The Best Ways to Stay Safe While Downloading Torrents
If you have had a bit of experience with the internet, you know what torrents are. But if you’ve been living under a rock, torrents are the pillars of downloading. Many people were lucky to have the chance to experience this. In this article, we will explain what torrenting is. Moreover, we’ll be answering the questions: is it safe? Is it legal?
What is a torrent?
Torrents are files that root from peer-to-peer downloading. What this means is that you can download files from thousands of users who are also in need of it. Instead of the usual download – where there’s a host of the central file, torrents work by sharing.
Users who download are equally given the burden of uploading the file, too. Basically, there’s no costly hosting required for the person who uploaded it. Furthermore, torrents offer a faster download because people are sharing files from all over the world.
How does torrenting work?
In order for you to fully understand the P2P process, here are a few terms that you want to know:
- Torrent Client – in order for users to be able to start the torrenting process, a client is required. Clients range and vary; they can be uTorrent, BitTorent, or whatever the client is. It’s like the main “program” for torrents.
- Peers – peers are the people/users involved in the file-sharing facility. They will remain to be “peers” if they continue to share files within the network.
- Seeders – seeding is when you leave your client open after you’ve finished downloading. By keeping it open, it’s just like you’re allowing people to download from you.
- Leechers – leeching, on the other hand, is when a person downloads, but they restrict the download for other people.
- Trackers – trackers are the ones that act as the “server” for the peers. They’re user-to-user packets which allow speedy downloads from every user.
To put it simply, torrenting is a file-sharing method. Imagine one big file scattered into tiny pieces all over the world. And you, wanting that file, your computer would need a tool that knows where to find it – that’s your client. Then, all other people who were able to successfully download the file and seed it – are the tiny pieces.
Is torrenting legal?
The act of torrenting, where peers share file, in itself is legal. However, there are some users who take advantage of this facility and do illegal things. The legality of torrenting would most usually depend on the file being downloaded. If you’re downloading a legal file, a file that does not break any laws, torrenting is legal.
However, downloading things that aren’t supposed to be downloaded is not. For instance, downloading copyrighted content could lead to various legal sanctions and consequences.
Is torrenting safe?
If you’re torrenting without tools to keep you private, you’re as open as an open book. Your internet service provider (ISP) knows what activities you are doing. Should you be doing something illegal, your ISP might send you a warning letter. After doing so, they can proceed to throttle your speed – then eventually lead to legal action.
To simplify, torrenting is unsafe. Different malware and viruses can be out there – ready for you to download them. Your ISPs can monitor and keep track of what you are doing. Copyright trolls can be waiting for your next move. Everyone who is in your network has the ability to track whatever you’re doing.
But how can I keep safe while I torrent? There are actually a couple of ways on how you can be safe while you’re torrenting.
Use a VPN while torrenting
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network can help you stay anonymous even while torrenting. Using a VPN can protect your information and your activity online. What it does is that it encrypts your internet traffic, hiding your IP address from all threats.
This way, it’ll become almost impossible for ISPs and copyright trolls to trace and to monitor what you’re doing. In addition, VPNs can also shield you against cyber-criminals and hackers, giving you a private experience online.
Use private trackers
As we all know, in torrenting, trackers are what allow us to download. It’s like the cells of our body, but in torrenting. Most likely, the tracker that you have or you’re using now is public. If it is, it’s best to switch to a private tracker. This way, cyber-criminals won’t be able to gather information from you or interrupt your downloads.
Configure your client
Whether you have uTorrent or any type of client, it is best to configure them. Why? Because having it set on default might keep you at risk for any type of trouble. Most clients, if not all, come with a too few security features like encrypting your downloads/uploads.
Be sure that you somehow make modifications with your client. This method is foolproof but, it’s worth trying especially if you want privacy while you’re torrenting.
Avoid being involved with illegal activity
One thing that cyber-criminals love is the exchange of illegal goods online. Refrain from downloading such material because not only would you be tracked by legal authorities, hackers and cyber-criminals might keep an eye on you.
Yes, your information might be at risk if you involve yourself with illegal activity. Illegal content and activity refer to content that aren’t supposed to be shared, but it’s available in torrents. If you encounter any content that is illegal, just go past it and ignore it.
Torrenting is something fun and useful. If you want to download a movie, you can do so – and you can do it fast. With its efficiency, there are consequences involved. To be frank, torrenting is not safe. It is, in fact, a very vulnerable type of connection.
The tips we gave you to stay safe are not foolproof. However, when used in conjunction with one another, you can be sure that the risk in your privacy is gone. Furthermore, using a VPN client not only hides you, it protects you from different threats as well.