tTorrent is an excellent torrent downloader for android, and only 1 of 2 android torrent clients that currently includes a proxy option (Flud is the other). This guide will show you step by step how to setup and use a SOCKS proxy with tTorrent.
In this tutorial, we’ll be using a SOCKS5 proxy which is included with our Private Internet Access VPN subscription. This is a paid service which allows 5 simultaneous VPN and proxy connections, and is ideal for bittorrent users because of their no-logs policy and dedication to user privacy. We have step-by-step instructions on how to access PIA’s proxy server.
tTorrent does support other types of proxy servers (such as HTTP or HTTPs) but you should be aware that using non-SOCKS proxies for torrents, especially free proxies, can dramatically decrease your anonymity.
Choosing a proxy service for tTorrent
SOCKS is usually better than HTTP/s for torrents
A socks proxy is a lower level proxy than HTTP proxies (which is a good thing) because it won’t try to rewrite requests as HTTP or try to force the use of a specific protocol. SOCKS proxies are all-purpose containers, whereas HTTP proxies are generally designed to transport hypertext data (like web pages).
As a result, HTTP/HTTPS proxies can potentially leak identifying information about your connection, or worse, route torrent data/peer connections outside the proxy tunnel (not good).
Recommended SOCKS proxy services
All 3 of these companies provide true non-logging torrent proxy service. This means that they keep no server logs of your download history or proxy connection history. This allows you download torrents privately with an anonymized IP address.
- Private Internet Access – VPN + SOCKS Proxy included in all packages (from $3.33/monthly)
- Torguard – Torrent specialists, they offer non-logging VPN/Proxy service (sold separately). Includes torrent optimized servers and 5 proxy locations.
- BTGuard – The original torrent proxy service. No logs. Works quite well (but tech support can be hard to reach). $4+/month
tTorrent Proxy Setup
I’ll already assume you have tTorrent installed on your android device. Now open it up and go Menu > Settings
Scroll down until you see the ‘Network Settings’ icon as shown in the image. Click on it, to open the Network Settings menu.
tTorrent Network Settings Menu
Scroll down until you get to the ‘Listening Port’ section (2nd from the top). We’ll start here and look at the settings 1 by 1.
Listening Port – Unless you’re manually port forwarding tTorrent’s ports through your router (advanced users) leave this setting alone. We’re going to use a random port.
Random Port – Check this box to use a different port # each time you start tTorrent
Encryption – Most users should set this to ‘Enabled’ which will use encrypted connections when available but won’t require it.
If you want to make sure your ISP can’t read or throttle your torrent traffic, change this to ‘Forced’ but be aware it will reduce your # of available peers.
DHT – This is optional. If you enable DHT, tTorrent will be able to find additional peers other than the list of peers provided by your torrent tracker. This should improve the # of available peers and increase speeds on poorly seeded torrents. The downside is DHT is another potential identity leak if you use a non-secure proxy type (like HTTP).
Okay now continue scrolling down the Network Settings menu until you get to the section with UPnP and Proxy Settings. Again we’ll look at each important option.
UPnP/NAT-PMP – These are plug ‘n play port routing options. If your router or firewall is blocking important torrent ports, this can help tTorrent access the internet without messing with your router settings.
Because Plug ‘n Play comes with some security risks, it’s best to try tTorrent with both options disabled to start. If you’re having trouble connecting to peers, then try enabling 1 at a time (I’d try NAT-PMP first). You don’t ever need to have both enabled simultaneously.
Use Proxy – Check this box to gain access to the proxy settings menu.
Proxy Settings – Click to launch the proxy settings menu, where we’ll configure the proxy server connection.
proxy settings for PIA SOCKS Proxy
Let’s go over the exact settings you’ll need to use PIA with tTorrent. You will want the settings to be exactly as shown (replace the username/password with your own). To generate your proxy login credentials (different than your VPN credentials) you must log into your PIA account panel.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get your PIA Proxy login/password.
Hostname(1) – proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com
Proxy Port(2) – 1080 (any other port # won’t work)
Proxy peer connections(3) – Make sure to check this box. It’s VERY important. If you leave it unchecked, the proxy won’t be used for peer connections and your peers will still be able to see your real ip address (hiding your IP address is the whole reason to use a proxy in the first place).
Proxy Type(4) – SOCKS5 w/ authentication. It’s important to choose ‘with authentication’ or you won’t be able to enter your username/password
Username(5) – Your proxy username (which you generated in your PIA account panel)
Password(6) – Proxy password (generated in PIA account panel)
Test your proxy settings
Ok, all that’s left to do is test your proxy setup to make sure everything is working. The easiest way to do this is to open a well-seeded torrent file like this free linux distribution that BTGuard uses as a torrent speed test.
There are some free tools to check your torrent ip, but unfortunately I couldn’t make any of them work with tTorrent (partially because tTorrent doesn’t display tracker statuses).
To confirm tTorrent won’t route torrents outside the proxy tunnel (in the event of incorrect settings) simply change your tTorrent proxy password to something deliberately incorrect. Then restart and attempt to download the test torrent with the faulty proxy settings.
As long as it won’t download with incorrect proxy credentials, you can feel safe knowing that when files do download properly, it means your proxy connection is functioning as expected.