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!
- Open List Manager - Open the main PeerBlock UI, and click on the "List Manager" button.
- 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.
- Enter New URL - In the "URL" field, cut-and-paste the new URL you want to use from the iBlocklist list. Then click "OK".
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)
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 ---