What is Torrenting?
Torrenting and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing has become a common way of sharing files between users on the net today and unfortunately it has commonly been misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. When the idea was first developed, it was conceived as a way to better distribute server loads and increase download speeds. Instead of hundreds of users trying to download a large file from a single server, taxing both its bandwidth and processing resources, users can download multiple “chunks” from different users around the world. Theoretically, this helps to maximize download speeds and eliminate bottlenecks of the inefficient central server model.
However, copyright infringers quickly became aware that this method allowed for the illegal sharing of files without a singular server or data center, making it more difficult for legal authorities to locate and shut down illegal file-sharing sites. This is because pieces of the files are stored on the individual computers of every person who has downloaded that file in the past. In spite of the fact that torrenting can be used to share many legitimate files, the uncentralized nature of torrents has given them a bad reputation among many legal authorities, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and in the media. That is why in this day and age it is becoming more important for torrent users to use an extra level of protection when downloading torrent files.
Why You Need a Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN), also known as a tunneling service, provides that extra layer of protection to torrent users by establishing a secure and encrypted connection between a user’s computer and a public VPN server. This provides a host of benefits for torrenting users, on top of being generally useful and increasing the security and anonymity of your private internet usage, whether you are connected to a public WiFi hotspot or connected to the internet by an ethernet cord. A tunneling service helps torrent users in two main ways: 1) by masking their IP from IP spies who might be watching their torrent and download activity, and 2) by bypassing the bandwidth throttling and traffic shaping limitations that many ISPs have set on torrent traffic.
IP Address Spies
One of the main reasons to use a Virtual Private Network when torrenting is to protect your private IP address from spies on the internet. In spite of its many benefits, torrenting makes it even easier than before for spies to watch and record what your personal computer is downloading. This is because, by a necessity of design, anybody who is in the torrent “swarm” can see the IP addresses of everybody else who is downloading that file, whether you are using WiFi or a wired Internet connection. These spies may be DCMA copyright claimants, who will send a letter to your home address attempting to intimidate you to pay their lawyers or face a lawsuit, or it may be a common hacker/ attacker who is watching your traffic.
Tunneling services can protect spies from seeing your computer’s private IP address by routing your signal through a public server. Spies will only see the public IP address of that server, and they will not be able to differentiate between your traffic and the traffic of everybody else using that server. Therefore, they will not be able to tie your IP address back to your mailing address or ISP customer information. Your identity and download history will remain safe.
Another reason torrent users may want to use a tunneling service has to do with the net neutrality debate. Several major Internet service providers, including Comcast and others, have been caught deliberately “throttling” or slowing down downloads of torrent files. Although this is not supposed to be the case, ISPs use this tactic to discriminate against torrent users regardless of whether or not their activity is illegal. However, since tunneled traffic is encrypted, ISPs cannot recognize if it is torrent traffic and therefore they cannot slow it down. If your ISP uses traffic shaping, you may see a dramatic increase in torrent download speed once you begin to use a tunneling service.
Protect Yourself Today
If you download torrents regularly, care about your privacy on the Internet and/ or think your ISP might be throttling your torrent traffic, you may want to check out a tunneling service which allows P2P and torrenting traffic today. GOOSE VPN is a good example of a fast and flexible tunneling service which allows P2P traffic. Tunneling services not only improve your security when torrenting but can also protect your data when you connect to the Internet over public Wi-Fi. So whether you are a torrent user or if you just travel a lot and use public Wi-Fi, look into a tunneling solution to protect your data and identity today!