PeerGuardian: What P2P Mods Say
February 10, 2009
Most p2p users have heard of PeerGuardian (PG). Some trust its effectiveness while others swear to not ever use it. The question is “Is PeerGuardian effective in protecting you from anti-p2p groups?“
For those of you who haven’t heard of PeerGuardian, it is an open source program used to block incoming and outgoing connection attempts based on a blocklist. People often ask “Is PeerGuardian effective?” Yes PeerGuardian is effective in the sense that it blocks everything in its lists. Instead what they mean to ask is “Is PeerGuardian effective in protecting me from anti-p2p groups (such as RIAA and MPAA)?” In this article i will investigate this question. Note: PeerGuardian has many different good uses and I am not questioning those - I am only questioning its effectiveness in avoiding being contacted by anti-p2p organizations.
This is a question that cannot be easily answered because of several reasons. For example you cannot know how many ips that should be blocked are being blocked, and how many letters have been prevented by it (if any). I went to respected important figures, moderators, from several torrent related sites including The Pirate Bay, Suprbay, IsoHunt, ShareReactor and asked them for their opinions on whether or not PeerGuardian is good for this purpose. The average p2p user deserves to know what these “expert sharers” think.
“Its like a condom, its not 100% effective but its better than nothing.”
“Its like a condom with a hole in it, turned inside out.”
“Well if it gets more people to share more, sure I suggest they use it. heh. but i don’t think should.”
“Its like a second layer of tinfoil… for your crown of paranoia.”
- ToblakaiConculsion“I’ve never been able to understand why anyone who’s figured out there’s no tooth fairy believes it could possibly work. It could only do so if … the blocklist managers can read minds. Or by magic.” - Snake Plissken
“The only way to not get an STD is to not have sex. The only way to truly never get caught pirating is to never ever pirate to begin with. However, the chances of ever being found and prosecuted are slim to none. The lawyers and media groups only go after big time torrent spreaders like Axxo and so forth. We are peons and not worth the lawyer bills and frustration to them.” - TheFiveSisters
“If you were trying to connect to infringers and your IP constantly got blocked because of enlightened peers. What would you do. Right get pissed and spam forums and newssites about pg. I think that might well have happened.
Few years back many used blocking applications. It’s in decline and it’s all due to public opinion and not facts.” -nightspydk
“I never installed it. // So I have never tried it. // I am a PeerGuardian virgin. // And damn proud of it! ” -velvetfog
“That’s a bit like saying you shouldn’t run an antivirus or firewall because neither can protect you 100% and both will throw up false positives that stop you connecting to good IP’s or using good programs. I’m not pro-PG but I don’t get the mass hostility shown towards it, especially when the same ppl will go on and on about how great their AV+Firewall is, yet its no better or worse than PG at achieving what its owner hopes it will.” -akhiugo
What you must remember is that unless you are an uploader with hundreds of mainstream movies the chances have of being contacted by anti-p2p associations are slim (but still existent unfortunately). There is no 100% solution, but if you are still worried about this then you might want to get a bittorent friendly VPN.
We understand PeerGuardian does everything it claims to (it blocks the ips on the lists) but overall the mods of various torrent sites do not believe its block lists are effective for the purpose of keeping you safe from anti-p2p groups. 80% of these “expert sharers” do NOT suggest the average p2p user to use it. However only 47% think that it causes harm to the swarm. The overall reaction appears to be negative.
If you wish to use it, its up to you, just remember you are never safe, and you ISP can still see what you are doing. Another option when using block lists is using ipfilter.dat, which is built into utorrent. That way you dont have to load a separate program.
You can take a poll at the link and read more and even comment, but I figure it should come to light, I use IPFilters once in a while, not often, but I figured this should come to light
Source: Blog Pirate Homepage: PeerGuardian