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How Does Your ISP Know You Are Torrenting

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Do you like to download files using qBittorrent, Vuze, or uTorrent? Well, the bad news is that sharing copyrighted goods is forbidden in many countries. ISP can see what you do online and you might get fined for that. But how does it know that you are torrenting? Is there a way to hide it?

What Does Your ISP See When Torrenting?

Your ISP can easily see torrenting by detecting it with DPI or network monitoring apps. ISPs can detect P2P traffic by port number, IP address, high bandwidth usage, and metadata. Once your ISP sees torrenting traffic it can start throttling your connection.

How Does Your ISP Know You Are Torrenting?

ISP knows that you are torrenting by seeing the IP address and port number on your internet packets. A high bandwidth consumption also shows file-sharing activities. But, your ISP does not see what files you are actually downloading. Torrenting itself is not illegal, only sharing copyrighted goods is.

But then how does ISP know what files you shared if it does not see your downloads?

ISPs do not track what files you download. It is media companies that hold the copyrights of the files track those torrents. The popular movie or music torrent files are monitored by automatic tracking software. It detects your IP address once you try to torrent and then reports the illegal activity to your ISP.

Here’s how it works:

When you start downloading torrents, you connect to a Torrent Tracker server. This server manages peers like you, that connect or disconnect from it. All peers have an IP address that is publically visible as soon as you connect to that tracker.

Torrenting without VPN

The copyright holders closely track all IP addresses that connect to that server. If you start downloading copyrighted material your IP is logged into the system. It is easy to figure out the ISP to which the IP address belongs to. Then they inform the ISP about illegal activity linked to that specific IP.

Your ISP, of course, knows that it was you who did it and sends you a letter about copyright infringement.

From this point, you must hide your torrenting traffic to avoid further consequences. You can get a huge fine, have your internet terminated for illegal torrenting if you don’t do so. The easier way to hide torrenting from ISP and trackers is to use a VPN.

How to Hide Torrenting from ISP

Using a VPN is the best way to hide torrenting from ISP. It encrypts your connection and prevents copyright holders from tracking you. A VPN changes your IP address and connects on your behalf to torrent trackers this way hiding it from ISP.

Read more: The Best VPNs for Torrenting that hide from ISP

Torrenting with VPN

How to Use VPN for Torrenting

Without a VPN you are directly connected to the peer network and your IP address is exposed. When you want to hide your torrenting completely you need to use a VPN. It can also increase download speeds if your ISP throttles your connections.
When a VPN is used it routes your traffic to a server and joins the peer network on your behalf. A VPN uses its own IP address so those who track can not tell that it was you who downloaded the files.

Here’s how to use a VPN for torrenting:

  1. Download and install a VPN app (NordVPN is recommended)
  2. Set up an account
  3. Turn on Internet Kill-Switch in the settings
  4. Connect to a VPN Server
  5. Start downloading – your torrents are hidden!


The copyright holders track all illegal downloads no matter which P2P client you use. You must use a VPN to hide your IP address from the public torrent tracker and your ISP. It would hide all your online activities not only torrenting.

Here are some of the best VPNs for torrenting:


VPN Service












Private Internet Access

Check out: P2P file-sharing guidelines for safe torrenting

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