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?
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.
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.
protected by Community♦ Jan 20 '14 at 22:27
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