The BitTorrent network is still the go-to place for many people across the globe. Given its gigantic size, you can find almost anything that you’re looking for. But you might already know that your activity isn’t hidden when you’re downloading torrents on your device. That’s why you might be looking for ways to download torrents anonymously.
If you want to know more about BitTorrent, you can read our detailed guide on how torrent works and the tech that powers it.
There’s no denying the fact that torrent downloads aren’t safe like before. Even if you’re downloading legal content like open-source Linux operating systems, government agencies are continuously watching you in some countries. Many offices and schools also block torrent sites and torrenting traffic. This becomes even more frustrating when you’re trying to grab some legal stuff with the help of this P2P file-sharing medium.
In this article, we are going to explain how to torrent safely and anonymize your torrent downloads. This way, you won’t be concerned about any middle man or your ISP keeping an eye on you as your actual IP address will be hidden.
How To Download Torrents Anonymously?
The best way to download torrents anonymously is to use a VPN. There are several advantages to using a VPN other than being anonymous. You can use it to access web services and websites that are not available in your region. They can also help you remotely access company resources, bypass censorship, etc.
1. Using VPN to download Torrents Anonymously
One easy way to keep yourself invisible is to download torrents with a VPN. A Virtual Private Network service routes the traffic through its servers by creating an encrypted virtual tunnel. Thus, the IP address any middle man would see will be of the VPN server and not your actual IP address.
Just in case you don’t know how a Virtual Private Network (VPNs) works, you can read our detailed article on the same.
When you use a VPN, the encryption process occurs before your data is transmitted to your ISP. But why isn’t VPN so popular? Why aren’t VPN services being used by everyone around us? The actual reason could be people don’t have much idea about the pros and cons of VPN services. There are some more myths about VPN services that must be busted.
2. Use proxies for anonymous torrenting
There are some good proxy services, too, like Smartproxy, BTGuard, or HideMyAss, which allow you to hide your IP address from the public. It works with all major BitTorrent clients. Please note that if you’re going ahead with proxy software, you won’t get the benefit of encryption. Also, a proxy anonymizes the traffic of a single application. You can read about the differences in detail in another article.
We have also put together a torrents proxy list so give it a look. After setting up your VPN or proxy, you can visit sites like DNSLeak to test if your DNS is leaking. By visiting sites like iPleak.net, you can further confirm your privacy.
A seedbox is a dedicated high-speed torrent downloading server that is used exclusively for torrent transfers. Its advantage is having a high download speed through a fast HTTP connection while hiding your IP address. They can effectively hide your IP addresses, but that doesn’t mean they’re always anonymous.
4. Cloud Torrent Downloaders
Usenet is one of the most private ways to share files since the early days of the internet. However, its only limitation is that high-speed Usenet servers are not free and have to be accessed through a paid subscription. The quick solution would be to use a service that has a free trial, such as Easynews.
Best VPNs for Anonymous Torrenting
We have curated some of the best VPN services that you can use to download torrents anonymously. Private Internet Access, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, NordVPN, and Surfshark are some of the good VPN services that you can try out. There are other free-to-use options, too, if you would like.
Using a VPN for torrenting will also let you download torrents on your school or organization’s network. They usually block BitTorrent traffic on their network, which is a common sight nowadays.
Also Read: Reasons Why You Should Use A VPN Service
Should you use Tor browser for anonymous torrenting?
The general answer is No. This method is regularly shared online for secure torrenting and hiding your IP is using the Tor web browser. But very often, people try to configure their BitTorrent applications like uTorrent or Vuze to proxy their traffic via Tor and end up inviting trouble. Many clients ignore your manual proxy settings as they use UDP for talking to the servers, but Tor socks proxy only supports TCP.
There are other ways as well, using which a peer might learn your real IP address. Moreover, if your BitTorrent communication isn’t encrypted, the Tor exit relay can observe your traffic as well. Even Tor Project advises against using Tor for BitTorrenting due to these security concerns.
Apart from that another reason to not use Tor for torrenting is that it won’t give you good download speeds given how the tor network works.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my VPN or torrent proxy is hiding my IP-address?
When using a VPN or a proxy you are assigned a torrent IP which you can check to see if your IP address is hidden or not. To confirm your privacy, you can check your torrent IP by going to sites like iPleak.net, DNSLeak, or ipMagnet.
Can I get caught Torrenting without VPN?
Your activity can be detected by copyright holders when you are using a torrent without a VPN. They do so by participating in the torrent and seeing who else is also there. These copyright holders can then contact your ISP, who in turn send you a warning.
Can ISP block Torrenting?
Yes, most Internet service providers can block you from torrenting. They do this to protect themselves from DMCA notices, copyright lawyers and respect laws against torrenting. That is why it is highly recommended to use a VPN.
Can my ISP block my VPN?
Yes, your Internet service provider can block access to a VPN by blocking IP addresses associated with it or by disabling communication ports. You can solve this by simply switching to a different server, port, or protocol.