Help! My download does not start? Is my ISP blocking torrent?

Help! My download won’t start? Is my ISP blocking torrent?
Yes, that is quite possible. You are probably behind a NAT and maybe (on top) a firewall.
Let’s find out:
First, go get your internet IP number: Click on http://www.whatismyip.com/ and note (copy) the IP number it returns. (you’ll need it later).

Now go to a dos box and enter IPCONFIG /ALL
If the IP number of you network-adapter is the same as the one whatismyip reports, then you are directly connected to the internet.

If your whatismyip IP address is the same as your local address, then you can still be firewalled. To check this follow these steps:

Go to http://www.auditmypc.com/firewall-test.asp
Enter your IP number (the one you copied from whatismyip), press Enter.
Choose standard security scan.
Click Start Scan

If you see no open ports, or at least no torrent ports, then you are firewalled. But before you go out flaming your ISP, DO CHECK if you didn’t enable the Firewall on your windows XP!! If it’s enabled, disable it. ( Better: ad an exception for your torrent ports…)

If all tests tell you that nobody can access your PC from outside (no open ports), then you’ll need a VPN to access the internet. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vpn ) It will act as a separate network-adapter that is connected to the internet on the other side of a “tunnel”. The tunnel is created trough your normal internet connection by the VPN software and uses only one outgoing connection. The NAT (router at the campus) should normally not block this.

This is a free VPN service: http://www.openvpn.net/

If you want some more “speed” you should look for a paid VPN service. (free VPNs are overloaded and slow). I used ACEVPN and was satisfied with the service. They also have a free service, but that doesn’t allow torrents. As a matter of fact, look closely if the VPN service allows P2P and Torrent and how it should be configured.
Here is a list of VPN providers (in 2008). http://filesharefreak.com/2008/10/18/total-anonymity-a-list-of-vpn-service-providers/

If there is a firewall installed, there could be a problem. When it is configured to block VPN connections. Some VPN software can be configured to use port 80, fooling the firewall into thinking you are browsing websites. But advanced firewalls can now determine what kind of packets are send through any port and can block anything that looks suspicious. In that case you are screwed.

You may talk to the network administrator. Maybe he likes presents?

This may also interest you: Anonymous BitTorrent Through a VPN – The Speed Tests

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