Do you Really Need a VPN for Torrenting?
The download of music, movies, and other content via Torrenting is illegal in many cases, so many choose to mask their identity by using a VPN when doing so.
Torrenting often involves people using Torrent platforms to download otherwise premium content for free. Due to copyright issues, downloading such materials are illegal, which is why many choose to use a VPN to mask your identity and location if doing so.
What is Torrenting and is it legal?
Torrenting refers to an activity where an internet user shares files via peer-to-peer (P2P) connections on torrent platforms. It is worthy to note that P2P file sharing of non-copyright materials is perfectly legal. However, using torrents to share and download copyrighted content is considered illegal in the United States and most countries around the globe.
If you are torrenting, you should be concerned about copyright trolls. Big movie and TV studios, and music labels hire the services of copyright trolls to track down illegal content shared online. The copyright trolls target internet users that download content from torrent platforms.
Those caught sharing or downloading copyright content on torrent platforms could face different charges such as fines, warning letters, and the threat of jail time. Internet service providers also monitor the activities of their users to see who shares files via torrents. The ISP usually goes ahead and throttles the internet speed of such a user.
All the punishments a person could face for sharing and downloading copyright content via torrenting are unpleasant. Thus, the reason why so many choose to use a VPN when accessing any torrent platform.
Is a VPN Important When Torrenting?
Do I really need a VPN when torrenting? Yes, you do. Without a VPN, your ISP and the copyright trolls will find it very easy to apprehend you and take legal actions for either sharing or downloading content illegally. However, it must be noted that one should not be downloading and sharing copyrighted material in the first place.
If you are using a VPN for torrenting, it will mask your identity and protect you in two major ways. First, a VPN redirects all of your internet traffic to a server in a location you chose, which automatically gives you the IP address of that server which is used by multiple people at the same time. Changing your IP address adds an extra layer of anonymity and security, making it very difficult for anyone to trace you.
Secondly, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic before it leaves your device. Thus, your internet service provider and copyright trolls cannot monitor or view your online activities. Considering the fact that your encrypted data travels to the VPN server first, the ISPs usually have no clue where your traffic is going.
Therefore, if you are sharing or downloading copyrighted content on torrent platforms, using a VPN is vital as a measure to make sure nothing can be traced back to you. Thus, saving you from a potential lawsuit and other penalties you might face from the authorities.
Choosing a reliable VPN is key
While we have emphasized that a VPN is needed when you are torrenting, it is worthy to note that free VPNs are not a safe option. Free VPNs rarely encrypt data and usually suffer from DNS leaks. Thus, ISPs and copyright trolls can easily track your data and location when using a free VPN.
It is crucial that you use a secure and reliable virtual private network when torrenting. The ideal VPN should be one that has sufficient protection against DNS leaks, shouldn’t log your activity, or cap your bandwidth and data usage.
You should keep in mind that not all VPN providers support torrenting. So before choosing a VPN to use, ensure that it supports torrenting. ExpressVPN is probably the best in this category at the moment.
The VPN is expensive compared to its competitors. However, it supports torrenting and has strong protection against DNS leaks. With its focus on speed, privacy, security, and anonymity, ExpressVPN will protect your data while you share and download files from torrent platforms.
You can also decide to go for other options such as NordVPN, IPVanish, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and a few others.
Sharing and downloading files via torrent platforms is illegal if its copyrighted contents. There are penalties for torrenting, thus, making it important that you use a VPN to help mask your location and identity.
Image: VPN via Shutterstock/Funtap