Take the 2-minute tour ×
Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Information security professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to block torrent traffic on my network because it is utilizing too much bandwidth and disrupted my network traffic. What port range should I use and what protocol TCP or UDP?

share|improve this question
    
AFAIK A BitTorrent client normally associates the TCP port number 6881. However, if this port is busy for some reason, the client will instead try successively higher ports (6882, 6883, and so on up to a limit of 6999). In order for outside BitTorrent clients to reach this one, they must be able to connect to the correct port. –  Aniket Thakur Oct 3 '13 at 8:04
    
if you have control over the network computers you can try finding the hash of the bittorrent application and block it from being installed or run an any PC –  user35567 Dec 12 '13 at 12:05
    
this doesn't address the question at all. The OP is asking what ports are used. –  Rory Alsop Dec 12 '13 at 14:57

2 Answers 2

Blocking Bittorrent is challenging, and can't really be done effectively with port blocks. The standard ports are 6881-6889 TCP, but the protocol can be run on any port, and the peer-to-peer nature of the protocol means that discovering peers that use unblocked ports is simple.

Blocking Bittorrent traffic could be done with a deep-packet-inspection or application firewall, but many Bittorrent clients support encryption that makes DPI less effective.

If you own the network and bandwidth is your big issue, then you would be best served by a bandwidth monitoring solution. Quality-of-service (QOS) control and bandwidth caps for endpoints could limit the impact the Bittorrent users are having on your overall bandwidth, without the cat-and-mouse game of trying to block a particular protocol.

Another approach would be to block the types of connections that Bittorrent requires. As a peer-to-peer protocol, peers outside your network need to connect in. A firewall could prohibit incoming connections to your user subnet, while permitting them to your intended outward-facing services. An IPS could put a threshold on the number of incoming and outgoing connections, since Bittorrent clients need to connect to multiple peers (and have multiple peers connect to them) in order to function.

If your concern is the legality of the shared content (or if you plan on taking any action against your users), then your best defense is a well-written acceptable-use policy outlining the users' responsibility for their actions and forbidding the use of file-sharing software.

share|improve this answer
    
AFAIK Quality-of-service (QOS) is only for outgoing traffic. What about the incoming? –  Aniket Thakur Oct 3 '13 at 7:59
    
I once used a tracker that would refuse to connect if you used the standard ports mentioned above. –  pgs Mar 27 at 1:38

Torrent programs can use both TCP and UDP ports. Bad news : you probably don't know torrent proxies that runs on port 80 ? They allow users to redirect their torrent traffic to the regular port 80, so you won't be able to do anything with ports.

Alternative : you could search for a list of popular torrent trackers and ban their IP (eg the most famous French tracker is tracker.t411.me : block it and the problem is solved. Users still can use proxies and VPN, but most of them will be discouraged). Search for torrent proxies too.

share|improve this answer
1  
I wouldn't call the problem solved. Torrents are perfectly capable of working without trackers and given that there thousands of them, you could never ban them all. –  Dracs Apr 9 '13 at 1:37
    
@Dracs agreed. I tried looking at peers and saw ports ranging 12000 - 60000. I also did blocking ports ranging 12000-65535 but can't prevent them coming from. –  Mar Cejas Apr 9 '13 at 8:13
    
Het Jonathan, even BOn said the same. He clearly mentioned that a Bit Torrent client can use any port. Which essentially means it can use Port 80 also. Do you think port 80 will not come under this ANY port described by Bon. Nice and easy explanation Bon –  user37613 Jan 20 at 21:37

protected by Community Jan 20 at 22:27

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.