Torrenting has become such a common activity, and we have even forgotten to question if it is legal or not! As torrenting always associates with legal issues, torrenters usually pay for a VPN service when torrenting. This is to keep their IP addresses anonymous from their Internet Service Provider (ISP). This way, the ISP cannot take any actions against you, as they cannot trace your internet activity. Even though Torrenting Without VPN is not recommended, there are ways to torrent without a VPN and still be anonymous.
Before moving on to these methods, it is crucial to be aware of what you are getting into.
Torrenting is the act of uploading and downloading files through the BitTorrent network. Torrenting involves downloading files from other users’ devices on the network instead of downloading files to a central server. At the same time, users upload files from their own devices for other users to download.
Torrenting is the most famous form of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing method. But users need to have torrent management software to connect to the BitTorrent network.
Torrenting often has issues with piracy as peers use it to share files protected by copyright. Some of such significant files are movies, games, music, and software.
This is one of the most burning questions when it comes to Torrenting. Torrenting is not entirely illegal, but downloading unauthorized copyrighted material is. Some of the files fall in a grey area so that you may find yourself accidentally on the wrong side of the law.
Your ISP and copyright trolls of the BitTorrent network can take actions against you if they catch you illegally torrenting. You may simply get a warning letter or even get your internet connection slowed down as legal actions. But the last step is very rare.
Therefore, torrenters who are Privacy-conscious would use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to keep their internet activity hidden from their ISP. VPNs play a critical role in protecting your privacy when torrenting. Therefore, we recommend using a VPN whenever a user is torrenting files.
Torrenting without a VPN is still possible, but there is a considerable risk. It means your (ISP) can see your online activities, such as sites you visit and contents you view. In some countries, including the US, ISPs share this information with third parties like intellectual property owners.
If you still want to risk torrenting without a VPN, we have a few suggestions. These options will help you to be anonymous while torrenting.
Anomos is a torrent client that uses end-to-end encryption. It also features the BitTorrent peer/tracker concept but with an extra layer of onion routing anonymization. It is an additional layer of encryption on top of the already using end-to-end encryption to explain it simply.
Anomos is open-source, and you can use the client for free. You can use this with or without VPN service too.
Being open-source software, Anomos does have its own drawbacks. You might not get 24/7 support, and the website might redirect to a domain name registrar right now. You also might face bugs and unresponsive client sometimes.
Anomos only supports the “.atorrent” format. Therefore, you need to find .atorrent torrents or convert other torrent formats into .atorrent format.
“Seedbox” is a common term with P2P users. It is a remote server that utilizes the BitTorrent protocol to download and upload torrents from torrenting websites. Seedboxes are usually Virtual Private Servers (VPSs) from data centres.
A seedbox typically features high download speeds also a decent bandwidth. Plus, you will not have to use your own bandwidth at all.
The server keeps you anonymous in two ways; by hiding your IP address and using HTTPS encryption.
But there are no open-source seedboxes. Costs may vary from $3 to $50+ per month depending on the speed and storage of the server space you need.
Antivirus/Antimalware security might not be the best solutions to download torrents anonymously. But what if a file you downloaded anonymously happen to contain malware or viruses? Without proper antivirus/antimalware protection, they might control your device and spread to all your files. Then your anonymity will no longer be intact. Cybercriminals can easily steal your personal information, sell it on the deep web, use it in scams. They can even forward this information to your ISP or copyright agencies.
Therefore, it is your best bet to install a reliable Antivirus/Antimalware security protection.
Proxy servers hide your IP address by intercepting your connection requests and forwarding them to the website you want to connect to. So, your ISP will not see what torrenting websites you are accessing.
Unfortunately, not all proxy servers use encryption. Therefore, your ISP can see your traffic and also the owner of the proxy server. Overcrowding is another problem with proxy servers that result in slow speeds and limited bandwidth. Therefore, a proxy server might not be the best option for anonymous torrenting.