How to Unblock Torrent Sites in Australia

Last week the Federal Court of Australia ordered ISPs to block popular torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, TorrentHound and IsoHunt within the next two weeks.

Torrenting by itself is absolutely legal but anti piracy companies think different.

However it looks like p2p sites will be blocked this time in Australia.

The only solution left is torrenting via VPN.

Telstra is only using DNS-level blocking, which is not difficult to bypass.

It’s not illegal to use a VPN to access the blocked sites.

But for your review we share others solution for opening blocked sites.

If It Is Just Simple DNS-Level Blocking

ISPs can use DNS blocking, IP address blocking, URL blocking or any other technical method (so long as the rights holders are happy with it) to block access to the torrent websites. DNS-level blocks are extremely easy to bypass; you can do it in a pinch.

As far as we know, Telstra, which started using this method to restrict access to The Pirate Bay on December 20. Maybe the telco is deliberately using this method so that users can easily bypass it.

One of the easiest ways to bypass DNS-level blocking of a website is by using Google Public DNS. All you need to do is go into your network settings and change your DNS server address to the Google Public DNS address.

On Windows 10 PCs:

Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. On the left hand panel, click Change adapter settings
Right-Click on the connection type (could be Ethernet or Wi-Fi) of your choosing and go to Properties
Scroll down the list of items to find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Click on it once to select it and then click Properties.
Near the bottom of the box is “Use the following DNS server addresses”. Select that option and type in 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4
Click OK and you’re done.
The process is very similar on Windows 7/8/8.1 and even Mac computers as well. You just locate the Network settings and change the DNS server address.

We don’t know what type of blocking method other ISPs will use but the following options should be enough to bypass a number of site-blocking techniques.

Use The Tor Network

ISPs are only required to block the torrent websites that host the .torrent files. These .torrent files contain the file metadata and tracker addresses that let your chosen torrenting software know the multiple sources it can get a particular file from, be it a movie, a TV show, a recent Linux distro or a piece of open-source software. When you torrent a file, it comes in dribs and drabs from users around the world who are seeding the file.

The key point here is the torrent websites themselves don’t host any actual content – they just host the .torrent files that tell you where you can get it. For this reason, you just need to bypass the site-blocking far enough to get to the .torrent files.

The Onion Router (Tor) can get you there. It’s a global network of servers that is generally used by people who want to browse the internet anonymously. When you use the Tor browser software, you’re moving your traffic across Tor servers which makes it hard to track your IP address, and more importantly, hard to block you.

The Tor network has a lot of similarities to BitTorrent but it can be a bit slow and isn’t suitable for file sharing. Good thing that web browsing is all we need to do here. Tor acts as the middle man who can fetch the .torrent file and covertly deliver it to you.

Tor can be a bit intimidating for people to get into. The good news is there an easy way to connect to the network using a software package called Tails. It works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS and lets you connect to Tor without going through any tricky browser configuration processes.

It’s worth noting there was recently a critical security flaw that was found in Tor browser that has since been patched.

VPN Through Amazon Web Services (AWS)

For those who don’t mind a more technical option, you can always set up a VPN on AWS and tunnel the traffic to the torrent sites through it.

The AWS Free Tier lets you try out some services on the public cloud platform over a 12-month period for free. You’ll need to deploy the OpenVPN Amazon Machine Image (AMI) in EC2, which is free on the AWS Marketplace as a Community AMI. It can be a laborious process but here’s the full instructions from OpenVPN to help you through it: Click here. Make sure you choose to deploy it in a location outside Australia.

You’ll eventually end up with a working OpenVPN virtual server. From there you’ll need to get the OpenVPN client software, also free, onto your computer to connect to your very own VPN.

The AWS Free Tier has an outgoing traffic limit of 15GB per month but, again, we’re only interested in getting the .torrent files from the blocked websites, and they’re only a few kilobytes each. Just turn off the VPN once you start torrenting the actual file.

Just remember that the AWS service will continue to run even after the trial period has ended and will start charging you once the 12 months is up.

Off-The-Shelf VPN Service

Just want a quick and easy solution that will work straight away? Here is a list of VPN services that you can sign up for.

Sahrzad VPN
 sahrzadlogo
1 week $3.99
1 month $9.99
3 months $27.99
6 months $53.99
1 year $89.99
 button.viewyouraccount

 

VPN Account
 kompany_logo
1 week $3.5
1 month $10
3 months $28
6 months $52
1 year $98
 button.viewyouraccount

 

 Spider VPN (for Android)The Cheapest!
1 week $3
1 month $5
3 months $10
6 months $15
1 year $29.99
 button.viewyouraccount

 

VPN Privacy
1 week $3.5
1 month $10
3 months $28
6 months $52
1 year $98
 button.viewyouraccount

 

Torrent VPNThe best for p2p
1 week $5
1 month $15
3 months $40
6 months $75
1 year $140
 button.viewyouraccount

It’s not a comprehensive list and everybody has their own preferences. But if you’ve never used a VPN before and just want to see some of the options available, it’s a good place to start.

Used materials from Lifehacker Australia