You are probably familiar with something known as torrenting. This type of media sharing is very popular throughout the world. It is also fraught with risk for those who do it. That risk can come in the form of viruses and malware, or it can come in the form of legal action for illegally downloading protected material.
This leads to the question, is it safe to torrent with VPN? The answer can be complex. You should know up front that some VPN providers don’t like it at all, and with good reason. It can also land them in hot water. If you intend to torrent with your VPN we recommend that you makes sure this activity is allowed by your provider.
A Little About Torrenting
For those who may be unfamiliar, torrenting is a type of peer-to-peer file sharing. It allows individuals to share files that they own with others. It originally gained attention as a way for people to share music. It is used today to share media of all types, including music, movies, games, and even software.
Torrenting sites are essentially platforms where individuals upload files for sharing in real time. Some of these sites initially required individuals to contribute a certain amount of material in order to receive download credits, but today there are pay sites available as well.
There have been many controversies regarding torrenting throughout the years. Most of these revolve around the legality of the practice. Many take the position that torrents allow for the violation of copyright laws. This has led to some sites being seized by authorities, and there have even been criminal charges in some cases.
Suggestions for Safe Torrenting
Despite the risks and possible legal issues, torrenting remains a popular activity today. If you are going to do it, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind. Is it safe to torrent with VPN? That is ultimately a question you alone can answer, but these suggestions can perhaps keep you safe.
The first step is to choose and use a good VPN. As we stated above, make sure that torrenting is permitted by your VPN provider. We will look at some individual factors that make up a good VPN service later in this article.
You should also take care in choosing the site where you will torrent. The torrent community can usually be pretty reliable when it comes to assessing the reputation of various sites. Check the reviews and see what others have to say before you commit to using the site.
If you are new to torrenting you will also notice that there are several torrent clients to choose from. These are the platforms that you will need to download to your computer in order to retrieve torrents from a website. Some of these clients are more secure than others. You should probably stick with ones such as Vuze and BitTorrent. New users will find that BitTorrent is one of the easier clients to use.
Make sure that you are choosing good torrents when you start to download. Sadly, torrenting websites are known for all types of viruses and malware. You can usually identify problem torrents by looking at file types and file sizes. It pays to have a very good antivirus program to depend upon. Always make sure that you are scanning every torrent before they are opened and installed on your computer.
Why a VPN is a Must
Even those who have a fondness for torrenting would agree that using a VPN is a must. There have simply been too many security issues reported with torrenting websites. Aside from this there are other reasons that you should consider a VPN for torrenting.
ISPs aren’t always big on torrents. They may restrict access to known torrent websites, or they may throttle your connection speed. When your speed is reduced, downloads become almost impossible. When you use a VPN you are also able to successfully prevent an ISP from monitoring your data. This can be very useful if you are using torrenting sites while you are connected to public WiFi.
Finally, using a VPN will keep your own IP address hidden. This means less liability. You run less risk of being linked with torrent websites which may violate copyright law. Once again, we encourage you to remain in compliance with your local laws at all times to avoid any possibility of trouble.
Setting Up a VPN for Torrenting
If you are going to use your VPN for torrenting, there are a few steps that you want to take first. Most devices today have a VPN client installed, so you will not need to download any software to your device. You only need to configure the client with the credentials that are supplied by your VPN provider.
Your VPN may give you the option to manage certain settings. If so, make the following adjustments:
- Make sure the kill switch feature is on if available
- Use the highest form of encryption provided
- Always prefer the most secure protocol
- Turn on IP and DNS leak protection
- Learn how to use split tunneling
General Dangers of Torrents
Even when you choose to use a VPN for torrenting, there are still risk. These platforms are a haven for hackers. It is very easy to distribute computer viruses and malware through torrents.
You can also be exposed to downloads that may be contain illegal content in some jurisdictions. Ignorance will be of no excuse if you are caught with such things on your computer.
Last but not least, copyright infringement and the laws regarding the distribution of intellectual property are taken very seriously in the digital age. Pirating media for profit and other activities can lead to criminal charges.
The Best Choices for VPN Service
When you choose a VPN for your own use, some features are very important. You should demand that a VPN provider meet certain standards before you agree to purchase a plan.
Be wary of free VPN services. A paid plan is almost always better. Free VPNs can present many security risks for the user. Some of them are known to sell your browsing data to third-parties in order to monetize their service. You can find affordable VPN plans today that are even available for a steep discount when you purchase yearly.
Make sure that your chosen provider offers many VPN server locations, and also check to see that they are using the highest levels of encryption.
Summing It All Up
Is it safe to torrent with VPN? It can be when you follow some of the principles that we have outlined. Remember, your online security is your responsibility. Don’t take unnecessary risks and you should be fine with VPNs and torrents.
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