Does our ISP block torrent traffic? How to protect yourself against this
Think you might be dealing with an ISP blocking torrents?
It's not the only one. Hundreds of ISPs are causing problems for torrent users.
They will most likely guard against DMCA notices and threatening letters from attorneys. And they respect the laws that are against torrenting.
We'll take a closer look at this topic in this article: how ISPs detect torrents, how they block them, and what you can do about it.
Can ISPs Detect Torrent Traffic?
Not directly, unless you're using an outdated torrent client.
But as secretive as BitTorrent traffic is, your ISP can check your traffic for certain signs to see if you're torrenting:
Simultaneous load transmissions.
Multiple TCP connections
On top of that, they could also use DPI to analyze your unencrypted DNS queries. By doing that, they will know that you have been visiting torrent sites.
Also, if they have the money, your ISP can pay a torrent monitoring agency to alert them when an IP address belonging to them shows up among the seeders and leechers in a torrent.
Does my ISP Block Torrents?
The easiest way to find out is to try downloading a torrent. If there are enough seeders and you are not getting any speeds or are getting very low speeds, it is very likely that your ISP is blocking torrent traffic.
Try to download directly at the same time as the torrent. If the direct download is successful, but the torrent stops, your ISP is probably to blame.
Also, if you can't connect to torrent sites, but you know they're up, or you know people can use them successfully, your ISP is probably blocking them.
We have seen some people online recommending certain online tools that should detect torrent blocking by ISPs, but they seem pretty outdated and don't work well.
A quick Note:
Sometimes it's not your ISP that's blocking torrents, but other peers who are blocking or throttling you. That can really happen if you don't plant enough in the community.
To make sure this isn't the problem, try increasing the maximum number of peers and/or connections. Also, if your torrent client has bandwidth throttling options, make sure they are disabled.
If you still get the same results, the problem is that your ISP is blocking torrents.
How Is Your ISP Blocking Torrents?
Well, only they know how that works, so we're just speculating here. But we think they could do some of the following:
Use DNS filtering, IP blocking, or URL blocking to restrict access to torrent sites.
Use DPI to analyze your traffic and eliminate torrent connections on your network.
Block BitTorrent traffic ports (such as TCP ports 6881 to 6889).
Throttling torrent connections to discourage you from running them.
How to Unblock Torrent Traffic
Given the context, we will focus on solutions that primarily help you unblock torrents. If they can also help you unblock torrent sites, we'll mention it.
We'll also rank the solutions we came up with in terms of how efficient and convenient they are.
- Better option: use a VPN:
Without a doubt, VPN services like VPNPTP are the best way to enjoy torrenting without ISPs getting involved. We offer an online service that "hides" your IP address and encrypts your traffic end-to-end.
A proxy hides your IP address just like VPNs do. So, it can definitely help you unblock torrent sites.
However, not all proxies can unblock torrent traffic.
Because many of them don't use encryption. Or if they do use any, it's pretty weak, making it DPI susceptible.
However, HTTPS proxies should help. They offer stronger security that should prevent your ISP from detecting your torrenting traffic.
But instead of paying for one and dealing with complicated user interfaces, why not use a VPN whose servers double as proxies? With VPNPTP, you can use our secure VPN servers as proxies at no additional cost.
Encrypt Your Torrents
If you don't want to use a VPN, you can use the encryption built into your torrent client. How you enable this option varies from torrent client to torrent client, but typically you should go to this place: Tools > Options > BitTorrent.
You should find an option that allows you to adjust the encryption mode of your torrent client there. To enable encryption, you should normally choose these options: Allow encryption or Require encryption.
Just keep in mind that it has disadvantages:
If you force encryption, you will have to endure a limited number of peers.
Supposedly, there is an app from a company called Sandvine that can identify BitTorrent traffic, even if encryption is used.
This option will not help you unblock torrent sites.