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Most people keep asking, is torrenting safe? Downloading torrents is fun and interesting until you accidentally get in trouble due to copyright restrictions. Legal issues aside, you’re likely to stumble across apps that could potentially expose your PC to malware viruses, or leave you vulnerable to cyber threats.
Prying eyes with advanced spying tactics may also find a way through and exploit your private data at your expense. P2P file-sharing can be a cool affair only if you play it safe.
Luckily, the smartest way to torrent safely and anonymously is to use a reliable VPN. A secure VPN encrypts your P2P traffic, which means no one in the “torrent swarm” can see what you’re doing online.
And since no one can track your torrenting activity, your ISPs won’t throttle your connections, limit data or face the consequences from copyright holders. As a rule of thumb, don’t torrent without a VPN
CyberGhost is my go-to VPN for torrenting. It’s a full-featured app with watertight security smarts, fast speeds, and most importantly, P2P optimized servers. As a no-log VPN, you’re assured that none of your file-sharing activity will be shared.
You can test CyberGhost’s torrenting-friendly features risk-free for 45 days. If you’re a beginner, this guide for torrenting is for you.
It’s now obvious that using a VPN is the best way to torrent safely. A VPN reroutes your data traffic through its secure servers, making it untraceable by others.
I always have my VPN running. This helps keep my real IP address hidden, which stops copyright trolls, intruders, and internet service providers (ISPs) from identifying my torrenting activities.
Elsewhere, if you don’t use a trusted VPN, your online identity will be exposed to unauthorized spying eyes. That would jeopardize your safety, putting your privacy in danger.
We’ve heard torrenters complain about “internet throttling.” Your ISP may intentionally limit your internet speed or bandwidth after realizing you’re downloading large files. Internet throttling mostly targets video streamers and torrenters at large.
A VPN service for torrenting avoids ISP throttling and consequently makes your informationunidentifiable – from file-sharing activity and websites you visit to who you’re communicating with.
A malware blocker is another reason or rather a feature why a VPN is a must-have while torrenting. It notifies you of malicious websites that would otherwise infect your device with malware.
In addition to blocking the infected files, it gets rid of intrusive ads, giving you an anonymous torrenting experience. This means you can use torrent websites freely without fear of repercussions.
2. Have Your VPN Connected
The majority of torrenters are caught out unaware when downloading torrents simply because they forget to connect their VPN when the torrent client is active. Torrent clients have a lot of seeders; as soon as you launch them, they immediately start seeding.
Unless your VPN is connected and configured correctly, your real identity will be exposed to the third-parties. For example, make sure to turn on a kill switch to prevent unexpected IP exposures while you torrent.
Always have your VPN running before you launch a torrent client. Pick a VPN with unrivaled security, P2P-optimized servers, fast speeds. A zero-logging assurance is a big plus. Admittedly, you don’t want people looking over your shoulder all the time!
3. Choose a Trusted Torrent Client
Before you start downloading and sharing files, you need to install a torrent client. There are a dozen torrent downloaders in front of you. But only a fraction of them is good, private, and secure. Some are super slow, while others infect your device.
If you wish to download torrents privately, it’s a no-brainer that you need a safe torrent client. A dependable P2P file downloader should be easy to use, protect your privacy, and be virus-free.
Choose a torrent client that lets you find the files you’re after, download them faster and manage all of them together for easy accessibility. Ultimately, you’ll end up with one cohesive file.
uTorrent – It’s the most widely used torrent client out there. With over 40 million per month, uTorrent is packed with fancied features, including speed cap scheduling, clean interface, and bite-sized app. But it comes with ads.
qBittorrent – qBittorrent is a simple, easy-to-use P2P torrent client for downloading torrents quickly. You can use it on Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. It had ads, though.
BitTorrent – Best lightweight torrent client for beginners. Whether you wish to download videos, music, audiobooks, or software, BitTorrent has your back.
Deluge – Deluge is a free, open-source torrent client that beats its rivals when it comes to space-saving. Weighing only 34 KB, the app will take up a tiny space on your hard drive.
In general, all these torrent clients have useful features and customizable functionality. They’ll maximize your privacy when seeding and leaching P2P files.
4. Configure Both the VPN & Torrent Client Properly
A combination of a properly configured VPN and torrent client takes your security to the next level when torrenting. Doing this mitigates real risks associated with P2P activities. A good setup makes it hard for a hacker to obtain your sensitive data.
For a VPN, there are some settings that you should set your eyes on. If you choose CyberGhost (the best torrenting VPN), these handy features should be enabled.
AES-256 bit encryption – Industrial-grade encryption strengthens your security online. It shields your personal data, making it untraceable to malicious actors.
Customizable kill switch – The network lock feature blocks your web traffic if your VPN drops. If it’s not set by default, ensure it’s on before torrenting
Advanced protocol – Enable the best protocol that balances security and speed. I would go for a WireGuard over others protocols because it offers great speeds without falling short on speed – two vital factors that give a seamless torrenting experience.
Split tunneling – It helps you choose which apps you want to encrypt through a VPN connection and
DNS leak protection – A feature masks your IP address against your ISP, snooping hackers, and unwanted third parties.
You should configure the “IP binding” setting in your torrent client. It allows you to approve connections or whitelist specific IPs and block others. Simply put, it functions just like a kill switch.
Note that it blocks your connection every time your IP address changes. These requirements are a bare minimum a safe torrenting process should include.
5. Install a Good Antivirus Software
Torrenting is somewhat very nasty stuff. Although a VPN scrambles your data, it’s important to run all files your downloads through antivirus software. Downloading malware-affected files may not only result in cyberattacks but also crash your device.
Sometimes, the infiltrated viruses make your device shut down unexpectedly, take ages to load other activities, corrupt other important files, and even cause much heating.
An effective antivirus features real-time monitoring. While it seems to be a real deal, torrenting will only be successful if you use reliable antivirus services (premium version).
Three recommended things to do with your antivirus software:
Cybercriminals are pretty smart with advanced technology. They understand that torrent files can be hideouts for malware, which they use to exploit a huge number of victims.
Some recognizable providers include Windows Defender, Malwarebytes, McAfee, Avira, Norton, and Kaspersky. All these are budget-friendly and easy to use.
6. Find Safe Torrent Sites & Download Files
I prefer torrent sites to download the most sought-after films, thanks for being free and convenient. Be wise enough to choose a safe torrent site that is malware-free. A safe torrent is the one that is verified for safety.
A content-rich torrent website is a source for downloading software, games, music, videos, and much more.
Start by establishing a trustworthy torrent site. Be wary of the obscure site from unreliable resources since there are URLs of fake sites all over.
The Pirate Bay showcases plenty of games, TV shows, and games with a minimalistic interface.
RARBG – Being a large directory of torrents, RARBG is popular for high-quality torrents and active seeders and leechers.
x – 1337X boasts a colossal torrent collection. It enjoys a well-designed interface with precise directories for easy navigation. It hardly misses out on the innovative features you’d be looking for.
LimeTorrents – It’s a stable torrent site with everything you need for a fantastic downloading experience.
Examine every single file you download. Get rid of suspicious files or those that look unfamiliar.
5 Tips for Safe and Anonymous Torrents
Besides the steps discussed above, you can employ other additional tips to guarantee a greater level of anonymity when torrenting. These include;
Choose the right seeder-leecher number
Avoiding viruses, malware, and other cyberattacks is the main concern for torrenters. Today you can spot these malicious seeds.
Check if the torrent has many seeders. The more seeders a torrent has, the healthier it will be. A high seeder-leecher ratio indicates a safe torrent. And again, it looks more verified by the community.
Add anonymous (logless) proxy
Some torrents opt to use proxy services such as SOCKS5 proxy and Shadowsocks. A SOCKS Proxy is just like a VPN-lite. All you need is to configure a proxy inside your torrent. Just like VPN, it changes your IP address.
Keep in mind that Proxies don’t encrypt your torrent traffic. The best move is to choose a VPN with a Proxy server.
Get a private trackers/torrent site
Private torrent sites are heavily tracked and monitored. Free torrent sites are easy to join, but they share files with all members, making them vulnerable to malware.
You can get started with the most notable ones, including PassThePopcorn or TorrentBits.
Check the reviews and comments
Many torrent clients allow users to leave reviews, comments, and ratings. You can easily figure out if the torrents you’re actually looking for are good or malevolent by reading them
Safe torrents receive praises from other downloaders. Be cautious because some hackers can leave positive comments on a rubbish torrent to lure victims.
Download to a sandbox environment
Most torrenters will assume this elevated security precaution. If you want to download executable files from torrent sites, it’s worth checking out this.
Downloading files into a sandboxed environment means any malicious files will be isolated.
3 Reasons You Should Always Use A VPN for Torrenting
A VPN is the best friend for secure torrenting. It helps mitigate the risks of P2P activities. Remember installing a VPN isn’t enough, you must configure its settings accordingly.
Why should you use a VPN for torrenting anyway?
Avoid ISP throttling
ISPs impose several limitations when they notice any torrenting activities. That’s to say; you’ll unknowingly be subjected to speed throttling or data limits. Internet throttling results in slow speeds and totally ruins your entertainment experience.
A VPN hides your P2P traffic from online surveillance. So, you’ll be able to download large files without your ISP knowing.
Bypasses restricted content
Well-known torrent sites have worked out to block access to their content. A simple way to get around the sites is to use a VPN.
A VPN connects you to servers in a location where there are no restrictions
Maximum your anonymity online (hide your IP address)
When downloading P2P files with a torrent client, your identity, IP address, and actual location can leak. This creates room for potential cyberattacks.
A VPN allows you remain anonymous while torrenting. It shields your sensitive information so that you stay safe and secure.
The provider offers an impressive range of torrenting servers. Of all 7,670 servers across 90 locations, you’ll get servers optimized for P2P file-sharing. Choose the nearby servers with the lowest load percentage to achieve the best torrenting speeds.
Connect with optimized servers for torrenting
CyberGhost hosts a lot of security features to keep you protected all the time. Starting with AES 256-bit encryption, your sensitive data won’t fall into the wrong hands of cybercriminals. A fully functioning kill switch blocks your torrenting traffic when your VPN unexpectedly disconnects.
However, it’s advisable to double-check your VPN settings to make sure both the kill switch and leak protection are enabled. If not, enable the features to prevent IP leaks.
Perfect Forward Secrecy via ECDH-4096 key exchange is another unique feature CyberGhost offers to its users. It adds a layer of protection, leaving your torrenting journey harmless.
Choose the most secure protocol when torrenting. CyberGhost has three protocols for encryption – WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. Split tunneling is an extra feature. All these maximize your anonymity online.
CyberGhost claims to be a no-log VPN. None of your P2P activity will be collected, stored, or shared. Thumbs up to its strict no-log policy. With unlimited bandwidth, you can download as many files as you can.
And with a collection of P2P-friendly servers, you won’t go wrong. Hundreds of servers in the US, Canada, UK, and other regions do support torrents. Connect to a P2P server in the location of your choice to download your favorite videos.
NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers
On the security front, NordVPN has built a class-leading reputation. Its stringent security measures deserve appreciation. Its strong AES-256-GCM encryption locks out attackers while a customized “Network Lock” feature blocks torrent traffic your VPN drops out.
Nord employs other tricks to improve your security. A double layer of obfuscation and Onion over servers makes it even harder for ISP to track you. With NordVPN, speed throttling is a thing of the past when torrenting. The service blocks DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks.
Impressively private, Nord offers something else to further bolster your privacy – that’s a zero-logging policy. Even if the government asks for your torrenting data, NordVPN has nothing to share.
The last thing you’ll love about NordVPN is its native apps for operating systems and devices. All apps come with a clean interface that is easy to read. You don’t require tech skills to use any of them.
It would be unfair if I didn’t mention Nord’s CyberSec. It’s a feature that blocks ads, malware, and spyware on torrent sites. Take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll try it completely free.
If torrenting is your top priority, then IPVanish won’t disappoint. Torrent fans are excited with the speeds IPVanish consistently delivers. The VPN service is surprisingly fast considering its budget-friendly price.
The new WireGuard speeds work well with most torrenting sites to keep you entertained more than you can realize. All of its 2,000+ VPN servers in 75+ locations are P2P optimized, giving you the power to torrent no matter where you’re located.
Torrenting with IPVanish and the Kill Switch is enabled
IPVanish is committed to torrenter’s privacy. Robust multi-grade encryption and kill switch keeps you anonymous by scrambling your data, making it undetectable. Third parties will have no room to steal your personal data. Neither will they ambush your device with malware, Trojans, or other cyberattacks.
Having put a stingy zero-logging policy in place, IPVanish won’t record your online behavior when torrenting.
Using IPvanish’s apps is convenient to use. Users can torrent with just a touch of a button. No bandwidth restrictions, no limited device connections – I switched between servers as many times I wanted on all my devices.
We’ve discussed all important aspects of torrenting, so make sure you do it right. Remember there are a lot of risks involved with P2P file-sharing activities.
Being caught when torrenting is a possibility. Again, most torrent sites can infect your device with malware, viruses, and spyware. What’s more? Hackers may use your exposed IP address to impersonate you.
To prevent any embarrassment, I strongly recommend using a VPN. A trustworthy VPN virtually combats all these links. A good example is CyberGhost, which comes with torrenting-optimized servers.
You can also deploy other techniques like installing a reliable torrent client, using safe torrent sites, and installing reliable antivirus software on your device.