Torrenting, also known as peer-to-peer file sharing is the process in which internet users exchange digital files over the internet. Digital file-sharing started back in the 70s and some of us still remember the troubles we had to go through to copy a game via floppy disks. Well, file sharing has come a long way since the early days. Nonetheless, its legal nature hasn’t changed that much. Basically, it is illegal to make a copy of any product covered by copyrights. And while nobody knew that you were breaking copyright laws when you were copying games on floppy disks, you are not so anonymous when you are using torrents. But don’t worry, as we will teach you how to choose the best VPN for torrenting, to keep your identity hidden when using torrents.
Understanding the legality of torrents
The process of sharing files is legal anywhere in the world. The internet is a free space, and you can share whatever you want with whomever you want, as long as you are sharing something that belongs to you. So basically, you will never get in trouble, simply for using a torrenting software or for having an account on a torrent website. However, if you download pirated content, you could get in trouble.
What exactly accounts as pirated content is debatable. Most music, movies and games uploaded on torrents are pirated. It is not uncommon for copyright holders to make certain games or music files free after a while, but this is rarely the case. Technically, you should check the copyright status of each file that you plan on downloading. You also need to verify local copyright laws, but it is safe to assume that online piracy is illegal in most parts of the world. Nonetheless, the laws are applied differently in each country, so, it wouldn’t hurt to research the laws of your country.
How anonymous are you when using a torrent?
Every time you are online, you are revealing information about yourself. For starters, you connect to the internet using an IP address which shows your location. The IP address is known by any website that you connect to, but it is also visible to the people with whom you share files via torrents, so this address can easily be spotted by the ISP. Now you may be wondering: Does the ISP have the resources to research numerous people and check every piece of data that they download to see if it is covered by copyrights? Of course, they don’t! However, torrent downloads are a little different than other downloads. They use a special port, which makes torrent traffic easily distinguishable.
Protect your privacy using a VPN
A virtual private network is a third party that filters the connection between you and a server. Basically, when you connect to the internet, you won’t connect directly to a server. Instead, you will connect to the virtual private network, which in turn can connect you to a server. The beauty of this process is that the VPN can connect you to servers from all over the world, thus keeping your location and your identity hidden.
How to choose a quality VPN
There is a wide range of VPNs to choose from. Most of them are quite affordable with monthly fees ranging from $2 to $15. There are even some free VPNs, but we don’t really recommend them, as they have slow speeds and poor privacy and security features. While VPNs seem ideal for torrenting, they can be used for numerous other purposes. They can be used for privacy, a very useful feature for countries where the government keeps a close eye on their population. They can also be used to bypass censorship in countries where internet content is restricted. Given its numerous uses, finding the best VPN will depend on the needs of each user. Here’s what you need for a safe torrenting experience:
The higher the quality of a digital file, the bigger it’s size will be. So, if you want to download high-quality files, look for a VPN with top speed, and unlimited bandwidth.
While most VPNs have basic security features, some are specifically optimized for torrenting security. It should have a No logs policy; it should respect data retention laws and it should be GDPR compliant.
A good VPN should have servers all over the world. If you are a console gamer, you should look for a network that allows you to use servers specifically designed for P2P file sharing.
VPNs are usually easy to use. However, they can experience the occasional malfunction, so it pays to invest in a GPS with 24/7 customer support. This is particularly helpful if you are a newbie using a virtual private network.
If you download files for different devices, make sure to choose a VPN that is compatible with the operating systems of all your devices.