Torrent downloaders around the globe use torrent VPN or proxy services to protect their privacy online. These anonymity tools replace your default IP-addresses with one of their own, kind of like an intermediary.
However, I’m sure you are still wondering do they really work?”
Fortunately, there are tools that can identify exactly what data your network might be leaking.
Online privacy enthusiast should occasionally check torrent IP address and verify the status of their anonymity tool, since most of them can appear to be working while still leaking your IP address.
Torrenting without privacy can turn out be a serious headache for individuals involved, since most of us do not torrent safely without even considering copyright issues. All of our internet or P2P activities leave a paper trail that can easily lead copyright holders and government agencies right to you.
The only way you should even consider torrenting, is through a reliable and well reputable VPN service provider. Best VPN services ensure complete anonymity and privacy, as they do not leak any private user information.
However, for absolute surety we are going to discuss some of the tools that you can use to verify if your VPN or proxy service is working as intended.
What is an IP Address
An IP address is a unique identifier number allotted to each computing device by internet protocols for over the network communications. Multiple devices connected to the same network share this unique string of random numbers (IP).
Think of IP address as your home address or the street number you live on.
Now you might be wondering how does my IP relate to torrenting?
Well it is quite simple…
Your IP address is visible to every torrent site you visit and every peer in a file swarm, therefore, whatever you decide to download can be easily traced back to you.
However, utilizing a premium VPN service can easily hide your online identity and help you get rid of any cookie crumb you might have left behind.
A virtual private network works by swapping your public IP with an encrypted one and routing all your network traffic through their own anonymous servers. This procedure allows you to hide behind the encrypted shield of your VPN provider; therefore, you will never need to come in direct contact with any one that could compromise your privacy.
This is the reason why most torrent user nowadays use VPN services, because it is just one less thing to worry about.
Test and verify Your Torrent IP Address
Now that you have decided to use a VPN for torrenting its time you verify whether your original IP is being masked or not.
To check IP address you can perform a quick and easy test which will provide you with definitive results whether your VPN connection is working or not.
- The first thing you need to do is use a good IP tester website. IPMagnet and DoILeak are accurate with their results; however, for the sake of this tutorial I am going to use IPMagnet.
- Now that you have accessed the site, you should see a “test magnet link”, click this link to download and open with a torrent client of your choice.
- Wait for a few seconds and you should be presented with your torrent IP along with your browser IP. Verify these results to make sure they are same as what you expected.
Pro tip: leave the tracker link you downloaded earlier in your downloading list to be able to verify your torrenting IP in the future.
Simply head on over to the “Trackers” tab located at the bottom of the torrent client (uTorrent in my case) where you should be able to see your torrent IP beside the IPMagnet link.
What do the results mean?
Once you have performed the aforementioned test, it is important that you understand what those results mean. If you are more experienced torrent VPN user, then you should not face any issues, however for all the newbies out there I am going to discuss some scenarios that would help elaborate my point.
However, before we begin it is important that you first make sure you know your original IP, VPN IP and proxy IP (optional). You can use IPlocation.net to verify all of them.
For the sake of explanation, I am going to assume random IPs.
Original IP address = 126.96.36.199
VPN IP address = 188.8.131.52
Proxy IP address = 184.108.40.206
Scenario #1: All your IPs are going to be the same if you don’t use a VPN or Proxy
If you choose to torrent without a VPN or proxy, then all of your IP addresses are going to be identical, be it your browser IP, Torrent IP or your original IP. Not to mention completely public for anyone to see.
|Original IP address = 220.127.116.11 (publically visible)|
|Browser IP address = 18.104.22.168 (publically visible)|
|Torrent IP address = 22.214.171.124 (publically visible)|
Scenario #2: Mask you original IP with a VPN
When you use a premium VPN service, you original IP address is masked and swapped with the IP address of your VPN provider. Therefore, you should expect your browser and torrent IP to be similar to each other, however completely different from your original IP address.
|Original IP address = 126.96.36.199 (Hidden)|
|Browser IP address = 188.8.131.52|
|Torrent IP address = 184.108.40.206|
Scenario #3: Use Proxy to mask your torrenting IP
If you use a proxy with your torrent client then your torrent IP address will be anonymized however, the rest of your IPs like your browser IP or your original IP is still going to remain public.
|Original IP address = 220.127.116.11|
|Browser IP address = 18.104.22.168|
|Torrent IP address = 22.214.171.124 (Hidden)|
For most people using a VPN for torrenting is more than enough; however, some people take things a bit further and combine both VPN and proxy for ultimate anonymity.
Scenario #4: All your IPs are going to be the different if you combine a VPN with Proxy
This is probably the most secure way of torrenting I can think off, however most people would not go to these lengths.
This scenario involves using a proxy for torrenting and a VPN service for encrypting the rest of your internet network.
You can assume this process as all of your torrents passing through two layers of encryption for added measure of privacy and anonymity.
|Original IP address = 126.96.36.199 (Hidden)|
|Browser IP address = 188.8.131.52 (Hidden)|
|Torrent IP address = 184.108.40.206 (Hidden)|
DoILeak IP verification
DoILeak is similar to the site we used earlier (IP Magnet) however, this site provides a bit more detailed results. You can use this website to verify exactly what information is being leaked through your network.
I know “leak” does not make sense now, but trust me it will all make sense.
A leak of information is nothing more than a cookie crumb trail that can lead regulatory authorities to you.
DoILeak runs a comprehensive test of your network, evaluating your IP location, browser, DNS, IPV6 address along with few other constraints. Whether you use a VPN or proxy this test can help, you identify any potential leak in your IP or your torrent IP.
IPMagnet and its developer
There is not a lot of information available about the developers of IPMagnet; however, with a bit of snooping around I found the proprietor to be a German individual probably from computer science background.
There is also a twitter account associated with CBDev however, it seem the developer is not active on it, as it has not be updated ever since 2010.
The IPMagnet website provides a magnet link, which is used for monitoring your networks IP leaks. You can choose to view the results on the BitTorrent client or on the website itself.
One cool thing that I like about this IP tester is the torrent IP history option; this feature is great because it allows you to be aware of any variations with your IP. For instance, you can view when your VPN stopped working.
I don’t know about you but I think it’s a lifesaver.
AirVPN’s IPLeak.net vs IPMagnet
IPLeak is an alternative to IPMagnet and works more or less the same. I often use it to double check torrent IP with my encrypted network.
This IP tester is not open source like IPMagnet however; it provides just about any information you might expect.
The only difference I found with IPLeak is that it does not display your torrent client but instead shows which network port you are using.
TorGuard IP verification
This is probably the worst IP tester you can use to check your IP, however I still mentioned it in case you want to consider it as a last reserve.
TorGuard is filled with annoying advertisements and to top it off it neither shows your IP history nor provides any unique feature.
Anonymize your torrent IP
Now although there are proxies, which are mostly free, that help you hide your torrenting activity. However, one flaw of proxies is that they only cloak your torrenting activity leaving the rest of your network unprotected and at the mercy of regulatory authorities and copyright trolls.
If you want to ensure ultimate privacy, then you must make sure you hide your Torrent IP. The best way in my opinion is to use only the best VPN services in the industry, as not any regular VPN provider would allow torrenting through their private servers.
To check torrent IP and verify if your VPN service is working, as it should, you can use the above-mentioned tools to detect any variation or discrepancies with your provider.
VPN services are without a doubt a godsend, accessing and downloading any content of your choice without any restriction is nothing short of a blessing. However, there are some shortcomings associated with any technology, as in the case of VPNs and proxies it is the dreaded IP leak.
To check torrent IP for any discrepancies, we have discussed some great IP tester tools in this blog that should surely save anyone from accidently compromising their privacy.
We hope you found this blog helpful, if you have, any queries do let us know in the comments below.