Anonymous BitTorrent With Anomos
Written by Alan Monday, 6 September 2010 08:00
Anomos is a new (free, of course) BitTorrent client that claims complete anonymity for users. It does not run over TOR, though, as many you would probably expect. Here’s what their website has to say about it:
Anomos is different. It is easier to think of Anomos as a variation of BitTorrent rather than a variation of Tor, although it does use the same principle of onion routing to establish links between peers. Unlike Tor, there is no single Anomos network, just as there is no single BitTorrent network. All the peers who connect to an Anomos tracker are used to relay traffic, not just a small collection of permanent relayers. All of the peers must connect to a single tracker, which maintains a model of the network and assigns pathways to download requested files.
So what does it do and how does it work? Coincidentally, I tried it out, and here’s what I found.
It’s not quite a standard BitTorrent client. Anomos is not compatible with standard torrent files, but uses an atorrent file format. This makes things slightly more complicated, but don’t worry, you can still work with standard torrent files with an extra step.
Once you have downloaded the torrent file, open Anonmos => click File => click Anonymize and open a .torrent file
Now navigate to the folder where your torrent files are stored and choose the one you want to download.
The download speed seems to be somewhat slower than using a standard BitTorrent client, such as Vuze (our choice). The trade-off, is obvious though – complete anonymity. The interface itself is also sparse, which is not a bad thing. If you have ever taken a look at the Tools => Options menu in Vuze, then you have been faced with a rather complicated maze of hundreds of tweaks, many of which will leave the average user shaking his or her head. By contrast, the options in Anomos, accessed via View => Settings, are spartan.
There is talk of building the Anomos protocol into the next version on uTorrent. Hopefully we will also see Vuze and others adopt this plan.
Although Anomos is a bit more complicated to use than the average BitTorrent client, it is certainly not difficult for a competent PC user, and the added security is certainly worth while. If the protocol gets built into other torrent clients then it will revolutionize the P2P world. Right nowit’s good for standard torrent use, but can’t be used with such programs as TED (our review) or certain sites like TorrentDay that track sharing.