When it comes to torrenting, PeerBlock is often a popular choice for many users. However, the firewall isn’t really reliable. In fact, it has lots of drawbacks, and might make your torrenting experience unenjoyable.
If you’re worried about that, and want to find a PeerBlock alternative that’s more reliable and secure, keep reading. We’re going to go over the best options you have at your disposal.
Why PeerBlock Isn’t Good for Torrenting
So, what’s the problem with PeerBlock exactly? It’s an open-source firewall that lets you block malicious IP addresses, and IP addresses from government agencies, torrent monitoring agencies, and copyright agencies.
That should be pretty useful when you download torrents, right?
Well, that’s true. But if you only use PeerBlock while torrenting, you’re going to deal with some serious drawbacks:
- Just because PeerBlock bans a torrent monitoring agency’s IP address doesn’t mean the block will stay in effect forever. The agency could just change their IP address, circumventing the ban.
- PeerBlock doesn’t hide your IP address. That’s a big problem because seeders and leechers can see it, and they can use it to find out stuff like what country and city you live in, what your ZIP code is, and who your ISP is. And if other members of the Swarm can see your real IP address, so can copyright and torrent monitoring agencies if they avoid PeeerBlock’s ban or download torrents themselves and see your IP address on the list of peers.
- PeerBlock doesn’t use any encryption, so your ISP can easily see your online traffic – including what you torrent. They could easily throttle your bandwidth, terminate your service because torrenting is against their ToS, or just forward your personal information to copyright agencies.
- There’s a chance PeerBlock might block the wrong IP addresses, basically preventing you from successfully connecting to peers. In turn, that lowers your download and upload speeds. The firewall might also block website source points, making them load slower.
- With over four billion IP addresses in the world (a number that keeps growing), it’s not realistically possible for PeerBlock to ban every single malicious IP address.
- And the most serious problem – PeerBlock hasn’t received any updates since 2014. So, the firewall is outdated, which can pose security risks.
The Best PeerBlock Alternatives
Here’s a list of five services that work just as well as PeerBlock, or even better:
Like PeerBlock, Simplewall is an open-source firewall that blocks outgoing and incoming traffic according to your specifications.
So what makes Simplewall a good alternative to PeerBlock?
Well, for starters, it’s much more lightweight. Also, it offers better network monitoring capabilities, and it can even block Windows telemetry and spying by default.
What’s more, Simplewall offers IPv6 support, which PeerBlock doesn’t have. Basically, that means you can also block IPv6 addresses (which will become the standard in the future), and aren’t just limited to IPv4 addresses.
And with Simplewall, you don’t just get to create your own custom IP block lists. You can also set up user-specific rules that dictate when the firewall blocks certain traffic.
2. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)
By far one of the best options, a VPN is better than PeerBlock in almost every single way.
First, let’s get the main issue out of the way. It’s true, VPNs don’t let you block IP addresses. But given what they can do, you won’t even need to do that.
One of the best things about VPNs is that they can hide your real IP address. So, you won’t need to always worry about potential cybercriminals in the Swarm finding out personal information about you.
Also, there’s no chance that a lawyer, media company, or copyright agency will see your real IP address when checking out the peers for a specific torrent.
On top of that, a VPN will encrypt your Internet traffic. Essentially, nobody will be able to monitor it. If your ISP, for example, would try to spy on it, they’d just see pure gibberish, so they’d have no idea you’re downloading torrents.
Not only would that keep you safe from legal trouble or having your ISP service terminated, but you also wouldn’t have to deal with bandwidth throttling.
Plus, you can actually use a VPN alongside PeerBlock if you really want to. As long as you only block a few specific IP addresses, you shouldn’t have to worry about any serious loss in download/upload speeds.
Although, given how many great PeerBlock alternatives we have on this list, you could just use a VPN with one of them instead of PeerBlock.
And best of all – a VPN works across multiple platforms. PeerBlock (and many of its alternatives on this list) only works on Windows, so you can’t enjoy great flexibility (like using the program on your mobile phone while you’re having a coffee downtown).
SmartyDNS – The Best PeerBlock Alternative
Our VPN offers military-grade encryption that will make sure nobody will know you’re downloading torrents – or doing anything else for that matter. Your ISP will just think you’re using a regular HTTPS website.
Also, we provide high-speed servers with unlimited bandwidth. Five of our servers actually offer P2P support so you can use them to download as many torrents as you want.
And our VPN apps are very simple to use, not to mention they work across the most popular platforms as well.
All that’s left is to pick a subscription plan. If you’re not ready yet, give our service a try first – it’s free to do that for the first three days. You don’t need to give out any credit card details, and you get access to all our features.
And once you do become a SmartyDNS user, we’ll still have your back with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. BeeThink IP Blocker
BeeThink IP Blocker is a pretty user-friendly firewall that offers a bit more control over the IP addresses you block compared to PeerBlock. Basically, you can:
- Block country IP addresses.
- Block a range of IP addresses.
- Ban specific IP addresses.
- Easily blacklist and whitelist addresses.
What’s more, you can also display network flows in real-time, and you can also use IP addresses, protocols, ports, and TCP/IP factors to filter network packets.
Unfortunately, some more advanced features are locked behind a paywall. But then again, PeerBlock will also ask you to buy a subscription if you want premium IP block lists. Still, it is worth noting that PeerBlock is significantly cheaper compared to BeeThink IP Blocker.
4. The Transmission Torrent Client
Transmission is a torrent client that pretty much offers the same functionality as PeerBlock. You just need to download and install it, and then do the following:
- Go to Edit.
- Hit Preferences.
- Click on Privacy.
- And check the “Enable blocklist” option.
That’s it. Once you set that up, and use this blocklist, the client will start blocking malicious and unwanted IP addresses.
We saved IPList for last since it’s only a good PeerBlock replacement if you don’t have a Windows computer/laptop, and are looking for a PeerBlock alternative that runs on Linux distros.
All in all, there’s not a lot to say about IPList. It offers the same functionality as PeerBlock, but the main difference is that IPList receives regular updates, so it’s much safer than PeerBlock.
Which PeerBlock Alternative Should You Use?
Well, it’s really up to you and your own preferences.
But it’s worth noting that if you use a VPN when you download torrents, you won’t really need a firewall that blocks IP addresses to avoid legal issues and surveillance. You should only use one if you want to block IP addresses you suspect to be malicious and think might expose you to malware.
All in all, if you really, really want to be safe, the best combo is a VPN alongside any of the other PeerBlock alternatives on the list.
Or, why not, PeerBlock itself. After all, none of those other options can offer the same level of privacy VPNs can.
Oh, and be sure to throw in antivirus/antimalware software in the mix too for extra security.
Isn’t PeerGuardian a Good PeerBlock Alternative Too?
PeerGuardian used to be a great way to block unwanted IP addresses, and it even ran on more platforms than PeerBlock (Windows, macOS, and Linux).
However, if you take a look at the download page for the firewall, you’ll see the devs make it clear all PeerGuardian versions are outdated and no longer receive updates. They even say you should use PeerBlock instead of PeerGuardian since it’s basically its continuation.
Of course, if for some reason you want to use a more downgraded version of PeerBlock, PeerGuardian might be a good option.
Just don’t say we didn’t warn you it’s outdated.
What About Proxy Servers and Tor?
Proxy servers can hide your IP address, so that’s nice. But they can’t really do anything else. Unlike VPNs, proxies can’t encrypt your traffic, so you can’t use them to completely hide your torrent traffic.
Overall, it’s just better to use a VPN than a proxy when engaging in P2P activities.
As for Tor, well it might be an anonymity network that offers a decent level of privacy, but if you want to enjoy a safe torrenting experience, it won’t work well for you.
The problem is that it’s pretty slow since there aren’t enough servers for how many Tor users there are. Also, Tor’s devs also made it clear that nobody should be using the network to download torrents.
So yeah, not really the best option for safe torrenting.
PeerBlock is a pretty popular firewall which many people who download torrents use. Unfortunately, it isn’t that reliable, and there are much better PeerBlock alternatives out there:
- Transmission Torrent Client
- BeeThink IP Blocker
Most options are firewalls with additional features, but if you use a VPN, you get more than just a PeerBlock alternative – you get a simple way to anonymize your Internet activities since nobody will be able to monitor your traffic again.