How to torrent anonymously?

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BKRonline
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:09 pm

How to torrent anonymously?

Postby BKRonline » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:06 am

Greetings,

I'm new to Transmission and utilizing BitTorrent clients, so first I'd like to say thank you to everyone involved!

I'd like to find out if there's a way to torrent anonymously.

I figured this would be a good spot to ask the pros :P

Thanks for your time!

:)
Wow-eee-wow-wow!

jch
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 12:08 am

Re: How to torrent anonymously?

Postby jch » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:13 pm

I'd like to find out if there's a way to torrent anonymously.


No, or at least not easily.

There exist anonymous peer-to-peer protocols based on BitTorrent, but they're not BitTorrent, and don't allow you to connect to ordinary BitTorrent peers.

There also exist overlay networks that allow you to send arbitrary Internet traffic (including BitTorrent) anonymously. However, using an ordinary BitTorrent client over such networks without intimately understanding the BitTorrent protocol will most probably give out enough hints to make you easy to track down.

I certainly do not recommend using BitTorrent for any communication of a sensitive nature.

--Juliusz

BKRonline
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:09 pm

Re: How to torrent anonymously?

Postby BKRonline » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:25 pm

Thanks very much for you detailed post!

I do support BitTorrent ideologically and in practice, but like anyone with an always-on connection I worry about ... well ... always having my BitTorrent client on with a randomized open port allowing folks to connect to my machine. I certainly don't know enough about this type of internet security to understand if I'm at some sort of risk, so I'm poking around to see if i can find an answer.

I'd like to clarify one thing, there's no intent on doing anything illegal on my part. I have a very good internet connection and would simply like to give back to the BitTorrent community that helped me without putting my system at reckless risk of being targeted.

I've been looking at setting up a virtual private network for (more) secure data transfers... but this may negate the point of using BitTorrent clients as they may not be able to connect, and if they can, then what's the point of a virtual private network? :)

I'm just brainstorming here so if you or anyone else would like to chime in I'd love to read about it!

Thanks again for your post Juliusz.
Wow-eee-wow-wow!

jch
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 12:08 am

Re: How to torrent anonymously?

Postby jch » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:22 pm

always having my BitTorrent client on with a randomized open port allowing folks to connect to my machine.


What is it that your worried about? Crackers owning your machine, or people finding out what you're downloading?

If the former, your setup can be made fairly secure (configure your firewall to only allow incoming connections to your BT port, run your BT client under a separate UID in a chroot jail, etc.).

If the latter, this cannot be done with BitTorrent. Always assume that your ISP, your local law enforcement agency, and your girlfriend know exactly what you are downloading. (Girlfriends usually do.)

I've been looking at setting up a virtual private network for (more) secure data transfers


In which case you're adding yet another entity who knows what you're downloading -- the VPN company.

there's no intent on doing anything illegal on my part


That's none of our business -- nobody here has any right to tell you what you should and what you shouldn't download. It's purely a local matter between you and your law enforcement agency.

--Juliusz

BKRonline
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:09 pm

Re: How to torrent anonymously?

Postby BKRonline » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:41 pm

I'd mainly be concerned with intrusion. I fully understand that any network can be cracked if targeted by the right people, my main point is simply not to have a welcome mat with shiny advertisements broadcasting my location / point of entry / and that letter from my elementary school teacher saying "I told you so."

I'm on track with you about the vpn and agencies.

Though I already know how to only allow incoming connections to my BT port (random atm), I'd need to look further about how to run my BT client as a separate user since I've never had to do that before (mac osx 10.5.8). This will probably be a reasonably safe solution.

I really appreciate your time, huge help, thank you!
Wow-eee-wow-wow!


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