Torrenting can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions. Your ISP (internet service provider) and other third parties across the internet and on your network can’t see what you’re downloading if you are using the encryption of a VPN.
Besides any legal concerns, downloading and uploading files using the BitTorrent protocol exposes you to many cyber risks if you download any copyrighted material.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a server that acts as an intermediary. This protects you in a couple of ways when you are torrenting.
You route your torrents through an extra server, and because of this, you hide your actual IP address. As a result, you hide the fact you are connected to the BitTorrent network from other torrenters. (Read Top 10 Downloading Sites That Actually Work)
Snoopers and hackers won’t be able to snoop or watch what you download or where it comes from. Such is the case in Australia, certain BitTorrent or torrent tracker websites are blocked, and a VPN can easily bypass these blocks to let you torrent freely.
In our guide, you can learn all about how to safely download torrents so no one can see what you are downloading.
Can an ISP Tell If You Are Torrenting?
The DMCA and anti-piracy agencies have with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to stop users illegally downloading copyrighted content, including movies and music. Individuals who torrent once or twice may think they go undetected, yet ISPs in Australia record all your internet activity and keep this in your profile for two years.
Your ISP knows your IP address as they are the ones who issued the address to you; thus, for them, it is easy to see and record all your internet traffic.
Now, the government has told the ISPs to block many torrent sites, and if you search, you could find popular ones like The Pirate Bay can’t be reached.
The IP address and port number on your internet packets inform your ISP that you are torrenting. Using a lot of bandwidth shows that you’re doing a lot of file-sharing. Your ISP, though, does not know what files you’re uploading.
Bit torrent is a legal file-sharing protocol, although it is the content that can be legal or illegal. Piracy is often the first thing any person thinks of with torrents, and unfortunately, every torrent user is classed the same, regardless. (Read All About Torretz.eu Search Engine)
You will discover, it is the reason most ISPs keep track of BitTorrent traffic.
ISPs aren’t just one group watching BitTorrent, as we can see. BitTorrent has people from the MPAA, DMCA, and the RIAA and businesses watching to track and potentially prosecute downloaders.
Such organizations use unreliable automated systems to check IP addresses, and it is this that means you can download something legitimate. Yet, you are still seen as carrying out illegal torrenting.
Honeypots have the sole purpose of posting fake torrents to get the IP addresses of those who download the fake file. Most torrent clients use very basic encryption to make it harder for ISPs to narrow it down and highlight BitTorrent traffic.
Downloading torrents display patterns of use, such as multiple upload streams and many TCP (transmission control protocol) connections.
Most ISPs may not have an enormous interest in stopping users from using torrents. The key reason being the amount of bandwidth they use. Some ISPs may throttle connections if you download large files using torrents.
What happens If Your ISP Catch you Torrenting?
Large movie studios rarely take an individual to court, yet this doesn’t mean there isn’t the chance they will. Larger torrent uploaders are often targeted rather than individuals.
Copyright trolls now control much of the hunt for those who commit such crimes. They scour the internet for users’ actual IP addresses to figure out who is torrenting copyrighted content.
They’ve distributed settlement letters by mail, email, or knocking on doors. You can find such letters are not legally binding, although they are menacing enough to compel torrenters to settle rather than face the consequences of going to court.
Such letters are most often sent from your ISP, though you’ll find an ISP isn’t linked to anyone. Some lawsuits force ISPs to block websites that share links to torrent files, such as The Pirate Bay, as it has been challenging for any other organizations to stop such sites.
The Copyright Amendment Bill of 2015, which was passed in 2018, can be used by copyright holders. It shows that internet service providers continue to allow access to content from countries other than Australia, where the primary goal is to infringe on copyright.
The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, and a slew of other sites are among them.
In layman’s words, the copyright act kicks in when:
- If a defendant may show that a website violates copyright laws,
- The website has illegal content.
- The website is not found in Australia.
- Any internet service provider makes it easy to access the website that is the source of the infringements.
If ISPs do not follow the rules, they can be fined heavily. People who are found sharing intellectual property can be fined as well.
Fines of up to $60,500 or up to five years in jail are potential penalties. People’s IP addresses can be traced if they connect to the internet, and their ISP can point to a particular location.
Even if your IP address is seen in a torrent swarm and your content is legal, copyright trolls can see your IP along with other users who are torrenting copyright-protected material.
Hence, it is important to learn how to torrent safely, regardless of what your content is.
How Do I Hide My IP When Torrenting?
Here are a couple of ways you can carry on downloading files, although it is the last method that keeps you safe and out of sight of hacker torrents and ISPs who are interested in your torrent traffic.
P2P users may have heard of Seedbox. Seedbox is a remote server hosting a BitTorrent client where it can be used to download and upload torrents from torrenting websites. Such servers are virtual private servers, yet Seedbox can be a physical server. Seedbox offers great bandwidth and high download speed and helps in a couple of ways.
- Hides your IP address when downloading torrents.
- The HTTPS encryption used by Seedbox prevents snooping.
Although good in theory, Seedbox only makes anonymous torrenting to the server. You still need to get the files to your computer. Besides this, you have no encryption of protection for your connection to the server.
A Proxy server acts as a bridge on your connection and hides your IP address as you download torrents. The internet traffic flows to the Proxy and then to the website you want to access. A proxy won’t stop ISP tracking; it just means they won’t see you are heading to a torrent website. The files your download is still visible as they pass from the proxy to your connection.
Proxy servers also cause slow downloading and uploading speeds.
Use a VPN Service
A VPN can protect you by enabling protection on your IP address. ISP snooping and throttling when not using a VPN, and there is no way of hiding torrents from your ISP.
Here’s what you need to know about how to use a VPN to download torrents. Using a VPN is also the simplest way of all to hide your torrent traffic.
Sign up for a VPN service, and then download the client software and install it on your device.
Connect to a server of your choosing outside of Australia. What this does is take your real IP address and change it for a new IP address. Here, your ISP will see the VPN address and think that it is the new peer.
Your VPN (virtual private network) supplier will route all your torrent traffic through an encrypted tunnel. With this, there is a built-in kill switch that, if you lose your VPN connection, offers DNS or IP leak protection. Check your kill switch is enabled, as not all do this by default.
Note: when choosing any VPN for torrenting, select one that allows P2P on their servers, and they are found outside any country involved with 5-9 or 14 eyes jurisdiction.
VPNs found in such countries could hand over your data should they record any information. The best torrenting VPNs adhere to strict zero-logging policies.
Here are more tips on how to download torrents to best effect and help your VPN provider keep you out of sight of your ISP and copyright trolls.
Download & Install a BitTorrent client
There are many BitTorrent clients, yet not all are the same. uTorrent, qBitTorrent is among the most common.
Select Your Torrent Site
Once you have your VPN running, use a search engine to find your chosen torrent site. What used to be blocked by Australian ISPs can now be accessed thanks to your VPN provider.
Downloading Your Torrent
Once you find the content you want, select the magnet link or the torrent link. As your download begins, the IP address in the torrent client will be that of the VPN server and not your connections IP.
A VPN can keep you secure no matter what activity you do online. Online banking can even have more security against anyone trying to find your login details. Using a VPN from the bunch of best torrenting VPNs allows you to try these free by using the 30-day money-back guarantee. (Find the Best VPN Australia)
It isn’t a free trial, and you would need to cancel if the service wasn’t for you. However, in this period, you can use the fastest VPN software to download torrents as much as you like, and with military-grade security, your ISP isn’t able to see what your traffic consists of.