What Tools Do You Need for Safe Torrenting?

Online safety should be one of your top priorities when you’re on the internet. Here’s a quick list of tools that can keep you safe while torrenting!

What Tools Do You Need for Safe Torrenting?

Whether you’re thinking about killing some time on social media, playing some games, or shopping online, you must take extra precautions when you’re online. And that’s because hackers or online attacks might happen when least expected.

In this article, we’ll talk exclusively about torrenting and what tools can keep you safe when torrenting.

But let’s start with the beginning - can torrenting put your online safety at risk?

Short answer - yes. And that’s because every country has its own regulations when it comes to downloading copyrighted material. So the only thing you can do is check if the country you’re living in right now is against torrenting or tolerates it.

Most countries don’t allow torrenting, but there are also a few places where they allow it as long as you don’t make a profit off of it - like Spain or Switzerland, for example.

But let’s say you’re living in a country where torrenting is overlooked. Does this mean you’ll still have to hide your IP address? After all, you’re not doing anything wrong, right?

Well, even if your country overlooks torrenting, it doesn’t mean you’re safe, unfortunately. Yes, you’re not at risk of being sent to court for copyright infringement. But the government, copyright studios, and lawyers aren’t the only ones after your money - trolls and hackers are too!

What Can Someone Do with My IP Address?

Online trolls might target you with Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks. Attackers will flood your network with so much unwanted traffic until it gets overloaded and you can’t use the internet anymore.

In return, trolls might ask for money to stop their attacks. Even if they don’t ask for money, not being able to go online for hours on end is still extremely annoying.

What Tools Should You Use When Torrenting?

There is no such thing as one tool that fits all needs. If you want to be extra safe on the internet, you’ll have to find the best options and combine them.

So here are a few suggestions!

Use a VPN When Torrenting

A VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic. That means that no one can track your IP address and find out personal information about you - like what country and city you live in, and who your internet service provider (ISP) is.

That’s important because:

  • Wannabe hackers can’t use your IP address to DDoS your network anymore.
  • Copyright trolls and lawyers can no longer collect your IP address from torrent swarms.
  • Scammers can’t use your IP address to find your ISP and target it with phishing attacks.

Besides, when you’re downloading content, your ISP might throttle your bandwidth and limit your speeds because you’re using too much data or because they don’t agree with torrenting. Well, once you’re connected to a VPN server, your ISP can’t see what you’re doing on the internet.

Use an Antivirus When Torrenting

Hackers have started uploading malicious torrents by naming the files after famous movies to trick people into downloading them. No, a 23 KB executable file is definitely not the latest hit movie or triple A game.

That’s exactly why you need to use an antivirus program. It keeps you safe by detecting and removing malware instantly. Keep in mind that a VPN can’t protect you from malware. If you’re connected to a VPN server and you download malware, your device will still get infected. VPNs only protect your IP address and hide what you’re doing on the internet.

So always remember to keep your antivirus on 24/7 and update it constantly. Otherwise, your antivirus can’t detect the newest strains of malware.

Is Using a SOCKS5 Proxy Safe for Torrenting?

SOCKS5 proxy servers hide your IP address just like a VPN. But the big difference is that a SOCKS5 proxy doesn’t encrypt your traffic.

Yes, that will make it faster than a VPN, but it will cost you your private data because, without encryption, your ISP can see that you’re torrenting.

To use a SOCKS5 proxy server, you need to manually configure it inside your P2P app - so it’s a bit more inconvenient than just using a VPN app which you download and install in 1-2 minutes.

What’s more, some VPN (NordVPN or IPVanish, for example) have included SOCKS5 proxy support. So there’s no reason to use a standalone SOCKS5 proxy service.

Can You Use Tor for Torrenting?

Unfortunately, Tor isn’t a good or safe option for downloading torrents.

First of all, Tor is very slow. It’s known as the “onion router” because it secures your traffic with multiple layers of encryption. That’s good for your data but horrible for your speeds. In our speed tests, we experienced 98-99% slowdowns when using Tor.

If you’re downloading a 40 GB movie with a top VPN like NordVPN, it can take you 20-30 minutes. With Tor, however, this might take up to 10 hours or more.

Secondly, Tor is prone to IP leaks. So even though it encrypts your traffic, it still doesn’t provide good privacy since your IP address is visible. Even the Tor devs said that using Tor for torrenting is very risky and not recommended.

Conclusion

Using just a VPN or just an antivirus when you’re torrenting isn’t enough - that’s why it’s best to use them both.

Learning to differentiate malware-infected torrents from good torrents can also help you. But how do you know if a torrent is malicious?

For example, if you want to download a game that’s supposed to be around 60 GB, but for some reason, all you get is a 1-2 MB executable file - that’s a red flag! So make a habit out of checking the files before you download them!

Do you know how to recognize malicious torrents? If yes, what are the most important things you look for to make sure you’re not downloading a virus? Let us know in the comments. Also, please tell us what other security tools you use to stay safe when torrenting.

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