A few weeks ago Chris Brunner post an article called “Why You Shouldn’t Run BitTorrent Over Tor?”. I found this point of view too restrictive. This point of view makes the assumption that people are stupid. So as using TOR with bittorrent is not so easy, we should prevent people to use them. I will list below the right and wrong ways to use Bittorrent with TOR.

The document  How to set up Azureus to work with Tor ? on Azureus web site describes the different kind of architectures with the corresponding communication channels impacting the TOR (anonymous network). Actually the only architecture that makes sense is when the communication between the bittorrent client and the tracker use the TOR network. It doesn’t make sense to route the data communication between peers toward the TOR network. This will overload the TOR network and the download speed will be very slow. But even for bittorrent client tracker communication TOR is not the solution if you connect to a private tracker. Private trackers often use your IP address as identifier. As TOR change this information, TOR usage with private tracker will cause you to be banned.

To summarize, TOR + Bittorrent may be used when the following conditions are met:

  • You connect to a public tracker
  • Your Bittorrent Client is configured to route to TOR only BT client-tracker communications
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5 Responses to “How to use TOR with bittorrent ?”  

  1. 1 Michael Joser

    I have done that but i see a severe decline in download speed. And on many torrents i have problem where my torrent client cannot connect to the tracker. I think this is because many tor servers restricts port 6881-6999 :S

    any tips for me?

  2. 2 cjlise

    It’s up to you to change the Bittorrent port to something more unusual like 32367, and see if it increase download speed.

  3. 3 Michael Joser

    I was talking about the connection that goes from my client to connect to trackers. Tor servers have options to prevent any connection to trackers which runs on port 6969. So with many torrents i get “Host not found” while connecting to the tracker… of course for trackers which are not on common ports are ok.

    well i guess tor has to protect itself i guess

  4. 4 cjlise

    I understand your point now. Sorry I have no solution. I think you’re right: Tor servers are propably blocking access to common BT Tracker ports.

  5. 5 james

    please help me. im new to this TOR and Bittorent… any help pls

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