A free C++ BitTorrent/HTTP/FTP Download Client


Protocol Encryption

Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) block or throttle BitTorrent connections because of the high bandwidth occupation it generates on their network, due to the sheer number of people using BitTorrent and to the high amounts of data transfered. Protocol Encryption combats this attack vector by hiding the fact that connections are BitTorrent connections. Some ISPs cannot distinguish an encrypted connection from any other random data connection, so they are unable to label it as a BitTorrent connection, and consequently, cannot block or throttle it for being a BitTorrent connection.

BitComet currently uses the MSE/PE encryption method introduced by Azureus and uTorrent and, when activated, it encrypts both protocol headers and message payload. You can read more detailed information on this encryption method here.

Let's see how BitComet behaves depending on the selected encryption option selected.

  • Disable - No encrypted outgoing connections. Encrypted incoming connections denied.
  • Auto - Starts with unencrypted outgoing connections for each new peer and switches to encrypted if the negotiation for encryption with the peer is successful. Both plain and encrypted incoming connections are accepted.
  • Always - Always encrypts outgoing connections. Both plain and encrypted incoming connections are accepted.
  • Force - Always encrypts outgoing connections. Only encrypted incoming connections are accepted.

The table below sums up the ways BitComet performs depending on the encrypting option selected:

Encryption Level Outgoing connection types allowed Incoming connection types accepted
Disable Only unencrypted Only unencrypted
Auto Both types (encrypted preferred) Both types
Always Only encrypted Both types
Force Only encrypted Only encrypted

Please note that the encryption option is meant to hinder traffic shaping applications on the ISP side by obfuscating BitTorrent traffic between peers. However this doesn't anonymize you on the Internet as far as the other peers in the swarm are concerned, since your IP address will still be visible to each peer of that torrent swarm.
If you aim for total anonymity you should look towards a VPN proxy solution which will masquerade your IP behind the VPN IP address, thus offering you a real degree of anonymity.

protocol_encryption.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/15 04:21 (external edit)
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