Is BitTorrent safe? 7 Torrent Safety Tips
BitTorrent is one of the most popular file sharing programs in the world. It has been around for many years and has spawned an entire ecosystem of related file sharing technologies. BitTorrent supports file distribution including software, movies, music, and TV shows. But there are a lot of myths and truths about torrenting.
You may have heard that torrenting exposes you to hackers, malware, and copyright trolls. While this is true, there are some precautions you can take to ensure your safety while torrenting…
1. Choose the right customer
There are many torrent clients out there, and the one you use can have a significant impact on your security. The best torrent clients are naturally virus-free and protect your privacy better than others.
If you are looking for a client that supports web-based seeding, BitTorrent will help you. The client is easy to use, supports feedback, and has a help center, making it ideal for beginners.
Other torrent clients that support fast and safe downloads include qBittorrent, Vuze, and uTorrent. Plus, they’re all free.
2. Avoid scams and phishing sites
The internet is full of torrent listing sites, blogs, and forums hosting torrent links. Many torrent platforms host fake files and malicious URLs that link to virus-infected files.
If you download a torrent file from the internet, make sure it comes from a trusted source. If you can’t find anything on the torrent site elsewhere, chances are it’s not reputable and probably has something bad in store for you and your device.
Fake torrents can contain malware, viruses, and Trojans that can damage your system and steal personal information from your device. For these reasons, it is important to download only from reliable torrent websites.
Some famous sites like Pirate Bay and other well-established torrent sites will often show you which torrents have been checked for safety. This way you can be sure that everything you download is safe.
While sticking to trusted sources helps minimize dangerous downloads, torrent sites are not immune to suspicious files from unverified downloaders.
Even though torrent files appear genuine, they can be dangerous as they may contain malware that could harm your computer if you download them without checking their safety first.
One way to check if a file is safe to download is to read comments. Many torrent sites allow users to leave comments under downloaded files. If the file you want to download has many positive comments, it is probably safe to download.
Torrent communities, sometimes called private trackers, are peer groups that share files among community members. These groups often work by invitation only.
The community regularly checks shared files, deleting files that don’t meet their standards. Since all files are created and shared by community members, they should be free of viruses and other malware.
5. Use good antivirus software
Torrents can host malicious files, such as viruses, ransomware, and spyware, which means having a good antivirus program is essential for torrenting. The ideal antivirus program should automatically scan downloaded files and immediately notify you of the presence of malware.
Many premium antivirus programs offer real-time monitoring, blocking access to dangerous torrent websites. This way you avoid clicking on spammy sites with redirect links. If the antivirus program is missing something, go ahead and perform a full system scan.
Major antivirus vendors such as Norton and McAfee have been offering top-notch services for years. The programs will protect you from malware and other malicious software that can infect your computer.
Even some free antivirus programs also provide an extra layer of protection against potential threats.
6. Use a VPN
When downloading a torrent file, your IP address is visible to everyone who shares that torrent. If someone sees your IP address and knows where it came from, they can track your location.
Using a VPN is one of the best ways to stay safe while torrenting. VPNs encrypt your traffic and route it through a server in another location, preventing your ISP or anyone else from seeing what you’re doing online.
VPNs hide your IP address to make it look like you’re somewhere else in the world when in reality, you’re at home using the internet. This is because VPNs replace your IP address with one of their servers.
Additionally, a VPN helps prevent hackers from breaking into your computer and stealing your personal information. Using VPN is also one of the ways to unblock region locked websites and content.
7. Do not download copyrighted material
If you download something that you know is illegal, you shouldn’t download it in the first place. The internet is full of people stealing and downloading copyrighted material from the net, so it is important to do your due diligence to avoid downloading illegal content.
One of the best ways to stay safe while torrenting is to make sure you only download and share legal content. If you are caught downloading or sharing copyrighted material, you could be fined or even imprisoned in some of the most extreme cases.
For example, if you use BitTorrent to download a movie that’s still in theaters, you could face criminal charges for intellectual property theft.
Copyright laws protect art and design, music, books, and other creative works from unauthorized copying or distribution. The copyright holder can take legal action against those who copy their work without permission or distribute it without paying the royalties.
If you want to torrent copyrighted content, seek permission from the copyright holder before downloading anything.
Also be aware that downloaders often cannot delete files once downloaded from a torrent site. If not, find out if the file is available on music download apps like Amazon Music or Apple Music and use that instead.
Torrent Safely and Anonymously
Torrenting is a convenient way to access files that you might not otherwise be able to find. But this convenience comes with some risk because you are sharing files anonymously with many people.
By learning about best practices and following them as much as possible, you can ensure that your time spent torrenting is as safe and fun as possible.