Feb 5, 2016

Automatically kill your torrent client when your VPN drops in Windows

Well, it happened again. I received another warning letter from my ISP for downloading one of my favorite TV shows. The really sucky part is that I've been using a VPN service to hide my torrent activities for a while so I shouldn't have been detected.

The problem is that occasionally the VPN connection will drop for some unknown reason. Maybe the issue is with the VPN company, maybe the issue is with my home router, maybe the issue is with my ISP. Who really knows, But the VPN connection will drop. When it drops, I'm exposed!

For a while I tried using the SOCKS5 proxy service my VPN company offers, but for some reason RSS feeds don't work right with that so I had to turn it off in order to get my latest show downloads. When that is off, and the VPN goes down the torrent client keeps running and my real IP address is, once again, exposed!

I decided I needed a kill switch to stop my torrent client from working if the VPN fails for some reason. There are a couple of clients that have that built in. Vuze for example lets you bind to your VPN network interface, and if that connection goes down it stops working. My client of choice, qBittorrent, has this feature too, but in Windows it won't detect my PPP interface for my VPN, so it won't work for me. I don't want to use Vuze because I don't like how it handles RSS feeds.

Well, I found a solution. It's called VPNWatcher!

From TorrentFreak:

VPNWatcher is pretty straightforward. It monitors whether a VPN connection is active, and when it’s not it shuts down uTorrent or any other application it is configured to kill.
When users first start the application they can pick the network interface that matches the VPN (it appears when the VPN connects) and list the applications it has to shut down. The settings can then be saved and the user has the option to run VPNWatcher minimized.
By default the applications VPNWatcher is looking for are uTorrent and Firefox. You can change these applications in the VPNWatcher.exe.config file. I have mine set to look for qbittorrent and it works like a charm.

If for some reason my VPN gets disconnected, qbittorrent is immediately closed down! Boom! No more notices from my ISP!

What do you do to ensure your privacy when your VPN fails? Let us know in the comments!

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