Torrents are still a great way to download content you wouldn’t typically find on the web, thanks to peer-to-peer networks of people sharing the content itself. Accessing torrents can be tricky, but proxies can be used to get around some of the roadblocks.
➤ What is a proxy?
A proxy can refer to multiple things, such as a proxy website or a proxy server. A proxy website allows you to browse to websites that you may not usually be able to access. A proxy server routes all web traffic through its own IP address, thereby masking your own from the website you’re accessing. It also means that it doesn’t appear like you’re accessing that particular website if anyone looks at the network connection logs. A proxy server works in much the same way, however it doesn’t have to be through a website that you access.
Proxies are used to mask your IP address from the receiver/sender of the data. Because the data is routed to the proxy itself instead of your own device on the network, they think the recipient of the data is the proxy itself.
They are also used to mask the final destination of the data you’re sending across the network. From someone looking in on your network logs, it will look like you are only sending and receiving data to the proxy.
➤ Why would I use a proxy?
Proxies can be used for a wide range of online activities. If you’ve ever run into a geo-block, where you can’t access content simply because you’re in a country the website doesn’t like, you’ll be happy to know that is a good case for using a proxy.
Other people use proxies for accessing websites that might be blocked under organizational rules, such as social media websites on a school network. While typing in the domain directly into the browser won’t work, using a proxy website will allow you to log in happily, so long as the proxy website itself is also not blocked on the network.
Many people make use of proxies for online gambling. Interestingly, there are quite a few casino games with several players’ participation. Unfortunately, certain participants may adopt the bad habit of prying into other players’ sensitive information. That’s where proxy torrents come in. But, before we go into their usage, we highly recommend that you check out this Sector 777 review – a provider offering tons of great games – whether multiplayer or individual.
➤ So what about torrenting?
Torrenting websites are always dropping in and out, going offline and online, being cloned and moved around on different servers in different countries. Sometimes, you’ll find a torrenting site that you like but you won’t be able to access it in certain circumstances. If this is the case, you might like to try a proxy website that allows you to access the torrent site. The proxy website acts as the ‘go between’ between your machine and the torrent website so that you have full access. This differs from a torrent mirror site, which is a full clone of the original torrent website.
However, accessing a torrent website through a proxy website has nothing to do with downloading a torrent itself, available through a magnet link. If you click on a magnet link within a proxy website that is accessing a torrent website, this will typically attempt to open your torrent client, such as qBittorrent or μTorrent. Unless you set up a proxy specifically for your torrent client, the torrent client itself will use your regular IP to do the torrenting. This is not desirable if you are attempting to hide your IP.
➤ What’s the downside of using a proxy?
Proxies do not encrypt data between the sender and receiver, all the data sent between you and the torrenting site and the proxy can be seen over the wire if there are any through points. This differs from a VPN. When using a VPN, all traffic between you and the VPN is encrypted. It is only unencrypted between the VPN server and the torrent site.
VPN and proxies are similar technologies but work in slightly different ways and are used for slightly different things – although there is plenty of overlap.
➤ Why wouldn’t I just use a VPN?
Depending on your needs, you might choose to use a proxy over a VPN. If you want to do fully protected torrenting then a VPN is certainly a better choice over a proxy. If all you are wanting to do is access a torrenting site you can’t reach, then a proxy will do the job. If you have no concern over whether your ISP sees your torrent traffic, then a proxy will do the job.
Chief Editor Chloe Wilson is not your typical gamer: she’s into all sorts of games – console, pc, casino – you name it! She jokes about it, saying she doesn’t discriminate: ‘because all games are worth a try!’ as she puts it. And like a true gamer, she’s always looking into ways to discover new hacks to better her skills. When she’s not gaming or editing her team’s content, she enjoys hiking with friends. If the weather doesn’t permit for such outdoorsy activities, you’ll find her in a secluded café with coffee (or hot chocolate!) in hand, reading a good book!