How to use Torrent safely?
Here are the main things you need to do if you want to have a safe experience (legal risks like malware) when downloading torrents:
1. Use legal Torrent websites
Yes, there are legal torrents. It is true that the content is generally not very diverse and usually consists of free software, old content that has fallen into the public domain, and independent games and films that are distributed for free.
However, if you can find what you want on a legal torrent website, this is more than adequate.
Here are some websites you can use to find legal torrents:
Public Domain Torrents
Vuze StudioHD Content
2. Encrypt your torrents
Some torrent clients (like µTorrent, for example) give you the option of securing your torrent to a certain extent by using encryption to hide your torrent traffic from your ISP.
This is not, however, a completely foolproof method. The cryptography used is relatively weak, and the client's encryption doesn't hide the fact that you are part of the downloading community. It’s still a method worth trying.
3. Use reliable anti-virus / anti-malware software
Since there is always a risk that some torrents will contain malware and other types of viruses, it is a good idea to have a decent anti-virus / anti-malware program on your device.
Here are some examples you should consider:
Also, it's worth mentioning that a virus is a type of malware that replicates itself, so anti-virus and anti-malware are basically the same thing.
However, you should keep one thing in mind: the fact that torrenting, anti-virus and anti-malware programs can detect "false positives". These are programs that the antivirus / anti-malware detects as malicious when, in fact, they are not. This can happen when the security software uses a very large detection signature.
A good example of a "false positive" can be a crack or a key generator for a video game. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't be on your guard when downloading torrents and receiving a warning from your anti-virus / anti-malware program, but it is something to consider.
4. Join a private Torrent site
Private torrent platforms are a suitable option because only a limited number of users are allowed to use them. In addition, the torrents downloaded there are thoroughly checked and analyzed to ensure that they do not contain any malicious content.Here are some examples of private torrent sites:
The only downsides to private torrenting sites are that getting an invite can be quite difficult, and you might have to go through a long waiting list.
5. Try to use PeerBlock
PeerBlock is software that can block the IP addresses of various IP trackers on your behalf. Basically, it makes sure they are not part of your torrent traffic. While this does not mean that you are 100% protected against discovery of your ISP, it is a way to minimize the risk of getting an illegal download warning letter.
6. Download torrent files with VPN services
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that you can use to protect your data online and hide your IP address on the web. Since it can encrypt your internet connections and traffic, it means your ISP can't see what you're doing on the web - not even what files and torrents you're downloading. So you don't have to worry about your ISP sending warning messages or sending reports to copyright organizations.
Moreover, even if your torrenting activities are perfectly legal, you should still use VPN services. Here's why :
Downloading using VPN services means that other users in the community cannot see your real IP address. Because a VPN removes traffic monitoring, your ISP will not be able to limit your bandwidth (essentially reducing your online speed when you consume "too much data" while downloading files).
Is a VPN safe to download torrent files?
In general, yes. If you want to learn how to torrent anonymously to some extent, a VPN is a great choice because it hides your digital fingerprints in my memory.