In recent years, torrenting has gained unmatched popularity throughout the world. It is responsible for total internet traffic of approximately 3.35% with over 250 million monthly users worldwide sharing files through the BitTorrent file-sharing technology. With these impressive digits, it is no wonder it attracts a lot of controversies. The question that probably runs through everyone’s mind is ‘Is torrenting safe? And if so, to what extent?’ The answer to this question can be found by first understanding the world of torrenting then learning where to draw the line between what is safe and unsafe.
Torrenting should be approached with caution as it can be quite tempting. After all, you only need a computer and an internet connection, and you are good to go. Also, some of the torrent sites give the impression that there are no legal risks. Not so fast! Before you go about downloading files from the first torrent site you find, take time and understand how legal is legal.
Torrenting safety refers to first, how secure you are from malware? And secondly, is your privacy compromised? It would be a lie if we said that all files available on the internet are safe. Some of the torrent sites have files that contain toxic content which can damage your machine badly. Information on your IP address is also shared with the other peers leaving you vulnerable to hacking. You can, however, avoid such threats by opting for torrents from the best torrent sites that serve your P2P file sharing to the ideal extent.
Safe torrenting is possible, and it involves treading a very thin line. Here are some tips on safe torrenting.
VPNs by far are the most common go-to tool for torrent users. A VPN re-routes your internet traffic to a location of your choosing, then changes your IP address to a virtual IP address used by thousands of people. This adds an extra layer of protection by making you anonymous hence your computer becomes difficult to track. Also, a VPN encrypts your data before it leaves your PC making it hard for ISPs and Copyright trolls to monitor your activity. If you are wondering which VPN to choose, here you can find the full list of best VPN services.
While the search for your favourite movie or song on the internet may turn into a wild goose chase leading you to some rabbit holes on the internet, it is advisable to get torrents from verified and reputable sites. We’d suggest you go to torrent sites you trust or have had previous experience with or private torrent site. You need an invite for the later though.
By legal content, we mean the content that is not copyright protected like for instance free releases of music or open source software. Avoid downloading copyrighted material for it may attract consequences.
While most clients come with in-built security features, some of these features need to be activated/disabled for optimum security. Find out what your torrent client has to offer and tweak accordingly.
The legality of torrenting has always been a confusing debate. Torrenting in itself is perfectly legal, but like any other technology, you can abuse it in illegal ways. For example, the downloading of copyrighted material without the authorization or the consent of the copyright holder is unlawful since it is akin to stealing. You are uploading a file for others to access freely when in a real sense they are supposed to pay for it. This is tantamount to intellectual property theft. While it is not openly clear what content is legal to torrent or not, internet service providers are increasingly monitoring the torrent activity of users in a network and can take action if they spot anything illegal.
Nations the world over are trying to combat intellectual property theft through torrents and at the forefront is France. The HADOPI Law adopts the graduated response to counter illegal file sharing and goes a step further with censorship of the torrent websites. In 2012, the French Supreme Court ruled that the word ‘torrent’ be excluded from the Google search autocomplete but just fell short of completely blocking the word.
If you still want to go ahead, we recommend safe torrenting. One way to do it is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs have in recent times become a staple of torrent users since they conceal their activities on the internet from the ISP. The best VPNs are fast, do not keep a log of one’s actions on the internet and are based in countries with weak legislation on torrents.
Safe torrenting is by far not a myth. However, it faces adversaries like malware and hackers determined to jeopardize this safety. Caution is therefore of importance if the user is to stay protected while torrenting.