Flud is a popular torrent client for Android that is reliable, easy to use and packed with great features. It comes with proxy support, which means that you can download torrents without exposing your real IP address. In this guide, we will find out how to install the client, how to use it anonymously, how to set up SOCKS proxy and how to adjust the settings to customize Flud to your own preferences.
How to install Flud
You can download Flud from the Google Play Store. There are two versions available, one is free and features ads, while the other costs $1.50 USD and offers an ad-free experience. The two versions offer the same experience, the only difference is that the Pro version allows you to get rid of the ads. The app is created by Delphi Softwares and you can get the ad-free one here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.delphicoder.flud.paid
Given that the free version offers the same features as the paid one, you can start with that one and eventually move to the paid version, not only to get rid of the ads, but also to support the developers.
How to use Flud anonymously and keep your torrenting activities private
Since Bittorrent is a public filesharing protocol, every peer sharing the same file with you, is able to see information like your IP address and your location. Those who have joined multiple torrent swarms will also be able to see other files that you may be sharing from the same IP address. You probably would like to prevent others from seeing this information and ensure that your torrent history remains private. This is possible with the help of a VPN and SOCKS Proxy service. You will be able to keep your identity and location hidden. While many people associate torrents with online piracy, the truth is that there are many legitimate reasons for using this technology. It is advisable to always download content from legal sources, but in every case, hiding your torrents to protect your privacy is a good idea.
What do others see when you are using FLUD
In the Details panel of any active torrent, you can select the “Peers” tab and see the list of every person you are sharing the torrent with and will be able to see their IP address and torrent client. This information is needed for Bittorrent to work and your device needs to know the address of other peers so that it can download content from them. However, this is a privacy issue that exposes your identity, making it visible to anyone in a swarm. This would allow other users to find your exact location when you are accessing torrents.
Additional security issues to consider
Apart from torrent peers, your data can only be seen by your ISP. Using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), the ISP can see what files you are downloading. DPI gives the ISP the chance to check every packet of data that you transfer and to see what program was used to send it. It can also see the type of data and its destination. Unless you are using a VPN, your ISP will be able to see that you are using Bittorrent and they may even slow down your connection due to it. With a VPN, you can enjoy strong encryption and stop your ISP from seeing what you are doing on the internet.
In order to torrent anonymously, there are two main solutions to consider: Proxies and VPNs. These technologies can help to protect your privacy while you are torrenting. A VPN and a proxy route your torrent traffic through a remote server, which then connects to the torrent swarm, meaning that your torrent peers don’t see your real IP address. Instead, they see the location of the proxy or the VPN server. While both VPNs and proxies are popular and effective solutions, there is an important advantage that a VPN has over a proxy and that is encryption. A VPN not only hides your real IP address, it also encrypts your internet traffic, which means that not even your ISP will be able to know what you are doing online. VPNs are easy to use and there are many good options available.
Selecting a Proxy/VPN for Flud
While VPNs are more secure, SOCKS5 proxy usually offers more stability than a VPN when it comes to Android. You can set up a proxy and then add a VPN to encrypt the traffic if preferred. The good news is that there are many companies that offer both SOCKS5 Proxy and VPN services for reasonable prices. While there are many good companies that offer these services separately, to get better value for money we recommend considering the below options as they include SOCKS5 proxy service with their VPN subscription and don’t keep logs of your activities. In addition, they offer unlimited bandwidth and allow torrents.
Private Internet Access
Known as PIA, this is a popular provider that offers affordable pricing and a great selection of features. PIA is a trustworthy company that doesn’t keep logs of your data and the prices can be as low as $3.33 per month. PIA offers unlimited bandwidth, high encryption, good quality software for different platforms and SOCKS proxy servers based in the Netherlands.
NordVPN is a highly secure solution that is committed to protect your privacy. They don’t keep any logs and don’t monitor your activities. In addition, they include SOCKS5 proxy service with every VPN package and they also have proxy servers in a wide variety of locations. P2P/torrenting is allowed and the service offers a straightforward, easy to use software.
Flud Proxy Settings
Now, we’ll go through the process to configure Flud to use a SOCKS5 proxy service so that you can hide your real IP address. Then, we’ll find out how to add encryption with a VPN or with Flud’s built-in encryption options. You can follow the below steps:
- Sign up for PIA or NordVPN
- Get your proxy username/password
- Add proxy settings to Flud
- You can also add encryption if you want
While there are other SOCK5 Proxy options available, NordVPN and PIA are recommended thanks to their high quality and convenience. They give you the chance to have a VPN and a Proxy service in one and their pricing is very reasonable. Keep in mind that SOCKS5 proxies are better for torrenting than HTTP proxies, since the latter can leak data that can be used to identify you.
Regarding the username/password, if you opt for NordVPN, the details will be the same as the ones used by the VPN and the information will be sent to you via email when you set up a subscription. You can change the login details if you want. In the case of PIA, there are different details used for the proxy server. You have to generate them from your PIA account, but this will only take a few seconds.
For the third step, you need to access the Flud proxy settings by going to: Menu, then Settings, Network and Proxy Settings. Here are the settings relevant for PIA and NordVPN.
PIA Proxy Settings
- Proxy Type: SOCKS5
- Host: proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com
- Port: 1080
- Also use for Peer Connections: Yes
- Requires Authentication: Yes
- Username: The proxy username you generated
- Password: Your proxy password
- Select Hit “Apply Proxy”. It is also advisable to restart Flud.
Flud Proxy Settings for NordVPN
- Proxy Type: SOCKS5
- Host: nl1.nordvpn.com
- Port: 1080
- Also use for Peer Connections: Yes
- Requires Authentication: Yes
- Username: Your Nordvpn username
- Password: Your Nordvpn password
- Select “Apply Proxy” and restart Flud.
NordVPN offers SOCKS5 proxy servers in most VPN server locations including Netherlands, Latvia, Sweden, Russia, Canada and Romania, where P2P is allowed.
In order to add encryption to Flud to prevent your ISP and other from seeing what content you access, you can run a VPN on your Android device. Both PIA and NordVPN have Android apps that work really well. Another option is to use the encryption that comes with Flud, but it is important to keep in mind that it is not as strong as what a VPN offers. You can access the encryption settings following the below steps:
Go to Menu, then Settings, Network and Encryption. You can use two setups, one is encryption enabled (optional). In this mode, the encryption is used when available, but it is not supported by all peers. The other one is forced encryption mode, in which Flud will only connect to peers with full stream encryption enabled. This gives you encryption all the time for your torrent uploads/downloads, but you won’t have as many peers available, which can affect speeds.
Now that you know how to secure your torrenting while using Flud, it’s time to find out more about what Flud offers. Let’s start with the interface, which is straightforward and provides easy access to all the features supported. It is possible to add/delete, or start/pause your torrents. Adding magnet links, searching for new torrents or accessing the settings menu is also possible. There are 3 tabs in the main screen that allow you to see All the torrents, as well as those that are Queued and Finished. You can launch the Flud menu, search for torrents using Google, paste a magnet link copied from the browser and more. While there are ads featured, they won’t affect your experience with the client.
Flud also provides detailed information over each individual torrent file and it allows you to view and edit trackers, download location, peers and more. You can access the details view for any torrent by tapping on the torrent in the main screen. You’ll be directed to the Details tab for that torrent and will also be able to access tabs like Files, Status. Trackers and Peers. Flud supports some advanced configuration options in the settings menu, which can be accessed by tapping the 3-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the main screen. You can tap the Settings option to access the Settings menu.
The settings that you will find in the menu are the following: Storage, Bandwidth, Queue, Interface, Network, Power Management and Scheduling. We’ll take a closer look at each one of them.
In Storage, you will be able to control the download directory and move file after download. It is also possible to choose to copy the .Torrent file to your device when using Magnet links. In addition, you can watch incoming directory if .torrent files are synced from another source. The files that are added to this directory are automatically imported to Flyd and started.
You also have the chance to control the maximum upload/download speeds allocated to Flud. If the speed of your internet speed is being affected by your torrenting or you have a data cap, this option is very convenient. To get unlimited speeds, you can choose 0 in the settings. The maximum amount of connections is the total number of peers that can be connected at the same time (leeching and seeding). There are routers that can stop working well when there are too many peer connections. In that case, you can lower the range to 50-100 to see if you notice an improvement.
You can control the maximum amount of active uploads and downloads. It is also possible to establish a max for the number of uploads and downloads.
The settings in the interface section allow you to get better control over the looks of Flud, so that you can enjoy an experience that suits your personal style.
The interface sittings give you cosmetic control over the appearance and feel of Flud. You’ll also find the notification settings here. You can change the color, select the option to get downloaded torrents in your Downloads folder, display hidden files, clear search history and select if you want to get notifications.
Here you will be able to manage peer exchange, proxy settings, port mapping and encryption. You can enable DHT/LSD/Peer Exchange. The first one allows you to find additional peers from trackerless DHT. LSD refers to local peer discovery on your local network. Usually you can leave these out, DGT can have some privacy issues, but as long as you are using a VPN, you should be fine. Peer-exchange allows existing peers to let you know about new peers you are not connected to. It can boost speeds by increasing the number of peers in your swarm.
Enable UPnP / NAT-PMP
This is an option that lets Flud map ports automatically on your network to facilitate port forwarding through your router. It is not required if you are using a VPN/Proxy, but if your speeds are very low and you don’t know what is causing this, it is possible that there is a port forwarding issue. Enabling one or both options could help in this case.
uTP or micro transport protocol is a special torrent protocol that allows ISPs to throttle torrent speeds during peak times. In theory, then your ISP will offer maximum speeds outside of peak times, but the truth is that many ISPs simply treat uTP as an excuse to throttle you all the time. As such, it is better to leave this protocol off.
You can enable torrent protocol encryption, which helps to prevent throttling by your ISP. With forced encryption, the number of peers available is reduced since you are only able to connect to other peers that have encryption enabled. This is why the best option for encryption is to use a VPN that supports torrenting as it won’t affect the amount of peers that you can connect to. When it comes to the settings, you can leave both incoming/outgoing set to Enabled, which uses encryption when available, without reducing the amount of peers.
Use a Proxy server to disguise your real identity and location while torrenting.
It lets you import IP blocklist from sources like peerguard/peer guardian. Keep in mind that IP blocklists reduces the number of peers available and it doesn’t really protect your privacy so it is better to opt for a VPN.
These are simple settings that are clearly described in Flud’s interface.
This box can be checked when you only want to download torrents while connected to WiFi. It saves your mobile data from overages and it is useful for the stability of your connection when you are using a VPN.
Shutdown when downloads complete
Close Flud automatically once all active torrents have been downloaded to save batter and CPU resources.
Keep CPU Awake
Check this only if your downloads slow/stop when your screen is off. It can drain your battery.
Download/Upload only when charging
If you check this option, Flud will only download/upload files when it is connected to a USB charger. It is a good solution to save your battery and it is more practical than scheduling torrents manually.
Enable battery limit
You can also set a specific percentage of battery remaining, after which Flud will pause all torrents.
Flud also lets you schedule torrent activity for a specific time of the day. Usually, this is used to schedule torrents to download when you are sleeping. Then they are shit down during the day to save battery life on your device. It is possible to select the Start Time, End Time and to decide if you want to run the schedule once or every day. You can also select the Resume All paused torrents option and Tun WiFi On when the scheduled downloads start and to turn them off when they stop.
Torrent Details . Advanced Options
Every torrent has advanced options available that are only for that specific torrent. To get access to these options, you just need to tap on a torrent on the main Flud screen and you will be able to access tabs like Details, Status, Files, Trackers, Peers and Pieces. Thanks to the advanced torrent settings, you will be able to rename files, force sequential downloads, change the storage directory and more. Torrent details is where you can edit torrent settings. For instance, you can change the torrent file name and the download directory, or place caps on upload/download speeds.
In the Status tab, you can see crucial torrent statistics such as download progress, number of leechers/seeders, share ratio and more. In Files, you can see all the files in the torrent and it is also possible to select the option to download only specific files, for instance, if you only want to download one episode of a TV show. Trackers is a tab that lets you see the status of DHT, Peer Exchange, LSD and more. Finally, in Peers you can see the full list of peers you are connected to, such as their IP address and torrent client.
FLUD is a comprehensive and solid torrent client for Android, but in order to enjoy it without putting your privacy at risk, it is important to take the necessary steps and to use the best tools to protect yourself. VPNs offer strong encryption, but SOCKS5 proxies are also a practical choice. You can use both and enjoy an anonymous and secure torrenting experience.