The most important thing to do after setting up your BitTorrent VPN or proxy is to Test your setup with an IP-tracking torrent. This is by far the most effective way to see your torrent IP address as peers and trackers will see it.
The entire process is really easy (and free) and you can leave the tracking torrent open in your torrent software indefinitely, to verify your IP address every time you start torrenting.
What you’ll need:
- An active VPN or proxy connection (we recommend NordVPN)
- Any torrent client (Vuze, uTorrent, Deluge, BitTorrent, Tixati, etc…)
- A magnet link for a torrent-IP tracker:
Overview: How this works (and why other methods don’t)
We’re going to use a simple magnet link torrent, that will send your IP address to its tracker (as all torrents do). The tracker website will then show the IP address the torrent is reporting. Many of the IP tracking torrents also display your IP address right in the tracker status tab as well.
Why this method is better:
- Actually measure the IP address your torrent peers see:
The problem? This only checks the IP of your browser which does no damn good if you’re:
- Using a torrent proxy (which doesn’t affect your browser’s IP)
- Have a VPN that leaks your IP address to torrent peers
2. IP address visible inside your torrent client
Just leave the tracking torrent there, and you can reverify your IP address any time you want. Peace of mind is a beautiful thing!
How to install the tracking torrent
1. Visit the torrent IP tracking site:
You can use any of the following sites. We’ll use ipleak.net’s interface for this demo though.
2. Download the tracking torrent
On IPleak.net, locate the ‘Torrent Address Detection’ section, and click ‘Activate’. On other sites, the magnet link will be visible immediately.
The download the magnet link, which should automatically open in your default torrent client. If it doesn’t open right away, you can copy the link location and paste it into your client manually.
3. Check your torrent IP address
After 10 seconds, the tracker page should update and display the IP address detected by the torrent file.
You can also see the IP address displayed in the ‘trackers’ tab for that specific torrent in whichever torrent client you use. This works for all 3 of the torrent IP tracking tools we mentioned.
Understanding the Tracking/IP results
Ok, you can see the IP address of your torrent client. But what does it all mean?
And how do you know whether your VPN is working properly? Here’s how it to tell…
If you’re using a VPN only (no proxy)
- The torrent IP address should match your browser’s IP address
- Your torrent & browser IP address should change when you disconnect from the VPN
If you’re using a Proxy (No VPN)
For security reasons, make sure you’re using a SOCKS5 proxy, and have a torrent client that supports proxy peer connections. If you use an HTTP(S) proxy, peers will still connect to your real IP address (because HTTP proxies can’t carry torrent data packets).
Here are the expected results:
- Your torrent IP address should be different than your web browser’s IP
- If you turn off the proxy, your torrent IP should change
Your torrent IP won’t match your web browser’s IP address, because your web browsing isn’t going through the proxy server. The torrent traffic is. If the IP’s match, something is wrong and the proxy isn’t working properly.
If you use a proxy + VPN together
If you use a proxy inside your torrent client, but also use a VPN simultaneously, here’s what you should see:
- Torrent IP different than browser IP
- If you disconnect from the VPN, torrent IP should stay the same
- Your browser IP should change if you disconnect from the VPN
Tip: Make sure to start the VPN before you open your torrent client. Otherwise, the proxy might have a connection error when your connection changes to the VPN. This could cause it to freeze, or timeout.
Here are a couple extra torrent security tips to help you out, now that you know how to very your torrent client’s IP address is properly hidden.
- Use a kill-switch (if using a VPN) to prevent IP leaks
- A VPN is more secure than a proxy, and has stronger torrent encryption
- Never use an HTTP proxy for torrents. SOCKS5 only.
I hope you enjoyed this guide, and if you still have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.