Torrenting is a bit of a legal grey area. It technically isn’t illegal in some places, as it isn’t used purely for the illegal downloading of copyrighted material. However, to prevent the distribution of potentially copyrighted material it is blocked or heavily restricted by many ISPs, or Internet Service Providers. Due to the large nature of these files, it can be pretty obvious to ISPs when you are extracting them.
So how can you get past this? Well, there are quite a few options, and we’ll get into them.
1. Use a VPN
One of the easiest and most popular methods of hiding your torrenting is with the use of a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. A VPN uses military-grade encryption techniques to hide your online activity while using the internet. It works by diverting your internet traffic to an encrypted virtual tunnel, making your IP address and location unidentifiable to people who might be trying to access it. Since you are the only person who can access your private tunnel hackers attempting to access your information cannot.
Many VPN providers say that with their service you have the ability to anonymously torrent. The typical torrenting giveaway for your ISP is the large-size files you are downloading. They throttle your network making it impossible to download. But with a VPN and Spectrum’s bandwidth throttling they can’t track it back to a torrent site and it’ll just look like a large file being transmitted across the internet. This means they can’t stop your download.
2. Consider Using a Seedbox
Using a Seedbox is a great way to anonymously download torrents. It also comes with the excellent added benefit of using almost zero bandwidth and works at high speeds. A Seedbox typically resides on a VPS, Virtual Private Server, but can also operate from a physical one. The way it works is by downloading content to your device using encryption which ensures that your internet traffic is shielded from your ISP. The ISP will only detect the use of a Seedbox and not the torrent. Seedboxes aren’t expensive.
3. Switch to a Proxy Server
Using a proxy server could be an excellent option for hiding your online activities from your ISP. These work by funneling your internet traffic into a separate funnel, so it is impossible to see what you did online. Some are even made specifically to separate your torrenting from your usual traffic.
If your ISP is made aware of a specific site or torrent that contains illegal or copyrighted material and you download that file, they have no way of identifying your IP address and blocking it. All they will see is the proxy server, which cannot be linked back to you. Some VPNs still record your online activity, so if that is a concern of yours, definitely look into using a proxy to make sure there is no way your torrenting can be traced back to you.
4. Cloud Torrent Downloaders
Usenet is a very private way to share files online and has actually been around since the beginning of the internet. It completely masks your activity from your ISP. It is a bit more pricy, but the servers offer a really high download speed, making them incredibly convenient.
6. Use TOR
TOR, or The Onion Router, is the last one on our list for today and is another great way to download torrents anonymously. While it is incredibly popular for people who want to access parts of the web in private, it does have a few drawbacks you need to consider. It isn’t the most user-friendly and with only 7000 servers that relay your traffic as well as millions of others your connection can become unstable and really slow. It also isn’t up 24/7. This is because it is run by volunteers.
Regardless of whether you are downloading something legal, or illegal from a torrenting site, your ISP might try to block your online activity or seriously limit your access. With the methods we have mentioned above you can avoid any frustration associated with it and enjoy keeping your torrenting safely hidden from your ISP.