So you want to torrent and perform your peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading. But a niggling DMCA notice served up with a hefty fine are the last things you wish for.
Nobody wants to end up in prison, so if anonymity is a concern to you while you are downloading/uploading on your dedicated torrenting site, here is how using a VPN may be useful to you users who are searching how to torrent anonymously using a VPN.
(Note: BolehVPN does not condone to piracy, nor do we make any definite guarantees that you would not get into trouble after following this advice, but we do support anonymity, so if you plan to stay secure, the best way is to stay informed on tips on how to do so).
The two main ways a VPN protects a downloader is by:
- Hiding your real IP address (ie. your true online identity)
- Encrypting your traffic to avoid surveillance
HIDE YOUR REAL IP ADDRESS
The nature of P2P torrenting is one whereby anyone who tries to download a file will involuntarily be given a list of everyone else who is doing the same. Your IP address (aka. your true online identity) is surprisingly easy to trace and since P2P torrenting leaves your IP address exposed to the world, many users who feel uncomfortable with this opt to use a VPN.
A VPN helps to hide one’s true IP address, so that anyone who may be tracking a file will only see the IP of your VPN provider, not your real IP address.
A VPN does this by re-routing all your internet traffic through one of its server locations, which changes your real IP address. This adds a layer of anonymity and prevents anyone from easily tracking you.
In general, when using a service such as BitTorrent, Kickass or PirateBay who get their data from all sorts of unknown sources, security should matter to you. Torrenting without a VPN is pretty much asking for trouble.
ENCRYPT YOUR TRAFFIC
When using a VPN for torrenting, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) would not be able to see what you are downloading because all the traffic that is being routed from your computer to the VPN server is encrypted.
Any ISP/organisation/company who is monitoring for illegal downloads or activity (see also copyright trolls) will only be able to see this encrypted data. Companies are paid to monitor specific torrents by the copyright owners, which they do so by downloading it themselves, checking the swarm, and keeping a record of every IP address they see.
However, when a user is using a VPN for torrenting, the only thing the ISP/trolls are able to see is the IP from your VPN. They are unable to identify the source and the content of your download. And because all your internet traffic is encrypted, they are not even able to tell where your traffic is going.
(Pretty sure there was a saying that went by, “Better to be safe than blocked by your ISP and served DMCA notices”.)
PICK A P2P/TORRENT VPN FOR YOUR FILE-SHARING
Bear in mind, not all VPNs are torrent friendly. Some VPN providers choose not to host any P2P/torrent traffic after some servers being suspended by server hosting providers, and will take no responsibility to protect you from legal consequences.
Make sure to use a VPN provider which explicitly allows P2P sharing just like BolehVPN to keep your torrenting private so nobody can see. Additionally, it is so important for a VPN provider to have a no logs policy on your usage or IP address associating your real world identity with your torrenting activities which could be handed over to authorities.
VPN KILL SWITCH
Sometimes, you may be away from your computer while you leave something on download. However, without your knowledge, your VPN connection may suddenly drop in the middle of a download, which leaves your actual IP address exposed while you are torrenting instead of your VPN’s.
This is why a VPN service with an Internet kill switch is so important for P2P/torrent downloaders to shut off all your Internet traffic in the event that your VPN fails.
If you are downloading a torrent and your VPN fails without a kill switch, the download will revert back through your ISP and they will be able to see that you are torrenting. Thus, any user who wishes to stay anonymous while torrenting on your VPN should only consider VPNs with this kill switch feature.
ARE YOU LEAKING?
To test IP address checks for leaks of your real IP address, we can recommend using Doileak, a free service which also performs specific torrent checks by reporting back the IP address your torrent client is using to connect to other peers after you have loaded a test torrent.