Bittorrent users are looking for ways to hide their identities from the outside world. Even the less concerned among them are now thinking about their privacy as the threat of online surveillance grows, and Australian ISPs are blocking torrent sites left right and centre. So once you do get your hands on those torrents, how do you download them without broadcasting your actions to the world?
The obvious way to protect your privacy is, of course, with a VPN. VPNs route your traffic through their own servers, hiding your IP address from anyone who might be looking. Just look out for VPN services that keep logs or are situated in countries with strict online surveillance regimes.
While VPNs can be free or paid, it's worthwhile remembering that free VPNs can often be slow and not as trustworthy when it comes to security. Remember, if you're not paying for a product, chances are you are the product. If you need help picking out a VPN to use, check out our favourite VPNs for 2017 here, or our guide to picking the best VPN for you.
If you don't want to route all your internet traffic through a VPN you can also check out a BitTorrent proxy like BTGuard, a subscription service that anonymises any downloading that occurs through your BitTorrent client for $9.41 per month. Another option if you'd prefer to use a proxy is TorrentPrivacy, another paid service that comes as an all-in-one package with a modified uTorrent automatically set up to shield your downloading.
For a free service — or for those who don't trust the companies behind these services — you can always set up your BitTorrent client with an anonymous public proxy. It takes a little more set-up and effort than the paid services, but ultimately better for your peace of mind (and your wallet). Additionally if you find a proxy with SSL, TLS or HTTPS support you can even make your torrenting look like regular web browsing activity. Check out the full guide here.
For even more options for anonymous downloading, check out the full guide from TorrentFreak here.