Do you wonder, “Is torrenting safe?” Well, wonder no more! Use the tips in this guide to torrent safely and legally instead.
Ever seen banner ads for BitTorrent and other torrenting tools? Is torrenting safe and is it legal? Can you use torrents to get your favorite movies, songs, and video games without fearing any repercussions?
Don’t worry, we’re going to clear out all the details for you. It’s a little more complicated than you’d think.
Read our in-depth guide below to discover the legalities of torrenting and how you can do it safely.
1. Is Torrenting Illegal?
Let’s get the biggest and most important question of the way. Is torrenting legal? The short answer is yes but this depends on many factors.
The act of using a torrent to download and share files is not illegal. Problems only arise depending on what you download and the nature of their distribution.
You can only download files that don’t carry any binding copyright. If you’re downloading a copyrighted video game, movie, or song then the owners of that property can sue you. The authorities can also catch you and imprison or fine you for stealing copyrighted content.
2. Is Torrenting Safe?
Yes, it’s legal to torrent as long as the files are in the public domain or the owners allow free downloading and sharing.
But is torrenting safe?
You can split this question into two. First, is it safe to download files and not get into any legal trouble? We’ll tackle this a bit more in-depth below.
Second, do you risk exposure to hackers and malware like viruses? Unfortunately, you do risk attacks from viruses and hackers. The best way to prevent exposure is to install a reliable anti-virus.
You should also keep your firewall enabled. For illegal torrents, a firewall might automatically remove or delete some of the necessary files. Executable files sometimes get mistaken as viruses — some of them do carry viruses!
Legal torrents, on the other hand, don’t carry scary viruses. They get scrubbed of dubious content before they get uploaded and shared.
3. What Can You Legally Download?
What counts as legal, non-copyrighted content? The general rule of thumb means you can torrent files under the public domain. These are often books and movies over 50 years old.
You may also download files that the owners willingly give for free. Some video games fall under this category, as well as their DLC and patches. Patches often get lost in the shuffle and it’s difficult to find them without a torrent library.
Mods for games are also legal to download. As long as you’ve paid for the game and acquired it legally, there’s no issue with downloading user-generated mods via torrenting.
Some indie movies and games also become available for legal torrenting. You’ll often find non-profit properties available, like indie films made solely to promote a public domain movie or for free distribution.
4. Can Authorities Catch You?
Even when you’re only using torrents to download legal files, you can still catch the attention of the authorities. It’s rare for the government to go to a torrenting site and check the IP addresses of people seeding or downloading but it can happen.
The best way to avoid getting their attention is to use a VPN. This encrypts your Internet use and the data you download. It also masks your IP address, ensuring authorities won’t easily discover where you are.
5. Which Sites to Use
Now that we’ve tackled the legal details about torrenting, which sites can you rely on? Which torrenting sites provide nothing but legal torrents?
The first one to look into is Legit Torrents. This one contains tons of video game mods, anime, movies, and books. These are all 100% legal files to download.
Are you looking for movies in the public domain or an eBook? Try Public Domain Torrents. This is a great place to find books like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or something about Norse Mythology.
BitLove, Game Updates, and Vodo are also great options. These all offer legal files to torrent.
6. What About Popular Torrenting Sites?
What about sites like The Pirate Bay or 1337x? The name alone should give it away: these sites offer a ton of copyrighted content so stay away from them if you want to avoid any legal problems.
Not only do most popular torrenting sites offer movies, books, and games that still carry copyrighted material but you may also get exposed to viruses. Hackers can use this malware to access your data such as your email password or credit card information.
Do these sites also offer legal content? Yes, they do, but it’s a safer choice to stick to the torrenting sites we listed above.
7. Other Safety Precautions
We’ve already mentioned the importance of using a VPN.
Don’t settle for the free versions or trials. Instead, go for a paid, premium VPN since these can protect your IP address and encrypt your data. Encryption is important because it ensures hackers can’t break into your system and steal your information.
It’s also important to always keep your firewall and anti-virus running. These can eliminate any suspicious files included in the torrent batch.
As much as possible, don’t torrent files with few seeders. Not a lot of people are sharing these files, which means they are either not too popular or they contain suspicious content.
Only use torrent clients/apps that don’t share your information to hackers. It’s hard to determine the shady ones from the good ones, unfortunately. You can check here to learn how to find the best torrent client for Mac.
Some people only torrent in cafes or libraries. This ensures complete anonymity but you don’t have to go this far to protect yourself. This only applies to people who want to mask the fact they’re using torrents to download copyrighted content like movies or video games.
Torrent Safely and Legally!
Is torrenting safe and legal? Yes, it is! It all depends on what you download and the sites you go to for the torrent files.
As long as you follow our tips above and use a reliable VPN, you shouldn’t encounter any instances of hacking or malware infections. If the authorities ever question you, you’ll have nothing to fear because you only download files that are free to torrent and don’t have copyright protection.
However, there are more tips and tricks to learn when it comes to getting movies or books online. Why not check out more of our articles today and discover some of our guides to help you find what you want?