikeyMike on Jul. 26, 2010 @ 10:22 pm
I'm not a comcast customer, but I had a motorola cable modem for 7 years.  No issue.  Where there was, it was an actual network problem at the ISP.  They replaced my modem with a new one last month, and now I have the same issue when starting torrent downloads.  If I'm not downloading anything, the connection is solid.

Now the question is, how do I hack my cable modem???
Comment by Spencer on Jul. 27, 2010 @ 10:38 pm
Comcast does the same thing to me.  I've tried to randomize my port and force encrypt my outgoing connections, to no avail.  It may be time to search for a new ISP. 
Comment by Ryan on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 06:50 pm
I thought I was the only one this was happening to. But this makes me trust Comcast even less. I had a feeling they watched things like this, and those feelings are now confirmed: Comcast lies in its policies and they lie to customers about privacy. "We respect everyone's privacy..." bullcrap! I don't like Comcast at all (in fact I loathe them), but my since I'm not paying the bill, I get no say in how things work in my house.

I had to force myself  from not torrenting files by literally blocking the websites. But this is completely unacceptable. I know there are laws about file "stealing" (which this isn't, it's file "sharing"), but I'm also pretty darn sure that there are laws against lying in a legally-binding contract. Any thoughts on this?
Comment by CLUELESS on Oct. 17, 2010 @ 03:42 pm



Comment by Ian on Nov. 07, 2010 @ 08:39 am
As stated MULTIPLE times, the problem isn't Comcast. Its the modem and/or your router and its ability to handle 200+ connections. The newer consumer routers are actually SLOWER and LESS featured than the older ones unless you buy a specific 'high performance' router. Read reviews of recent routers and they will ALL talk about the routers ability to handle a lot of connections from the WAN side of things. I'm guessing that the newer modems are able to handle more connections than the older ones you guys have, so its overloading the router. Try plugging directly into the modem and retest to see what happens.
Comment by anonymous on Mar. 16, 2012 @ 08:35 am
find another company
Comment by anonymous on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 11:31 am


Comcast takes carefully limited broadband network management measures to ensure a high-quality Internet experience for all Comcast High-Speed Internet customers.  These measures currently include the very limited management of peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols in the upstream direction to address congestion issues (P2P downloads are not subject to Comcast’s current network management). The overwhelming majority of the estimated 9 billion TCP P2P flows that cross Comcast’s network in a typical day are unaffected by Comcast’s network management.  About 6 to 7% of Comcast’s High-Speed Internet subscribers use P2P on a weekly basis. 


My guess, is that it only comes in to play with P2P because that is the only consistent upload that is causing serious congestion.....

The same thing happened to me, I'm testing it out now that I have limited the upload through transmission.