How to hide torrenting from your ISP (Encrypt BitTorrent Traffic)
BitTorrent technology has become an integral part of many people's lives. Today there are a large number of torrent trackers that offer thousands or even millions of different files for download. But where there are pluses, there are minuses. The provider can block access to trackers and thereby complicate the download or even make it impossible.
If the torrent client cannot connect to the trackers, then it will not receive a list of the distribution participants' addresses. So, the file transfer rate is reduced or absent. Of course, there are ways to bypass the blocking, but they should be used if you are sure that your provider is blocking torrent traffic.
There are several ways to bypass the blocking of torrents by ISP, the first one is probably the easiest, it is to enable traffic encryption in the torrent client itself. The second is to set up a VPN that encrypts all traffic from your device.
How to enable encryption of BitTorrent traffic in a torrent client
The protocol encryption function in torrent clients masks the traffic used by the program so that it cannot be tracked and restricted by an ISP.
If protocol encryption is enabled, traffic cannot be distinguished from normal traffic (what the browser or other applications consume, for example), and restrictions do not work. At the same time, the download speed may not be very high, due to the fact that the torrent client starts looking for seeding users only among those users who also have encryption enabled.
Each torrent client has its own way to enable encryption, so we have made instructions for the most popular torrent clients (qBittorrent, uTorrent, BitTorrent, Deluge).Anyway, I would recommend that you use qBittorrent, as it doesn't contain malicious ads unlike uTorrent and BitTorrent.
Enabling traffic encryption in qBittorrent
- Go to qBittorrent Options by clicking on the Tools tab and then on Options.
- In the window that opens, select the BitTorrent section. And there, in the Encryption mode, you need to set Require encryption. Also make sure all three boxes above are checked.
Enabling traffic encryption in uTorrent and BitTorrent
- Open uTorrent or BitTorrent preferences by clicking on the Options tab and go to Preferences. Or just hold down the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P.
- Go to the BitTorrent section. Select Forced encryption for outgoing connections. Click Apply and test the torrent client.
Enabling traffic encryption in Deluge
- Go to Deluge preferences by clicking on Edit and then Preferences.
- In the window that opens, go to Network tab. In the encryption section, set the parameters as shown in the screenshot below.
How to encrypt BitTorrent traffic using a VPN
A VPN is a virtual network connection that can encrypt user traffic by redirecting it through an external server that can be located in any country. There are paid VPNs, but you can also find free ones.
So you just have to turn on the VPN, and all traffic will be encrypted, including torrenting.The advantage of this method is that the download speed through the torrent will hardly be affected.
Below I will give you a small list of partially free or completely free VPNs that will allow you to bypass the blocking of torrent traffic.
WindscribeWindscribe is one of the best VPN services, giving its users 10 GB of free bandwidth per month and the ability to choose one of eight countries. It is also possible to increase the amount of your traffic by performing small tasks (for example, for a post on Twitter, you will be added 5 GB, for each user who registered using your referral link, you will be added 1 GB more). What's more, Windscribe has a built-in ad blocker and firewall. However, all of these features can only be used on one device.
HideMeHideMe is one of the simplest and most reliable VPN services out there, working on all acceptable platforms. This service offers 10 GB of free traffic and only one device.
MullvadMullvad is one of the most private VPN services on the market. The account number is the only thing you need to connect to Mullvad VPN. They don't ask for an email, a phone number, or any personal information at all. Mullvad uses the latest encryption methods and was one of the first VPN providers to use the advanced WireGuard protocol. To help you get even faster connection speeds, they also provide a SOCKS5 service that is used in addition to Wireguard / OpenVPN - so you are no longer limited by the bandwidth of a single VPN connection. This service doesn't have free plans, but it has a fixed price of 5 € per month.
Hotspot ShieldHotspot Shield is a partially free service that gives each user 500 MB of traffic per day on five different devices. Also, the service recognizes when you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network and automatically connects the VPN to ensure the safety of your data. The disadvantage of this service is that it is impossible to choose the server and country yourself, so the quality of the connection is not always acceptable.
Tunnel BearTunnel Bear is extremely fast and easy to use. All you need to do is install the app on your device (works on Windows, MAC OS, iOS and Android). With one account, you can access the network from five different devices. 20 countries are available for connection. The only drawback is a small amount of free traffic - only 500 MB per month. I think 500 MB of traffic will not be enough for torrenting. You might say that there are free VPN services, such as ProtonVPN. But on these services, torrent traffic is usually blocked, and the speed is very limited. But if you find a free service that does not block torrent traffic, please let us know in the comments, we will supplement this list.
As you can see, ISPs can detect torrent traffic and block it directly, but if such traffic is transmitted encrypted, then it is not possible to get its contents. Thus, it turns out that encrypted traffic is useful not only for organizations that transmit confidential information, but also for ordinary users who want to hide their transmitted data. Therefore, I hope the above methods have helped you bypass the blocking of BitTorrent traffic.