Edit 13/01/2014 – This is a popular article and i thought i would give it a quick refresh on what is the best method to truely conceal yourself in 2014. Peerblock may not even be used these days and there is probably better alernatives.
The secret is out you need a VPN, over the last 12 months it is apparent that VPN providers are popping up all over the place. A VPN in a nutshell allows you to connect anonymously to a server then then masks your real IP Address and issues you a new IP Address from a specific country. This is often the best method to circumvent being able to watch Netflix, Hulu from America in Australia.
The true power of a VPN though is the fact that a true anonymous VPN does not log IP Addresses, this means that you can mask your IP Address and browse the internet, download torrents anonymously and because your IP Address is not being logged it means that even if authorities approached the VPN provider to hand over your real IP Address due to downloading of say an illegal copy of a movie, they have no log files and hence there is no trace. This is baffling authorities and im sure it wont be long until VPN’s are outlawed in the near future… But for now its the only true way to stay anonymous on the internet. Search in Google ‘no ip logging vpn providers’ you journey starts here. Goodluck, now onto the original article.
NOTE: Before i go on into this article, i want everyone to understand that im not telling you its ok to download copyrighted material, its obviously against the law. I however do want to people who do decide to use the peer 2 peer network technology to be safe and protected by learning how to protect yourself when downloading torrents.
Introduction – So what is Peerblock anyway ?
I stumbled across this little freeware program called Peerblock that supposedly can protect you from anti-p2p companies spying on your whilst you download with torrents. It does this by matching an IP or a range of IP’s from a block list to incoming connections on your computer.
Torrent ? what is a Torrent ?
A torrent is a small file that you download and the file contains information on who has the file(s) you want to download eg, movies, images, pdfs, music, documents etc..etc…. when used together with a torrent program eg. uTorrent you load up the torrent file and shortly you will begin to see peers that also have the file(s) your looking for some of which are partly completed and some of which are 100% completed. You will be able to download parts of the file(s) your looking for from the various users who are hosting the file(s). Once your download is 100% complete you are then considered a seeder (this means you now host a 100% complete copy of the file and you can share it with others).
Are there legitimate uses for torrents ?
Absolutely. This technology has been around for a while and is probably one of the most common ways to download files freely and quickly. Generally the more seeders hosting the files the quicker the downloading is. Many record companies, music makers, movie producers etc.. use this technology to share their media to the world, the beauty of torrents is that once 1 other person has the complete download they can easily share it with others. This is called viral sharing as one file can quickly spread to thousands in days. This save time, money on marketing for the person who wants to get their brand / production out to the world.
Of course there are illegitimate uses for torrents like anything there is the good and the bad, the bad being that you can now easily share copyrighted material also, such as albums, movies etc.
How to protect yourself when downloading torrents
Peerblock is a free program that you install for windows that sits quietly in the background and monitors all network connections and looks for connections to a list of known bad or banned ip addresses. If you attempt to connect to a bad ip address this program will block the connection silently. It is well known that the FBI, RIAA, MPAA, Police etc… are now well aware of p2p networks and are on the lookout to catch individuals who download material on the torrent network. Thousands have been given warning letters around the world, many have been prosecuted as well. I personally know someone who had a letter sent to them from their ISP unauthorised downloading. Peerblock will assist in helping you stay clear from these organisations and remain safe online.
Peerblock in your business
Its a known fact that employees download material from the internet on a daily and regular basis, yes that means your business too. In many cases they use the torrent network to download files, in most cases it cant be helped and someone may figure out a way to get past any protection you have to not allow downloading from torrents anyway, in this case its best to use Peerblock as a preventative measure so you dont get in trouble the last thing you want is an employee to be downloading music files then you get smacked with a warning letter from authorities.
This is not a full proof method on how to protect yourself when downloading torrents however it is one countermeasure that i have found works with little fuss.
For more information on who is watching you when you connect to a p2p network click hereDownload Peerblock Here
NOTE: When testing this program i found that by default the program also blocks HTTP requests meaning that you will find some websites may not load properly, its because they are being blocked. I would recommend you ALLOW HTTP requests in the settings to resolve this.
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