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I've noticed growing popularity in proxy services for torrent clients; such as BTGuard. Most torrent clients encrypt traffic so aren't these services pointless? I read that it's because the encryption is only for obfuscation, but how does this make sense? I mean encryption is encryption.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The growing popularity for Torrent proxies is for anonymity. You can encrypt traffic all you want, but it can always be traced back to the public facing node. The contents of your communication will remain private, however it can be identified that your IP address was in communication with a remote IP address. Without a proxy that will trace back to either your home or wherever you are physically connected to the internet.

With a torrent proxy (or any proxy for that matter) the traffic is negotiated by your proxy, and as such the proxy IP is the one exposed in transport and the traffic is sent back to you over an encrypted tunnel. Your computer acts as though it's on a LAN where your proxy server is, and as such the traffic is not traced back to you (assuming the proxy isn't keeping logs of connections)

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I get what your saying but it still seems somewhat pointless. Even if a connection between two nodes can be proven the data exchanged remains unkown, right? So basically Torrent proxies are a scam. – Celeritas Jun 19 '12 at 8:08
No, what he says is that, if you are torrenting risky material, using a proxy will prevent other peers to see your ip. Only the one of the proxy will be publicised. But if the proxy keeps logs and an authority ask to see the logs, your identity could be compromised. You need to trust the proxy service. – Martin Trigaux Jun 19 '12 at 10:35
I would imagine the majority of people using these services are doing so to avoid copyright laws in their country. For instance, Canada has much stricter privacy laws and lax copyright laws than the states. With that said, it would make sense for an American to proxy into a Canadian server to make it look as though their traffic is originating from Canada, and not the US. – DKNUCKLES Jun 19 '12 at 12:53
@MartinTrigaux thanks I see now. I found this article very interesting as it talks about proxies that don't keep logs… – Celeritas Jun 19 '12 at 20:14

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