With millions of new Internet users discovering the Web every year, the potential lack of available Internet bandwidth is a concern in some countries. Bandwidth is expensive for Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, and is something many are looking to conserve. Millions of users use torrent applications to download music, movies and applications, and because torrents have the potential for abuse or misuse in downloading copyrighted material, some ISPs block torrents -- even if the content is not restricted. Nevertheless, it is legal to use torrents to download freeware applications or non-copyrighted material. Therefore, if your ISP is blocking legally acceptable torrent files, you can usually bypass the blocks in many cases.
Visit a website that offers a torrent client application that supports stream encryption when seeding (uploading) and downloading torrent files. Sites such as Azureus.SourceForge.com, BitComet.com and uTorrent.com all provide free torrent clients that support encryption. Encryption allows the client application to hide or mask the content of the data stream and defeat the measures some ISPs use to block torrents.
Download and save the torrent client's set-up file on your computer. Open Windows Explorer and browse to the downloaded set-up file. Double-click the file and follow the instructions to install the torrent client on the computer. Reboot the PC if prompted.
Launch the torrent program on the PC. Click the Options or Tools menu bar link, then click "Preferences" or "Settings." Click the "Connection" or "Network" link in the options menu.
Click and enable the "Protocol Encryption" or "Transport Encryption" option. Save the settings and restart the torrent application. In many cases, this will help bypass blocking methods for torrent files used by many ISPs.
Open your torrent application. Click the "Tools" or "Options" link on the menu bar. Click "Preferences" or "Settings."
Click the "Connection" or "Connection Settings" link. If the program has a "Random Port" or "Random Listening Port" option, disable it.
Enter "80" or "8080" in the "Listening Port" or "Port used for incoming connections." Click the "Apply" or "OK" button to save the settings changes.
Close the torrent program and restart it. After you restart the torrent program, you should be able to download torrents. It is difficult for many ISPs to block data on ports "80" or "8080" because most website use these ports for normal Web browsing activity -- such as delivering normal HTML pages.
Visit a website that provides a list of active proxy server sites. Proxy servers allow you to surf anonymously in many cases by masking your surfing activities from your ISP and websites you visit. Torrent clients such as uTorrent, Vuze and BitComet also support proxy connections.
Record the IP address of the proxy server. Open the torrent client program on your computer.
Click "Options" or "Tools." Click the "Connection" or "Connection Settings" link. Enable the "Proxy Server" or "Use Proxy Server" option. Enter the IP address of the proxy server, then click "OK" or "Apply."
Restart the torrent program. Locate a torrent link on the Web and open it in the torrent program. If the proxy server is active, the torrent should download to your computer.
With some ISPs, you may have to use one or all of the measures above to bypass torrent blocks.
Setting the port preferences to "80" or "8080" can slow your regular Web browsing speed when the torrent application is active. It is illegal to download copyrighted material with a torrent application. Do not attempt to bypass ISP torrent blocks to download applications, material or media which you do have permission to use.
Tips and warnings
- With some ISPs, you may have to use one or all of the measures above to bypass torrent blocks.
- Setting the port preferences to "80" or "8080" can slow your regular Web browsing speed when the torrent application is active.
- It is illegal to download copyrighted material with a torrent application. Do not attempt to bypass ISP torrent blocks to download applications, material or media which you do have permission to use.
- BleepingComputer: TCP and UDP Ports Explained
- BootStrike: Maximizing BitTorrent Speeds with uTorrent (Guide / Tutorial)
- TorrentFreak; How to Encrypt BitTorrent Traffic; April 2006
- Tech Reviews: How to Get Around Blocked Torrents Using HTTP and HTTPS Proxies
- uTorrent: Frequently Asked Questions -- Network