VPNs help keep your internet traffic private by routing it through a server in a country other than your own. If you’re torrenting, however, you might be worried about whether or not the connection to the VPN server is secure enough or if someone would even know you were torrenting in the first place.
In order to avoid these worries and hack-free browsing, there are six main steps that you should take for torrenting safely.
Choose A VPN Service
VPNs are a dime a dozen, but not all are created equal. Some VPN services log information about your usage or don’t maintain servers in countries you’re interested in accessing. If a VPN doesn’t maintain servers where you want to go, your traffic will just be routed to the closest server and might break your anonymity.
So it’s essential that you choose the best torrenting VPN service that has servers in the countries you’re interested in accessing, especially if they offer unlimited bandwidth. In addition to an extensive server network, it’s also important to know what a VPN service is not logging about your connection activities and how easy it is for them to access this information. Most VPN services say they don’t log information about your activities and only keep traffic logs for a certain period.
Enable A VPN’s Kill Switch
If you drop your connection to the VPN server for any reason or if there’s an outage in the service itself, your computer will continue sending and receiving information over the internet as usual – you wouldn’t want any of your personally identifiable information going out in encrypted bits!
To prevent this from happening, enable a kill switch on your torrent client while you’re connected to the VPN. There are many different kill switch options out there that can be enabled on your torrent client. For example, BitTorrent and qBittorrent both allow users to set up a kill switch through the client settings panel.
Download And Install A Torrent Client
The first thing you have to do to start your torrent downloads is get a torrent client. There are plenty of popular ones like Vuze, BitTorrent, and Deluge that can be used for any platform, but the easiest one for Windows computers is called uTorrent. It’s free and lightweight with no ads. It’s also user-friendly with a clean, simple interface that allows you to download torrents easily.
Visit A Torrent Site
To start your downloads from a website, you first need to visit a torrent site like The Pirate Bay or RARBG (both of which have sections for only verified torrents) and find a file you want. Be sure to double-check the size of the file because many sites inflate their file size by adding things like video trailers or other material in an attempt to get you to download stuff you didn’t want or need.
Once you’ve downloaded the file, drop it into your computer’s downloads folder and open up your BitTorrent/uTorrent client to begin downloading.
Start Downloading A Torrent
To start downloading your torrent file, you have first opened up uTorrent and clicked over to the “Files” tab to begin adding your torrents. To begin downloading a torrent, drag it over to this box, and uTorrent will show you what torrent pieces are available on the swarm. Select these files and click “OK” in the bottom left-hand corner of the client.
In the top left-hand corner of uTorrent’s main window is a bar that shows information about your download, including speed, duration, pieces available, and pieces total. The blue line on this bar indicates how much data has been downloaded and how much data has been uploaded. Don’t worry if this upload/download number differs from your regular torrenting when using a VPN.
In the bottom left-hand corner is a little box containing your download speed. Your download speeds will always be slower than your upload speeds when you’re torrenting. That’s because all of the data being uploaded to other people must travel over your internet connection. Still, all of the information being downloaded by yourself can travel over the VPN connection. So be patient and wait for that blue line to rise!
When you finish downloading a file, you must continue sharing it with others by seeding it instead of immediately shutting down uTorrent or disconnecting from the VPN server. If you just disconnect, nobody else will be able to download that file from you, and you could be labeled as a leech by other torrent users.
The Bottom Line
People often use VPNs for torrenting because they’re worried about getting caught downloading copyrighted material. But if you are downloading copyrighted material, it’s important that you take steps to protect your privacy by using a VPN.
In addition to protecting your privacy, VPNs also protect you against various online threats like DNS poisoning, port scanning, and spoofed IP addresses.
In a nutshell, a VPN protects your computer’s IP address and encrypts all of your traffic to keep your information invisible to the outside world. Be safe out there and torrent on!