Torrenting somewhat always have dark perception, because of the illegal uses of BitTorrent such as downloading copyrighted material including movies, music, software and many other. This guide will help you to encrypt BitTorrent Traffic.
Such downloads are usually large and put heavy pressure on your (ISPs) internet service provider’s servers. Your ISPs, in turn, throttle your BitTorrent traffic on their networks. By such action, your BitTorrent downloading decreases.
Since torrenting is so popular, more and more ISPs are implementing methods of throttling BitTorrent Traffic (also called shaping traffic).
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If you are not sure if your BitTorrent is being throttled, check out the list of country-wise Bad ISPs.
But how to stop ISPs from throttling your BitTorrent traffic? The solution is Encryption. By encrypting your BitTorrent traffic, you can prevent ISPs from throttling.
What does encryption Do? Encryption makes your data – BitTorrent traffic in question – into unidentifiable form so that it becomes hard for your ISPs to track and identify your BitTorrent traffic. Although, encryption takes your CPU power for encryption, however, there are almost zero percent chances that you’re BitTorrent traffic will be leaked and throttled.
How To Encrypt BitTorrent Traffic
There are various ways for BitTorrent traffic encryption.
- BitTorrent client built-in encryption features
- Peer Block [Peer Guard]
- Virtual Private Network
1. BitTorrent Client Built-In Encryption Features
Most popular BitTorrent clients such as Azureus, BitComet, and uTorrent/BitTorrent have built-in encryption features to encrypt BitTorrent traffic. To enable them, follow these steps.
- Open ‘Azureus’ BitTorrent client.
- Navigate to Tools > click Options > expand Connection > select Transport Encryption.
- Tick on checkbox ‘Require encrypted transport‘ option.
- Select RC4 encryption from the ‘Minimum encryption level.’
- Tick on checkbox ‘Allow non-encrypted outgoing connections if encrypted connection attempt fails.’ It will enable the client to send non-encrypted connections to ensure compatibility. However, it will expose your true IP address for your ISP to identify BitTorrent traffic. Our advice is to leave it unticked and check your seeders, and speeds. If it slows your download speed, then tick this option and check again.
- Click on checkbox ‘Allow non-encrypted incoming connections.’
- That is all for Azureus; to encrypt BitTorrent traffic.
- Navigate to Options > click on Preferences > click on Advanced > select Connection.
- Scroll to ‘Protocol encryption,’ there would be three fields Auto Detect, Always, and Disable. The auto-detect option will allow more connections but less protection against ISP throttle.
- Try auto-detect first, if it doesn’t increase your speed then switch it to ‘Always.’
- That is all for BitComet; to encrypt BitTorrent traffic.
- Navigate to Options > click on Preferences > scroll to select BitTorrent.
- Head to ‘Protocol encryption,’ it has three options ‘Enabled,’ ‘Forced,’ and ‘Disabled.’
The ‘Enabled’ option allows more connections but less protection against ISP throttle.
- Try the ‘forced’ connection first. If it reduces your speed significantly, then switch to ‘enabled’ option.
- Tick on the checkbox ‘Allow incoming legacy connections,’ if you want to allow non-encrypted incoming traffic.
- That is all for uTorrent/BitTorrent; to encrypt BitTorrent traffic.
2. Peer Block
PeerBlock is a handy tool to block selected traffic by blocking specific IPs from connecting to your computer. It can be done with the router but what if you can do it straight from the PC?
Often, anti-P2P companies such as government, copyright holders such as MPAA, agencies, etc. joins the pool of peers sharing the torrent file and save all the IP addresses and later send infringement warning letters to their ISPs, which, in turn, throttle your speed or worst, revoke your internet subscription.
How is this helpful for BitTorrent Traffic? PeerBlock blocks known a range of IP addresses and completely blocks the traffic To-and-From those IP addresses (peers).
From the start of PeerBlock Startup Wizard, if you select options likes P2P, Ads, and Spyware from the list, PeerBlock will automatically download the known IP ranges of spyware and blocks IP addresses.
You can also add your particular IP range. For instance, if you want to block all IPs traffic from China. You can click on ‘create list,’ give description name and the file destination.
In the next screen, you will be asked to enter the list of IP addresses to block. If you just want to block the IP range from entire China, go to IPAddressLocation.org and use IP ranges tool to get all the assigned IP addresses of that country.
Copy all those IP fields into a text file and save it as .p2p extension to make it readable by PeerBlock. Click on ‘Add‘ to select the file.
When you are finished customizing lists, go to the main screen where you’ll be shown the activity of IP addresses and monitor everything. You’ll see the IPs blocked in that window. You can also click on the ‘view history‘ button where you can see the activities of several points in time.
The software does show not only the blocked IP addresses but also the allowed IP addresses that make it an excellent monitoring tool.
PeerBlock is perfect if you want to block particular set of IP addresses, and leave the rest to your antivirus and anti-malware software.
Misconception about PeerBlock
- PeerBlock does not hide your IP address on a BitTorrent traffic.
- It does not block all the IP addresses, rather a set of specific IP addresses. It is, therefore, outdated and requires up-to-date block lists.
3. Virtual Private Network
VPN – Virtual Private Network – is an excellent method to protect your privacy and security online. It encrypts BitTorrent traffic and also hides your real IP address from the pool of peers sharing the file, which makes it a perfect tool to prevent copyright owners and ISPs to identify your BitTorrent traffic and throttle your internet speed.
However, be wary of free VPN available on the web. These free VPN either log your activities or leak your IP addresses or both, that makes your BitTorrent traffic susceptible to the speed throttle from your ISPs and IP Tracking from copyright owners.
A paid VPN service has their dedicated VPN servers with DNS service to eliminate such risks and offer premium services.
If you are using built-in BitTorrent client encryption, then it is preferable to use PeerBlock. However, it might still pose a risk of exposing your BitTorrent traffic.
VPN is the best method to encrypt BitTorrent traffic and prevent ISPs from throttling your BitTorrent traffic.