To download the blockchain with maximal speed you want to be connected to nodes with high bandwidth.

On default bitcoin will search and connect to random nodes. One can add nodes to bitcoin conf to tell bitcoin to connect to specific nodes.

To add a node to the bitcoin client to connect to, add the following to the bitcoin.conf file in: Windows:/appdata/roaming/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

Linux: \$USER/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

addnode=127.0.0.1


To find high bandwidth nodes go to:

blockchain.info/hub-nodes

for example and browse the hub nodes section. It is not required to add the node port, bitcoind will find the correct port.

EDIT: since the question / answer gained such an attention i decided to make this a community wiki :)

• I was confused that bitcoin.conf wasn't there, wondering if something had changed. But it turns out you can just create it (coming from: en.bitcoin.it/wiki/…). – Adam Millerchip Dec 1 '13 at 18:30
• When I go to http://blockchain.info/hub-nodes there are no nodes listed. The page has headers for information such as IP, Relay Count, etc but no actual data. In the sites footer there is a link to https://blockchain.info/connected-nodes is this the same thing? – User Jan 12 '16 at 13:06
• Does this answer apply anymore to bitcoin core version 0.11.2? Under Windows 10 there is no Bitcoin folder anywhere under AppData. – User Jan 12 '16 at 13:13
• For fun & learning only ... another little hack - github.com/alphaaurigae/log-est-connections - with the script you can log ips on a specific port to a file. Theoretically one could use it to compile a list of add nodes / seed nodes . However, i feel this might be against some crypto basics not centralizing the connections. Use with care. Additionally, heres a sed script sample to modify the crypto source for more connections - however . your node will be marked "dirty" of course but makes thousands of connections. – Aurigae Dec 13 '17 at 0:01

I think it is also important to note that the upcoming Bitcoin 0.10 release includes headers first download, and parallel full block download. That significantly decreases the sync time if you have a reasonable fast internet connection. It is currently at rc1 status, but seems reasonably stable, so if sync time is a serious concern you may want to check it out.

here is a free download website. you need a torrent client but they have a very stable and fast download because of multiple servers