Torrents are one of the most convenient ways to transfer any type of file over the internet. However, not all torrents are safe, and some can go as far as to harm your computer and compromise your data.
We’ve done all the digging necessary to shed light on how to safely download torrents, along with tips to increase your own security, such as choosing a reliable torrent site and masking your IP with a VPN.
Table of Contents:
- Are Torrents Safe?
- How to Safely Download Torrents?
- Why is it a Good Idea to Use a VPN While Downloading Torrents?
- Why is it a Good Idea to Choose the Right Torrent Site When Downloading Torrents?
- Why is a Reputable Torrent Client Important for Downloading Torrents?
- Why is Antivirus Important for Downloading Torrents?
- Why is a High Number of Seeders Important for Choosing Which Torrents to Download?
- Why Are Comments Important to Check Before Downloading?
- Why are Certain File Types Better to Avoid When it Comes to Torrents?
Are Torrents Safe?
There are a few security risks associated with using or downloading torrents:
- ISPs (your internet provider) may be able to see your activity.
- Hackers may be able to give you a bad download.
- Excessive visibility over the network.
How Are ISPs a Risk Regarding Torrents?
According to Kaspersky, popular torrent sites have a reputation with ISPs as having the ability to download possibly questionable items, such as copyrighted content. ISPs counter this by sending warnings to those on their network that are making these types of downloads.
ISPs even have the ability to slow down the internet by reducing bandwidth or even taking action against accounts. ISPs don’t have all of the information, so they may not be able to tell what exactly is copyrighted or not copyrighted content, but they do know who is downloading from torrent sites if their IP is not protected.
How is Hacking a Risk Regarding Torrents?
Free content that can be downloaded from torrent sites can occasionally come with risks, as hackers sometimes use free content to lure users to download the file that’s infected with malware.
Nowadays, certain measures are in place to minimize this. Many popular torrent sites are using a file scanner to check downloads to provide users with a barrier before they download.
How is Visibility a Risk Regarding Torrenting, and What is the Best VPN for Torrenting?
IP addresses are 100% visible to other torrent users in a download and upload network, meaning the content that is transmitted can be traced back to the source, as well as to where it was delivered. Many copyright holders, law enforcers, and hackers keep track of this information, which can pose risks to users.
To counter this, torrent sites have to keep their security up to date, along with the latest installments of malware protection and system patches. This is the network’s responsibility to provide a safe environment, but it isn’t 100% foolproof. That’s where the user comes in.
Users can install a VPN on their computer which will encrypt their connection and mask their IP, which is a second shield to keep users safe while downloading torrents. To learn more about the best VPN for torrenting, check out the reviews on vpncheck.org.
Is torrenting safe, though? To learn more about the risks associated with torrents, check out Tom’s Guide where they have an article on if torrents are actually dangerous, and the articles here and here.
How to Safely Download Torrents?
Here are a few tips to safely download torrents:
- Use a quality VPN.
- Choose a quality torrenting site.
- Use an antivirus on your computer.
- Look for a high level of seeders when choosing a torrent to download.
- Look at the comments before downloading.
- Don’t download certain file types that are known to be easily corruptible.
- Find a private torrent community.
Why is it a Good Idea to Use a VPN While Downloading Torrents?
According to CyberNews, a VPN will not only keep your connection fast and secure, but it will hide your IP, masking your activity to your ISP and granting you real anonymity.
However, it is better to steer away from free VPNs, as they often take away key features in order to provide a service, such as slow servers. Premium VPNs will always be the better option for providing a reliable, fast, and secure connection that’s ready for torrenting.
Some VPNs even have servers dedicated to torrenting, helping you to download torrents faster. And since VPNs hide your IP and make you appear to be living in any country in the world, you can access any torrent site or download you like, even if it’s banned in your actual country.
Why is it a Good Idea to Choose the Right Torrent Site When Downloading Torrents?
Due to the risk of downloading a bad torrent file, it is best to use only reputable torrent sites. These sites can be easily distinguished due to the system in place on their site, such as a verifier check to let you know whether the file you want to download is genuine or not.
Why is a Reputable Torrent Client Important for Downloading Torrents?
As torrent files download differently than other files, it is necessary to have a torrent client dedicated to collecting all the bits that come in from downloading torrents. Ideally, the torrent client you use will be fast, have a clean interface, security features, and won’t take up too much hard drive space or RAM.
Why is Antivirus Important for Downloading Torrents?
According to an article on WikiHow, anti-virus is ideal in providing your computer with an extra layer of security while downloading torrents. Any reputable anti-virus is fine, as long as there is only one antivirus installed at a time.
Why is a High Number of Seeders Important for Choosing Which Torrents to Download?
Although not 100% infallible, a high level of seeders typically means the particular file being seeded is clean. Users downloaded the file without issues and started sharing it themselves. A high amount of seeders also means you will receive the file faster.
Why Are Comments Important to Check Before Downloading?
Comments, although also not a guarantee, can give an idea if a download is good or not. If you see a long list of comments from happy downloaders, with no one mentioning anything about a virus, it’s likely the download is virus-free.
Why is Certain File Types Better to Avoid When it Comes to Torrents?
Certain file types such as executables (EXE. or BAT.) are some of the most common ways to send viruses and infect computers. Another type of file, called cracked files, is also highly risky to download to the high degree of likelihood they contain malicious ware.
Why Does Joining a Private Torrent Community Increases Your Chances of Downloading Clean Files?
All of the torrents submitted to an online torrent community, especially if it is private, are much more likely to not contain any malicious ware. However, it can be difficult to become a part of these secret communities, and you may need a friend on the inside to let you in.
If you are still wondering “are torrents safe?”, rest assured that torrents can become incredibly safe if the proper measures are used to protect yourself, such as using a VPN, downloading from reliable sources, and making sure you are either a part of the torrent community or can see if the same download you want has worked for another user.
That way you can enjoy your torrent files faster, easier, and with more peace of mind.
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