Torrents are a great way to download and share large files or folders over the internet. But sadly it has been missed over the years to spread copyrighted materials all over the internet and because of that many torrent websites which used to be very popular have faced the wrath of the legal agencies.
Also while downloading via torrents you are most likely to encounter hackers, malware spreaders and other harmful people on the internet. It is very important for you to protect yourself from these and here are some ways to do that.
How to safely download torrents?
Sometimes torrents can be dangerous, there are obvious copyright issues if you are downloading something illegal or there could be malware hidden in the list of files in the torrent or hackers could cause problems for you because your real IP address is exposed when you are downloading via torrents.
Hence it is imperative for you to take certain precautions before downloading anything through torrents. Here are some ways in which you could safeguard yourself –
- Use a good VPN.
- Don’t download copyrighted materials.
- Use a good torrent client.
- Choose a trusted torrent website.
- Use an antivirus.
1. Use a VPN
When you are downloading torrents without using a VPN you are IP address is exposed to all the peers currently downloading that torrent, this potentially opens you up to cyberattacks and malware. Also, your ISP could throttle your connection or copyright holders could contact your ISP and ask them to hand over your contact information.
When you use a torrent VPN, you essentially are immune to these kinds of troubles and attacks. Also, most popular VPNs will encrypt your data, mask your location data, and hide your IP address, making it impossible for bad actors to cause any harm.
2. Choose Legal Torrents
Never download any copyrighted material especially movies, games and web series. With the rise of streaming services and gaming subscriptions, the price for these have massively decreased and it is easier than ever to get access to these.
Even most of the popular torrents usually have malware or adware hidden in them which can cause harm to your device. So only download stuff that you are legally allowed to like open source software or free movies or operating systems like Ubuntu.
3. Use a good torrent client
A good torrent client can make all the difference for you. There are many free ones supported with ads which you can use and not face any problem but the one I would recommend is qBittorrent.
It is a free open source torrent client and is also without ads. It is loaded with many great features and is very small in size and runs on most device configurations. You might at times face qBittorrent stalled error but that can be fixed easily.
4. Choose a trusted torrent site
It is very crucial to use a trusted torrent site to download torrents. Fake websites are filled in the web which proliferates malware through torrents and causes harm to people downloading those. It is also a good idea to join a private tracker community because it is very hard to get into these communities so there are not spammers or hackers at all, also most torrents posted there are verified torrents and it might require you to pay to join them but most of the time it is worth it.
If you are downloading from public torrent websites, then make sure the torrent has a good number of seeders, check the comments for any kind of discrepancy in the torrent and try downloading torrents only from trusted users with good track records.
5. Use an Antivirus
It is very important to have an antivirus installed on your system. It can protect you against threats and attacks which you don’t have any idea about. It will immediately scan the files when downloaded and warn if there is any malware or threats present in them.
Antiviruses also actively monitor the files which are being downloaded and all other files and folders on your system and will neutralize any which could cause harm. There are some free antivirus solutions that you can use as a temporary measure but it is highly recommended to get a premium one.