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For nearly the past week I have not been able to connect or download anything from public trackers (openbittorrent, istole.it, publicbt, rarbg, demonii, etc) which is one of the biggest reasons why I even subscribe to AirVPN.  Torrents that show hundreds of seeds on sites like KickAss, ThePirateBay, and others just sit at 0 seeds on my client now - unable to connect (as others continue to leave comments on those torrents about how "perfect" they are), while torrents that I obtain from several other private trackers immediately connect to seeds and download normally. Prior to a week ago, this problem never existed, and nothing has changed about my setup - as I've been a subscriber of AirVPN for going on two years now without this problem.

 

After troubleshooting the issue on Google, I'm wondering: Has AirVPN recently been blacklisted by the public trackers? I also recently noticed now that several sites that I used to visit with no issue are now saying that I am connecting to them through Tor when I'm running AirVPN, and a few sites now give me an error message saying "site down - try again later", but when I disconnect from AirVPN there is no problem with the site (this never happened before this week either).  

 

Has AirVPN recently made any changes that may possibly be preventing me from being able to connect to public trackers and other sites that I previously had no problems connecting to?  Is AirVPN now being blacklisted also by certain secure sites (as well as public trackers)?  It would seem that I can't be the only one experiencing this issue.

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Hello,

 

yes, you could be right, see also here:

 

"To make these increasing snooping efforts more difficult, the tracker operators have decided to take a drastic measure. The three top trackers have all implemented a ban list which includes the IP-address ranges of many of the larger hosting providers, which are frequently used by anti-piracy firms."

 

https://torrentfreak.com/public-bittorrent-trackers-ban-piracy-monitoring-outfits-140523

 

From which servers do you experience this issue? Why do you use public trackers instead of DHT? Remember that public torrent trackers not only are obsolete, but they are the heaven of IP harvesters, copyright trolls and other mentally deranged people. If and when possible, they should not be used.

 

Kind regards

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yes, you could be right, see also here:

 

"To make these increasing snooping efforts more difficult, the tracker operators have decided to take a drastic measure. The three top trackers have all implemented a ban list which includes the IP-address ranges of many of the larger hosting providers, which are frequently used by anti-piracy firms."

 

https://torrentfreak.com/public-bittorrent-trackers-ban-piracy-monitoring-outfits-140523

 

A-ha!  You know, I even remember reading that article now on TorrentFreak months ago, but failed to connect the dots to my current problem when I didn't immediately experience any issues connecting to public trackers after reading that article.

 

 

From which servers do you experience this issue?

 

So far, from Andromedae & Electra.

 

 

Why do you use public trackers instead of DHT?

 

Well, the thing about DHT is that my private trackers don't allow it, so I've always left that option unchecked (disabled) in utorrent.  But now I am wondering, would I be able to enable DHT as an option in utorrent, but then go into the properties of the individual private torrents and disable DHT for those specifically (as not to violate my private trackers  terms of service)? And if so, can you direct me to where I can learn more about using DHT more effectively, while circumventing public trackers entirely when it comes to downloading popular content?  For instance, what do I do? Delete those tracker urls in the properties of the public torrents while DHT is enabled in my client? Or is there some other more sensible method?  I certainly appreciate your assistance.

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...

Well, the thing about DHT is that my private trackers don't allow it, so I've always left that option unchecked (disabled) in utorrent.  But now I am wondering, would I be able to enable DHT as an option in utorrent, but then go into the properties of the individual private torrents and disable DHT for those specifically (as not to violate my private trackers  terms of service)? And if so, can you direct me to where I can learn more about using DHT more effectively, while circumventing public trackers entirely when it comes to downloading popular content?  For instance, what do I do? Delete those tracker urls in the properties of the public torrents while DHT is enabled in my client? Or is there some other more sensible method?  I certainly appreciate your assistance.

 

No. If you enable DHT at the client level it will skew statistics, and possibly get you banned.

 

You should run an additional instance of uTorrent. Google "multiple uTorrent instances". Basically, create a folder, copy utorrent.exe there, create an empty file called settings.dat and start that uTorrent executable with the "/recover" option. You can create a Shortcut to start uTorrent this way. See also  "Settings Directory" and "Command Line Options" in "Appendix B. Advanced Information" in the uTorrent help.

 

UPDATE:

 

I just remembered that although there are places to get old versions of uTorrent, it is much harder to find a copy of the "utorrent-help.zip" file that needs to be in the settings folder in order to use the help. I believe uTorrent used to download this from the uTorrent web site. I do not know if the current versions of uTorrent still do this. In case you cannot find it, I placed a copy on Bayfiles:

 

http://bayfiles.net/file/1ltj1/tYJqte/utorrent-help_220-23235-20101206.zip

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No. If you enable DHT at the client level it will skew statistics, and possibly get you banned.

You should run an additional instance of uTorrent. Google "multiple uTorrent instances". Basically, create a folder, copy utorrent.exe there, create an empty file called settings.dat and start that uTorrent executable with the "/recover" option. You can create a Shortcut to start uTorrent this way. See also  "Settings Directory" and "Command Line Options" in "Appendix B. Advanced Information" in the uTorrent help.

 

UPDATE:

 

I just remembered that although there are places to get old versions of uTorrent, it is much harder to find a copy of the "utorrent-help.zip" file that needs to be in the settings folder in order to use the help. I believe uTorrent used to download this from the uTorrent web site. I do not know if the current versions of uTorrent still do this. In case you cannot find it, I placed a copy on Bayfiles:

 

http://bayfiles.net/file/1ltj1/tYJqte/utorrent-help_220-23235-20101206.zip

 

Wow, this is amazing!  I would have never known about how to do any of this, or why it's so important.  I'm so glad I asked for help, and appreciate receiving this good information.

 

One other thing:  When downloading a torrent from a public torrent site, what do I need to do (aside from using DHT) to ensure that I am not "using" the public trackers?  Does that question make sense? Do I delete those public tracker urls (like udp://open.demonii.com:1337, udp://tracker.publicbt.com:80/announce, udp://tracker.openbittorrent.com:80/announce, udp://tracker.istole.it:80/announce) from the properties of the torrent file?  Or is there some other index in which to obtain popular torrents without having to go to sites like KickAss or ThePirateBay?  In other words, Advanced Member Staff originally responded to me by cautioning:

 

Remember that public torrent trackers not only are obsolete, but they are the heaven of IP harvesters, copyright trolls and other mentally deranged people. If and when possible, they should not be used.

 

So how do I download popular torrents, using DHT, while not actually "using" public torrent trackers?

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...

One other thing:  When downloading a torrent from a public torrent site, what do I need to do (aside from using DHT) to ensure that I am not "using" the public trackers?  Does that question make sense? Do I delete those public tracker urls (like udp://open.demonii.com:1337, udp://tracker.publicbt.com:80/announce, udp://tracker.openbittorrent.com:80/announce, udp://tracker.istole.it:80/announce) from the properties of the torrent file?  Or is there some other index in which to obtain popular torrents without having to go to sites like KickAss or ThePirateBay?

...

So how do I download popular torrents, using DHT, while not actually "using" public torrent trackers?

 

So long as the torrent you get from one of these sites supports DHT, you should not need any trackers. DHT is basically a "distributed" tracker. I sometimes modify the tracker names to disable them, if I want to use only DHT. I leave them there so I can easily re-enable them if I see the need. For DHT to work effectively, you need to be connectable (i.e. a port forwarded through the firewall). And many people using public torrents have not achieved that, or even tried. Or may be using a VPN that does not forward incoming ports. So in order to receive a piece of a torrent from them, they have to find you on a tracker and connect to you. But once I am seeding, I will often disable the trackers by changing the names. People should make an effort. I do. Why should I give pieces of a torrent I am seeding to someone who is not even connectable, and so is very unlikely to pass it on?

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FYI Rarbg (and most of the trackers included in those torrents some including some mentioned above) have worked just fine for me over months now on AirVPN (that said I'm not on public trackers much but when I am that's one of them), some of the others yes, at times have been subject to site level blocks, perhaps I've just been lucky that the server I'm on most often maybe isn't blocked.

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So long as the torrent you get from one of these sites supports DHT, you should not need any trackers. DHT is basically a "distributed" tracker. I sometimes modify the tracker names to disable them, if I want to use only DHT. I leave them there so I can easily re-enable them if I see the need. For DHT to work effectively, you need to be connectable (i.e. a port forwarded through the firewall). And many people using public torrents have not achieved that, or even tried. Or may be using a VPN that does not forward incoming ports. So in order to receive a piece of a torrent from them, they have to find you on a tracker and connect to you. But once I am seeding, I will often disable the trackers by changing the names. People should make an effort. I do. Why should I give pieces of a torrent I am seeding to someone who is not even connectable, and so is very unlikely to pass it on?

 

This is exactly what I needed to know.  Thank you so much for your helpful guidance.

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+1 for dual client instances (and configs) if one has to have dht for public and no dht for private.

 

Thank you for weighing in with your helpful opinion.  I appreciate your input.

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Why would one ever need to faff about with multiple instances of a client or enabling / disabling DHT? Is this something specific to utorrent?

 

As far as I know, .torrent files have a flag that tells if DHT is to be used, and public trackers just leave it on, no need to go in and enable anything.

 

Edit: I should add that I don't use utorrent myself. Not flaming anyone, just curious why.

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Why would one ever need to faff about with multiple instances of a client or enabling / disabling DHT? Is this something specific to utorrent?

 

As far as I know, .torrent files have a flag that tells if DHT is to be used, and public trackers just leave it on, no need to go in and enable anything.

 

Edit: I should add that I don't use utorrent myself. Not flaming anyone, just curious why.

 

Every ratio-based private tracker I have ever used (and I think the best ones I have used were ratio-based) has insisted that turning on DHT at the client level will skew statistics, that they will likely eventually detect it, and that they will ban you if they catch you. They say this in their rules. People who use private trackers tend to value their memberships. That would be the reason.

 

This thread on reddit may help provide some understanding:

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/trackers/

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Every ratio-based private tracker I have ever used (and I think the best ones I have used were ratio-based) has insisted that turning on DHT at the client level will skew statistics, that they will likely eventually detect it, and that they will ban you if they catch you. They say this in their rules. People who use private trackers tend to value their memberships.

 

Indeed, well said. Particularly considering how hard it is to obtain memberships with certain private trackers, and how wonderful you realize they are once you are in.

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Every ratio-based private tracker I have ever used (and I think the best ones I have used were ratio-based) has insisted that turning on DHT at the client level will skew statistics, that they will likely eventually detect it, and that they will ban you if they catch you.

Okay. As I understand the technology, that kind of rule refers to editing the torrent file and "forcing" the DHT flag on, though. Not simply configuring the client to use DHT and still letting the enabled/disabled flag take effect.

 

Unless utorrent does things differently somehow. I'm sure there are clients that will ignore what the torrent file says, but utorrent is one of the good guys, right?

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Mange, I would echo the above "It's better to be safer... than banned", many private trackers want the dht plugin\code paths completely disabled on the client not just the proper setting in the torrent file.  As for clients obeying file settings...well at times that probably depends on the given client and version, easier for private sites to just tell folks to disable it period.

My case is AZ\VZ though and not utorrent so milage will vary with such advise, I find it easier just having too seperate instances\installs not just configs, one normal (private config) and one for the rare instance I'm slumming it in public, that why I avoid any confusion.

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...

Unless utorrent does things differently somehow. I'm sure there are clients that will ignore what the torrent file says, but utorrent is one of the good guys, right?

 

The better trackers I belong to will not allow the use of any release of uTorrent after 2.2.1, because they are so bug riddled. And one of the best I ever used (for my purposes - now gone alas) insisted on no release later than 1.8.3. And often they ban specific releases under 2.2.1. And they can definitely detect these.

 

Private tracker sites care very much about how well a client respects the "private" flag and how accurately they report statistics. And uTorrent definitely has issues in this regard. In fact few clients other than rTorrent seem to be consistently accepted by private trackers.

 

Looking closely at the Bittorrent protocol, even if the private flag is respected by clients, the Bittorrent protocol has other major shortcomings as a method of doing P2P within a closed group. It was not meant for that purpose. For example it is possible for someone with access to a private tracker to "steal peers". See this thread on reddit:

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/trackers/comments/1zfy9n/staff_of_ipt_td_and_tt_are_behind_the_recent_ddos/cftdkys?sort=old

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Thanks for the summary NaDre, it all makes more sense now.

 

Looking closely at the Bittorrent protocol, even if the private flag is respected by clients, the Bittorrent protocol has other major shortcomings as a method of doing P2P within a closed group. It was not meant for that purpose.

 

Yeah, it's a little surprising how something so public as bittorrent has been adopted by these closed communities, and nothing else seems to be able to take off now.

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Guest JWW

...they are the heaven of...other mentally deranged people...

 

Kind regards

 

LOL. Thanks for that. I needed a laugh on a Monday 

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