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I would like to use my favourite torrent client, Transmission, over a VPN service but at the same time I do not want to direct any other traffic therethrough. That is, I want to use my VPN service only for torrenting with the Transmission client.

I intend to use NordVPN service and I am coming across 2 problems:

  1. NordVPN offers IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols on Mac and I'm not sure whether and how I can connect to this VPN so that NOT all traffic is directed therethrough. As for the IKEv2 settings in Mac's Network Preferences, there is no "Send all traffic over VPN connection" option to keep unchecked, like it is for L2TP VPN protocol on Mac. As for the OpenVPN protocol, I'm not sure if this is possible with Tunnelblick for example or other client.
  2. Let's say I solve the first problem and I'm connected to the VPN service without sending all the traffic therethrough. How can I now make Transmission to use that specific network interface whereon I'm connected to the VPN?

I searched Google and I have found some procedures/methods but I am none the wiser thereon. E.g.:

  1. Transmission Interface Binder - this one seems outdated

  2. docker-transmission-openvpn - could be working but I am totally lost hereon.

  3. For Ubuntu, but perhaps could be employed on Mac too but I have no idea on what they talk about there

  4. Ditto

I should appreciate some advice from the more experienced or knowledgeable hereabout.

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  • From the first link "Some code patches have been presented which implement the feature, but they are not short. They also need to be recompiled for each version of Transmission, which most people are not capable of doing." It would be nice if, like, they'd linked to the code patch. I could have recompiled it. :( – Wowfunhappy Mar 5 at 19:45
  • Do you want to use NordVPN? You are aware that this provider logs where you have been and what you have done ?! – Darwin OS X Mar 6 at 7:33
  • @DarwinOSX Well, I was not aware thereof. If I acceded to another VPN provider, would you be able to advise me on how to accomplish my goal? – yssup Mar 6 at 20:04
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Are you prepared to change VPN provider?

Private Internet Access (PIA) has a 'split tunnel' feature. The settings have a preference pane to enable and configure split tunnel. Here is how it should look to send just Transmission traffic via the VPN.

enter image description here

My own experience with PIA's split tunnel is that it has been difficult to implement for macOS 11 but is now working reliably. I had system hangs with the first beta versions of PIA for macOS 11. I have used PIA's split tunnel the other way round - sending most traffic via the VPN and just specific apps bypassing the VPN.

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  • Can I be sure that it really will send all the Transmission traffic through VPN? – yssup Mar 7 at 22:11
  • Either you trust the app or you test with Wireshark. I have not seen any reddit to suggest it does not work correctly. For myself, I prefer to have all traffic using the VPN so have not done any testing of sending a single app via the tunnel. – Gilby Mar 7 at 23:51
  • Ok, how would I test that with Wiresharkie? – yssup Mar 8 at 10:09
  • Wireshark logs network packets. You would need to check that it is NOT detecting any bittorrent packets on the standard ethernet or wifi interface. If you have not used Wireshark before, there is a steep learning curve! – Gilby Mar 8 at 10:16

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