There aren’t as many torrent users as there are streamers, but that does not mean torrenting has gone out of the way. BitTorrent alone has managed to grasp more than 170 million users worldwide, but how many of those users understand the possible threats that come with torrenting?
There are so many movies or TV shows that aren’t available on every service. And you will find that most platforms are often geo-restricted. For this reason, most users torrent to get the same content that is often pirated or in violation of copyrights. Even though there is no strict law that says torrenting is illegal, a few countries impose these laws.
With that said, is torrenting still safe in 2021? This guide will help you understand all the basics, and more about torrenting, and the possible threats that still prevail even today. But first, what is torrenting?
What is Torrenting?
Torrenting is when users download or upload content or files. It can range from movies, music, TV shows, games, and more! You could even torrent software or apps using the BitTorrent network.
We could say that torrenting is a part of P2P (Peer to Peer) file sharing, the most popular kind when you think about torrenting. You will require torrent management software to get it working and then should be able to connect to the BitTorrent network. The best part is that you can download the same software for free on multiple devices.
Users can utilize one network to upload and download files, shared from multiple user devices. Users who download content are called leechers while users who upload files for other torrenteers are called seeders. If we are to go into bigger or more technical details, we could define every user who uploads or downloads content using the BitTorrent client as a peer.
This process might seem a little too easy and simple, but there is a lot to look into. For starters, as mentioned above, the laws on torrenting vary from country to country.
Torrenting itself isn’t considered illegal or unsafe but rather the torrenting (downloading or uploading) of copyrighted or pirated content. Also, the safety around torrenting also depends on which sources you download from. For example, Kickass Torrents is or was one of the best or most popular websites for torrenting. However, it was taken down by the US government for violations crossed.
Is torrenting safe in 2021?
When we talk about the safety of torrenting as a whole, you first need to see its legality in different countries.
The laws in most countries are against the violation of copyright content but is it actually illegal if you’re not using it for benefits? No law completely supports torrenting as illegal since torrenting is not always used for business or making money. For example, if you live in a country like Spain, torrenting is considered legal as long as you don’t use it for profitable gain.
On the other hand, there are countries like Mexico or the Philippines that don’t really label torrenting as legal nor illegal; in fact, it is completely overlooked! Now, what you need to be most concerned about are the countries like France or the UAE that permit torrenting activities, but at the same time make sure that there are heavy punishments if any laws are violated on torrenting illegal or copyrighted content. You need to keep a lookout for the laws in different countries since the punishments are often different.
So, is torrenting safe?
Now, we understand that torrenting is illegal in most countries, so keeping that in light is the only way to understand whether torrenting itself is safe or not. Other than the violations or breaches of law, there are still other factors to look out for that will determine the overall safety of torrenting.
For starters, we know that every internet service provider is allowed to tab in or monitor everything we do online. Even if you’re just on Google and look up pictures of flowers, your service provider will know all. In this way, if ever you’re caught torrenting within a country that imposes harsh laws, your internet service provider will take it upon themselves to carry out the action.
The penalties can vary from hefty fines, speed or bandwidth throttling, or worse – jail. Again, that entirely depends on which country you live in, which is why necessary precautionary measures are required. The best option to protect you while torrenting would be VPN software. Sure, it’s not 100% likely to work, but it’s still a better software alternative to most. Plus, you could just get a reliable paid one and use its free trial to test the VPN first.
Why is a VPN a great way to make torrenting safe again?
- Firstly, torrenting platforms are blocked in many countries around the world. A VPN, with many of its servers can give you safe and anonymous access to some of the best torrenting platforms.
- We’ve talked about ISP throttling above. A VPN will allow you to keep your online activities or data safe from your internet service provider. All your ISP can see is that you’re connected to a VPN and nothing more.
- Other than keeping your traffic private from your internet service provider, you could also bypass ISP throttling for a better torrenting experience.
- Most websites, app, or services usually log user data. There is no saying that your data is safe on a torrenting platform. You could be downloading a malicious link for all you know. A VPN will help protect your information from being logged and will offer basic security against cyber-attacks.
So, is torrenting safe in 2021? Yes, it could be, but it all depends on how you use it or go about it. Always remember that there are laws against even entertainment services. It might not seem so daunting at first, but the consequences can be severe.
The government in most countries always places copyright bodies or surveillance agents on the side to help detect users active on torrenting platforms. So, if you’re not planning on getting any warning letters, make sure you take every preventative or precautionary measure possible. A VPN just so happens to be one of the best for torrenting safely.