Don’t Give in to the Rush of a Torrent in a College Dorm Room

Ah, college. Time to explore your interests, your identity and your insane high-speed internet connection. While you might be tempted to use your college network for nefarious purposes, since you can now use BitTorrent whatever you want much faster than what you might have in your parents’ house, consider if it’s worth it. Nothing ruins your day more than getting arrested over BitTorrent, your Dark Web trades, or whatever crazy thing you do.

Here’s the deal. If you open qBittorrent and The Pirate Bay and drive into town, chances are good that your college is already rolling out traffic shaping on its network, so the number of people in the dorm is not slowing down your campus network.

You can probably run a torrent, but your download speed may suffer. If you’re lucky they should be fine, but maybe your download speed will drop instead. Depending on where you get your BitTorrents from, an uneven ratio can ruin your chances of getting additional content. Hit one.

The second hit is more obvious. Allowing BitTorrent to connect to your college’s network is a great way to impose fines, or worse, get banned or other nasty disciplinary action. Take a look at Stanford University’s policy (and its respectable “three-hit” rule, which gives you several options to stop what you are doing before you get hit by a banhammer):

For the first incident, your computer’s credentials will be restored after you demonstrate that you understand the issues by passing the test and confirming your future law-abiding intentions.

In the second case, your online credentials will be deactivated within four calendar days after you demonstrate that you understand the issues by submitting and confirming your future law-abiding intentions.

The third charge will require a student lawsuit and will usually take at least one academic quarter off your network .

Note. Offenders of all levels also run the risk of being sued by the copyright holder, which can cost thousands of dollars (or more).

But wait, you think. “I can just use a VPN like I did at home so that my” provider “, the university, doesn’t know what I’m up to!”

And here is the third blow. Of course, a VPN is a great way to hide what you are doing. Problem? Your university may have already set up mechanisms that prevent you from using VPNs (including services like Tor) on their network. But let’s assume on the positive side: your VPN is working, you’re connected, and you’re ready to start downloading more movies than the major movie industry’s DVD collection.

First, you need to pay attention to whether your VPN is actually working. If it shuts down and you don’t understand it, you will be sending all your BitTorrent traffic exposed, and it will definitely grab the attention of your college. (In an ideal world, you’d want to use a VPN app with a “kill switch” setting that blocks all your network traffic in the event it loses or can’t connect.)

You still have to deal with traffic shaping mechanisms in your university, if any. And even if you don’t have any problems with it, it shouldn’t be difficult for those in charge of your college network to notice that your dorm room or laptop that you registered on the campus network with the account you assigned you to college is eating up. more bandwidth than everyone else.

Stanford University also has a system for working with those who mysteriously eat up tons of online resources:

“If you receive an informational traffic message, it means that the network traffic patterns from your computer suggest that it can generate a large amount of peer-to-peer file sharing traffic. You have no problem (at least not because you received this message). In fact, we assume that you comply with copyright laws and university policies. Notice is provided only as a service to those people who unknowingly share files. If you know that you are sharing files only with the legal permission of the copyright holder, you can ignore this message. “

While your university may not be able to tell you unambiguously that you are using BitTorrent on a VPN, they will definitely notice your bandwidth usage, which may warrant a closer investigation (and possible consequences). You may get away with that, but I wouldn’t say the risk is worth it. There are other sensible alternatives you can try , or you might just not go crazy with illegal downloads.

Make some friends and share Netflix, Spotify or Apple Music account . Add to your campus media library. Go to one of your college’s (likely many) film screenings. Get your dorm to buy more Blu-ray so everyone can watch it on a huge shared TV. Use your nice student discounts to purchase entertainment at super cheap prices . Go study. Party. The possibilities are endless.


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