Download a torrent from behind a firewall

April 17th, 2006
Problem
Is your ISP practicing traffic shaping so restrictively that you can't use torrents?
Solution
Use an encryption-enabled torrent client, such as Azureus.
  1. Get Azureus from azureus.sourceforge.net. (You need to have Java installed on your machine first.)
  2. Run and configure Azureus:
    • Skip any updates, because they rely on torrents.
    • Set your proficiency level to Intermediate, so you can change the encryption settings later.
  3. Go to Tools -> Options -> Connections -> Transport Encryption, and require encryption.
  4. Under Mode, set your proficiency to Beginner. (Beginner has all the options you'll ever need as a downloader.)
  5. Restart Azureus, and let it do any updates it deems necessary.
Explanation
Encrypting the transport layer prevents your ISP from determining what kind of traffic is passing through. If it can't tell it's a torrent, it can't slow or restrict it.
Notes
If you are only trying to avoid traffic shapers, set the minimum encryption level to Plain, which only obfuscates the packet headers. If plain encryption fails, Azureus will automatically escalate to RC4, which encrypts the entire packet. If you are also trying to avoid being caught downloading commercial music or software, you should probably use RC4 as the minimum. Actually, the best way to avoid being caught pirating is to use an extension like SafePeer. Encryption won't do anything, because your IP address is still visible.
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