With BTGuard you can now anonymously download torrents.
I recently experienced an embarrassing situation. After using BitTorrent to download several episodes of Parks & Recreation, I received a warning letter from my my ISP, Comcast, warning me that I was committing copyright infringement. This lead me to instantly realize how vulnerable you are when you use BitTorrent software.
As you connect to other computers on a peer-to-peer network using programs such as BitTorrent, uTorrent, or Vuze, your information, including your IP Address, your internet service provider, and physical location is easily accessible to every other computer you are downloading from. Of course, you can see this yourself by clicking the “Peers” tab — a lot of information is exposed about the other computers you are connecting to.
A company worried about copyright infringement only needs to download the torrent themselves to get a long list of everyone else who is currently downloading the torrent. A quick call to an ISP with the time of day and the IP Address will reveal the identity of other individuals downloading the torrent. This snooping can be done by corporations as well as law enforcement — and if the ISP is as cooperative as Comcast seems to be, you will quickly be hit with a letter of warning, and possibly worse consequences.
Step in BTGuard which allows anonymous torrent downloads. By making use of BTGuard’s proxy servers, you basically put a shield between you and the other computers on the peer-to-peer network. Your computer connects to the proxy server, and the proxy server anonymously connects to the torrents — thus, making your torrent download anonymous. BTGuard also has the option of encrypting the transmission for a further layer of protection.
You can use BTGuard with any BitTorrent program that supports a socks 5 proxy with authentication — that includes most torrent programs. The service comes with preconfigured versions of uTorrent, Vuze, and BitComet that work anonymously automatically once installed. I believe BTGuard is a must-have program whenever downloading any torrent that could get you into trouble — whether it’s a TV show, copyrighted movies, pirated software, or porn. Note, however, that if you are accessing torrent sites such a PirateBay, your ISP can see the URL you’re visiting — so, for maximum protection you should be using BTGuard along with an anonymous surfing program. I had a similar situation with an academic institution where I was teaching — my internet account was suspended simply for accessing the PirateBay website.
BitTorrent and peer-to-peer torrents are great tools – but it leaves you very vulnerable to snooping corporations and police. In fact, you are much more vulnerable accessing torrents than you are downloading from the web. (Remember everyone who were sued when Napster first came into existence?) For this reason, using BTGuard is an absolute necessity to keep your torrent downloads anonymous and to keep you safe from litigation.