Back in the day, torrents were merely a way for people to share their files with others. Fast forward to today, torrents evolved and people use torrents to download all kinds of stuff ranging from ebooks to movies. This, with total disregard to copyright laws.
– What are torrents
Torrent is a peer-to-peer network where people “upload and download” bits of files from one another. There exists no central location where a whole file is stored, as parts of them are scattered on other people’s computers. Nifty. To access the torrent network, you will need a torrent client like uTorrent. Those clients download files from the torrent network. There are also more specialized clients that exclusively stream videos and T.V Shows like Show Box Apps, a torrent client for Android.
– Why you need a VPN
Torrents also contain copyrighted materials – as published books, movies and TV Shows, where people can freely and wantonly download. This forces both the authorities, based on various Copyright Laws as well as publishers to try and track those people down. After all, they lose a lot of money when people simply download free stuff and not paying.
– How publishes monitor torrents
Concerned publishers resort to torrent monitoring services to check if their content is being freely shared on the torrent network (also known as P2P network). They usually have a daily report, but for more premium torrent monitoring services, they scan thousands of torrent sites every few minutes or so. Therefore, there is no escaping illegal sharing on the torrent networks.
Torrent monitoring services exploit a nearly 18-year-old feature of P2P networks. When you download a torrent file, everyone using that “pool” of torrent have their real IP addresses visible. Those monitoring services simply extract all the IP’s downloading or uploading the suspected content and file a report with their ISPs. This is mostly an automated process but taken very seriously by your ISP. This is because publishers will not hesitate to sue both the abuser and the ISP for simply facilitating the user.
To avoid being tracked, savvy torrent users anonymize their Internet connection. This way, neither the ISP nor torrent monitoring services can track the real user’s IP address. All they are left with is the IP of the anonymity service. Even your ISP cannot track your usage of torrent and general internet with those services. This is more commonly known as VPN – or Virtual Private Network.
– How Safe is a VPN
VPN are generally safe and robust ways to mask your real IP address online. However, this is not always the case. There are features and customer reviews that you must take into account before opting for a VPN.
Not all VPN are the same. Some are better than others. However, the “better” VPN services do come with some caveats:
1. Anonymous VPN services for torrents are usually paid. You can choose to opt for a public shared VPN service, but you will be using them at your own risk as they are less safe.
2. You will have a slower connection when using a VPN service. Your DNS (the speed a browser retrieves a web page will take a serious hit)
3. They are not 100% guaranteed to protect you. Most VPN services store a log. This log has the ability to track your activities. Publishers have been known to threaten VPN services and people have been sued despite using those services. So they are not 100% anonymous, even if they claim to be.– Conclusion
At the end of the day, the choice is simple. You need a torrent client that supports proxies. You also need a VPN service that does not keep logs, at all! This is for your own security. Stay safe.