How to Use Vuze Anonymously

 

Vuze is a popular BitTorrent client currently in use. Many torrent enthusiasts prefer Vuze to uTorrent and Transmission. The reasons being Vuze’s user-friendly interface and additional options to control torrent files. That said, Vuze would not protect your privacy and identity from copyright sharks while using torrents. Therefore, we have created a guide that will show you how to use Vuze anonymously.

There are two options that you can use to remain anonymous while torrenting. These include:

  • Virutal Private Network or VPN
  • Proxy Service

Both the methods have their positives and negatives. We will take a detailed look at both the ways and how you can configure them on Vuze.

How Are You Caught Using Torrenting

First, it is important to highlight how you are exposed while torrenting. Here is how copyright holders catch you:

1.    IP Address Reveals Your Identity

When you download a ‘.torrent’ file and add it to Vuze, you connect with other peers and share the respective file using BitTorrent protocol. During this process, the IP address of all the peers is visible. This is one of the ways copyright sharks identify your true identity and trace it back to your original destination.

Take a look at the image below. It clearly shows the IP addresses, location, and the torrent client is visible to everyone sharing the same file:

How to Use Vuze Anonymously

2.    Internet Data Traffic Can Be Monitored & Recorded

The second way to identify torrent users is by monitoring all your internet activities. ISPs can see and possibly record your browsing history and the contents you download. This way, if you download or upload any torrent on Vuze, your ISP would know. Likewise, many countries require internet services, by law, to keep logs of their users activities.

Use a Vuze Anonymously with a VPN

Now that you know how copyright holders track your down when using torrents, here is how a VPN can help circumvent this situation. A virtual private network or VPN makes you anonymous over the internet and hides your web-based activities. How does it achieve this feat?

When you connected to a VPN server, you adopt an IP of the VPN server. This masks your own IP address and makes you invisible over the internet. So, the IP address visible on Vuze is VPN’s IP address, not yours.

Similarly, a VPN creates encrypted tunnels between your device and the internet. What this does is that it encrypts all your internet traffic and passes it through secure protocols. This prevents your ISP or any third party from monitoring or recording your internet activities.

Use a Vuze Anonymously with a VPN

A VPN Encrypts, Tunnels & Hides your IP as you Access the Internet

Considerations for a VPN with Vuze

There are hundreds of VPN options for torrent users to choose from. However, not all VPN providers support the use of P2P file sharing. Therefore, we would advise you to inquire a VPN provider before subscribing to the service. In addition, you should also consider these factors when selecting a VPN for Vuze:

  • No Log Policy: If a VPN service keeps logs of your internet activities or is located in a region where it is required to keep logs by law, then should stay clear of such providers. You check this feature by going through the provider’s privacy policy.
  • Internet Kill Switch: This feature immediately kills of your internet connection if your VPN disconnects. It prevents IP leakage and your identity from being exposed.
  • P2P Supported Servers: Many VPNs offer servers located in torrent friendly regions. These servers are optimized for the use of P2P and offer reliable performance.

How to Use a VPN with Vuze

Here’s how to use a VPN with Vuze and download torrents anonymously:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN service
  2. Download and install the VPN software on your device
  3. Launch the software and login to the application
  4. Connect to a P2P optimized server
  5. Make sure that you have highest protocol (OpenVPN) and encryption selected
  6. Turn on any additional features like Internet Kill Switch
  7. Enjoy torrents on Vuze anonymously using a VPN

Use Vuze Anonymously Using a Proxy

The second option for using Vuze anonymously is through a proxy. A proxy service is popular among internet users looking to unblock different websites or streaming services. However, many torrent enthusiasts also prefer using a proxy.

How is a proxy different from a VPN? The end purpose of both the tools is similar, but how they function and the features they offers sets them apart. A proxy can make you anonymous by hiding your IP address. When you configure a proxy service on Vuze, only the traffic from Vuze will goes through the proxy server, while rest of the traffic goes as it is.

Therefore, all the peers of the torrent file will see the IP address of a proxy server, while other websites will see your true IP address. Unlike a VPN, a proxy does not encrypt your internet traffic automatically. But, you could add encryption to Vuze manually if you want.

How to Setup Proxy on Vuze

To setup a proxy on Vuze, just follow these steps:

  1. Launch Vuze and then go to Tools to access Options
  2. From left options panel, select Mode and under ‘User Proficiency’ select Advance (so that you can access additional settings)

    Setup Proxy on Vuze step 1

  3. Now from the left options panel, click on Connection and from the dropdown menu, select Proxy
  4. Make sure you have checked all the boxes as shows below

    Setup Proxy on Vuze step 2

  5. Enter the proxy details that you want to use (host, port, username and password)
  6. To add encryption on Vuze, select Transport Encryption under Connection from the left options panel and check the box ‘Require encrypted transport’ with Minimum encryption level set to RC4

    Setup Proxy on Vuze step 3

  1. Hit ‘Save’ once you entered the proxy settings and added encryption
  2. Once the settings are saved, restart the application on your device and your proxy should be configured on Vuze

To verify if your proxy settings are correct, the SOCKS indicator, located at the bottom of the application, should turn Green. You can also check your IP address by double clicking the SOCKS indicator and see if the IP address is different and from another region. If your IP address doesn’t change, then verify the proxy address, port, username and password. You can also restart the software using ‘Test SOCKS’ option mentioned under Proxy settings to rectify the issue.

Download Proxy Software for Vuze

An alternate option for using proxy on Vuze is by downloading a proxy software. This will save you the hassle of manually entering all the proxy settings. However, some users prefer the manual setting as it’s considered more secure. On the contrary, you can choose from proxy software designed specifically for BitTorrent clients.

Our Recommendation

We have highlighted two different methods for using Vuze anonymously. You can use a VPN or a proxy to become anonymous. However, our recommendation is that you choose a VPN service.

Why a VPN? Because a VPN encrypts all your internet traffic and completely changes your IP address, leaving no room for error. Similarly, it has additional options such as kill switch feature that will prevent IP leakage in an event of disconnection from your VPN.

A proxy service will only hide your IP address originating from Vuze, while your identity remains exposed on other domains. Although you can add encryption with your proxy setting on Vuze, the level of encryption is weak. RC4 is not a strong cryptographic provider and uses 128-bit encryption algorithm. With a VPN, you can choose AES 256-bit encryption algorithm, which is military grade encryption.

So, the choice is yours. We have weighed all the elements of a VPN and a proxy, and given our recommendation as well. Let us know your choice and feedback in the comments below.

Aazim Akhtar

Senior Editor

Aazim Akhtar's Biography :


A privacy advocate by day and a binge-watcher by night, Aazim Akhtar loves to write about online security, internet freedom, and all the latest technological trends. Finding ways to secure any sensitive data and protect against existing and emerging cyber threats is his passion. Follow him on Twitter to stay in touch with his work!


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