In the race to keep one step ahead of the eye in the sky, the main concern among the BitTorrent sharing community is summed up in one word: “anonymity.” Given that almost 70% of Internet users feel that file sharing is completely acceptable, it’s not so much a race from the cyber police as a leisurely swim with millions of other complacent fish hiding in the crowd – at least for now.
You’ve probably heard a lot of noise about VPNs over the past couple of years, but this isn’t the only approach to downloading shared material that ensures you’re virtually 100% beyond the grip of cyber-surveilance agencies. In fact, a multi-leveled approach works best.
1. Use a VPN
First of all, a virtual private network will keep you from being relentlessly throttled by your Internet provider. The main job of a VPN, though, is to cloak your ISP address with one of its own addresses. Secondly, in order of importance, the data you’re downloading will be encrypted, so no one will ever trace any copyrighted material back to you.
Using a paid VPN has some additional benefits. It’s probably the best way to avoid being hacked or having your identity stolen. Be sure to use a trusted service, though. The highest-quality services are able to transfer encrypted information at incredible 246-bit speeds! You may not need that though.
The central question you should ask either way is how well they’re able to hide your information from third parties. That usually means making sure they don’t keep logs of your downloading history.
2. Get onto a Proxy Server
These perform quite a different role in that they only work on the HTTP level. Within this category there are several setup methods, depending on your browser. The benefit of a proxy is mostly in the lower cost or them being completely free. Even though you’re in the US, by all purposes you’ll appear to be surfing the ‘Net from Japan or Sweden to any third parties. This is especially useful in your initial foray into visiting a Torrent site.
After that a VPN or one of the other options we’ll mention work best. But the method that Torrent aficionados trust most isn’t a VPN or a proxy server.
3. The Aficionados Use Seedbox Services
Seasoned Torrent users are well aware of the benefits of seedbox. The idea is to completely de-link the downloading process from your ISP altogether. Once in place, you’re virtually 100% safe from hacking, data snooping and anyone who wants to solicit online bribes because of your downloaded copyrighted stuff.
Data transfer speeds are geared toward high-volume users as well, and not all of them are expensive. (They start around $5 per month for lower-speed offerings.)
4. For Maximum Convenience, Take on a DNS
Just like the anonymizers above, a DNS keeps data intruders at bay. An open DNS manager will make this masking process particularly convenient by choosing from a massive list of IP addresses so that you don’t have to pick from a written list each time you download a Torrent.
The method of using an open DNS is still open to intruders, though, especially in recent times. But if you aren’t interested in a free and convenient option that takes only minutes to set up and is better than nothing, this is a good security screener for the interim.
5. Try ANOMOS
A multi-leveled client option, ANOMOS, is free and gives users the liberty of hiding their torrent information as well as their IP address. You can also make use of anonymous BitTorrents as you use ANOMOS. The advantage is that it’s quick and easy to set up. The downside is that your downloading speed is drastically reduced. However, it’s the Internet’s equivalent of Fort Knox for free.
The need for anonymity is suddenly increasing across the internet. One of the luminaries in the Torrent community is without a doubt Peter Sunde, founder and spokesperson of Pirate Bay. At the time of writing, Sunde has just launched an anonymous startup called Njalla which provides anonymous domain registration. This comes only days after he stated that the Internet was “irreparably broken.” So despite Pirate Bay being banned for three years, he hasn’t given up the good fight just yet. And if he hasn’t, neither should you.