Despite how useful Bittorrent can be for file sharing purposes, there are inherent risks you take while using the protocol. This guide will show you how to stay anonymous on bittorrent.
- You can have your internet throttled and spied on.
- Privacy groups monitor torrent swarms to report IP's to internet service providers which can result in fines.
- Other users can publicly see your IP address, which can be used to launch DDOS attacks or SSH attacks.
How can people see your IP address?
It’s quite simple. Popular torrent applications like uTorrent have ways to let you see who is in the “swarm” of users/peers who are also sharing/downloading (seeding/leeching) content. Each user in the swarm has their IP address listed. Unless you’re behind an encryption protocol like a proxy or VPN, you can’t hide this information.
A proxy funnels traffic through another server so your IP address in your Torrent application will appear different. A VPN is a more powerful solution because it funnels ALL of your internet traffic through a virtual tunnel to provide encryption.
Open up your torrent application and navigate to the preferences. Find a connection tab, and chose the proxy type as SOCKS5.
We recommend using highly regarded TorGuard services, as they have an insane amount of servers to guarantee high speeds, plenty of well-priced packages, and multiple apps for every platform.
For the proxy field type: proxy.torguard.org. Change the port to 1090 or 1085 or 1080 (if 1080 doesn’t work, try using 1090 or 1085, as some ISPS like Comcast block 1080.) Then, click “Authentication” checkbox. Lastly, enter in your Torguard username/e-mail and password.
Make sure to check the following as well:
Use proxy for hostname lookups.
Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections.
Check everything under “proxy privacy.”
When finished, click apply, then restart--and you’re done!
Navigate to the Torguard download page and download the appropriate client for your operating system (under Torguard VPN Lite). Run the installation package, and when finished, start the program and pick the closest server nearby your location. From here, enter your username/email and password to login.
If you want to check what your IP address looks like to other users, simply try out Torguard’s free CheckMyTorrentIP tool. The tool is a torrent tracker that lets you download a private torrent file that shows your VPN protected IP address. It stays in your queue because there are no seeders; it won’t download, and it’ll stay active. It’s the perfect tool to remain worry-free!