Fact: When downloading copyrighted content using peer-to-peer file sharing, people are at risk because their IP address is visible.
Software at the ISP scans the network for people downloading copyrighted material. It can match their IP to their name and address.
I protect myself from lawyers and their cease and their desist letters by using BTGuard BitTorrent Proxy, an anonymous proxy service.
You need not disclose your name to test it. You simply choose a username and password and select a subscription (1 to 12 months).
You can cancel anytime.
After ordering and paying with PayPal, within minutes, I received an email that my account was ready and active.
They also offer anonymous payment via bitcoin.
I downloaded a preconfigured µTorrent client, it had all settings for anonymity in place and I entered the login credentials.
My computer now routes P2P traffic through a proxy server before sending it to me. My IP is completely invisible.
The plan allows 1 simultaneous connection.
BTGuard supports programs that use a SOCKS5 proxy (a proxy with a special kind of authentication). Any software supporting SOCKS5 will work.
It can't be used for web surfing as popular browser supports SOCKS5. I deduct one star because of this limitation.
Transmissions reach 80% of my achievable download speed. Encryption can stay off, the IP address is safely hidden without.
Good documentation, customer service via email.
The company, Netcrawled LLC, is incorporated in Canada. They say: "No records of usage are stored."
The service is 30% cheaper than a VPN and they offer 25% discount for the yearly plan. To get this deal, select 12 months on the order page.
Conclusion I prefer BTGuard proxy over a VPN because I only need privacy for file sharing. It's well suited for this task.