Online security is very important and it is worth to start using the necessary tools that help us to protect it. One of the options available is PeerBlock, a firewall application that works with IP (Internet Protocol) blacklists to stop specific IP addresses from establishing a connection to your computer. PeerBlock is a useful solution for torrent users who want to keep their activities protected from those who want to monitor them. PeerBlock doesn’t allow agency IP addresses to get access to your computer, which means that they won’t be able to find out that you are torrenting.
Although it sounds like a simple and effective way to avoid being identified by copyright trolls, the concept of relying on IP blacklists is not perfect. The method is not infallible as it is unlikely that the companies that focus on monitoring torrent applications, can’t find a way to tackle IP blacklists. The truth is that thinking that they won’t be able to get around these blacklist is even naive. One thing to keep in mind is that although blacklisting and whitelisting sound like similar solutions, they don’t work in the same way. When IP addresses are whitelisted, only those specific IP addresses can access your computer. Blacklisting means that every IP address is allowed, except those that have been specifically listed. In general, blacklisted is less effective.
IP blacklists are not very reliable due to the changing nature of IP addresses. While every device on the internet has an IP address, there is no guarantee that it can accurately identify a specific person or computer since IP addresses are always changing and are reassigned by their owners on a regular basis. As such, it is unlikely that you can successfully identify and block the IP address of a specific company every time. When it comes to agencies in charge of monitoring torrent activities, it is likely that they are familiar with blacklisting and that they have implemented methods to ensure that they are not detected.
Are IP lists reliable?
PeerBlock uses lists from IBlocklist.com, which offers a variety of IP lists sorted by countries and agencies. Unfortunately, tests have shown that the lists are not exactly accurate and some IPs that are meant to be from certain country, have been identified as belonging to a different location. This simply puts in evidence the dynamic nature of IP addresses. It is difficult to determine which is the correct location of any of the IPs listed, but the inconsistency of the results shows that it is not possible to rely on an IP address offering precision when it comes to identifying who is behind it.
Your real IP address exposed
There are some IP addresses that have been incorrectly included in the blacklists, and at the same time, there are IP addresses from torrenting monitoring agencies that are missing. Some IP addresses that should be blocked, won’t be and as a result, the owners of those IPs will be able to access your computer. They will be able to take part in the torrent swarms that you use and will get to see your IP address. Following only a few steps, copyright enforcers could see and identify the ISP that owns that IP address. Once they contact your ISP, you can be personally identified and you can end up receiving a letter and facing legal issues.
Apart from the accuracy issues, PeerBlock is not the fastest option when it comes to preventing torrent monitoring agencies from accessing your traffic. The process of blocking IPs can slow down the performance of your torrenting. It is likely that the IBlocklists that PeerBlock relies on, include more IPs than necessary and as we previously mentioned, many of them don’t even belong to the agencies that should be blocked. In addition, it seems like in order to keep the lists on IBlocklists updated, a subscription is required. You may be able to add lists to PeerBlock at the start, without issues. However, in order to keep the lists up to date without having to pay for them, you would need to uninstall PeerBlock and then install it again.
Winner – VPN services
Considered all the downsides of PeerBlock, it is clear that VPNs are a better choice. Apart from being more effective and convenient, VPNs offer more versatility because they do more than simply blocking certain IPs to cover your torrenting. VPNs protect all your traffic and keep your real IP address hidden. Since your real IP address is masked, you won’t need to use an application like PeerBlock. Even if an agency that is monitoring torrent activity manages to avoid being blacklisted and get access to your IP address, they won’t be able to see the real one.
Additionally, some VPN services feature a kill switch that shuts down all internet traffic or the applications you set, if the VPN connection suddenly drops. This prevents your IP address from being exposed. In order to get the best level of protection, it is important to choose a VPN that is fast, that offers high security, shared IPs and that includes a kill switch.
Although VPNs tend to slow down your connection, there are high quality IPs that minimize the impact on the speed, allowing you to download content without hassle. Shared IP addresses are ideal for torrenting because there are many people using the same IP at the same time, which makes the process of identifying specific users practically impossible. With a Kill switch, your real IP address won’t be revealed, even if the VPN connection stops working for some reason. There is an extensive selection of VPN providers available, but some of the best vpn options for torrenting include VPNArea, PIA and TorGuard.
After signing up for the VPN of your choice, it is important to check that the service is working as it should. Once you connect to a VPN server, go to an IP checker website to confirm that the IP address shown is not your real one and that it is located in the country of the VPN server. You can also see how your IP address appears in a BitTorrent client by using a BitTorrent tracker site like IPMagnet. This offers a magnet link that you can add to the BitTorrent client and then the website will show you the IP address that appears when you are torrenting.