BitTorrent and Anonymous VPN: How to stay safe when downloadingjames seibel
BitTorrent is one of the most popular ways to share files over the internet. Unfortunately, downloading with torrent files exposes your IP address, making it simple for anyone to know exactly who you are and what you are downloading. By using VPN software you can hide your true IP address, preventing the government and organizations from knowing your identity. Read on to learn why BitTorrent is unsafe and how VPN technology can make you anonymous while downloading torrents.
Why BitTorrent is Not Anonymous
Although BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer protocol, it still has to solve a fundamental problem: How do you find peers to share with? Peers can start and stop downloading the torrent file at any time.
The solution is called a “tracker”. Hard coded into every torrent is one or more trackers, which are servers that act as a switchboard to match torrenters with each other. When you start downloading a torrent, you tell the tracker that you are now looking for other peers. The tracker makes note of your IP address, and sends you a list of other people (or rather, their IP addresses) with whom you can download from. When other users start downloading the torrent, the list they receive from the tracker now has your IP address as well.
When downloading a torrent, you can see the IP address of every user you are connected to. As the IP address provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) uniquely identifies you, any individual or organization now knows that you are downloading a specific torrent at a specific time. This is why you are not anonymous on BitTorrent.
Why Anonymous VPN Provides BitTorrent Safety & Anonymity
When connected to an Anonymous VPN, your true IP address is hidden. All of your internet traffic is first routed through a special VPN server that doesn’t keep any traffic logs and mixes many different users together. This makes it impossible to identify any single individual. Learn more about VPN
When connected to an anonymous VPN using BitTorrent, all interactions with the tracker server and other peers are first routed through the VPN server. The tracker thinks your IP address is the VPN, and so does every other peer. No one sees your true IP address and they have no way of uniquely identifying you.
The problem is that you need to make sure that whenever you are torrenting, your VPN is enabled. If you forget for even a moment to enable your VPN, you can be identified by your true IP address.
VPN Routers and BitTorrent
One way to make sure your VPN is always enabled is to use a VPN router. This has the VPN permanently enabled directly inside the router hardware, ensuring that anyone connected to the router is 100% protected and anonymous. Being protected is as simple as connecting to WiFi. Learn more about VPN Routers
If you are downloading using BitTorrent, it is very risky to do so without an anonymous VPN running. Your IP address is always accessible and it’s very easy for governments and organizations to track you. Using a VPN while running BitTorrent ensures that your true IP address is hidden, making you safe while downloading.