Peer-to-peer file sharing allows for a huge amount of freedom in today’s digital landscape. You can obtain or sorts of games, movies, TV shows, and software solutions through a relatively safe and easy process.
That being said, there are a lot of clear pitfalls for those users who don’t use BitTorrent wisely. Pirating illegal content can land you in a lot of hot water, and downloading a fake file with a bunch of viruses is definitely something that none of us are interested in doing.
So, what kinds of things should we be doing to keep ourselves safe while torrenting? Is torrenting safe? There are a few different ways we can go about safeguarding our peer-to-peer activity, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. As a general rule of thumb, the best thing you can do to safeguard yourself with anyonline activity is to keep yourself educated about the dangers that you may face while torrenting.
So What Should I Be Worried About?
One of the main things you’ll need to be aware of while torrenting is the threat of malware and spyware. Fake torrents and illicit torrent sites that load your browser up with spyware are one of the foremost things you’ll notice while trying to find a decent torrent for that game or movie you’ve been looking for.
There are obviously a few different ways we can deal with malware and spyware, but these aren’t the biggest threats to our file sharing activities when we go browsing around torrent sites. One of the most serious consequences of torrenting illicit content is that you could be fined by copyright holders, or law enforcement agencies in your country, or even internationally! It’s a scary thought, and definitely, a good reason to safeguard your torrenting practices.
So now that we know what we’re up against, how can we proceed to make our connections and transfers safe enough to guard against these attacks and policies? Well, we’ve found that one of the best solutions for safety while torrenting is to use a VPN.
What Is A VPN?
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short, is a proprietary server network of connection protocols that allows users to tunnel their traffic through a special private server in order to safeguard their privacy and security. VPNs typically employ strong encryption to make sure your activity is anonymous and kept private from any prying eyes.
The most obvious advantage to this, of course, is that it helps stop law enforcement and copyright holders to identify your illicit activity, meaning they won’t be able to nail you with any hefty fines or lawsuits. Most VPNs also come with a decent amount of malware and spyware protection, as well, which makes this a no-brainer for anybody who wants to stay safe while torrenting.
So How Can I Get One?
There are a lot of VPN services out there. Some are free, and most provide paid services, but there are definitely a lot of good options out there depending on the type of VPN you’re looking for.
Of course, there are specific things that make a VPN good for torrenting as opposed to streaming, for example. This means that you’ll want to educate yourself a bit on the specific details of what is good for torrenting over a VPN.
Another thing to look out for is VPN services with a good amount of server coverage in a large number of countries. Being able to connect from a variety of different server locations while using a VPN can help mitigate the possibility of your traffic being logged, and also potentially help you get better speeds out of your downloads.
A good, paid VPN recommendation would be ExpressVPN, while ProtonVPN is considered a good free option. These are just two of the dozens of services available out there. Each one has specific advantages and disadvantages, so it’s always a good idea to take a look yourself, and see if there isn’t something in particular that stands out to you.
A Word Of Caution
Like we said before, the most important thing to do to keep yourself safe while downloading games or other stuff from torrents is to stay educated. Read up on what each VPN service has to offer, look up some of the different concerns and horror stories other users have had to deal with so that you can avoid them yourself. It’s also important to remember that VPNs are run by private companies, with real headquarters and who are subject to real laws. Stay informed on where your VPN operates from and which jurisdiction the service falls under. Remember that knowing is half the battle!