At one time it appeared that Torrent use was becoming a thing of the past, as peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing revealed in an endless string of network security and privacy problems for users. Hackers could develop communication protocol platforms that attracted users who didn’t want to pay for music, movies, or subscriptions, and then use the free file-sharing services to access private information. Eventually, the public became aware of the risks of torrents and users abandoned them altogether.
Numerous reports over the last few years have suggested that torrent traffic is once again on the rise, as streaming and software subscription services grow at a staggering rate. Torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG, 1337X, and Torrentz2, have enjoyed immense popularity.
The best torrent developers are exceptionally skilled at getting around blocks and tracking, thus, creating critical security problems for users. The Pirate Bay changes its domain like clockwork. RARBG has successfully bypassed blocks. 1337X and Torlock have reworked their format multiple times to avoid security risks.
Notwithstanding these risks to both the developers and their users, torrents are moving further into the mainstream. Furthermore, they are now being re-purposed for legal use. Businesses and government agencies utilize torrents for internet archiving, data distribution, file syncing, Linux ISOs, and software updates.
However, the widespread acceptance of torrents has not dampened concerns about the security risks or legality issues they present to users. Furthermore, many torrent subscribers still use torrents for illicit activity, i.e., illegal file sharing.
Why Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are Crucial to Torrent Use
Educating the public on torrent use is similar to sex education in high school. Sooner or later, the discussion has to shift to protection. As torrents continue to become a mainstay for personal and organizational use, protecting private and public entities from criminal activity is more vital than ever.
A virtual private network (VPN) fulfills this purpose. Here’s how:
- A VPN ensures that online activity is untraceable.
- Reputable providers such as Surfshark offer dependable, consistent privacy.
- VPNs contain a built-in that chooses servers that provide the fastest download speeds.
- User anonymity is a core characteristic of virtual private networks.
How VPNs Protect Torrent Users
Torrents are typically computer files that contain metadata with information. A Bit Torrent distributes the information on an open platform. Any user can access the platform and download the torrent files. In most cases, these platforms are not regulated by the provider. Thus, users can download corrupted or illegal files unknowingly.
Torrents also present other risks. The P2P platform exposes users’ IP addresses. Any user can easily potentially see the IP addresses of others who are sharing files. An exposed IP address can reveal metadata and locations that hackers or companies can use to monitor Internet activity.
A VPN solves this problem by rerouting a user’s IP address through a secure tunnel to make it appear that the user is in another location. Other torrent users will see an IP address that is different from a user’s actual address. This simple process creates 100% anonymity from other users on the platform, as well as the Internet. VPNs that allow users to access torrents offer unique features that protect IP addresses, click here to learn more.
How to Safely Use Torrents
Although no torrent is safe, some torrents allow legal downloads from content that is public domain or open source software. Some sites that offer legal downloading include:
- Legit Torrents
- Public Domain Torrents
Users who want to use torrents securely will need to download a VPN app such as Surfshark to their device and then establish and maintain a connection to the private network. The app sets up the tunneled connection to mask the IP address. The app also manages the encryption that keeps the user’s activity from being traced.
Users should make sure that the VPN is operating before they log into the torrent. Failing to do so will leave their IP address exposed.
Why a Normal Proxy is Not Good Enough
Proxies serve the same purpose as VPNs. They are designed to make it appear that a user is located somewhere other than their IP address. Thus, a proxy can hide a user’s online activity. On a basic level, proxies can be useful for bypassing content filters. For instance, if a user was visiting YouTube or accessing their online bank account, a proxy could provide adequate protection.
However, proxies do not adequately secure all connections. Hackers, government agencies, or other entities can easily identify a user’s IP address using basic route tracing methods or software. Therefore, all online activity and data — legal, illegal, or questionable — can easily be traced back to the original IP address.
Consequently, users are bombarded with targeted ads, popups, spam, hijacked files, phone solicitations, and identify theft.
VPNs go a step further than standard proxies by providing end-to-end IP encryption throughout a user’s online session starting with the initial connection. Route tracing becomes nearly impossible as all connections disappear untraced. Proxies are not designed to handle torrents — VPNs are. Proxies do not provide anonymity — VPNs do.
VPNs such as Surfshark provide a complete anonymity package:
- A VPN does not log activity. Third parties cannot route or trace activity to use for marketing purposes.
- The user’s IP address is completely masked with a separate tunnel for the actual IP address.
- End-to-end encryption prevents ISPs, government agencies, criminals, and other third-party entities from gaining access to online activity.
- Surfshark VPN services allow users to enable unlimited devices. It is valuable for subscribers who want to protect their computers, phones, or tablets.
Protect Your Private Information: Subscribe to Surfshark Today
Surfshark VPN service offers reliable and secure personal and business VPN solutions for torrent users. Our services include comprehensive IP address protection and encryption that protects you from other torrent users. Surfshark is a perfect way to secure your home or business.