The good news about torrenting is that this decades-old peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology remains very much alive in 2023. Every day, millions of internet users turn to torrenting clients to download their favorite movies, audios, games, and comics. However, many of them are not aware of safe torrenting practices, needlessly exposing themselves to a wide range of threats.
As the Internet evolves to support a thriving P2P community, so too do the threats that shadow torrenting activities. The harsh truth is that torrenting without protective software is akin to discarding any and all privacy online. This risky behavior exposes the user to the risk of lawsuits, data theft, and other maladies.
Why is Torrenting without protection dangerous?
While torrenting itself is a legal technology, it becomes very illegal as soon as it is used to acquire protected content. We definitely do not condone the sharing of copyrighted content on the P2P network. However, regardless of the content you are interested in, it’s important to know that you may likely be under surveillance of certain not-so-friendly parties the moment you connect to a torrenting network.
Enforcement agencies whose task is to harshly enforce copyright laws are keen to catch P2P users in the act. Often, hefty penalties and even jail time may await. For example, in 2014, a Minnesota woman was fined $220,000 for illegally downloading twenty-one songs on a P2P network.
Costly fines should not be your only worry when torrenting. Torrenting software exposes your IP address to everyone else on the P2P network, which makes you a sitting duck for hackers. Moreover, let’s not forget that files are not always what they claim to be. You wouldn’t want to click on a game installer only to have your device infected with malware.
How to protect yourself when Torrenting
It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to torrenting. You’ll want to protect yourself via certain necessary measures when accessing a torrenting client. Whether the enforcement agencies or cybercriminals scare you more, it defies common sense to make yourself an open target.
Do these four things to download torrents safely:
Use a reliable VPN for safe torrenting
A good VPN is your gateway to secure torrenting. As mentioned, torrenting is a risky affair and puts you at risk of unseen threats. Using a VPN effectively prevents any possibility of external parties spying on your connection. In other words, you will be invisible to the eyes of hackers, ISPs, and law enforcement alike.
The trick to hiding your presence when torrenting lies in the encryption and IP masking of the VPN. VPN encrypts the P2P connection, which automatically scrambles the data before it’s sent out from the torrenting software.
Not only that, but the VPN also replaces your IP address with a shared IP from the VPN servers. This means that your actual IP address is hidden from other users on the P2P network.
With that said, it’s essential to understand that not all VPNs are built for safe torrenting. You need a VPN that offers not only absolute stealth and security but also allows you to bypass ISP throttling to torrent at high speed. For example, ClearVPN provides shortcut-based VPN connections that let you access secure servers optimized for torrenting activities.
Keep your VPN connected
Like any tool, a VPN is only as good as how it is put to use. To ensure that you’re protected at all times, always ensure that the VPN is connected before you launch the P2P client. This prevents your IP address from accidental exposure since most P2P software automatically seeds this data from the moment you initiate the program.
Avoid suspicious torrenting clients and websites
It may be tempting to try out different P2P clients and visit new torrenting websites. As far as torrenting is concerned, sticking with trusted software and websites is the safer path. Unknown torrenting sites that promise blazing speeds might also be teeming with malware.
Our advice? Stick with trustworthy names held in high regard within the P2P community. For example, BitTorrent, uTorrent, and Vuze have been around for ages. Here you can find a great guide on the best torrent clients to use.
As for torrenting sites, you’ll be on the safer side with The Pirate Bay, LimeTorrent, and RARBG. Do your research before blindly plunging into the fray.
Install an antivirus program
Even if you’ve taken all the above precautions, you should still be suspicious of every download you make through a P2P client. There’s a realistic chance that one of those files might be a malware program in disguise. Therefore, you must install an antivirus program that scans every downloaded file first.
How to Torrent safely with ClearVPN
A good VPN goes a long way toward warding off hackers and government snoopers when torrenting. ClearVPN is the perfect VPN to let you torrent safely with peace of mind. ClearVPN provides a highly secure encrypted connection without sacrificing download speed.
How to safely torrent
- Go to the ClearVPN website.
- Download and install ClearVPN.
- Launch and sign in to ClearVPN.
- Choose “Smart Connection” mode and click on Connect Me button
Is torrenting safe with a VPN?
Torrenting is a great deal safer when you use a VPN. A VPN shields you from surveillance and prevents your device from being hacked. Without a VPN, you’ll be at greater risk for cybercriminal activities, whether you’re torrenting or not.
Is torrenting illegal?
Torrenting itself is not illegal. It is perfectly legal to use P2P technologies to share non-copyrighted files. However, uploading and downloading copyrighted files through P2P software is likely unlawful in your country. Most countries have copyright protection laws, and breaching them may incur harsh penalties.
Is torrenting safe from viruses?
No. It’s never a good idea to have blind faith in torrent downloads. Some files may contain viruses, even if they appear to be legit installers or movies. Therefore, it’s prudent to install an antivirus program that will scan downloaded files before opening them.
The new year might promise exciting new additions to the list of torrent titles on the Internet. However, you render yourself incredibly vulnerable if you download torrents without the necessary protective measures. Don’t put yourself at risk when you can easily torrent with a secure connection.
Download ClearVPN now to keep hackers and law enforcement agencies at bay.
We do not condone illegal file-sharing or copyright infringement. Even though P2P file-sharing technology is legal, many of the files exchanged via P2P are indeed copyrighted. Uploading these copyrighted files can put you at risk of a civil lawsuit. While these lawsuits are often class-action cases, some have been targeted at individual users in an attempt to make an example of them.