Torrents are quite popular. It is more than likely that one has heard of the terms “Torrent”, “Bit Torrent”, in their lives as of yet. Torrents have been under a lot of look out since they were deemed illegal by many countries and their use was strictly banned. Why and how are these torrents illegal and how to download them will be discussed and thoroughly covered in the article below? Read on to find out more.
What are torrents?
Torrents are the computer files that contain metadata of the file one wants to download. Torrent files do end in the extension .torrent. It must be noted that torrent files do not contain the original data of the content, instead it only contains data like the file names, cryptographic hash values, etc. Using the torrent clients like uTorrent, Bit Torrents, etc., a user can use the torrent files to download data easily.
How does torrenting work?
Torrenting is a peer to peer method of sharing files. Unlike in normal downloads, where all the files are stored on a central server by the website’s company that one is downloading the files from, in Torrenting, users upload their data on their computers, and generate a torrent file that other users click on and using torrent clients locate the data on the uploader’s computer, asks necessary permission and then download the content.
The person that uploads files is called the seeder, the one that downloads is called the leecher.
Below is the flow chart of the process
Seeder uploads a file on their PC > Seeder generates a torrent file > The torrent file only contains the meta data that helps identify the file, its location, and the completeness of it > Leecher finds a torrent file on search engines for torrents, like Pirate Bay > Leecher clicks on the link and copies it on the torrent client on his PC > The torrent client locates the torrent’s seeder and the original file > Torrent client request for necessary permissions > Torrent client downloads the original file containing data for the leecher.
Internet is required for the entire process.
Torrent’s actual work is to make downloading of files and sharing files easy. Torrents are highly beneficial tools for sharing data across the internet.
How is torrent illegal? Why are they banning torrents?
Because torrents are a peer to peer (P2P) sharing network, many users misuse the network and upload illegal pirated content over the platform. Most people share pirated movies, leaked movies, pirated software over the network, and millions of people around the world download them. This destroys the business of the movie makers, software makers, etc., when people are not buying their originals. Since there are so many of them today, that are misusing this platform, that it is almost impossible to spot and blacklist them, torrents are banned in many countries.
It is the right time to also mention that downloading and sharing copyright infringed content is a criminal offense for reasons mentioned above and must be avoided at all times.
However, it is not illegal at all times. There are various open source software around the world that can be easily downloaded as torrents through the torrent clients. Thus, torrents are beneficial that they make it easier to share files and download them, provided they are legal.
Torrenting can be dangerous they say, why?
Torrenting can be dangerous because the tracker files in the torrent files find the leacher’s IP address and that can be misused. Some production people track these IP addresses and pass them onto the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), so that based on the laws, ISPs can do what is in their power to track down the leachers and prevent them from downloading similar content further, or even detain the users completely, although most of the times the leachers do not even know they are downloading copyright infringed content. This is when people start using VPNs for Torrenting to prevent themselves from being incarcerated.
What are VPNs? Why use VPNs for Torrenting?
VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. One uses VPN for Torrenting in order to remain anonymous while downloading files from torrents. These VPNs prevent showing the leacher’s IP addresses to the trackers thereby preventing any further detention or actions by the ISPs.
The other important use of VPNs is that people that reside in the countries where torrenting is banned can connect to the servers of other countries and use torrent normally, with good enough speed.
How do VPNs work?
VPN server companies, change the IP address of the user that is using the VPN by becoming a bridge between the user and the internet. So, when the user requests something on the internet, the request first goes to the VPN and then the IP Address of the VPN requests to the Web Server. Thus, encrypting the IP address of the user and changing their location as well.
How to choose the best VPN for torrent?
The following are the qualities one must look for in the VPN companies before deciding what is best for them.
- Compatibility: A VPN must be compatible with different OS, different devices. This will allow for Peer to Peer sharing easily across one’s devices.
- Anonymity: It goes without saying that anonymity is the most important factor for choosing the best VPN for torrenting. The better anonymity and security a VPN can provide, the better it is.
- Connectivity: The user should be able to connect to the server fast so that web search is faster. As, now the requests go through a tunnel that connects to the VPN server before connecting to the web.
- Bandwidth: The bandwidth should be good enough to not throttle the ISP of the user.
- Fast speed: Uploading and downloading files must be fast.
VPN companies have their servers in more than 500 countries that can help user fake their geolocations much easily, in addition to the user’s data that is anonymized. Torrenting is illegal, but if illegal information is not being shared or downloaded intentionally, a VPN will only help the user.