The Pros & Cons of PeerBlock (PeerBlock Vs. VPN)

The intentions of PeerBlock, on paper, look quite enticing. The ability to detect & block IP addresses of torrent monitoring companies and download ‘safely’ feels fulfilling. 

PeerBlock is software for torrent IP blocking. In other words, it allows you to block torrent peers according to their IP addresses.

Yet, there’s the other side of the coin that you might not know about, and because of which, I don’t recommend the use of PeerBlock. Here’s a short summary:

PeerBlock is an antiquated software that doesn’t do much for your privacy and it isn’t recommended to rely solely on its sub-par IP blocking capabilities. If you’re serious about staying anonymous and safe while torrenting, a much better choice is to use a VPN.   

PeerBlockVPN
SpeedSlowOK
TorrentingYesYes
EncryptionNoYes
Security & PrivacySub-par and only for torrentingYes
Unblocking websitesNoYes
StreamingNoYes
peerblock vs vpn

What is PeerBlock? 

PeerBlock is an open-source personal firewall that’s been released in 2009 and is free to use. However, if you want to use it to the fullest extent, you’ll have to pay a subscription of $9.99 per year to I-Blocklist – a platform that supplies blocking lists.

Best VPN Overall
Best VPN Features

You see, PeerBlock and I-Blocklist go together like two peas in a pod, and without these lists provided by I-Blocklist, PeerBlock would basically be useless.

iblocklist

PeerBlock is a Windows-based alternative to PeerGuardian that blocks incoming and outgoing connections to IP addresses. These IP addresses can be found on the internet, mainly on, as we already said, iblocklist.com.

Although there wasn’t a new update since 2014, the team behind the software is apparently working on future releases.  

What is a VPN?

vpn diagram

If you’re somehow unfamiliar with VPNs by now, let’s explain briefly what it is and what it does. A VPN, or a virtual private network, is basically a network of servers that encrypt all your data when you connect to one of them. 

VPN companies generally maintain a network of hundreds or even thousands of servers, worldwide. A VPN is a middleman that stands between you and your internet connection, shielding your real IP address and giving you a new one.

By having a different IP address, figuring out who you are is much much harder (yet not impossible). 

Pros of PeerBlock

  • It’s free
  • It’s open-source
  • Blocks incoming and outgoing connections
  • Customizable interface

One of the perks of Peerblock is that it is free. It is software engaged by BitTorrent and p2p users for downloading anonymity. They achieve this by blocking peer connections from specific IP addresses.

With Peerblock, users have both the options of paid and free 3rd party blocklists. These blocklists contain IP addresses that are checked when you activate PeerBlock. 

peerblock

Cons Of PeerBlock

  • PeerBlock’s software is unstable and outdated
  • Your IP address isn’t hidden from connected peers
  • Your torrents aren’t encrypted
  • The right IPs are not blocked
  • It blocks too many peers

We’re now going to expand on the main PeerBlock disadvantages, and you will discover more about some of the main cons. 

You will also see how much VPNs are superior to PeerBlock for safe downloads. This article will also highlight the best VPNs for downloading torrents.

Not All ‘Undesirable’ IP Addresses Can Get Blocked

peerblock installation

When IP ranges of different types are blocked, you have PeerBlock lists. Therefore, to stop every ‘undesirable’ peer means to block every IP Address in the world. If you did that, you’d have no peers left.

If there’s the deliberate intention of monitoring you, a blocked IP won’t stop it. Will a core investigative company back off because their IP address gets blocked? No. 

The blunt fact is that it is easy to generate or change IP addresses. With the right VPN providers, monitoring bodies can get many IP addresses in a moment. 

Employing a blocklist that bars IP ranges of VPN services doesn’t solve this problem. Trackers get to leverage VPS for new servers. The IP switches help them reach new ones without much effort.

READ ALSO: How to Get Around IP Bans with a VPN (4 Easy Steps)

PeerBlock Bars Too Many Peers

There are 3 blocklists available on PeerBlock for free. But these blocklists don’t only block some thousand IP addresses — they block over a billion of them. My research shows that it equals stopping 25% of available Ip4 addresses worldwide. 

That’s too much because the majority of them are not harmful. Plus, the consequence of having minimal peer options means a slower download speed.

No Encryption Whatsoever

peerblock software

Even if you can block all sneaky or monitory IPs with PeerBlock, you still can’t block one. That one is your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

They are the channel through which your internet surf passes. Thus you cannot cut their access with PeerBlock. In other words, they have complete access to your deeds on the internet. 

With a method called deep packet inspection, ISPs can see all your browsing actions. Websites you visit, messages you send, and the likes are easily monitorable by them. 

The only way to bar deep packet inspection is by using a VPN.

RELATED: Encryption Vs. Hashing (Explained For Beginners)

Your IP Address is Not Hidden

Your peers in the stream can see your IP address, and PeerBlock can do nothing about it. As you most likely know, your IP address is unique. And it is the identifying information about you that shows in the BitTorrent swarm.

When downloading torrents, specific services let you use an anonymous IP address. The most common are torrent proxy service or VPN service. 

Upon connection to a VPN server, you get a custom IP address. This IP address will be what your peers in the swarm will see. Meanwhile, VPN providers store no record or log of your activities, so it’s impossible to link your anonymous IP to your actual one. 

With all we’ve outlined, you have to admit to noticing the loopholes in Peerblock. So we present to you the much stronger alternative we’ve chipped in here and there: VPN.

RELATED: The 6 Safest Torrenting Clients (Read Before Downloading)

Pros of VPN 

There are several other options when it comes to alternatives for PeerBlock. Still, the one I recommend as the best is the VPN.

The pros of VPNs far outweigh the cons. In fact, the cons are insignificant. In no way does PeerBlock stand a chance.

  • P2P downloads support
  • Privacy
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Kill switch 
  • Superb download speeds
  • SOCKS5 compatibility
  • Port forwarding
  • Unblock torrent sites on restricted networks
  • Assigns disposable, untraceable, and anonymous IP address

A capable VPN is a powerhouse. It will provide end-to-end encryption and keep you private and secure. 

Cons of VPN

  • They cost money
  • VPN provider can see your data
  • Can be blocked

VPNs cost some money, but you can find an excellent VPN for only $2 per month. Or even less. In this world, a low price doesn’t mean bad quality. In fact, it’s the free VPNs that you should be wary of. 

While it’s true that you’re putting your data from the hands of ISPs and into the hands of VPNs, the best VPN providers enforce strict no-logs policies that are backed by third-party audits. 

The third, and final con, is that even VPNs can be blocked by various streaming platforms, governments, public institutions, etc. Therefore, it’s important to choose a VPN that will offset that and keep you “in the game”. 

The best VPNs have nearly unlimited resources to battle these VPN blocks and stay on top. 

We researched and discovered VPNs that meet the requirements of many users. Here are some VPNs we recommend:

1. NordVPN

nordvpn
  • 5,200+ servers in 60 countries
  • Circumvents geolocation restrictions
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer…
  • Quick Connect
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • For up to six devices
  • Works in China
  • 24/7 live chat

NordVPN is one of the most powerful VPNs on the market. And one of the most popular. It was designed with utmost attention to secure you and your data and to give you unrestricted access to apps, websites, entertainment, and more.

NordVPN only encrypts your data, but it encrypts it with next-generation encryption. Meanwhile, this utmost security does not mean it lags in speed. 

NordVPN Servers on Windows

Also, with their 5300+ servers in 59 countries, you have unlimited and seamless access to the internet. 

Nord does not offer you unlimited connections with devices. But one account allows you to connect up to six devices. They are all protected with the same level of top-notch security.

Also, the customer support for VPN is fantastic. They are available 24/7 to answer your queries. Find more info in our full NordVPN review

2. SurfShark

surfshark
  • Over 3,200 servers worldwide
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited device connections
  • For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer…
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works in China
  • 24/7 live chat

SurfShark allows you unhindered access to platforms like Netflix. You get to see over thirty Netflix libraries & more. It takes you on a tour of endless possibilities. It also hands you unlimited access to various streaming services. 

This VPN has a feature known as the Whitelister. Whitelister allows specific websites or apps to skip VPN connections. It is incredibly fantastic for your banking apps, so you don’t always have to switch them on and off.

Surfshark on Android

Another feature called Clean Web ensures that malware or phishing attempts do not get to you. Meanwhile, you’ll never have anything to do with ads or trackers again.

Furthermore, Surf Shark has a strict no-log policy. This means your privacy is 100% untampered with. Nothing you do is monitored or accessed. Also, they engage the best form of encryption in the industry. Thus, your data is well secured and private. 

One key feature of this VPN is the Kill Switch. The Kill Switch deactivates your internet connection should your VPN connection drop. This means there’s no chance for data leak or external infiltration. 

With one subscription, you can use an unlimited number of devices in your home or office. Read more about this feature-rich VPN in our full Surfshark review.

3. ProtonVPN

protonvpn
  • Over 1,400 servers in 60+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • No-logs policy
  • Tor over VPN
  • P2P support
  • Up to 10 device connections
  • For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer…
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works in China
  • 24/7 live chat

This VPN is a distinct VPN amid VPN service providers. Security is its core goal. According to our findings, it is so secure that it is the choice of investigative journalists. 

In fact, this VPN was actually designed to secure journalists, activists, and the likes. This would ensure press freedom and remove internet censorship barriers. This means you are free to access any website.

Moreover, this VPN ensures your browsing history remains known to you only. They do not log user activity or share data with third parties. Their VPN service works with anonymity which enables the internet without surveillance.

ProtonVPN on Windows

Also, the Proton VPN is open source. This denotes that the software can get verified anywhere. Anyone anywhere can check and verify its authenticity. And this is because its source code is available in the public domain. 

With this VPN, you can share and download any file. They have individual servers for p2p (BitTorrent) for your file upload. And also have for your download and sharing pleasures. Meanwhile, you never need to worry about optimal performance. 

Meanwhile, you can connect anywhere. You have the option of more than fifty countries on about six continents, so you choose any and surf with a local IP address.

Read more about this excellent high-speed Swiss VPN in our full ProtonVPN review

Conclusion: PeerBlock vs VPN

PeerBlock has lost its appeal many years ago. It’s basically a relict of the past that does what it says on the tin (blocks connections to blacklisted IPs) but doesn’t do anything else like encrypt your traffic or help you unblock geo-restrictions. 

A VPN, on the other hand, will help you own your privacy and keep it secure. It will encrypt your internet connection so that your online traffic is safe. Everything you check, watch, share, or download remains exclusively your business. 

Best VPN Overall
Best VPN Features
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