Torrenting makes it very simple to get your media. But it is also not a very safe thing to do if you are not protected, especially in the last few years. From copyright agencies to hackers, the dangers are very real. That's why we made a guide with the necessary steps to download torrents anonymously.
Searching for Torrents
To download files through a BitTorrent client, you need to find torrents, which are presented as torrent files or magnet links. You can find them in a variety of places.
If you are looking for specific content such as movies, games, music, or books, you will likely need to visit torrent archiving sites. These sites are like search engines, but for torrents.
You can search for just about any type of digital content on a torrent site. Unfortunately, these sites are frequently forced to shut down due to copyright violations. Luckily, these sites regularly bounce back by maintaining several clones hosted on different servers.
Using this type of site to find torrents provides a couple of advantages. They typically filter search results based on the number of leeches and seeders. By choosing a copy of the file that you want that has more seeders, you are going to get a faster download.
These sites also allow you to copy a magnet link instead of downloading a torrent file. You can copy the link URL and paste it into your BitTorrent client. The client then loads the torrent data just the same as opening a torrent file.
Hide Your Identity
You may want to connect to a VPN before visiting these pages. By connecting to a VPN before visiting a torrent site, you prevent your ISP from knowing that you have visited these sites.
It's always better to mask your identity completely, not giving any clues about your activity. While this step is not always necessary, it helps protect your privacy.
Protect Your Device
Ensuring that your anti-virus software is up to date and running is also necessary. While a VPN can hide your identity, it does not protect against viruses. You cannot scan the data that you download until the BitTorrent client has compiled it.
Finding torrents on a popular site may also help you avoid downloading harmful torrent files. These sites often include comment sections for each torrent, allowing users to warn each other about malware and other threats.
The BitTorrent Client
BitTorrent programs (or clients) manage the files you download. They communicate with trackers and look for the parts of the file that you still don't have and upload the ones other users don't have.
Although they all have the same goal, these programs have different features that will have an impact on safety and speed. Options like uTorrent are always a safe choice. Head over to our list of the best torrent programs to see some more suggestions.
Downloading a Torrent with a VPN
Whether you connect to the VPN before or after finding a torrent, you always need to connect before downloading the torrent.
It is also a good idea to check the preferences in your BitTorrent client and turn off “automatically launch at system boot”. This keeps the client from loading every time that you start your computer. You should ensure that you have your VPN running before starting the BitTorrent client.
The process for connecting to a VPN varies depending on the service that you use. With most VPN services, you simply launch a program on your computer and then click a couple of buttons.
Most VPN providers allow you to select the server location. With this option, you can decide which country you want to mask your identity behind. In other words, you will have an IP address from a country of your choice.
Your VPN program should then provide some type of status monitor to let you know that you are securely connected through the VPN. After establishing the connection, you can download torrents or browse the web anonymously.
You can then open your BitTorrent client and load a torrent file or paste a magnet link. Instead of connecting directly to the P2P network, data gets encrypted and sent through one or more servers.
What You Should Know About VPN Logging
While a VPN can help increase your privacy, it may not offer 100% anonymity. Some VPN providers keep logs that include details related to your activity. The logs may contain the IP addresses of the servers and computers that you connected to.
Most VPN services maintain these logs for internal use. They may be needed for troubleshooting and performing technical updates to their systems.
However, some VPN providers may sell this information to third parties or openly provide it to your ISP provider. The free VPN services are more likely to give away your privacy as they need to generate a profit to pay for their servers.
Before choosing a VPN service, you should review their logging policies. Read their data retention policy to find out if your information is at risk of getting sold. The best choice is to look for VPN services with “no logging” policies.
When downloading torrents, you should take precautions to protect your identity. A VPN service provides a simple way to establish a secure, private connection. You mask your identity from your ISP, copyright trolls, and hackers.
Also, remember that it's important to compare options before choosing a VPN service.