Before Jumping on the WebTorrent Bandwagon, Read this and Stay Safe
The technology behind free, open source WebTorrent (and its Desktop counterparts) certainly commands attention. If you visit their website at https://webtorrent.io/ an impressive demo starts right away and within seconds a high-quality movie is being streamed to your display.
WebTorrent supports traditional .torrent files and magnet links alike. After adding a popular torrent, it will be streaming to the built-in video player within seconds.
This ability to torrent right from inside your web browser without any additional software or even browser plugins is reminiscent of Torrents Time. And it also carries the same risks.
In fact, the clue as to the privacy dangers is fully on display in the demo itself. Take a look at the screenshot above (select the image to enlarge it): the IP addresses of users sharing a torrent via WebTorrent are not hidden or shielded.
In other words, the same torrent monitoring risks exist for WebTorrent (and its Desktop counterparts) as they do for Torrents Time, Popcorn Time and good ol’ fashion BitTorrent file-sharing.
Actually, WebTorrent is Worse for your Privacy
In fact, the situation of trying to torrent anonymously is worse with WebTorrent.
This is because WebTorrent relies on the WebRTC protocol, which makes your IP address even more prone to exposure. Remember all the fuss over WebRTC leaks?
The Bottom Line
Torrent file-sharing may be taking many different shapes and forms these days (a good thing) but the same rule applies: if you want to protect your privacy and remain anonymous while torrent file-sharing, you’ll need to hide your IP address and encrypt your torrent traffic with a trusted torrent VPN. End of story.
Still, we’ll follow WebTorrent with interest along with everyone else. Yes, it’s free and open source, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that WebTorrent is somehow a safer way to torrent. It isn’t.
Webtorrent Desktop Streams Torrents Beautifully | via TorrentFreak