Why you need a VPN for torrenting
Using a torrent client can be a great method to get to some necessary files which can be shared among internet users. The process is free, so no one is actually making a profit out of it. It is always advised to protect your identity while torrenting. Not doing so may cause problems for you, if you inadvertently happen to download something that is copyrighted.
Downloading copyrighted content is by no means advisable, and users should not engage in such actions, as they can be considered illegal. However, it is also important for users to protect their identities, which can be fully exposed while downloading or uploading regular files. If left unprotected, this information can lead to the identification of the user, and pretty much anyone can do it, including governments, agencies, companies, and especially hackers.
This is where VPN technology comes in. It is simple to use, and it can be priceless when it comes to protecting user identity, their information, or their location. If you wish to know how to protect yourself by using VPNs.
Torrenting is something that has existed almost for as long as the internet itself, as sharing files with others online is something that the entire world can benefit from. However, it is not always clear whether or not it is a good idea to do it. Those who choose to use torrent clients can find themselves in trouble if they are caught torrenting something that is copyrighted.
This has inspired many to ask whether or not torrenting itself is legal, and if they can get in trouble for using torrenting software. While the answer varies from country to country, as most of them use similar laws against intellectual property theft, the situation is not always completely clear. In most cases, downloading something that is copyrighted, and you don’t own, is illegal. There are exceptions, of course, such as the situation where a copyright holder decides to make the item free.
The line between allowed and illegal is often fuzzy, which is why a lot of torrent users choose to do things safely and protect themselves while torrenting. This is where VPNs come in.
What are VPNs, and what can they do?
VPN is a common name for special software used for ensuring that users have privacy and anonymity during their online sessions. VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network,” and it has two major purposes — making your data traffic encrypted and hidden from view, as well as providing you with anonymity by masking your identity and location.
The information privacy is achieved through the employment of different security protocols, which can create a secure tunnel through which users’ data can flow through. It also encrypts the data so that it will still be unusable to those who might collect it due to a data leak.
To explain anonymity, we must first explain how IP addresses work. Simply put, every internet user has their own IP address, provided by their internet service provider (ISP). When the user searches the web, their actions get recorded and associated with their IP address. That way, if you do something illegal online, your ISP has information about it, which can be provided to law enforcement.
All of this information is stored on ISP-owned servers, and they can identify the user with ease. VPN services, however, have their own servers, located in various countries around the world. When you use a VPN, you get an IP address connected to these servers, and your data is recorded on VPN servers instead of those owned by ISPs. However, as these addresses are available for all users of that particular VPN service, no one can tell where your online activity starts, and another user’s begins.
Not only that, but some VPN services do not record such data at all, which makes it impossible for them to provide this information, even if they are forced to by court orders. With a new address, users can gain access to all online content that is permitted in the country the server is located in. For example, if a European user wishes to access US-only content, all they need to do is connect to a US-based server. The US-only website will then register them as a US-based individual, and they will be able to access this site’s content.
How does this help with torrenting?
When you use a torrent client, you are exposing your IP address to the world. Downloading and sharing content will make your IP address display in the client, and anyone who knows where to look will quickly find it, and potentially identify its user. As VPNs can provide a user with a new IP address, it is highly advisable to use this software for covering your tracks while torrenting.
Of course, this is not encouragement to download content illegally, but protecting private information should be every user’s top priority. Furthermore, security protocols that can protect and encrypt your data traffic are very useful here, as well. By using VPNs, nobody can see that you even used torrent, nor what you downloaded or uploaded in the process.
What to watch out for
Most of the largest VPN services are including torrent protection in their packages, although not all of them do it, so it might be best to ensure before subscribing to any service.
Another thing to note here is that using a VPN may slightly reduce the download/upload speed, as encrypting the data as it flown can take a toll. However, the amount of speed lost depends on multiple factors. Users with great speeds might not even feel it, especially if they are using a VPN with advanced technology, which only slightly impacts the speed. Other VPNs can have a much larger impact, which can be felt if combined with slow internet speed.
It is also recommended to use premium VPNs instead of free ones, as free ones are sometimes known for recording user data and selling it to advertisers or other third parties. Developing and providing VPN also takes funds, and if free services are not making money from subscriptions, they have to do it in some other way.
Such services are mostly used for accessing content that is either blocked by the user’s own country or only accessible by users who are based in a specific area. For example, not every country has access to the same Netflix shows, and while some of them may be accessible in one country, they might not appear in another. Because of this, users tend to connect to servers in the US and gain full access to what Netflix has to offer. Another example includes UK websites and shows, which are not accessible to those who live outside of the country.
Using a VPN is a smart move whether you need it for torrenting or not. However, it may be crucial for user protection during torrenting, as it can protect the user, their location, and identity. Using VPNs is easy, and recommended, as it is easier to prevent a data leakage than to deal with the consequences from not using a VPN.
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