How to Use FrostWire Anonymously
After a U.S. Federal Court judge ordered LimeWire to shut down in October 2010, many peer-to-peer users started using FrostWire to access and share files on the Gnutella P2P network. In fact, at the time of publication, CNET's Download.com shows that users of the site have downloaded FrostWire more than 32 million times. Like LimeWire, FrostWire displays certain information about users during sharing and download sessions. When using FrostWire, users on peer connections can view your IP address and the country in which you reside. In many cases, other users can even browse your shared media folder for files. To prevent the display and use of private information in FrostWire, you should connect via secure proxy or virtual private network.
Download a Virtual Private Network client application. Free VPN applications -- such as Hotspot Shield, CyberGhost VPN and TorVPN -- support anonymous browsing and downloads with P2P applications, such as FrostWire. These free VPN services do have bandwidth limits and restrictions, though, that could affect your ability to use the for P2P applications consistently. For unlimited bandwidth and downloads, consider purchasing a subscription to a commercial VPN account from one of the providers.
Browse to the folder where you saved the VPN client application. Double-click the set-up file to start the VPN client setup wizard. Follow the prompts to install the client. Restart your computer if prompted.
Sign up for a free account with the provider that offers the VPN client, if required. Some VPN client applications require you log in with a username and password, while other do not.
Launch the VPN client application on your computer. Log in with your username and password if prompted. Wait a few minutes for the VPN client application to log into the Virtual Private Network, authenticate the connection and then establish a secure, and anonymous, tunnel to the Internet. The VPN clients displays a confirmation message once you successfully connect to the network.
Start FrostWire, and then wait for the application to connect to the Gnutella P2P network. Use FrostWire to search for and download files as you normally would. Other users connected to the Gnutella network cannot see your true IP address or country of residence.
Tips & Warnings
- After you connect to a VPN, you can verify that the service is masking your IP address by visiting sites such as WhatsMyIp.org, WhatIsMyIP.com or WhatIsMyIPAddress.com. The IP address displayed on the site should be from a different location than ones normally assigned to your computer by your Internet service provider.
- Never use FrostWire to download copyrighted media or material you do not have permission to use. Using FrostWire (or any other peer-to-peer application), to download copyrighted applications, music, videos or other media is illegal in many areas and could result in legal prosecution, including fines and imprisonment. Only use FrostWire to download freeware or public domain material.
- New versions of FrostWire also support BitTorrent downloads. However, many VPN services block access to torrent downloads. If you can download torrent files when connected to a VPN, try searching for ZIP or RAR compressed versions of files you want to download on the Gnutella network.