Why There’s No Such Thing as 100% Safe Torrents
Is torrenting safe?
That’s a complicated question, but the general answer is no.
Torrents have been around for decades now and it’s still not possible to download without getting something unwanted in return.
It may be difficult to find a 100% safe torrent, but that doesn’t mean you should give up looking for one entirely.
Without some form of protection from viruses and malware, torrenting can lead to your computer being infected with malware which could eventually lead to the theft of your personal information or even break into your bank account.
What Torrenting mean to most people?
Torrents allow users to download different types of files, like music, movies, and TV shows, from other users on the internet.
It is a type of peer-to-peer file sharing that allows you to download large files at high speeds. And here’s a guide on what is torrenting.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using torrents.
The advantage of torrenting is that you can access content from all over the world with no limitations or cost on your bandwidth speed.
If a movie comes out in America but not in India, it could take weeks for the movie to reach India by official channel but with torrenting, it would be available as soon as it’s uploaded online.
The most popular activities of torrenting are downloading movies, music, TV shows as well as games.
Torrents can also be used to download e-books like PDFs, software updates for Windows 10, etc.
But not all forms of torrenting are legal or ethical since it’s an infringement of copyrights.
But we are not here to discuss the legality of using a torrent site or torrenting but to discuss how to stay safe when you are on a torrent site without getting any nasty viruses & malware.
Most of us already know what a torrent is and what it does, if you don’t know about it then here we are with a simple analogy.
So think of this analogy as an introduction to Torrents.
So now imagine your neighborhood library. You go there and find many copies of the same book on shelves that contain hundreds or even thousands of books in which the one copy that you want is available.
So you don’t have to go to different libraries if you have the book in your own house.
That is how a torrent works.
There are two ways of Torrenting, you can download all those files on a single computer or multiple computers through P2P (Peer-to-Peer).
How safe is Torrenting?
To understand how safe torrenting is you need to know the different kinds of hazards that users of torrents face.
We have put together a list of different types of threats that can come our way when we download files through a torrent tracker.
The most common and popular malware is Ransomware, which basically locks down your files and demands ransom money to be released.
Other than malware, spam and viruses are probably the most common threats to torrent users. These are mainly due to downloading pirated files.
What are the risks of torrenting?
A lot of anonymous websites pop up and are hosting pirated files.
But here’s the worst part for you, those sites don’t verify that the uploaded file is copyright-free.
So even if you know that it’s illegal to download something without permission from the copyright owner, you can still get some nasty viruses and malware when you download a pirated file.
The uploaded songs can be from a different version than the downloaded song.
You wouldn’t know, which one is the original and which one is not.
So if you download it without double-checking, then it can be an infected file that will lead to a lot of malware infections.
The danger increases when you use torrents to download pirated files with malicious software on your computer.
If you are using torrents to download games then there is a high chance of danger too since they aren’t regularly patched for security breaches or bugs that may cause malware to infect your system.
The good news is that there is actually a way to protect yourself from all those risks and harms while you download torrents!
How Can We Protect Ourselves From Malware by Torrenting?
Well, there are many ways to protect yourself and be safe from malware when you download torrents.
But I have noted down some of the most effective methods that are mostly used by torrent users.
1. Use a VPN
VPNs Virtual Private Networks, allow you to send traffic through an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet.This allows you to bypass hackers and be anonymous so that no one can trace what files you were downloading, what sites you visit, or who you are communicating with on the internet.
Here are some of my top 10 best VPNs that you can consider.
Although this method is considered to be the best protection from malware, there are also other ways that you can use to avoid it.
2. Use BitTorrent Sync
BitTorrent Sync is a feature that allows you to sync your files with other users who have the same files as you.It provides end-to-end encryption so that no one can see what files you’re downloading or downloading and they cannot see any private information such as your IP address, bandwidth speed, etc.
This allows you to encrypt your files and download them or sync them with other users on the internet.
Torrent file encryption is nothing more than merging smaller pieces of data into a larger piece of data that cannot be read and therefore cannot be understood by any third party without a key.
This method is also called Cryptographic Encryption which uses the technique of repeated transformations to ciphertext.
3. Screen Through The Sources You Download From
What I mean by that is simply download from trusted torrent sites or download from the seeds of trusted and active torrent users.
Check on the number of downloads or seeds on that site and how long it has been active. If the number of downloads is low, then the site may be fraudulent and especially if you see very few seeds.
Now take note of the sources that you download from.
The biggest source should be users who have the same file as you (sync source), while another good one is a seed that is close to your location.
If you are downloading from a torrent with a seed close to where you live, then there’s a high chance of having some peers in your country.
4. Install Anti-Virus Software
You can even use anti-virus software to protect your files and the devices you are using, but on a Windows PC, the only way to be 100% safe from malware is by using a VPN.
We have listed some of the best VPNs for torrenting that will not just protect you from malware and other malicious threats but will also let you access torrent sites from anywhere in the world.
So, is torrenting safe?
Yes if you take all the precautions given above.
Torrenting rules and regulations differ from country to country.
Some countries have very strict laws for using torrents while others have less strict laws.
There are some countries like India where torrenting is illegal, but there are also countries like China which has banned its use completely.
Some of the free nations that allow the usage of Torrents is the USA, New Zealand, Canada, France, Netherlands, etc.
Still, a few countries like Australia and Italy have not clarified their stance on this issue.
But if you’re from Singapore, you might want to check out the VPN for Singapore as the authority had press charges for illegal downloads in the country itself.
If you insist on torrenting, the first thing you should do is to get a VPN. It will protect you from all sorts of threats like malware, viruses, and other harmful malware while you’re downloading from the very beginning.
It’s not difficult to use a VPN for Torrenting but there are simple steps that will help you set up the VPN quickly without much confusion.