How to effectively anonymize torrent traffic with a proxy
One of the top-asked questions among average internet users is how to torrent safely.
The most obvious reason for this is a possible connection throttling by the ISP, spying on what netizens are downloading and which sites are visiting. If you use torrent technology, you need to undertake precautions to hide your identity and mask your internet activity.
The modern cybersecurity world offers a few different options designed to hide torrent activity. Proxy is one of the most convenient technologies that are easy to set up and use certainly deserving your attention.
How a torrent proxy works
Downloading or seeding a torrent file, you’re connecting to a bunch of other users, called a swarm. Your actual IP address is visible to all of those people that are able to use it in order to connect with you and your device.
Beyond all doubts, this method is very handy if you want to share files with others, but at the same time, it attracts the attention of malicious strangers.
Piracy monitoring groups also join torrent swarms targeting to discover and store IP addresses of other users, so they can notify your ISP of your downloading/uploading activities.
When using a proxy, all the torrent traffic is routed through another server, so that the torrent swarm shows an IP address of the location utilized for routing. As the result, groups spying on you can’t contact your ISP, which in turn has no true reason for accusing you of unlawful internet activity.
Theoretically, the group is able to request an anonymizing service to provide all the necessary data about your browsing activity. Nevertheless, if you use a truly reliable anonymizer that doesn’t keep logs, so there is nothing to worry about your identity revealing.
In such a manner, all the surveillance agents can see the proxy service sharing a torrent file, and your ISP knows you connecting to the proxy server. Besides, if you encrypt your torrent traffic, your internet provider won’t even recognize that you are surfing P2P file sharing network.
What are the most notable downsides of proxies?
As practice shows, nothing is perfect in this world.
The same concerns web proxy technology that has been designed for facilitating access to content on the Internet, providing strong anonymity level and bypassing IP address blocking.
The following are the most notable downsides of proxies:
- The need to pay for anonymity, which means that truly reliable and trustworthy anonymizing services are not offered free of charge and require one-time or monthly payments.
- You’ll receive slower download speeds. This is because forwarding your connection through another server slows you down in some extent, that directly depends on what torrent file you’re downloading and many other factors.
- Not every torrent client is compatible with proxies. Being one of the most popular torrent clients, uTorrent for Windows OSes supports proxies, while Mac and Linux do not operate with this technology.
- Nothing can guarantee you 100% anonymity. Having selected proxy for anonymous torrenting, you need to know that proxy may bring you increased privacy level, but nothing is foolproof unless you avoid torrent downloading entirely.
Other ways to keep your torrent traffic anonymous
A Virtual Private Network (or VPN) reroutes all your internet traffic instead of hiding just your torrent activity.
On the one hand, this up-to-date technology gives privacy and anonymity all over the global network.
However, VPN services can be inconvenient navigating you to various web pages for the chosen VPN server’s location or causing problems with streaming services.
Here is a quick overview of the main differences between VPNs and proxy services for torrenting:
|Virtual Private Network (VPN)||Proxy services|
|Higher encryption level||Lower level of encryption|
|Encrypting and protecting the entire internet connection||Anonymizing specific ports and routed traffic|
|More expensive||Anonymizing specific ports and routed traffic|
|Slightly slower||Slightly faster|
What is more, if you have a NAS, you are able to set up your VPN on it to transfer only the NAS traffic, which is considered as an ideal option for downloading anonymously.
If you decide which service should be using, here is the list of the top 3 VPNs for torrenting:
Being a security concerned user, you should pay attention to anonymous internet surfing. Torrent proxy is a great technology which will help you to mask traffic while downloading or uploading digital content over P2P file sharing networks.
Nevertheless, security experts suggest using paid VPN services instead of free proxies.Having subscribed for a paid VPN, your connection will be protected against undesirable government surveillance and ISP monitoring.