uTorrent’s ipfilter

19 01 2009

So, I couldn’t remember where uTorrent keeps it’s “ipfilter.dat” file in Windows Vista, so I google’d it.  (What else would you do, right?)  Well, the first search result I get is some “official” sounding blog post about how to download your own ipfilter.dat file for uTorrent:

So if you like knowing that fewer people are able to spy on you while you are downloading the latest version of Linux Mint or those songs from Nine Inch Nails off of The Pirate Bay, you should add this ipfilter.dat file to uTorrent for some relief. Viola, now your neighbor without the computer is more likely to get that letter from the RIAA

..huh?  That’s way wrong, Mr. Brandon Boyce, because you’re making it sound like ipfilter.dat is something that’ll spoof your IP.  The ipfilter has nothing to do with spoofing.  Besides, he can’t spell “voila.”  It’s purpose, as quoted by the uTorrent site itself:

This is a simple text file that specifies IP ranges to block.

It’s primary use, in my opinion, is to block those trash Seeds that poison the swarm.  What Brandon is suggesting is that ipfilter.dat could be used as if it were an IP “whitelist”, where you only allow certain IP addresses to connect to you.  That’s an awful solution for torrents, since you never know where you’re Seeds will come from.  Sure, you don’t want government faux-Seeds to be spying on you, but it would be stupid to try to use ipfilter.dat as a whitelist by blacklisting every IP known to man.  If you were to try to block every IP out there, you’d wind up with 42,949,67,296 IP addresses.  On top of that, IP addresses shift around constantly.  In 6 months, any IP you block *could* be a different person than initially.

The ipfilter.dat file is found in this folder, where USERNAME is your user’s name:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\uTorrent\

Alternatively, for you dirty low-level techy people (of which group I am one), you could use this:

%AppData%\uTorrent\

The latter would work for XP, too.

If it’s not there, then create it.  For information about how to format your ipfilter.dat, see the uTorrent documentation on the subject.

Just wanted to settle that, since Brandon disabled comments for his blog post.

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6 responses

24 06 2009
Mathias

Is it possible to make one of those “whitelists” another way?

24 06 2009
tonightslastsong

Not very well…

The trouble is that a whitelist suggests that everything is blocked except for the IPs you specify. You can’t specify the IP unless you’ve connected up to it (in the case of torrents). But you can’t connect to it unless you let it through first. But you can’t let it through because you’re blocking everything except for your empty whitelist.

It’s chicken or the egg. You could very well block the range 0.0.0.0-255.255.255.255, but then you’ll never connect to anybody, because you’ll never know who to let through. This will be true for any solution on the subject of torrents.

Honestly, the better solution is to use uTorrent to force encryption of your traffic (so that you’re not advertising what you’re doing to your ISP), and if you’re really interested in keeping it anonymous, set up Tor on your computer so that your outgoing traffic is randomized (and slow).

Finally, if you’re truly desperate to connect only to a specific friend, you could play with something like Hamachi (or other VPN), so that you’re on a faux local network, and block everything except for the 5.* range used by Hamachi. It would be interesting.. haven’t tried it. And it’s encrypted, so no worries there.

21 02 2010
(anonymous birth control addict)

neither ipfilter.dat nor more elaborate IPA filtering will prevent any other cloud member from collecting your IPA from the cloud. Don’t waste resources on wishful ‘thinking’

21 02 2010
Tim

Nobody said that IP filtering would protect against people within the swarm. I too believe that the filter file is silly argument about RIAA not being able to find you. That’s why I unfolded what the filter file is *actually* intended to do.

15 03 2010
dncholas

If you simply want to avoid letters from the RIAA or BayTSP get a VPN service. Pick one that has servers in many different countries and their HQ in a different country than yours. Then pick a neighboring country closest to you but different than you VPN provider’s. If you know anything about the process of court orders for ISP’s to release user info then you will see how impossible it would be for any anti p2p group to order multiple countries to court order just to get one person for downloading a file they can’t even prove actually did beyond scraping a tracker to only have an IP which could have been spoofed. If you really wanted to get extensive use two VPN’s that have good bandwidth and double jump. I wouldn’t suggest going for a triple. Only problem would be if using a VPN utilizing openvpn the 2nd VPN would have to be IPSec or PPTP protocol. You can easily double jump using the browser by using a VPN and setup a good web proxy. You can also use PeerBlock or PeerGuardian to help reduce connecting to some agencies but that is pretty limited and to my knowledge they scrape the tracker to get IP’s.

15 03 2010
Tim

Fair enough. .. but .. that really doesn’t have anything to do with the ipfilter 🙂

Listen up kids, because if you think ipfilter has anything to do with anonymity, convince yourself that you’ve been misled and then read dncholas’ post.

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