Is Torrenting Legal and Safe to Use?
Is torrenting legal in USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, and the rest of the world? One would ask why should one torrent and risk and go through the troubles that follow? Maybe because accessing the digital world for free and with a low possibility of getting caught is a heartwarming invitation in itself.
Internet users would be foolish not to capitalize on such an opportunity. In some countries like the UK, Germany, and Japan, downloading illegal content is fined, while in countries like Switzerland, Spain, and Poland, they are overlooked. Can you torrent without getting caught? Is torrenting even legal?
That’s really not important because we’re here to tell you that you can get away with torrenting no matter where you are in the world. You can avoid severe legal ramifications and torrent away with VPNs, which are compatible with Mac, PC, Android, iOS, iPhones, and iPads. In the guide below, we will cover the various aspects of torrenting. Is Torrenting illegal? What happens when you get caught torrenting copyrighted material?
What Is Torrenting?
Torrenting is the sharing of files using Torrent software. It is a protocol that supports peer-to-peer file sharing. So basically, it’s a way of downloading data and distributing data/electronic files over the Internet. Instead of downloading a file from a single source server, torrent users can download little bits of the file that they want from the various computers connected to the Torrent software they’re using.
Well, other than the popular reason of it allowing people to watch movies or listen to music for free, people torrent to avoid technical issues like speed and bandwidth.
Is Torrenting Illegal?
Before we go any further, the question of whether torrenting is legal or not is probably your biggest concern. So, we’re here to tell you that torrenting is technically legal, until copyrighted material is involved, only then, it no longer is. Downloading copyrighted movies and songs using a Torrent is frowned upon and can lead to serious consequences.
How Does Torrenting Work?
Downloading a heavy file can be internet users’ worst nightmare, however, that ceased to be a problem when Torrenting came into the picture. What Torrenting does is facilitate the downloading of files that require high bandwidth and speed rate. It breaks down the file and distributes it in different places to ultimately piece them back together once the file is downloaded.
Seeding and leeching, that’s how Torrenting works. Due to the fact that the whole Torrenting process is based on file sharing, a torrent user is eligible to seed and leech. This means that, just like you can download a file from others, you are most likely able to upload one for others to take as well. The file you leeched (downloaded) came from a swarm of different sources, and your file will be seeded (sent) to other Torrent users. Midst the file sharing process is the client software that manages users’ connections to seed and leech files.
How Would You Get Caught Torrenting?
Believe it or not, there are businesses monitoring/protecting copyrighted material, and they go by the name of “Copyright Trolls”. The IP addresses of those torrenting are visible and detectable to those using Torrenting client software. All that Internet Service Providers and copyright trolls have to do is monitor the activity of those who download or upload material through their IP addresses.
What Happens If You Get Caught?
Relax. Chances of you going to court for torrenting are slim, however, you would wish matters were handled at court once you discover the outrageous fines of copyright infringement. The degree to which penalties are issued varies depending on the country’s laws and the material accessed.
The ISP will send you a letter demanding that you stop your torrenting activities. Your connection speed will suffer as a consequence of your unfavorable practices. In extreme cases, other countries issue a three-year prison sentence and unbelievably huge fines.
Safety Pre-Torrenting Tips
Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines you can implement to stay on the safe side when torrenting.
- Choose your Torrent software wisely.
- Stay away from torrenting the latest releases.
- Use a VPN for torrenting.
- Choose a reputable VPN.
- Use an antivirus product.
Users must protect their identity using a VPN when they torrent. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) not only adds a layer of anonymity to your networking and torrenting practices but also hides your location where torrenting might be unauthorized. A VPN changes your IP address by rerouting all your internet traffic through a server in a location of your choosing. A VPN encrypts all data in ways ISPs or copyright trolls cannot track your online activities. Here’s how you use a VPN to torrent safely:
- Sign up for a VPN service provider.
- Click on the link to download the VPN software.
- Install the VPN software.
- Connect to one of the servers of a different country.
- Now that you’re browsing using a different IP address, there’s no way the ISPs or Copyright trolls will know what you’re up to.
Choosing A VPN
The VPN you choose must :
- Not keep logs of its users’ internet traffic
- Operate at high speeds
- Has servers in countries where retention laws don’t apply
Best VPN for Torrenting
We’ve already published an in-depth review of top VPN service providers you can use in order to download torrent files anonymously. Below you can find a list of the best VPNs for Torrenting as of 2018.
- Best for streaming and privacy
- High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
- Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
- 24/7/ live chat support
- 3 extra months free on annual plan
- UltraHD streaming
- Free Smart DNS proxy
- Unblocks all major streaming services
- Limited Time 72% Discount
- Unlimited VPN connections
- Over 1000 servers
- Ad-blocking feature available
- User-friendly application
- Exclusive Smart VPN feature
- Standalone Smart DNS subscription available
- Extra security features
- Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
- Split-tunneling available
This is one of the popular VPN services you can definitely use for Torrenting and general web usage. It offers highly secure 256-bit AES encryption. The fact that it has servers in 78 countries also works in its favor (probably not North Korea though, when is someone going to do something about that country?). ExpressVPN has wide OS and device support. It is also ideal if you are not much into tinkering with software settings, but want to use torrents anonymously. The icing on the cake is it has no user data logging. The default protocol used is OpenVPN, but you can also use L2TP and SSTP. All its servers support P2P.
Based in Panama, NordVPN is also ideal for heavy torrent and P2P service users. It also comes with the assurance of zero logging and there is 256-bit AES encryption. NordVPN also offer a double VPN feature. Speeds are generally good but can vary at times. You can also avail DNS leak protection and shared IP addresses. The unlimited bandwidth only makes the deal sweeter.
If you use torrents and need to access web servers from various locations, it is wise to choose a VPN service like IPVanish. It also comes minus woes of data logging. There is 256-bit encryption and support for protocols like L2TP and OpenVPN. IPVanish offers shared IP addresses and bandwidth is unlimited.
Is Torrenting Illegal – Torrent Wisely
Even with the multiple risks that accompany torrenting, users still think it’s worth the shot. They hardly believe that downloading a single file would put them in dire straits, even with the knowledge that downloading copyrighted material is a big no according to law.
One might luck out and get away with torrenting depending on the country he/she is living in, and of course, the security measures he/she has taken to avoid run-ins with the authority. The fact that torrenting is not illegal, to begin with, opened the door for many users to exploit it. Smart users would torrent away from copyrighted material, but savvy users would torrent copyrighted material using VPNs.