Is BitTorrent Download Safe? Guide to Torrenting
There is no doubt that BitTorrent download and P2P file sharing are very popular, but many people still ignore the risks involved when using these solutions to access premium content for free. When you search for movies, TV shows and other media, your ISP and copyright enforcers are able to see what you are doing. In many countries, downloading content that is subject to copyright from unofficial sources could result in hefty fines and other penalties. This is why, it is advisable to avoid doing this, but if you decide to torrent such content using Torrent, it is very important that you consider a way to do it without exposing your identity.
What makes BitTorrent free download so appealing?
New movies and TV shows are released pretty much every day and many people don’t want to wait until the content is available in their location. In addition, paying for a subscription or for a night out at the cinema can be expensive. Downloading torrents appears as the most convenient solution because it is free and fast. You can look for the content that you want and download it at any time. However, it is important to be aware that most of the content available is protected by copyright and downloading it in such a way, is illegal. BitTorrent download allows you to find content supported by a community of users that share data, which allows you to get the files faster.
Unlike P2P sharing where two computers are connected to share large files, which can cause delays and server overloading, BitTorrent protocol offers a more effective and fast solution to get content because you connect to a torrent community. You don’t have to rely on a single computer to complete the downloading process. The BitTorrent protocol searches for different parts of the same file among all the protocols connected. When all the parts of the file are downloaded, they are put together and organized in your device to form the entire file. It is a simple and efficient solution and since only a small part of the file is taken from each computer connected. you don’t have to worry about server overload.
Risks of BitTorrent Download
It is important to keep in mind that when you download a movie that was just released on the cinemas, or an episode of TV show that is exclusive to a paid service, you are participating in online piracy. This means that you can be targeted by copyright holders and authorities. When you are downloading a file, your IP address can be seen by others including torrent peers, your ISP and copyright enforcers. Using your IP address, authorities can track you down and you can receive letters, face fines and other legal actions. Your ISP keeps your online activities and all the data stored can be handed to authorities when requested.
Apart from the legal consequences, there are other dangers that you need to be aware of when using BitTorrent. When you download a file from a source that you are not familiar with (sometimes even from a trusted one), there is a risk that it may be infected with malware. Torrent files are not an exception and when you download them, you may be exposed to adware, spyware and malware. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that many websites are being spoofed and when you think that you are accessing a website you know, you may be actually be accessing a trap. Once you are there, malware can be installed on your device, compromising the security of your data.
It is very important to keep in mind that BitTorrent doesn’t help you to avoid such risks, so you are exposing yourself to legal and security issues when you use this technology without any protection. At this stage, you may be wondering, how can you make your torrent activity anonymous and secure. While there are services like PeerBlock that are mean to add a layer of safety, the truth is that they do very little to protect you. They don’t hide your real IP address and don’t apply encryption to your data. They simply block certain IP addresses that are meant to belong to copyright enforcement agencies, but they are not 100% effective or accurate. This is why the best approach when it comes to securing your torrenting is to use a VPN.
Steps to enjoy torrenting safely and anonymously
- The first thing that you need to do is to select a VPN provider that doesn’t log your activities, that supports torrenting and that has a good record when it comes to protecting the privacy of its customers.
- Once you select the service you want to use, sign up and download the VPN client to your device.
- Connect to the VPN client. You will get a new IP address when you connect to the VPN server and your real IP address will be concealed. In addition, all your data will be encrypted.
- Apart from choosing a reliable VPN provider, it is important to go for a BitTorrent client that offers safety. Since the VPN hides your true IP address and encrypts your data, it will be very difficult for other parties to trace you and find out your location and identity. We’ll present a list of VPN services that add security to your torrenting, as well as BitTorrent clients that you can consider.
Choosing a VPN service for torrenting
With a VPN, you can keep your online activities anonymous as your real IP address is replaced with the IP address assigned by the VPN server you are connected to. Most VPNs have a wide selection of servers to choose from and in most case, you can switch between servers as often as you want, to increase the level of protection for your identity. By hiding your IP address, you are less likely to be identified by copyright holders.
In addition, a VPN adds encryption to your data, meaning that your online activities can’t be deciphered by third parties. All they can see is scrambled data that doesn’t make any sense. As such, they won’t know what you are doing when you are connected to the internet. A VPN adds a strong layer of protection for your internet traffic, helping you to protect the privacy and security of your activities and the below services are recommended due to the speed and high encryption that they offer, as well as their commitment to keep your privacy protected.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable solutions in the VPN industry. Apart from offering great speeds and top security to keep your data protected, they have over 1000 servers in 94 countries and their network is constantly being updated. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep logs of your online activities, meaning that you can browse, download or stream content without compromising your privacy. In addition, they accept Bitcoin.
This is another VPN that offers strong security for torrenting and thanks to its extensive selection of servers, you can always find an option to hide your real IP address and location. PureVPN has servers in over 141 countries and it is a torrent-friendly service with a client that supports practical features such as internet kill switch, split-tunneling and DNS leak protection. They accept Bitcoin and don’t keep logs of your online activities.
Private Internet Access
PIA is a very popular VPN provider available and apart from being an affordable solution, it also comes with all the features needed to ensure that you can enjoy torrenting with good security and speed. PIA offers strong encryption, good speeds and advanced features like VPN Kill Switch. A practical SOCKS5 Proxy service is included with their plans. There are over 3000 servers in 25 countries and torrents are allowed. PIA doesn’t keep logs of your online activities and it accepts Bitcoin as method of payment.
NordVPN is known for being a highly secure solution that doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever. It has servers in over 60 countries and comes with advanced security features like double hop encryption and Tor over VPN. They accept anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin and offer servers that will allow you to enjoy good speeds for torrenting.
Choose a good BitTorrent client
Since malware is one of the risk you are exposed to when you download torrent files, it is important to take all the necessary measures to protect yourself. Here are some of the security tips that are worth keeping in mind.
- Make sure that you use BiTorrent clients that protect your security
- Don’t download cracked programs
- Don’t download executable (.EXE, .BAT) files.
The following BitTorrent clients are some of the best options that you can use.
This lightweight client supports a faster download and upload rate and it is very easy to use. Its interface is simple and it works on all platforms.
Along with uTorrent, Vuze is one of the fastest torrent clients available. There are multiple versions available.
Transmission is considered by many as one of the best torrent clients for Ubuntu. It is an open source solution that is constantly being updated ans it is possible to control it remotely using your web, computer or mobile device.
Demonoid is only available for members, but if you are able to join, you will discover why it is considered as one of the most reliable BitTorrent solutions.
Checking your torrent IP address
In order to ensure that you are truly anonymous when you are using BitTorrent download, it is important to check your IP address. This will help you to confirm that your real IP address is not being exposed. You can check your IP address when using BitTorrent download, following the below steps:
- Check your real IP address before connecting to the VPN. You can go to websites like whatsmyip : https://www.whatismyip.com/ or IPchicken: https://www.ipchicken.com/
- Connect to the VPN service and choose a server
- Go to your BitTorrent client and check the tracker tab to see if the IP address shown is different from your real IP address.
Alternatively, you can download an ipMagnet tool. This will automatically start when you connect to the BitTorrent client and will show the IP address that is used when logged into the BitTorrent client, as well as the time stamp and user.
There are risks involved when you use BitTorrent download and it is important that you keep them in mind. If you are willing to take the risk, it is still necessary that you apply some security measures to avoid issues. Using a VPN service will allow you to keep your identity and your online activities hidden from third parties including your ISP and copyright enforcers.