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Do you BitTorrent? Do you download stuff from Kazza, Limewire or whatever you crazy kids are downloading from nowadays? We all know that it is illegal to download copyrighted works from the Internet. No matter if it is a movie, music, an application or even a textbook. You could be subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. We have heard horror stories of a college kid or a grandfather being sued by the RIAA or another company hell bent on you not downloading their proprietary materials. So what do you do? Do you stop downloading?

I know some people that have – but most of you are just downloading away without a care in the world. Would you like a little bit of extra downloading protection?

Companies set up fake peers and trackers that either send you malicious files or note your IP address. Now using Peer Block we can stop them from getting all of us! Once a IP range is detected as being malicious they are added to the Peer Block database. Peer Block will then prevent your machine from allowing them to connect. It is not foolproof by any means but for those of you who keep on downloading, this might be a little piece of mind.

Let’s take a look at how it works. You start your downloading protection by downloading the application from here.

Just unzip the contents and run the exe file. If you have show extensions turned off in your Windows Explorer it will be the icon shaped like a blue cube. It is the third one down in my screenshot below:

downloading protection

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Once you run the executable the setup wizard will begin – the program does not install to the best of my knowledge. It looks like it lives in the directory you unzip it to making it a great companion for portable uTorrent.

downloading protection

We hit next on the first screen to move along through the installer. The rest of the screens will have information for you to fill in. On the second screen which you can see below, this screen allows you to pick what you want blocked. For most of us it will just be P2P (for most file sharing applications) but you can also block ads, spyware and educational sites. You can import or create your own list and there is an option to allow http always – this means you can browse via your web browser to sites in the ranges that are in your list. Check which ones you want and hit next to continue. You should also read the recommendation at the bottom of the screen.

downloading protection

Now these lists change daily so just like your antivirus software you need to keep your definitions up to date. Configure this on the next screen that you can see below.

download protection

That is it. You have a little bit more downloading protection in your online adventures of bootlegging and pirating”¦ Arrrr matey!

download protection

The application will start updating the Peer Block application and the selected lists that you choose way back at the beginning.

download protection

Once the updates are complete the application will generate a list cache so it can do its thing.

download security

That’s it. The application is now running and blocking what you requested. You can click on the disable button to disable the whole kit and kaboodle or click the allow HTTP to allow web access to an address in your list.

download security

Do you have any other methods of staying safe? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

  1. Viet
    November 19, 2009 at 10:36 am

    no linux port? i'll pass

    • Dan
      November 19, 2009 at 1:10 pm

      you could respond this way to just about every software post on this site... why even bother?

      • Karl Gechlik
        November 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm

        Thanks Dan! It's almost as bad as FIRST! Very LolCats and very annoying.

  2. Paul G
    November 19, 2009 at 10:33 am

    As this is V1.0 I would say it is a copy of PG2. Also, looking at the PG2 site it includes the following;

    Open Source
    PeerGuardian 2 is Open Source, meaning the program code is available online for anyone who wants it. Not only does this allow you to make modifications or even branch off into your own project, but it encourages peer review of the code making sure any bugs are eliminated swiftly. Because PeerGuardian 2 is Open Source, you can rest assured there are no backdoors or spyware included.

    I would say they took the source, changed the name and released it. All the above screen shots are identical to PG2.

    • vinnie05
      November 25, 2009 at 12:57 am

      It is true they did take the source, however it has been updated and works better than PG2... PG2 has never properly supported Vista and dev on it has stopped.

  3. Liam M
    November 19, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I think PeerBlock is the successor to PeerGuardian 2.

  4. bloodclot
    November 19, 2009 at 7:10 am

    As far as I'm aware it's not illegal to download copyrighted material. It's illegal to share it.

    • Karl Gechlik
      November 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      Nah dude its illegal to download copyrighted materials as well. And i quote:

      What are the penalties for illegally downloading/uploading movies on the Internet?

      Let's just say it's a bad idea. Illegal downloading of movies is often done via peer-to-peer (P2P) services. Typically the way these services operate, when you download an illegal file , you also agree to make that file available (along with everything else on your computer's "shared folder") to other members of the P2P network. This means you're not only in possession of stolen goods, but you're also a distributor. In the eyes of the law, this is a much more serious offense involving civil and criminal penalties. Bottom line: It's not worth it. Here's a list of sites that offer movies and TV shows easily and legally online.

      Via the MPAA site @ mpaa.org/contentprotection_faq.asp

      • bloodclot
        November 20, 2009 at 6:07 am

        The quote you link to just seems to confirm what I said. Notice the carefully composed weasel words.

        What are the penalties for illegally downloading/uploading movies on the Internet?

        Let's just say it's a bad idea.

        What? That's not the answer to the question! Typical political response that avoids the question - a question that's already deliberately loaded - you can't "illegally download movies" since it's not illegal to do so! It's illegal to facilitate others to download them i.e. to breach the copyright of the material you are in possession of.

        What are the penalties? Answer: There are no penalties for downloading/uploading because downloading/uploading isn't an offense. Downloading might be naughty but it's not a crime. Sharing/uploading is an offense, but we're not going to tell you the penalties for that anyway!! bla!

        They go on to suggest that simply by downloading you're probably an idiot who has shared the whole of your computer, or some imaginary "shared folder", or indeed anything. Possibly true for anyone trying to get sound legal advice from an industry lobbying group!

        The MPAA is an organisation with an obvious vested financial interest, and that quote is bullshit propaganda designed to scare people. It's not legal advice.

        This means you're not only in possession of stolen goods, but you're also a distributor. In the eyes of the law, this is a much more serious offense involving civil and criminal penalties.

        "Possession of stolen goods"?? LOL. Nice try but no lawyer's certificate today!

        But here they give a hint of the truth, which would be clearer if they edited it down to: "If you're a distributor, this is an offense involving potential civil and criminal penalties".

        and then "go here and give us money".

        I'm not commenting on the morality of downloading or sharing files, just the accuracy of the copy both here and on the site you refer to.

  5. Matt
    November 19, 2009 at 9:28 am

    @anon

    Here's your answer: peerblock.com/docs/faq#peerblock_vs_pg2

    I was wondering the same thing.

  6. anon
    November 19, 2009 at 7:31 am

    well peerblock looks suspiciously similar to PeerGuardian 2 phoenixlabs.org/pg2/

    how come ?!?

    who copied from who ?

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