Is Your VPN / Proxy Working? Check Your Torrent IP-Address

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Millions of BitTorrent downloaders use proxies or VPN services to protect their privacy. These tools offer anonymity by replacing one's residential IP-address with that of the privacy service. But do they really work? Luckily, there's now an open source tool people can use to test their setup.

boxedEvery day dozens of millions of people share files using BitTorrent, willingly exposing their IP-addresses to the rest of the world.

For those who value their privacy this is a problem, so many sign up with a VPN provider or torrent proxy service. This is fine, but some people then forget to check whether their setup is actually working.

While it’s easy enough to test your web IP-address through one of the many IP-checking services, checking the IP-address that’s broadcasted via your torrent client is more complex.

There are a few services that offer a “torrent IP check” tool, but for the truly paranoid there’s now an Open Source solution as well.

The developer, who goes by the nickname “cbdev”, found most of the existing tools to be somewhat “fishy,” so he coded one for himself and those who want to run their own torrent IP checkers.

“I’d rather have something I can control entirely,” cbdev tells TF.

“So, I wrote a tool people can install on their own servers, with the added bonus of it using magnet links, so ‘Tracking torrent’ files are required,” he adds.

The ipMagnet tool allows BitTorrent users to download a magnet link which they can then load into their BitTorrent client. When the magnet link connects to the tracker, the user’s IP-address will be displayed on the site, alongside a time-stamp and the torrent client version.

ip-magnet

Alternatively, users can check out the tracker tab in their torrent clients, where the IP-address will be displayed as well.

For users who are connected to a VPN, the IP-address should be the same as the one they see in their web browser, and different from the IP-address that’s displayed when the VPN is disconnected.

Proxy users, on the other hand, should see a different IP-address than their browser displays, since torrent proxies only work through the torrent client.

torrent-ip

People are free to use the ipMagnet tool demo here, but are encouraged to run a copy on their own server. The whole project is less than 500 lines of code, so those with basic knowledge of PHP, JavaScript and HTML can verify that it’s not doing anything nefarious.

If you’re setting up a copy of your own, feel free to promote it in the comments below. Those who want more tips can read up on how to make a VPN more secure, and which VPN providers and torrent proxies really take anonymity seriously.

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