Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

Summary: Downloading with a BitTorrent client means the whole world can see what you've been downloading. Use Torrific to help avoid that discomforting thought.

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OMG, THAT'S TORRIFIC!!!

OMG, THAT'S TORRIFIC!!!

In response to what my esteemed colleague, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, has written in regards to the very public record of torrent downloading behavior, I thought I would take a moment to discuss a particularly forward-thinking service that takes away the ability for others to publicly see what you've downloaded via torrents.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present Torrific.

Although it's been around since 2009, there are very few people I meet who are aware of the service. Utilizing the cloud, Torrific works by taking a torrent you submit to the site, downloading its contents to their servers, then sending you a blazing-fast HTTP download link once it has completed downloading on their end. This removes you from the torrent equation completely, thus preventing your IP address from being tied to anything torrent-related whatsoever and rendering sites like YouHaveDownloaded completely useless.

This isn't to say that there's not some record, somewhere, of your downloading activity between your ISP and Amazon EC2 (where Torrific hosts its downloads), but the likelihood of the public finding out what you've been downloading is slim to none.

[Related: Porn, piracy, and personal data: Universities providing more than just education...]

Aside from the anonymity issue, I find Torrific to be quite useful for submitting torrents with rare/obscure files (old band demos, live bootlegs, beta operating system builds, etc.) to. Since these torrents typically have only one or two seeders with slow connections who are online at times equally as obscure as the torrents they're seeding, it's nice to submit the torrent to Torrific, then be done with it until I'm surprised later via email with a fast, fresh HTTP download link. For that matter, I don't even run a torrent client on my computer in the first place. This is for a few reasons:

1 - The public nature of BitTorrent trackers. 2 - I don't like the thought of random people downloading from my computer. 3 - I don't download via torrent enough to justify having a client installed in the first place.

Additionally, I personally know 3 people who have received letters from their ISPs for downloading (illegal) movies via torrent. Short of a lawsuit, I can't think of much more to deter an individual from downloading via torrents. Not to mention, I know some fairly non-tech-savvy people who have managed to install a program like uTorrent with which to download movies. That serves as an example to support my thoughts of technology becoming far too accessible these days for people who don't understand the inherent ramifications of the usage of any respective program/application/etc., but that's a conversation for another time.

Overwhelmingly, the message here is that privacy on the Internet is an illusion; but at least you can narrow down your hitbox by utilizing more private services like Torrific in lieu of public offerings, like BitTorrent clients.

Have any of you out there ever received a letter from your ISP? Likewise, do you have any stories to share of your BitTorrent experiences, be it tips for remaining as anonymous as possible when using a BitTorrent client or otherwise? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

-Stephen Chapman

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15 comments
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  • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

    If you don't use a torrent client on your machine, how do you get the torrents you upload to Torrific ?
    kirddes
    • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

      @kirddes If you are seriously asking this question, then you should leave BitTorrent alone all together.
      fugum
      • LOL

        @fugum <br>[i]If you are seriously asking this question, then you should leave BitTorrent alone all together.[/i] ;) <br><br>@kirddes ... it's all covered under one word: SEARCH
        klumper
  • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

    I use a layered approach of simply blocking most of the addresses out there that are collecting or spying. This is not foolproof, but works for my downloading habits. If I were to completely detail how I do this, it would be no longer effective.
    fugum
  • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

    I used KTorrent in Mageia 1 three times in the last 30 days and "YouHaveDownloaded" reported they have no records of me. I also have my Router fully secured with ever available security option turned on. I have also hardened my firewall through the Mageia settings. Either it's true what they say about attention to detail, I.P. Tables in Linux / Unix, or this is just more F.U.D.! I suspect the latter.
    The Rifleman
  • Not safe

    Torrific operates out of an adressblock that belongs to amazon.com (50.16.0.0/14) which means that any activity on the site is subject to US laws and regulations. Torrific and/or Amazon will face prosecution if they don't log activity, and US courts will make sure that the logs are made available to the entertainment industry.
    phel21
    • Yup

      @phel21 <br><br>You can mitigate but you can't eliminate. And that's the devil in the details.

      Hillaryous knows.
      klumper
  • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

    What about something like PeerBlock?

    I know several torrenters that use it and all come up empty on http://www.youhavedownloaded.com/
    bobiroc
  • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

    What about using a anonymous VPN connection to make / send downloads. Would that be effective at protecting your privacy?
    mykewl
  • Everything works exactly as before!

    This isn't especially complicated. Nothing has changed in the last century. Everything is as trackable as before. You can follow the drugs, until you get to a dealer who won't talk. You can follow the routes until you get to a host that won't share. This shouldn't be getting any special attention. A handful of douchebags on Wall Street are walking off with half the world's wealth. Everything else is a distraction.
    tkejlboom
  • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

    Didn't it say that they track 20% of the traffic? If you are in the 80% you will not show up on the YouhaveDownloaded site. You can't be sure that you will not show up on any tracking site unless it is tracking 100% of all torrent traffic, and that isn't very easy to do. Your odds go up when you are a repeat offender.
    In my mind, the recording industry ripped us all off when they made us re-buy music like Dark Side of the Moon when the CD was released. I bought it on LP at least twice, as the first wore out. I have A 150 LP's, and 500 CD's in my library, some are duplicates from one media to the other. I paid full price for both. If you pay for the write to have the recording, then the media it is one should be all that you pay for. There are no discounts going out for LP owners who want a digital copy. So if you get nabbed by the recoding industry and challenge them in court, then show up with an LP or CD of every song that they accuse you of downloading, what is the crime?
    massimj@...
    • In my mind, the recording industry ripped us all off when they made us re-b

      @massimj@... They didn't make you do a damn thing, you made the choice, so don't blame someone else. Yes I have a large collection of cds, some of which I bought the cd for one song. Stupid waste of money, but I made the choice, not the music company.
      gil_seiler
  • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

    Torrific is dead...has been shut down..any alternative
    skazie
    • RE: Torrific: Helping you to avoid the Internet BitTorrent spies

      @skazie

      ZbigZ.com
      more or less the same
      Squdwart
  • You DO know that Torrific is ...

    ... the Elbonian word for "honeypot", right?
    daboochmeister