We are going to start by explaining what an IP is, what information it reveals about us and why it is important to hide it when we use P2P programs such as torrent or eMule. Then we will continue explaining how to download torrents so that our public IP is hidden for anonymity.
What is an IP and the different types
An IP address can be defined as a logical and unique identifier for each of the computers connected to a network. These addresses are to be represented in dotted decimal notation, such as the IP address 18.104.22.168. As for the IPs, we could say that there are two classes: the public IP and the private IP.
The Public IP we could consider it as the identifier of our network facing the Internet. One peculiarity is that, at this type of IP, we cannot choose the one we want. In this case, our internet service provider will be in charge of assigning you a sample connection. In that sense, we have two classes, one is Static public IP which is the one that will never change. The other would be Dynamic public IP, which can be changed for another and our Internet provider will be the one who determines when the change is made.
According to the Private IP, is the one that identifies each of the devices that we have connected to our home network. Therefore, we refer to those that the router assigns to the PC, smartphones, tablets, Smart TV and more. The one that affects our anonymity and we want to hide it to obtain anonymity it is the public IP.
How to know our public IP and what they can find out with it
Now let’s find out what our public IP is, that is, the one that identifies us outside our own local network on the Internet. We will do it easily using a web page that we will open in our usual Windows browser, Android. IOS or Linux. To do this we are going to use the web which-es-mi-ip.net. These are the results I have obtained in Windows 10 with a PC:
Simply by doing this, in addition to the public IP we obtain the Internet provider, the country in which we are located, and if our connection goes through a proxy or not. Also in this case it tells us with Static IP that it is static, and therefore does not change. If it does not put anything, it is dynamic. However, we could still go further and obtain additional information by clicking on the button Geolocate the IP.
In addition to the country, the city has already been added, with which we can easily be located in the community of Madrid. If we apply it to download torrents, this can help us to verify that we are really hiding our public IP. In the case of remaining the same IP, then that method is not meeting our expectations and we will not achieve privacy.
Why should we hide the IP address when downloading torrents
The moment we start downloading torrent files, our IP address gets added to a bunch of torrent users who are downloading the same thing. This means that anyone who is sharing the same file you can see our IP address. Regarding those who usually monitor this file download activity, there are usually two:
- ISPs or Internet providers.
- Organizations that defend copyright.
Depending on the country in which we are located, they have more or less restrictive legislation. In some cases fines are established, cut off the Internet connection and more. The typical case with very strict legislation is the United States. Once it is detected that the law has been infringed, a notice of copyright infringement is sent to email, by letter or the legally established means.
For this reason, when downloading torrents, we seek to hide the public IP. Either to avoid fines, maintain privacy or both. In this sense, as we will see below, VPNs and anonymous proxies are the best alternative to achieve anonymity.
Use proxy to download torrents
A proxy is a server, program or device that performs an intermediation function in the requests for resources that a client A makes to another server C. A classic example is when a machine A makes a request to C. The way in which it is going to To do this is through a request to B that will send the request to C. Thus, the latter will not know that the original request was from A. Afterwards, that response will go through B, which is the proxy and will send it to user A, who was the one who made the request for those data. Here we have an outline of how a proxy works:
In this way, thanks to proxies, anonymity is achieved. The drawbacks they have is that we will lose speed, latency will increase and it will take longer to receive our requests.
Whether it works better or worse will depend on the quality of the server and where it is located. There are proxy services that allow you to hide the IP and use it for P2P. One of the best known that we can use to download torrents is BTGuard. This proxy can operate with the main BitTorrent clients. One very important thing to keep in mind is that a proxy only makes the use of a specific application anonymous.
Use VPN services to download torrents
In case you don’t know, VPN come from the English acronym Virtual Private Network. A VPN offers us a network technology that allows a secure extension of the local area network over a public network such as the Internet. The way to operate is by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection, through the use of dedicated connections that will be encrypted.
When we use a VPN, it shows a connection that is like a tunnel in which our information is encrypted from the point of origin to the destination. This makes it extremely difficult for cybercriminals to work as our Internet connection is more secure. For this reason, from RedesZone we recommend its use when we are on a public Wi-Fi network.
The advantages that using a VPN can offer us are:
- Avoid geoblocks to view unavailable content from streaming platforms or websites that cannot be viewed in your country.
- Browse more anonymously by not showing our traffic to our ISP.
- Hide our P2P downloads.
The drawback they have, like the proxy, is that it can slow down the connection speed. That is why you have to hire a quality VPN or proxy so that the speed reduction is as low as possible. An important factor is that we cannot use any VPN to download torrents or watch streaming content. This happens because free VPNs or proxies are often too slow or have a traffic limit. Also, when using a free one, you run the risk that our private data will be sold because they have to make a profit from somewhere.
For this reason and because of its versatility, the best option to download torrents safely and with good speed is to hire a quality VPN. Some examples that we can use are: Surfshark VPN, PureVPN, HMA VPN, NordVPN or Cyberghost.