Sunday, August 9, 2009

Updating to iBlocklist Lists

Update: It now (9:00 PM EST on 8/9/09) appears as though the servers are back online. The fact remains: the Peer Guardian list servers are notoriously unreliable, and I still strongly recommend that people update their PeerBlock configuration to switch over to the iblocklist.com lists outlined in this post.



As of right now (5:06 PM EST on 8/9/09) the servers belonging to Phoenix Labs appear to be down - or at least extremely slow to respond - and have apparently been so for most of the weekend thus far. Since PeerBlock still defaults to using the old PeerGuardian lists hosted by Phoenix Labs, this means that PeerBlock may not be able to update its lists. Even worse - especially since so many people have been downloading PeerBlock this weekend - this means that PeerBlock may not be able to download any lists when you first install it!

Because of this, I strongly recommend that you update your list URLs to point to the blocklists maintained by iblocklist.com. These include the same "Bluetack" blocklists that PeerBlock/PG2 use, along with many (many) others. Many people on the PG2 forums have been using iBlocklist lists for quite awhile now, and everybody seems extremely pleased with them. In fact, PeerBlock will be switching over to them by default starting with our next release. The iblocklist.com servers seem to be much faster than the Phoenix Labs ones, and are much more reliable. And they're run by "Fakhir", a member of the Phoenix Labs crew, so are even from a reputable source. I'm sure you'll like them.


How to Switch

It's actually pretty easy to switch over to using iBlocklist lists!
  1. Open List Manager - Open the main PeerBlock UI, and click on the "List Manager" button.
  2. Edit Entries - For each "http://peerguardian.sourceforge.net/lists/XXX.php" URL in your list of lists, either double-click on the list's row or highlight it and click the "Edit" button.
  3. Enter New URL - In the "URL" field, cut-and-paste the new URL you want to use from the iBlocklist list. Then click "OK".
That's it! After closing the List Manager window, PeerBlock should automatically download the updated blocklists and re-generate the list cache. After that, everything should just work!

Or, if you're more of a "visual learner", iBlocklist has a video tutorial of this available.


Which List to Use?

The only remotely confusing part of this whole process may be selecting which of the iBlocklist lists you should use. The trick is that the original PeerGuardian renamed some of these lists to make them more meaningful, and PeerBlock has so far kept that renaming.

Here's the mapping of which iBlocklist list to use to replace each PeerGuardian one:
  • PeerGuardian Name (PeerGuardian URL): iBlocklist Name (iBlocklist URL)
  • Ads (http://peerguardian.sourceforge.net/lists/ads.php): Ads, from Bluetack (http://list.iblocklist.com/?list=bt_ads)
  • Educational (http://peerguardian.sourceforge.net/lists/edu.php): Edu, from Bluetack (http://list.iblocklist.com/?list=bt_edu)
  • Government (http://peerguardian.sourceforge.net/lists/gov.php): this list actually doesn't exist anymore; its contents have since been merged into the "P2P" list. Remove this list from the List Manager window by clicking once on it to highlight it, then clicking the "Remove" button.
  • P2P (http://peerguardian.sourceforge.net/lists/p2p.php): level1, from Bluetack (http://list.iblocklist.com/?list=bt_level1)
  • Spyware (http://peerguardian.sourceforge.net/lists/spy.php): spyware, from Bluetack (http://list.iblocklist.com/?list=bt_spyware)
They also have many other lists available over there at iBlocklist, I strongly recommend checking them out.


Hope That Helps!

That's all there is to it, really. Like I said I strongly recommend migrating your lists away from the Phoenix Labs hosted ones at this point. Not sure why their servers are down/slow right now, but since their list-servers have been notoriously problematic over the past few years this is probably a good idea regardless.

And as always, if you have any questions or concerns - about this or anything else PeerBlock related - please feel free to comment here or to send me an email!

        ---  Mark  ---

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for your work on PeerBlock. I think it would be good, for some future release of PB, to include a list of iBlocklist lists which you could select from. In other words, current Phoenix Labs lists should be replaced with a individually selectable set of lists available from iBlocklist. Yup, we can do it manually as described, but including them at application level would get newbies up and running quicker.

    Again thanks!!

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  2. Thanks for working on this project, peerguardian has been left in the dust.

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  3. I agree, have been thinking about doing this for awhile now but haven't as yet committed to doing it. Added Bug#52 to track this. (http://code.google.com/p/peerblock/issues/detail?id=52)

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  4. Just wanted to say thanks Mark, PB is a great succesor to PG.

    Can't wait to see what you do with it next.

    Keep up the great work man!

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  5. could someone please elaborate on a practical reason for the use of the educational list. is it meant for those on uni networks or does it have a use for a home computer?

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  6. Thank You Very Mutch

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  7. Thanks for the feedback, guys, it's good to see people appreciating the project.

    As far as the Edu list goes, my understanding is that it's of most use to students in universities, as their network admins oftentimes look for people using the campus network for P2P purposes. Sorry for the delay responding to your comment, I needed to dig that information up myself. =;)

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  8. you guys rock. one question though. if "gov" list doesn't work anymore, then do i need to update the URL fr "Gov" to a different list or can i just leave it be.

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  9. You should completely remove the "Gov" list from your List Manager. I'll update the blog post to clarify this.

    Starting with the next release, we will clean this up for you automatically on upgrade (and have only "good" lists in there upon fresh install).

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  10. Is there a way to use Blocklist manager with
    peerblock since it works with peerguardian??
    I like the lists better with Blocklist manager.

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  11. Wat is mit Help in Langue German Help ?? for old Pg2 and New PeerBlock ??
    Pleas Help in Langue Germany for Old mens lol.
    mfg

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  12. is any way to convert iBlocklists ips to zonealarm extreme security with blocklist manager 2.7.7

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  13. What’s the deal with PeerBlock list updating? I’ve set the program to auto-update every other day, which it does, apparently without any errors. However, PeerBlock shows it is blocking some 775766865 IPs - this number hasn’t changed for the last seven weeks. If the program updates lists on regular bases, and shows said lists to be updated, how come overall number of blocked IPs has not changed?

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  14. thanks much tried to updates list as per instruction-hope it works;think peerblock crashed on me earlier;sumtimes it just EXITS on its Own???should that happen??

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  15. In order to update you need to delete the List Folder or files inside it in /program files/Peerblock/Lists

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