When can my IP and Internet traffic be tracked?

Anonymous August 24, 2014

I’m about to lose my internet provider as I keep getting notices that they are receiving copyright infringement notices. I use Vuze and a VPN (not always) and am wondering when can my IP be tracked. Only during download? During seeding? During actually using whatever I’ve downloaded? I’ve lived many places and this is the first internet provider (Suddenlink) I had that will actually cut you off after a while. And I live in a very rural area with only 2 other options for access. I appreciate your time and answer.

  1. Jan F
    August 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I agree with Dragonmouth but to give you a technical answer:

    Your provider can track you at any time. Everything you do via that connection, on the internet, runs through your providers equipment. Whether the provider is allowed to do so or not depends on the local laws and their terms of service.

    One thing they are usually allowed is to analyze traffic (patterns and protocols) to ensure the quality and performance of their service and to improve it.

    Vuze is a Bittorrent client and in most cases used for illegal activity, copyright infringement, and it uses a specific protocol which can easily be isolated from other traffic.

    If you are using VPN things get a bit more complicated.
    Usually a VPN should hide your identity and activity between your computer and your VPN server. But like everything else VPN are only secure to a certain point and the fact that you are not using it consistently leaves the option open for a "unique ID" identification. Yes, Vuze does use client ID's to identify users.

    So, with that I can come up with two options:
    1. Your provider detected a lot of Bittorrent traffic on your connection and gave you a blind warning without actually looking at what you are downloading/sharing.
    2. You were downloading copyrighted material and one of the sources was a third-party who is monitoring file sharing networks for infringements and reported it. (There are companies who do this as a service for copyright holders).

    So, if you are 100% certain you didn't do anything illegal you can speculate that the first thing happened and when your provider finally cuts you off you can take legal actions. Given the costs for a legal case and the fact that you probably don't want to go back to a provider after suing him this seems pretty much pointless.

    If you cannot say for certain that you didn't do anything illegal then I would suggest to stop downloading files via Vuze or other means you cannot verify to be legal. Because worst case scenario option 2 applies and some of those companies are dedicated to sue people for their actions. Then your provider cutting you off will be the least of your concern.

  2. Hovsep A
    August 25, 2014 at 11:58 am

    How to Trace an IP Address to a PC & How to Find Your Own

  3. Mukesh Joshi
    August 25, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Whenever you surf site having tracking features it will automatically trace your IP address. One of the best example for this is google.

  4. Oron J
    August 25, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I've got to agree with Dragonmouth. Why are you asking for help with illegal activity which is likely to get your internet connection cut off?? Straighten out your act and you won't have a problem...

  5. dragonmouth
    August 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Maybe if you did not infringe on copyrights you would not be about to lose your internet provider. MUO and its readers are not in the habit of aiding and abetting illegal activity.