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Creating Your Own Private BitTorrent Community

If you have been keeping up with news about torrents, you will be aware of the fact that the days of worry free torrents are long gone. BitTorrent has come under the scanner more times than we can ignore and there has been concrete evidence suggesting that the site is indeed tracking its users. A number of major torrent sites like the PirateBay have also been suspected of storing sensitive user information. In times like this, we think twice before downloading from torrents. However, here is a safe way of using torrents. You can create your own, private BitTorrent community and can share files with your family and friends.

Set Up Your Torrent Client

We will look at how to go about creating this private community with uTorrent as an example. You can use Vuze and qBitTorrent too in the same way but we will stick to uTorrent in this article.

Enter into the preferences section of the menu and go into the advanced preferences. Here, set the bt.enable_tracker to ‘true’. Restart the client for the changes to be applied. Again in the preferences section, enter the Connections subsection and uncheck the option that says ‘Randomize Port Each Start’. Also, make a note of your listening port. Next, in the advanced properties, make a note of the ‘Alternative Listening Port’ if you are using the web UI. If you are not using web UI, uncheck the option for ‘Alternative Listening Port’. Browse online for instructions on how to forward your listening port through your router and do it.

DynDNS Setup

Since your computer is configured to act as a private BitTorrent client, you will have to attach your IP to every torrent that you make. Your IP address will be changing constantly and your friends will be disconnected every time you restart your system. To avoid this, set up DynDNS service or No IP service on your computer. That will ensure that you will not face the problem of changing IP. You can use the internet for instructions on setting this up as well.

Creating and Sharing Torrents

In the file option of your BitTorrent client, you will have the create torrent link. After adding the source, you will have to add a couple more lines in the tracker section. They are http:// <your chosen domain name>:<port number that you found>/announce and http://localhost:<port number that you found>/announce. Once this is done, click on options ‘Private Torrent’, ‘Start Seeding’ and ‘Preserve File Order’ and then click on ‘Create and Save As’ link. Save the torrent file and send it to your friends. They can add the files to their torrent client and begin downloading.

The Pros and Cons of This Method

Coming to the pros, the undeniable advantages are that the files you will be downloading or sharing will be legitimate and the sources are also trustworthy. This will eliminate you downloading viruses or other malicious software accidentally also. Also, this link will be private to your friends only and you don’t have to worry about your IP being stolen and used for hacking or other malpractices.

The obvious downside to this method is that your file collection will be limited to the ones present with you and your circle of friends. Also, this method will not give you any control over the people who join to your network. In case your friend sends it to one of his friends and the file keeps circulating like that, you cannot do anything to change or avoid it. So make sure your friends are trustworthy. Another problem is the download speed. Since there will be only one seed, the speeds will be very limited especially if you are seeding to multiple people at the same time.

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