School Filtering
February 21, 2007 9:09 AM   Subscribe

I can't download torrents at school (JC in Tucson). Pages won't load. Solutions? Thanks
posted by JABof72 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
 
What do you mean by "pages won't load"? Are you being blocked by the school from viewing trackers in your browser? If so, you just have to find the ones that aren't being blocked -- there are always a few, in my experience. Sometimes private trackers fall into this category, sometimes not. If you can find one that isn't blocked out, it's just a matter of wrangling yourself an invite.

Or maybe I'm way off. Clarification?
posted by freudenschade at 9:21 AM on February 21, 2007


are you away at school? or do you mean, when on campus?
posted by tomw at 9:22 AM on February 21, 2007


Download torrents at home? For good, or ill I assume many schools look at torrents as marginally legal at best and filter them out as they don't want to be held responsible in any way for torrent use. Unless you can convince your school otherwise it is likely that circumventing their filters is a violation of school policy. Are you kosher with that and the consequences that may result from getting caught? If it IS a violation of policy then you are asking AskMe to help you break a law/policy which tends to not go over well.

If it is not against school policy then ask your school computer admins.
posted by edgeways at 9:28 AM on February 21, 2007


When I click on final link to get the torrent, the page times-out, and won't fully load. This is on campus. I'm using Utorrent, and even existing incomplete files will neither up, or download. Thanks
posted by JABof72 at 9:32 AM on February 21, 2007


Youre being blocked on the DNS level and there is some kind of packet filtering done on torrent traffic. Im guessing this is against your acceptable use policy at school and you probably shouldnt be doing this. If it isnt, contact your schools help desk.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:36 AM on February 21, 2007


They've almost certainly blocked the ports. Torrents are a huge resource hog and any decent IT department will disallow users from downloading them in order to ensure a respectable quality of service to the rest of the users. Can't hog the bandwidth.
posted by loiseau at 9:37 AM on February 21, 2007


A lot of schools block .torrent file downloads directly, which sounds like what is happening here. Blocking torrent traffic itself would show up as a 0 kb/s download rate.

To get around it, the site you're downloading from has to have an alternative way to download it. Maybe a version of the torrent named with .text, or a download on a non-standard HTTP port like 81. If not, I think you're out of luck.
posted by smackfu at 9:57 AM on February 21, 2007


Not a workaround, but just a comment on reason for the blocking...
At my institution they've started blocking torrent traffic (as best they can) purely because it tends slow down more important stuff (like research).
posted by monkeymadness at 10:07 AM on February 21, 2007


It's not DNS or port blocking. It's probably a TippingPoint IPS.

We have one here, and we can do that exact same thing. It blocks the stream containing the torrent file and produces exactly the same result.
posted by drstein at 10:18 AM on February 21, 2007


Have you tried encrypting your BitTorrent traffic? I did (with Azareus) and was quite pleased with the result.
posted by WCityMike at 6:49 PM on February 21, 2007


Encrypting it won't do any good if an IPS is blocking the stream containing ".torrent" y'know.

"When I click on final link to get the torrent, the page times-out, and won't fully load."

This isn't DNS or port blocking or an encryption issue. He's being smacked down at the network layer, most likely by an IPS.
posted by drstein at 1:58 PM on February 25, 2007


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