Torrenting can be fun, but how much do you know about it? Do you use torrenting platforms safely? Do you have any questions in mind? Well, then you’re at the right place! This guide contains all the basics about torrenting and more! Let’s get started!
Torrents were and still are one of the more preferred methods of downloading and watching movies. However, most torrent users know the risk behind it! For those of you who are completely new to the world of Torrenting, and would like to know whether it’s safe to use, whether it’s illegal in most parts of the world, or if you can get caught seeding pirated content off torrenting platforms, then this guide is for you.
What is Torrenting?
In simpler terms Torrenting is the downloading and uploading of files, be it music, movies, games, or even software using the BitTorrent network. Users can download or upload these files from each other’s devices over the network. In short, there are seeders, who download content and then upload it for other users, and then the leechers download that content.
Torrenting is a branch of P2P, short for Peer to Peer file sharing, and is one of the more popular forms. To get it running, you need a torrent management software and through that you will be able to connect to the BitTorrent network. You could even download the very same software for free over a couple of devices.
To explain the process a little extensively, everyone who downloads and uploads the same content over the BitTorrent client is a peer. Every peer can download a file from multiple other peers or users, even at one go. On the other hand, they can also simultaneously upload a file to numerous other users. Users can even distribute the load between various other hosts.
The laws on torrenting vary from country to country. However, due to the laws and torrenting being the downloading or seeding of copyrighted and pirated material, it’s important that you understand everything about it extensively.
On the other hand, torrenting does indeed come from some reliable sources, but you need to be careful of which sources you get your content from. For starters, Kickass Torrents used to be one of the more popular websites, but since the owner was brought down by the US government for particular reasons, users looked up other reliable Kickass Torrent alternatives.
Is it illegal?
You can’t really deem torrenting as illegal, since there are quite a couple of legitimate uses of it. As mentioned above, torrenting means downloading or uploading pirated content, however, you can’t label it as “illegal” mostly because the laws vary from state to state. For starters, there are countries like Switzerland, Spain, and Poland where torrenting is allowed as long as it is for personal use and not profitable gain. Then you have countries like the Netherlands, Mexico, India, Greece, Brazil, Canada, or the Philippines, where torrenting is completely overlooked. There are countries like Germany, the UK, France, or the UAE that allow torrenting, but you will get fined heavy penalties for torrenting illegal or copyrighted content. Other than that, we have countries where torrenting itself is illegal, unsafe, and completely shut down, like in China, Malaysia, the US, South Africa and a couple others.
So, is it legal or illegal?
Judging from the complete scenario, the results are just led down to the fact that torrenting itself is not illegal, but rather the go ahead of downloading under-the-counter copyrighted content is.
The sad reality is, even if you’re not truly aware of what torrents are legal or illegal to download, you might find yourself on the hot end of the rod for following through with the downloads. But again, this highly depends on what country you reside in. There is, however, a solution to that, which we will get into in a bit.
The illegalities of torrenting are not clear, but is it safe? That’s the question!
Now we know that torrenting is illegal in most countries, while governing laws in other countries don’t really pay heed to the downloading of copyright content. With that said, most users might not know what they’re torrenting. So, is it safe to continue?
Keeping the government and other surveillance agents of the state out of this just for a moment, have you ever wondered what the complete role of your ISP is? Apart from tabbing into your online traffic and search history, your ISP can survey the BitTorrent network and catch you on it, midway torrenting.
They are obliged to take immediate action against you, as per the rules of the government in countries where torrenting is forbidden. The outcome or punishment ranges from hefty fines paid to the main owner of the material, slowing down your speeds, or legal action.
The quick fix to keeping your digital life private and safe is by using a VPN. It might not be 100% reliable, as no software usually is, but it’s one of the more secure methods for safe torrenting. Here are a few reasons why using a VPN is the best option for safe torrenting:
It can help shield your activities and your physical IP address from your ISP. The internet service provider will only know that a VPN is being used, and that’s about it.
There are torrent websites that are completely blocked off in most countries, and with that said, a VPN will allow you to change your virtual IP address to access these services.
ISP throttling of speeds and bandwidth can be bypassed.
Choose a VPN that doesn’t log user data, which is required especially when partaking in torrenting activities.
There might be other software out there that are equally safe to use while torrenting, but there is no guarantee of how reliable they are.
To conclude – Can you get caught torrenting? What are the consequences like?
Again, it all depends on the country you’re in. If you’re in any country that obstructs access to torrenting platforms then yes, there is a huge possibility of you getting caught. The governing bodies in these countries always place surveillance agents or copyright trolls in place, waiting to get a hold of all the violators. The punishment is sometimes just a couple of warning letters, cut down internet speeds, and hefty fines. The most severe is jail time, but that is pretty scarce.
This is why you should always conduct a little research about the laws within your country and come up with ways you can safely access torrent sites. Even if you do use a VPN, make sure to use it wisely and not precariously.