If you’ve never used torrents before, however, are curious to learn more, then this is the article for you. We’ll address what exactly torrenting is, share tips for using the famous P2P technology effectively, plus illustrate how you can use a VPN alongside torrents for safe, anonymous downloads. In this article, we are going to talk about What is Torrenting – Things You should Know about Torrents. Let’s begin!
Torrenting is a really famous file-sharing protocol based on peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. It permits vast numbers of users to connect and share content without having to depend on a single source for downloads. In order to illustrate the sheer usage of torrents, a 2018 Sandvine report shows that 22% of all upstream Internet traffic all over the world is handled by BitTorrent. Insane.
Always Use a VPN
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are important tools for anyone interested in torrenting. VPNs encrypt data that leaves your pc, making it impossible for anyone to see what you’re downloading that. They also obscure your true location through providing you with a virtual IP address. This is really important for torrenting, because the nature of the protocol exposes your IP and your location to other users.
Using a VPN whenever torrenting is as simple as running another piece of software. Selecting the best VPN for the job is a little more difficult, however. There’s a lot of information to research and compare, also including encryption protocols, server networks, and privacy policies. We’ve streamlined the process through providing our top recommendation below.
Stay Safe while Torrenting
Whenever torrenting and torrent sites are generally safe, there are some dangers to look out for. Viruses, malware, data theft, and many other issues can arise if you’re not careful. Follow the tips below in order to secure your computer and keep yourself out of harm’s way.
- Always use a VPN – VPNs are important for each and every day’s privacy and security. But, they’re absolutely important for downloading torrents. Connecting to peers basically means showing your IP address to the world, that simply isn’t safe in the modern digital age. You guys should always use a VPN for P2P file sharing. Always.
- Use anti-virus software – Anti-virus software is a front-line defense against harmful files. Just keep your scanner active whenever you search for, download, or run torrents as well.
- Don’t download illegal content – Downloading pirated movies, software, and also TV shows will put you in harm’s way. If you stick to legitimate content, then you’re much less likely to get into trouble.
- Choose public trackers carefully – Where you get your torrents from makes a huge difference as well. Famous sources are generally safer to use than underground ones, although this isn’t always the case. Check out our guide to the best and safest torrenting sites currently operating as well.
- Use private trackers – Registration requirements help keep private trackers safe from troublemakers actually. If you can gain access to a few good private trackers, then just stick to them for life.
It’s also fair to call NordVPN the Swiss army knife of VPNs, well, thanks to its array of highly specialized privacy provisions actually. Most relevant to anyone interested in torrenting will actually be the P2P-optimized specialty servers. Simply choose one of these clearly labeled servers within NordVPN’s intuitive interface, and then let your app do the rest. It will always choose the best balance of server distance, an encryption protocol, and also cipher strength for speedy downloads and truly private connections as well.
Beyond torrenting, NordVPN also has servers to navigate TOR, getting a static IP to beat VPN blocks, encrypting your traffic twice, and also even for evading DDoS attacks. They’re all guarded via unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption via default. And along with a kill switch plus DNS leak protection, you’ll never let a single byte of unprotected information out to reveal your identity and activity activity.
NordVPN’s no-logging policy is second to none, and also their Panamanian jurisdiction makes sure no government can strong-arm them into changing that.
Torrenting Basics | What is Torrenting
- Indexers – Websites that actually collect torrent files and act as a search engine for content. If you’ve ever used The Pirate Bay, Extratorrent, or RarBG, then you’ve used an indexer. Some sites are public and open to use via anyone who lands on the page, however, others are private and need an invite.
- Trackers – Servers that actually work as a bridge between torrent users. Whenever you upload or download a file, a torrent tracker orchestrates the whole thing.
- Torrent client – Software used to connect to torrent trackers in order to download and assemble files on your computer. Deluge, uTorrent, and Transmission are a few famous clients.
- Seeders – Folks who are actively uploading a file to the torrent network. It’s really important to keep completed downloads in your torrent client so you can seed them to other users. Without even seeders, torrent content can’t be downloaded as well.
- Leechers – Downloading a file without even uploading (seeding) it. Leeching is generally considered a bad practice whenever torrenting.
- Ratio – The relationship between your uploading (seeding) and also downloading (leeching) score. Your ratio for each and every file should be greater than 1.0. That means you upload at least as much as you guys download.
- Magnet link – Rather than downloading a torrent file, magnet links identify files and sources and permit your torrent client to start downloading immediately.
File sharing dates back to the 1970s whenever early computer developers needed a way to transfer content from device to device actually. The first sharing protocols set up simple host-client relationships that basically let users download copies of files from a centralized server. This quickly gained popularity as technologies like Usenet and IRC spread to the general population. However, it was limited via the server’s speed and available bandwidth.
As content grew in size, new methods were developed in order to ease the load on servers whenever increasing the speed of downloads across the board. Peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) gained enormous popularity in 1999 along with the rise and subsequent fall of Napster. The software used P2P networks in order to link connected users. Rather than downloading one file from one server, then you downloaded countless pieces of files from other users, letting folks host and share content in swarms.
The BitTorrent protocol soon came along actually. It presented a logical evolution of the P2P model via formalizing and streamlining a lot of technologies that made peer sharing work. Torrents are tiny files that point to trackers, that are external sites that maintain a database of links. These links point to many other users whose computers host a requested file. With downloading a torrent you’re connecting directly to dozens or even thousands of many other users. That grabs tiny pieces of the file which your torrenting software assembles on your PC.
Torrenting relies on Users, Not Servers
When you get a file from a website or hosting service, then chances are you’re downloading the content from a single computer. This host-client relationship is really straightforward, however, the downsides include things like limited bandwidth, slow speeds, and even censorship as well. After all, if a file only exists in one place, all the host has to do is remove it and no one can use it as well.
Torrenting neatly sidesteps the problems of availability and slow speeds too. You guys don’t download files from one source, you just download it from dozens. Each and every user who downloads is then turned into an uploader (seeder). That in turn gives more sources for other users to download from. The more folks who use BitTorrent, the stronger it becomes. It’s just one of the many reasons torrenting has gotten so famous in recent years.
When torrenting, always keep in mind that you’re part of a community actually. Seed as much as you can, keep a good ratio, and also help your fellow torrenters participate in file sharing.
How to Use Torrents
The technology may sound complicated, however, in practice, it’s surprisingly easy to use torrents. It won’t be as straightforward as clicking to download a file, and it can be really challenging to find good-quality content. Especially if you’re looking for movies or TV shows as well. However, with a little patience and the right resources, torrenting will open up a new world of downloads for you in order to browse and enjoy.
- Download a torrent client like Deluge (Windows, Mac, Linux). There are some torrent clients for iOS and Android, however, it’s best to stick along with PC whenever possible.
- Search for a torrent to download. Use an indexer or tracker in order to find your favorite content.
- Download the torrent file or just tap on the provided magnet link.
- If your torrent client doesn’t automatically start, then just open it and add the torrent manually.
- Wait for the torrent to initiate and start downloading from peers as well.
- Whenever the download reaches 100% then you can open the file and enjoy your content.
- Leave the torrent client running with your download actively uploading so that you can seed to other users.
- Remove the torrent from your client when you guys are done downloading. This is an important safety step, because many times you may want to shut your VPN off for whatever reason. And you don’t really want to forget that you’re actively uploading data into the torrent network. Just like that, if you want to keep seeding, just make sure that your torrent client is never open whenever your VPN is off actually.
Is Torrenting Legal?
Any new technology is going to come along with a few hurdles to overcome, and BitTorrent is no exception. As soon as torrenting became famous people started using it to share pirated content. Especially high-definition movies and TV shows. This soured the public perception of torrenting like a tool for breaking the law, that is a little unfair. BitTorrent has countless legal uses, each and everything from distributing your own files without even a server to effortlessly sharing content with your school or workgroup. Torrenting itself is perfectly legal, however, like any tool, you can abuse it in illegal ways.
The distinction that has kept torrenting alive is actually the fact that torrent sites do not host any content. You’re downloading from many other users, not from trackers or indexers. That puts most of the community in a legally gray area. As is the case along with downloading any file from the internet, there’s always a chance that you’ll run into a virus or malware. Relying on the torrent indexer you’re using this may be more common than you think. Files can also be mislabeled intentionally or accidentally as well. That means you should always be a little cautious whenever grabbing torrents from the internet, just in case.
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