Which is the best blocklist for Transmission?

Transmission

Transmission is, in my opinion, the best BitTorrent client for OS X and Linux [and did you know there’s even an unofficial Windows version too?]. Why? Because it’s super easy to use and configure and it’s not resource-hungry like some other one [someone said µTorrent for OS X?].

But it has a problem. Blocklists are damn hard to find.

Looking for a nice and complete blocklist for Transmission can be a pain, especially if you’re not sure of which one to pick. In fact there are a ton of lists all for different purposes and no one will give you complete bad-peer protection since one will shield your client from spammers, one from the US Government [really?] and no one from all those things combined.

If you search on Google you will find people recommending this website, called iBlocklist, which collects various block lists but there are to many of them and they all have the same problem I said before: no complete 100% protection.

Luckly John Tyree, a user from quora.com, created a GitHub project which combines all those iBlocklist lists in to a single one and he hosted the result here:

http://john.bitsurge.net/public/biglist.p2p.gz

simply add this URL in the Transmission preferences like this:

Peer blocklist

and the application will do all the magic for you combining the lists and adding those IP rules to the built-in firewall. Be sure to check the option below to make Transmission update the blocklist weekly for you so you won’t have to worry anymore. This works with all versions of Transmission and with all OSs.

68 thoughts on “Which is the best blocklist for Transmission?

  1. TJ says:

    Even tho the file date on the biglistt.p2p.gz is current as of today. The list of IP numbers in there has not changed for some time. I’d expect it to change every other day at least. Might be a problem somewhere.

    Like

    • Hello TJ and thank you for your comment :-).
      I didn’t update the blacklist rules as of the post date and I have tried to refresh them now after you comment but the number of rules it’s still the same: 360’883 IPs, so I guess you’re right. Do you have the same number?
      However I don’t think this is a problem because this list is being updated on a monthly or weekly basis so if you update it day by day I think you won’t notice any difference, to be 100% sure we will need to wait a few days and then retry refreshing the list again. In addition, 360’883 rules are still more than double compared to the average rules of a single blocklist from iBlocklist [I am not 100% sure correct me if I am wrong].

      Just to know, are you on OS X, Linux or Window by the way?

      Like

  2. Chris Peck says:

    how do i access the settings/prefrences to add the block list? I’m brand new to mac i have been a pc user my whole life…HELP PLEASE!!!

    Like

    • When you have transmission open, press ⌘ , (that’s “command + comma”) this is the universal keyboard shortcut to open the settings/preferences menu in any application. The correct way to press a keyboard shortcut is like this
      1. Press and hold ⌘ (command key)
      2. Press , (comma key) once
      3. Let go of ⌘ (command)

      Alternatively, you can click the name of the application in the top left corner next to the  then select Preferences. Notice that the keyboard shortcuts for most common tasks are provided on the line next to the selection. Hope this helps.

      Like

  3. reborn says:

    i am so glad, that i find this after install xubuntu 14.04, i willl keep bookmark, when is come to 2015. Thanks for share the link.

    Like

  4. totolulu says:

    Another way I use : select the lists you want to use on iBlocklist. Then create a script that copy them on your /blocklist/ folder, and Transmission will merge them for you… That’s all folks 😉

    Like

  5. Jon says:

    Thanks Guilio,
    Using the address in the article, mine just updated to 389,420 blocked, so it does appear to have been updated since the comments above in February, 2014.

    I didn’t try the Walshie list, since this one still seems to work (although it’d be helpful if everyone who comments also notes the current count, so if it does stop it’ll be noticeable)

    Like

  6. V says:

    The List provided in the article Is updated, I’ve got 392,877 rules in transmission as of Jan 11 2015. In response to Frank about the blocklists, it really is better than nothing… the lists will keep you from being picked up from ip scanners that anti p2p companies/governement/Major Corps use,

    I Checked the github source and it looks like the original creator of the code has not updated it to the newest version of i-blocklists site and it doesn’t include everything when compared to peerblocks 4 standard lists (P2P,Advertising,Education,Spyware) which collectively give almost 1 billion ip’s.

    another user (IP2K) forked the original code and has graciously created a script that compiles all of the lists together into a massive list, he also put up a daily updated file at http://ip2k.com/list.gz but huge warning! it is a list that is over 7mb with over 2 billion IP’s! I was trying to use it on a freenas jail of transmission that runs on a web interface and there is so much data for it to sift through my server crashed, my jail wont allow for a list of that size to be cached and downloaded. I havent tried it on the stand alone client but it worked flawlessly when i added it to peerblocks list manager. When using this I saw no ill effects while torrenting.

    but anyways thanks GiulioMac I’m not sure how you found it but good work sir I would not have been able to find this other even larger more ridiculous list.

    now to sit and contemplate on buying a VPN.

    Like

  7. mruben says:

    I have 392,911 rules after updating on January 17th, 2015. Just started using transmission and am used to Peerblock so any help or pointers on more reliable blacklists would be appreciated 🙂

    Like

  8. D. W. Dockins says:

    Just downloaded for first time; updated old list count from 227,000 to new list count = 392,888. That is 3,000+ more than the 12/09/2014 quote, so it looks like it is active.

    Like

    • Nostromov says:

      Of course they are, or should be, (somewhat!) similar… The other guy, who mentioned some insane number is – insane (lol). 2 billion – it’s like, watching, too much Austin Powers! xD

      Like

  9. John Tyree says:

    Hey guys. Just so we’re clear. I haven’t touched that script at all since I wrote it. I don’t know what upstream is doing with their lists, it just runs every night, concatenates what it finds, and that’s that. If it’s working out for you then great. If you find something else that blocks more stuff, go for it. I’m not going to change what’s there because I don’t actually need it anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sorry guys, the ip list from John’s url are in fact SHRINKING. John had decided not to update, so do NOT use the list, it’s better than nothing but at this rate, it will block very few ips by the end of the year.

    Like

  11. Peter says:

    Is the “biglist” still being updated? For bandwidth sake you could make a torrent of it every week or so when it updates if that is an issue

    Like

  12. TJ says:

    Just setup a new system, and needed a blocklist again. My current old system still has the John list one, which did actually start working again a few weeks or months after trying 🙂 … glad it’s still good for all those of us needing it. Current list of today at 19/05/2015 is 389,380 for me … good idea to have that number mentioned in posts Jon!

    Like

    • The pronoun game is always fun, but can you please tell me which of the five or six blocklists mentioned in this comment stream is being referenced by “This” in your otherwise very helpful comment? Thanks!

      Like

  13. Gregor says:

    391,204 right now. Clearly, the concatenated lists expand and shrink as IPs are added (and some deleted, either errors, address changes, or formerly bad actors verified now playing nice…)

    Like

  14. Do not use the iblocklists or intersection of them, it’s of very little use, please see below our dynamic/real-time blocklist that is now available, this comes from the study we made during one year as explained below, the blocklist oscillates between 10/20 K IPs only but despite of what everybody thinks the dangerous spies are not millions and certainly less than 3000 (usual number that we get making the intersection of different dynamic blocklists maintained by different servers), we think they are no more than a few hundreds.

    That’s a determinist work, we have tested it in US with different people used to get DMCA notices at least once a month and so far they did not get any.

    As you understand among the 10/20 K IPs some IPs are not spies, it’s just a matter of processing capabilities to filter them more, but given the size of the bittorrent network that’s not important to block some wrong IPs (as opposed to blocking millions of wrong IPs with other lists which has an impact)

    You can use it directly if your bittorrent client handles blocklists, or use peerblock, in both cases you must deactivate all other lists (if not you will probably block the retrieval of the dynamic blocklist 🙂 )

    Presentation:

    Please see http://peersm.com/getblocklist on http://torrent-live.org, there is an annual
    fee to access the blocklist in order to finance this work, make it
    evolve and finance our other privacy oriented projects (and avoid that
    the monitors easily check if they are in there).

    But people can also create their own blocklist free of charge using the
    findspiesonly option of torrent-live, as explained in “Why do we need
    you to get the dynamic blocklist?” section of the FAQs
    (http://torrent-live.org/?links)

    The blocklist comes from the study we made since one year “Monitoring
    and blocking the bittorrent monitoring spies” (abstract and summary
    here: https://gist.github.com/Ayms/077b114a27450f773939), this does not
    apply to copyright matters only but all kind of monitoring.

    Global explainations are available in the FAQs:
    http://torrent-live.org/?links and more technical details how it works
    here:
    https://github.com/Ayms/torrent-live#how-is-the-dynamic-blocklist-createdmaintained

    The common belief is that blocklists do not work, which is true in
    general, this dynamic blocklist works, it has been tested since a few
    months with some people used to get DMCA notices at least once a month,
    so far they did not get any longer DMCA notices.

    It can not insure 100% that you will not encounter a spy but it does
    decrease quite a lot this risk, personnally I think it’s enough to make
    sure that the spies will not detect you, but cannot prove it firmly for
    now, only empiric use will tell it.

    The only case that the blocklist can not defeat is the one of a spy
    behaving normally or quasi normally in a swarm, as shown in some
    research papers, this is possible but unlikely, unless you are not a
    “normal” person and some people are really targeting you or you are
    seeking for very sensitive information monitored by some authorities.

    The dynamic blocklist oscillates between 10 and 20 K IPs, which is not a
    lot, filtering the spies to reduce this number is just a matter of
    processing capabilities, that we will increase if we get some fundings,
    we think the spies are no more than a few hundreds and certainly less
    than 3000.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Fuzzy Dunlop says:

    Hey, this blocklist sucks! It blocks so much crap that it hinders a bunch of legit torrent activity. I suggest using a much smaller list of known anti p2p groups instead of this list thats blocking tons of pointless stuff.

    Like

  16. kgr132 says:

    31-Jan-2016
    John = 367071 rules
    Wael = 459655 rules

    Is John’s list that far out of touch? It appears to be shrinking daily.

    Like

    • reduxionist says:

      As someone (with over 20 years experience in just IP networking alone) who actually read enough of the BT source code when it was first released to have a first-hand understanding of how it actually works it amuses me to no end to see how many people are real-world time and virtual clock cycles on blocking incoming connections from copyright enforcers when they’re broadcasting their IPs anyway to participate in the swarm. You don’t have to accept a connection from a peer first before they can see your IP, they can record your IP just fine without connecting to you. Google the news stories about all the people who’ve been convicted even though they were using the “best” blocklist all the time (well, mostly settled to avoid a trial they’d certainly lose). If you can’t afford to purchase your entertainment then wasting your time and electricity bill on the extra processing for a blocklist — and believing that it makes a shred of difference — is just putting yourself at risk of greater financial hardship — go legit, or at least get a VPN. You are kidding yourself if you think a blocklist is better than nothing; bittorrent is not a centralized P2P system like all the old original P2P systems that caused “blocklists” to be invented; it’s distributed, you’re broadcasting and records of what you’re transferring are outside of your control once you join the swarm.

      Like

  17. reduxionist says:

    p.s. GiulioMac — as the original Author — if you’re going to leave this misinformation up, then the responsible thing to do would be to read up on the technology so you understand it well enough to post an update about how BT/IP works in relation to what you’re all worrying about here. If you do this that update will end up being a correction of the mis-perception that’s spreading from the discussion here…

    Like

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