If you are a bittorrent P2P downloader in the USA or UK, then you are at risk for legal prosecution. Because torrents use public locating servers called "trackers", your computer's IP address is publicly available. Any tech-savvy officer from the RIAA or MPAA who logs onto a torrent tracker can easily see the addresses of all people downloading that song or that movie.
So how does someone keep their computer IP address hidden while downloading files?
Recently, a two-part freeware privacy solution has become available for torrent downloaders. These two items work together to "scramble" and conceal your P2P torrent identity online:
"Tor" and "Privoxy" is a combination "anonymizer" platform you install on your own machine. Tor is a special network of web servers run by the privacy-minded EFF non-profit group. Privoxy is the software you need to connect to the EFF's Tor network.
These two products, when combined, hide your IP address by bouncing your signal around several Internet servers called Tor "onion routers". Much in the same way Hollywood spy movies depict a telephone call being routed around dozens of false phone locations, so is your P2P identity when masked by these special Tor servers. Your true IP address is effectively hidden from torrent trackers when you download through the Tor onion network.
The Privoxy and Tor products are still imperfect, and they do not prevent you being seen by other downloaders. But as a start, Tor and Privoxy do reduce your exposure to torrent surveillance, and make you 80% more difficult to track.
f you are looking to add a layer of anonymity to your P2P downloading, then try Tor-Privoxy in addition to your regular torrent software. You will likely experience a slower startup to connect to your torrents, but you should see the same download speeds once your connections are established.
Remember: no masking of your address is 100% foolproof. At the same time, remember that in any other country outside of Canada, downloading copyrighted movies and songs puts you at legal risk for copyright infringement prosecution. Hundreds of users in the USA and UK have been fined by the MPAA and RIAA for downloading files in the last three years. Only in Canada is P2P file sharing tolerated legally, and only then, under specific circumstances.
Furthermore, while the About Network does promote freedom of expression and the democratic use of the Internet, the About Network does not condone the illegal downloading of copyrighted files. If you are going to participate in P2P file sharing, please take the time to educate yourself about the legalities and consequences of such activity.
*Visit the original article for download links of these programs.*
Note: Techzonez does not condone the illegal downloading of copyrighted files