What is torrenting?
In this article we are going to learn how to torrent safely using a VPN but if you are still new to torrenting, we start from the top. Torrenting is file sharing through a peer to peer network. This means people who are part of the network are sharing files directly, either uploading or downloading files on the torrenting site.
Since you are sharing files, your IP address is visible to others in the network. This puts you at a risk of cyber-attacks and it’s not what we want.
Torrenting is similar to traditional downloading but there is a major difference. In torrenting, you use a protocol called BitTorrent and it allows a group of people to share a large file efficiently.
If you try to download a large file using traditional means, at some point there is overload of the system and slowing down of the download speed significantly.
BitTorrent is designed in such a way that there is no need of a server to be the sole source of the large download. All that is needed is a computer that has the entire file and connected to the rest of the network.
The large file to be shared is broken down into smaller segments that are downloaded separately by computers in the network. It’s easier and faster for smaller files to be downloaded than for one large file.
BitTorrent then allows the computers to exchange the missing pieces of the file until the whole file is complete in all computers. Of course the process is more complicated than that, but you get the basic process.
The advantage of torrenting is that there is no congestion of one connection by all computer when swapping files. Therefore it’s faster to download files unlike if there were all trying to download the large file from one source.
If you do a speed test on your internet connection at home, you see that upload bandwidth is usually lower than download bandwidth.
This means if the original source of the file tries to send a large file to all recipients all at once, it takes a long time because of slow upload bandwidth.
However, if all computers have pieces of the file, all their upload bandwidth is combined so its easier to send files to all computers.
Now let’s find out how to torrent safely using a VPN but you need to know these terms..
These are the people who are downloading a Torrent file
These are the people with the original files that is shared
A special group of people who never seed but they only download files
How to torrent safely using a VPN
Torrenting involves downloading files and you become part of a Torrent swarm during the file sharing. Your IP address is exposed to peers in the swarm so it’s good practice to hide your IP address when torrenting.
By using a VPN, you use a new IP address that keeps hackers in the dark.
Another benefit is that you may download a file where you are not sure about copyright issues. Therefore, if there is a violation you are able to terminate the download without getting into trouble because your IP address is not known.
(I don’t support downloading of copyright-protected content so make sure you cross-check with the source of the files)
There are many BitTorrent clients like uTorrent and make sure you use a client that does not trick you into installing other stuff.
Now you know how to torrent safely using a VPN. The take home message is that you need to hide your IP address and to look out for content that is copyright-protected.
The last thing you want is for the authorities to knock on your door after they track you down using your IP address. Leave comments below and let me know what VPN you are using for torrenting.
Check out the best VPN services that are available for torrenting.