You are probably reading this article because you’ve heard that torrents are unsafe and you want to keep your computer protected. The good news is that torrents aren’t more problematic than just about any other aspect of the Web. Applying a set of basic protection measures and knowing what kinds of files you can download goes a long way. Let’s take a look at how to safely download torrents.
Disclaimer: TechNadu does not condone illegal file sharing or copyright infringement. Even though P2P file sharing technology is legal, many of the files exchanged via P2P are indeed copyrighted. Uploading these copyrighted files can put you at risk of a civil lawsuit. While these lawsuits are often class-action cases, some have been targeted at individual users in an attempt to make an example of them.
Secure Your Torrent Downloads
Many of you will be surprised to know that your Internet browsing is fully visible by ISPs (Internet Service Providers). These companies have the power to collect your personal data and hand it over to third parties. Therefore, it's imperative to keep your data protected and inaccessible to anyone who tries to collect it. This is especially important if you plan on downloading and sharing torrent files.
TechNadu strongly recommends using ExpressVPN to encrypt your Internet connection, change your IP, and make your device impenetrable to malware. This particular VPN software scored the highest in our tests, which can be seen in our ExpressVPN review. Use the provided link to read all you need to know about this easy to use and highly powerful application.
Make sure to sign-up for ExpressVPN and enjoy the Internet as it should be - open and without any privacy concerns.
How to Safely Download Torrents?
By the end of this article, you will know all you need to know about keeping yourself and your computer protected when downloading torrents. We will talk about helpful applications that can be used for this purpose, as well as how to identify risk-free torrent files. So, let’s get started, shall we?
Employ an Antivirus
You are probably aware of the importance of using an antivirus – no matter if you download torrents or not. A good antivirus can be used to scan downloaded files and check for malicious code. However, their role goes beyond that. The most popular anti-malware software actively scans your computer and warns you as soon as you download a problematic file.
The good news is that you can begin using an antivirus without paying anything. There are numerous interesting options out there, so you can do a research and pick the one you feel is the best. To help you to get started, we recommend reading our article on the best free antivirus to use in 2018.
Inspect Torrent Files
Even before you start downloading a torrent file, you can discover plenty of useful information about its quality. In fact, this shouldn’t be something that you only occasionally do. Thanks to the helpful community of torrent users, you can discover whether a torrent is worth downloading before opening it in a torrent client. Keep on reading to learn more.
Check the Number of Seeders
No matter which torrent website you use, you will always see a number of seeders and leechers next to a torrent’s name. These two numbers are incredibly important, and here’s why.
Torrents that have several times more seeders than leechers are usually quick to download. This is because a lot of people are sharing the fully downloaded file, which leaves a lot of space for leechers to jump in. However, it is also an indication that a torrent is safe. Let’s say that you’ve encountered a torrent file that’s one month old. In addition, it has around 5,000 seeders and 2,500 leechers. First, this means that you will download that torrent to the full extent of your Internet connection speed. However, the torrent’s popularity is also an indication that there isn’t any malware or viruses.
Check the Torrent Comments
Every popular torrent website has a comments section. This isn’t done by accident. Comments are a way for the torrent user community to express their opinions about certain torrents and to issue helpful warnings as well. This is especially helpful if you’re downloading a movie, for example.
Once you open a page of a certain movie torrent, you will get to see what other people think. Most importantly, you can check out the video and audio quality, as well as if there are any issues. This can a problematic resolution, hardcoded subtitles, and more. Therefore, checking the comments section is quite beneficial and should be an important part of your regular routine.
Beware of Certain File Types
The truth is that hackers can hide malware in just about any type of file. However, executable files still bring the highest level of risk. These are EXE and BAT files. As you know, every Windows application or game is an EXE file. This is why Windows users need to be careful and scan the downloaded files as soon as they reach your computer.
The majority of popular torrent websites offer a list of files included in torrents. This is good way to see if there’s an EXE file, for example, in a movie. Make sure to take a look at this list and try to see if there’s a file that shouldn’t be there normally.
Hide Your IP Address
Finally, we are going to talk about VPN (Virtual Private Network) applications. These are the best way to hide your IP address along with your physical location. By using a VPN, you make sure that nobody can trace your steps so you can use torrents without any fear. This is especially important if you want to learn how to safely download torrents. Let’s dive a bit deeper.
Consider a VPN
Even though a fully reliable VPN will set you back a few dollars per month, this is a wise investment. This kind of application can be run on any computer and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. You install it, open it, and connect to a remote server. From there on, all your Internet traffic is tightly encrypted. This means that you can browse the Web and download files without having your ISP (Internet Service Provider) knowing about your activities.
Still, not every VPN is the same and you want to make sure that you’re using the best one. Our article on the best VPNs for torrenting can help you to get started. This is where you’ll find a bunch of different options – all of which work as advertised.
Integrate VPN with Torrent Clients
Once you sign up and download a VPN application, there are two ways to encrypt your Internet connection. If you’d like to hide all your Web browsing (not just downloading torrents) you can use the default VPN app. Open it on your computer, sign in with your credentials, and you’re ready to go. However, to make sure that you’re hiding your torrenting activities, you should integrate your VPN of choice with your Torrent client. If you’re using uTorrent – one of the most popular torrent clients, here’s how this can be done:
- Launch uTorrent on your computer;
- Now go to Options > Preferences using the top-placed toolbar;
- On the left side of the window, select ‘Connection’;
- Under the ‘Proxy Server’ section, make sure you select the VPN type. The majority of VPNs use SOCKS5;
- Finally, you need to add a proxy. This piece of information depends on the VPN you’re using. Therefore, you need to find this piece of information on the VPN’s website.
- That’s it!
That’s all when it comes to how to safely download torrents. Even though there’s always a chance you’ll encounter malware when downloading files from the Web, the previously explained set of measures can go a long way. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to let us know.
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