With an increasing number of BitTorrent users seeking solutions to hide their identities from the outside world, privacy services have seen a spike in customers recently. Below we’ve listed some of the most-used services that allow BitTorrent users to hide their IP-addresses from the public.
The services discussed in this post range from totally free to costing several dollars a month. The general rule is that free services are generally slower or have other restrictions, while paid ones can get you the same speeds as your regular connection would.
Update: This article is outdated, a 2017 review of VPN providers is available here.
Hundreds and thousands of BitTorrent users have already discovered that a VPN is a good way to ensure privacy while using BitTorrent. For a few dollars a month VPNs route all your traffic through their servers, hiding your IP address from the public. Some VPNs also offer a free plan, but these are significantly slower and not really suited for more demanding BitTorrent users.
Unlike the other services listed in this article, VPNs are not limited to just BitTorrent traffic, they will also conceal the source of all the other traffic on your connection too. BTGuard, Torguard, SlickVPN and PrivateInternetAccess are popular among BitTorrent users, but a Google search should find dozens more. It is recommended to ask beforehand if BitTorrent traffic is permitted on the service of your choice.
Torrentprivacy is another proxy service for BitTorrent users, very similar to that of BTGuard. It offers a modified uTorrent client that has all the necessary settings pre-configured. The downside to this approach is that it is limited to users on Windows platforms. TorrentPrivacy is operated by the TorrentReactor.net team and has been in business for more than two years.
“Anomos is a pseudonymous, encrypted multi-peer-to-peer file distribution protocol. It is based on the peer/tracker concept of BitTorrent in combination with an onion routing anonymization layer, with the added benefit of end-to-end encryption,” is how the Anomos team describes its project.
Anomos is one of the few free multi-platform solutions for BitTorrent users to hide their IP-addresses. The downside is that it’s not fully compatible with regular torrent files as Anomos uses its own atorrent format. Another drawback is that the download speeds are generally lower than regular BitTorrent transfers.
On the uTorrent Idea Bank, more than 1,600 people have asked for the Anomos protocol to be built in to a future uTorrent build, making it the second most-popular suggestion overall.
A seedbox is BitTorrent jargon for a dedicated high-speed server, used exclusively for torrent transfers. With a seedbox users generally get very high download speeds while their IP-addresses are not shared with the public. Once a download is finished users can download the files to their PC through a fast http connection.
And then there’s Usenet.
Feel free to drop us a comment if you think we left something out, or if you have experiences or recommendations you want to share.