How to Torrent Safely
How to Torrent Safely- Complete Guide
Torrenting may have a bad wrap when it comes to security, but it’s one of the best ways to download the files you need in the most efficient way. Whether you’re trying to download the next season of your favorite show or if you’re looking for a ROM of a long-lost video game, torrenting can help.
To ensure that our readers can torrent as safely as possible, we’re going to explore some of the steps involved in doing so.
Using the Right VPN
As you’d expect from us here at PinpointVPN, we’ll start with what we know best.
The first and most essential step involved in safely torrenting is ensuring that you’re using the right VPN. We’d recommend using ExpressVPN because of its relative ease of use and its user-friendliness, but you can also opt for a host of alternatives like NordVPN or even PrivateInternetAccess.
By using a VPN, you ensure that you won’t end up getting in trouble for torrenting because copyright trolls won’t be able to see that you’re the one torrenting. These trolls watch the IP addresses that upload and download torrents and then send out letters to their ISPs letting them know what they’re doing.
Whether or not you’ll get in trouble for this depends on where you live, since certain countries have much more strict laws against torrenting than others. It also depends on whether or not those laws are enforced, as some countries may have stricter laws on paper but will not follow through.
Regardless of how those laws work, using a VPN will ensure that you have nothing to worry about on the legal end when you’re torrenting. While you may still be vulnerable to viruses, you won’t have to worry about getting a legal bill that puts you out of house and home just because you wanted to watch the second season of Futurama.
Here are the steps involved in using ExpressVPN to torrent anything you want as safely as possible:
- Start up ExpressVPN and log in
- Select the server that’s closest to you to ensure that your download goes as quickly as possible
- Press the power button to activate ExpressVPN
- You’re now protected
Using the Right Torrent Hosting Site
Where you get your torrents from matters as much as the torrents you’re downloading since some hosting sites are more reputable and trustworthy than others. Gone are the days when you could head to KickassTorrents and get a bunch of trustworthy content with plenty of community engagement.
One of the best sites is and always has been ThePirateBay, but it’s not quite as trustworthy as it once was, so you’ll have to be careful to vet the torrents that you’re downloading. Always go through the comments to make sure that you’re not downloading a torrent that’s filled with viruses.
Another great alternative is 1337x, which is one of the best sites for video games, movies, and other entertainment. However, if you want a torrent site that exclusively focuses on movies, you should check out YTS, since they always have the latest releases in the best possible quality.
If you’re looking for a site that has an active community that can guide you through which torrents are safe and which aren’t, you may wish to check out RARBG. In all of my years of torrenting, I’ve never been steered wrong by a comments section giving out multiple red flags.
Using the Right Torrent Client
A lesser concern for most people is whether or not they’re using the right client to download their torrents. While uTorrent may have long been the most popular choice for torrent downloads, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best. In fact, there are better choices.
Due to privacy concerns involving uTorrent, most of that client’s previous users have decided to switch over to other torrent clients that better respect their boundaries and information. qBittorrent is probably the most popular alternative to uTorrent that’s currently available.
Aside from respecting your privacy, you’ll find that there aren’t many huge differences between qBittorrent and uTorrent, so you’ll be able to make the transition from one to the other relatively seamlessly. In fact, qBittorrent even has a built-in search function that you can use to check through the top torrent hosts!
Pick the Right Torrent
When you’re looking around for a torrent to download, there are a few steps to follow to ensure that you’re not going to download something that can potentially harm your computer. For example, you’ll want to avoid torrents that have an unrealistically high number of seeders.
If you see a torrent that has 10,000 seeders while the next most popular one only has about 500 seeders, then you can be relatively sure that that torrent is unsafe to download. However, this isn’t the only indicator that you’ll want to avoid a particular torrent.
As we’ve mentioned a few times throughout this guide, the community is your best friend, and following their guidelines can ensure that you don’t end up downloading a virus unwittingly. Always look through the comments section of a torrent before you download it and follow the advice of the commenters.
While you’ll likely run into some comments that are unfiltered hate for the person who uploaded the torrent, most of the community members will try to steer you in the right direction. If there are several different people giving evidence of a virus in the torrent, then it would be a good idea to avoid it. This brings us to our next point.
Make Sure That You Have Antivirus Software
If you’re going to torrent, you want to be sure that you’re going to use the right Antivirus software so that you’re protected in case you make the wrong choice and download an infected file. While Windows Defender may be sufficient for most viruses, you may want to opt for a more comprehensive antivirus suite.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, you may wish to opt for Malwarebytes, which has a free version that will catch viruses that are beneath Windows Defender’s notice. If you want to pay for your antivirus, you can opt for programs like Avast or McAfee.
Whatever you do, never download a torrent or run a file that was in a torrent unless you have at least one layer of antivirus active.