Typical file downloading includes copying that file from a server to your computer. However, torrenting doesn’t work that way. There’s no centralized server involved, which means that every torrent user becomes an active participant. As you download torrents, you upload them to other users as well. In this torrent swarm, your IP address plays a major role. If someone discovers your IP, they can identify you. So, keep on reading to see how to stay anonymous while downloading torrents.
How to Stay Anonymous While Downloading Torrents
These days, there are two ways to keep yourself protected when downloading torrents. There is a handy little trick that works with some ISPs (Internet service providers). However, this trick won’t do the job for everyone involved. That is why we’ll offer the second solution as well. Let’s jump right in.
Option #1: Delete Trackers
Once you start to download a torrent, your torrent client will connect to other users. Seeders are those who allow torrent users to take bits of data from their computers. Then, we have leechers. These users are those actively download torrents, without having the full file on their computer. Once they download the file, they automatically become seeders. Somewhere between seeders and leechers, there are trackers. These are public (or private) URL addresses that make connections between everyone involved. Deleting these might help you preserve your anonymity when downloading torrents.
How to Delete uTorrent Trackers?
All of the best torrent clients allow you to delete or add trackers. This also goes for torrent clients for MacOS. For the sake of this article, we will show you how to delete trackers in uTorrent. We have chosen this one since it’s currently the most popular one (and available for Windows and Mac as well). Keep on reading.
- In case you’re not using uTorrent, you need to install it first. You can download this lightweight client from its official website. If you need help going through the installation, here’s our on how to use uTorrent – installation steps included;
- Next, find a torrent you’d like to download and open it in uTorrent;
- Now, you need to right-click on the torrent you’re downloading and select ‘Properties’. This is the last option in the drop-down menu;
- At this point, you will see a new popup window with two tabs: General and Advanced. By default, the General tab will be open, which is exactly what we want;
- Now, select all trackers found in the ‘Trackers’ pane and delete them. You can use the Ctrl + A to mark all trackers, and then hit the ‘Delete’ button on your keyboard;
- Next, take a look at the bottom of the window. You need to make sure that the following options are enabled: DHT; Peer Exchange, and Local Peer Discovery;
- Finally, click on ‘OK’ to finalize the procedure.
Back in the day, this was a bulletproof method when it came to how to stay anonymous while downloading torrents. However, some Internet service providers have become more capable. Deleting trackers won’t completely erase your IP address, which means that someone can still track you. Actually, IP addresses are the very core of torrenting. Without one, you simply can’t download torrents. So, what can be done? Keep on reading.
Option #2: Use a VPN Application
The only 100% foolproof way to stay anonymous is to use a VPN application. These are highly capable yet very simple applications that encrypt your Internet connection. As such, they are your biggest ally when browsing the Web. In fact, the role of VPNs isn’t only related to torrenting but to protecting your personal data from online theft. Let’s learn more about VPNs.
What Are VPN Applications?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. We know, this can sound very confusing to newbies. A decade ago, VPNs were highly complex systems that were used to create limited networks. For example, these were business networks inside of a large company. However, they evolved quite a bit since that time.
Today, VPNs are available for just about any device. This includes computers, smartphones, and tablets. To get started, you need to install one. Then, you launch it, log in with your user credentials, pick a remote server and you’re ready to go. From there on, you will be protected as long as the VPN is running in the background.
What Can VPN Applications Do?
As we said before, VPNs are only designed for torrenting. The role is much broader and it’s safe to say that using a VPN will soon become imperative for an average Internet user. Here are some of the things that VPNs are capable of doing.
- A reliable VPN encrypts your Internet traffic. All your browsing and all your data will go through a secure and remotely located server. Some VPNs use military-grade encryption that can’t be broken by anyone;
- Since VPNs change your IP address, this comes with numerous benefits. You can access websites that were previously blocked in your country. In addition, you can download torrents freely. Since you get a new IP, your Internet service provider will think you’re in a different physical location – which means that you can’t be tracked;
- Last but not the least, VPNs can keep malware files and malicious attempts our of your computer. Still, this isn’t an excuse now to take a look at the best antivirus software for torrenting.
Are There Any Recommendations?
As you know, TechNadu is always ready to help. Therefore, we’ve tested a large number of VPNs to see their real-world performance. We are proud to present you our list of the best VPNs for torrenting. As you’ll see, our VPN of choice is ExpressVPN. We are loyal fans of this VPN, which never failed us.
Additional Resources: What’s Next?
So, how to stay anonymous while downloading torrents? Well, you can delete trackers and use a reliable VPN. Still, there are other things you know about. Check out these useful resources.
- We told you how to delete trackers in uTorrent. Next, here’s how to make uTorrent faster;
- If you want to stay on the safe side, we recommend using legal torrent repositories. Use the provided link to learn more;
- Then, here’s all you need to know about how to safely download torrents.
That’s it, dear torrents. If there’s anything you’d like to add or ask us, don’t hesitate to post a comment below. We’ll do our best to provide a timely response.
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