It pretty much works straight out of the box. First you have to chose a connection point - at the moment they have servers in Europe, USA, Canada. The closer the connection point is to your true location, the faster the speeds you will get from the service. Then, after you’ve chosen a connection point, just click connect and the program will connect to the server. The connection is made through the SSH protocol with 128bit encryption, which prevents traffic shaping and keeps your traffic ambiguous to prying eyes.
TorrentFreak briefly tested the application and it worked surprisingly well. People who are used to uTorrent wouldn’t notice any difference, besides the fact that they are using version 1.7.7 instead of 1.8 which was released earlier this week. The download speeds we got were decent as well, perhaps 5% less than normal, but that’s to be expected, and is acceptable for an SSH tunnel.
Alex, who runs Torrentreactor.net and TorrentPrivacy, told TorrentFreak: “We started the TorrentPrivacy project at the end of 2007. The idea was to give torrent users an anonymous BitTorrent service from a party they can trust. TorrentReactor has been online for approximately 4 years, and we believe that when people see that TorrentPrivacy uses ns1/ns2.torrentreactor.net as DNS servers, they won’t have any questions about a possible government setup of torrentprivacy.com.”
When we asked Alex about his motivation to start the project, he said that he wanted to make it as easy as possible for BitTorrent users to be anonymous, and get the RIAA and MPAA off their backs. “We don’t like the situation where two organizations from the USA believe they can rule the world. The Pirate Bay showed them that other countries have other laws and American laws don’t work outside of USA. We want to be the pain in their asses, and allow users to download what they want without fear of a sudden door knock.”
One of the possible downsides to the project is that you have to use their client, which is Windows only. For now there are no plans to offer SSH accounts separately, Alex told us. They do offer some other goodies though. As TorrentPrivacy only secures you while you’re using torrents, they have also developed a web proxy, listing 300 torrent sites which you can visit anonymously as an extra service.
Sounds great, right? Yes it does, but unfortunately the service is not free. TorrentPrivacy currently has three payment options. $2.95 per week, $9.95 per month and $99.95 per year. I guess it’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it or not.