Torrents are popular platforms for downloading music, movies, videos, and other content for free. However, there are some things you need to know before you download torrents.
Torrent platforms are known for providing free contents to people in all parts of the world. The activity is, however, illegal in most countries across the globe if downloading copyrighted material, and those who are caught are usually penalized. Thus, it is crucial that you know a few things about torrenting before you start downloading from these platforms.
What is a torrent?
A torrent is a computer file that has metadata containing various information. Torrent files come with a torrent extension and contain content that can be distributed. The data is used by torrent software such as uTorrent for distribution, thus, allowing users to download the torrent files to their devices easily.
Torrent platforms like uTorrent are peer-to-peer platforms that allow users to share and download materials for free. They have become the primary destination for accessing files that are otherwise hard to find across the internet.
The status of torrenting in major jurisdictions
Although most torrent platforms are legal, the activities carried out on most of them are not. Torrenting, by itself, is legal. However, the downloading and sharing of copyrighted content is a punishable offense in virtually every country around the world.
People usually share and download copyrighted movies, TV shows, music, and other content on torrent platforms. Movie and music studios hire copyright trolls and ISPs to track people that access copyright materials illegally.
The penalty for accessing copyrighted content via torrent software vary and could range from legal letters, hefty fines, and more. So, if you are downloading copyrighted contents on torrent platforms, then you are probably breaking the law and could get in trouble if caught. Torrenting is punishable in most countries, including the United States, Canada, and others.
Protect yourself from a lawsuit
Now that you know downloading copyrighted content via torrents is illegal, you should take steps to prevent that from happening. The best step to take would be not to download copyrighted content in the first place. However, for those who insist on doing so, or just hold their privacy and security in high regard when torrenting, they should use a VPN with torrent platforms.
VPNs ensure that your traffic is encrypted, thus, making it impossible for your internet service provider and the copyright trolls to view your internet data. A VPN will allow you to torrent anonymously, ensuring that your device is not at risk.
If by mistake or choice you download copyrighted material, then you can be confident that your internet data cannot be viewed and your location can’t be tracked. Again, if you torrent without a VPN, other torrent users, trolls, and hackers can see your IP address and target your device as a result.
However, keep in mind that free VPNs will not serve the function you need. Free VPNs will probably not protect your location and internet activity very well, and could even log and sell that data. Free VPNs are usually vulnerable to DNS leaks, which will allow your ISP and copyright trolls to view your online data.
It is advisable to use a reliable and robust VPN when torrenting. It is worthy to note that not all paid VPNs support torrenting. Thus, it is vital to check for anonymous torrent support before choosing a VPN.
The ideal VPN to use when downloading torrents should have strong security features such as data encryption, DNS leak protection, and a no-log policy. The VPN should also have excellent speed to support fast downloads. VPN service providers located in a good privacy jurisdiction such as NordVPN (Panama), and ExpressVPN (British Virgin Islands) should be preferred above those that base themselves in countries with anti-privacy regulations.
You can check out the best VPNs to use when torrenting to help you make an informed decision (link to our post on best VPNs for torrenting). In general, there is a need for a VPN when downloading torrents to help a user stay anonymous and avoid legal consequences.
Torrents have become a great options for downloading content online. Torrent platforms usually contain both copyright and non-copyright materials, and downloading the former can lead to legal consequences. It is best to use a VPN when downloading torrents as it would help mask your identity and avoid facing legal action if you accidently download copyright materials. However, paid VPNs should be used instead of free VPNs as they provide the needed security to download torrents safely.