How to safely download torrents?

With the help of torrent trackers like The Pirate Bay, you can easily download any file, for example, a movie, a game and so on. But sometimes torrent files contain malicious codes or users get caught downloading such files. Take some precautionary measures to reduce the risk of “catching up” a virus or to be caught downloading torrent files.

Virus protection

Install antivirus. A good antivirus will protect your computer from torrent files with malicious codes. Windows has a built-in Windows Defender antivirus (Windows Defender), which detects most viruses well. If your computer does not have an antivirus, enable Windows Defender; This is done via the Control Panel. Or install a third-party antivirus, for example, BitDefender or Kaspersky. Remember that only one antivirus should be installed on the computer.

Choose torrent files with a large number of seeders. As a rule, a large number of seeders indicates that there are no viruses in the torrent file — users who downloaded the torrent file checked it for viruses and started distributing it. Of course, this does not guarantee the complete absence of malicious codes, but it will still help you choose a relatively safe file. Moreover, the more seed, the faster the file will be downloaded.

Before downloading a file, read the comments of other users. It also does not guarantee absolute protection, but the comments to the distribution (on a torrent tracker) will help to find out if it contains viruses. If there are a lot of comments, but there is not a word about viruses, most likely there are no malicious codes in the torrent file. If a lot of users mention viruses, do not download the torrent file.

Do not download files whose formats hide viruses. For example, try not to download programs, because executable files (EXE, BAT) are the most common way of transmitting viruses. Also on torrent trackers, many hacked programs, which often contain malicious codes.

Sign up for a private torrent tracker. In this case, the risk of downloading an infected torrent file is greatly reduced – distributions are created by well-known members of private torrent trackers, so most files do not contain malicious codes. But keep in mind that registering on a private torrent tracker is not so easy; As a rule, this requires an invitation from a member of such a torrent tracker you know. In this case, be active in various online communities to meet with a member of a private torrent tracker.

Protection against detection

Understand the process of downloading torrent files. While downloading a file, your IP address is available to any user who participates in the exchange of torrent files. This is necessary in order for the torrent client to connect to the computers of other users, but it also opens up your activities to organizations that track traffic from torrent trackers. In the role of such organizations are Internet providers and agencies that enforce copyright. Perform the following steps to minimize the risk or avoid reducing the speed of your Internet connection from your ISP.

Install PeerBlock. This program blocks the IP addresses of known torrent trackers. In this case, the computer will not be able to connect to such IP addresses, that is, they will not participate in the traffic from torrent trackers. This is not the most reliable way to protect against detection, because the ISP will be able to determine that you are downloading torrent files. But this is a quick and easy way to minimize the risk of receiving a warning letter from an agency that enforces copyright.

Consider using a VPN service. To truly hide traffic from torrent trackers, use the services of a VPN service (Virtual Private Network). Such services cost several hundred rubles a month, but the traffic will be safely hidden from unauthorized users. The Internet provider will not be able to determine that you are downloading files from torrent trackers, and therefore will not slow down your Internet connection. Moreover, your IP address will be hidden from organizations that track IP addresses and send warning letters.

VPN has some drawbacks. First, VPN services are not free, so you need to think about the cost-benefit ratio. Secondly, the Internet connection speed will decrease, because all traffic will pass through the VPN server; Most likely, the VPN server will be located in another country, so the speed reduction will be noticeable. Finally, many VPN services track user traffic and can provide data to law enforcement (but you can find a VPN service that does not store user traffic information).

Find information on how to connect to the VPN server. When you sign up for a VPN service, information will be provided on how to connect to the VPN server. It includes the VPN server address, username and password. You may have to open the VPN service site to find this information.

Run the torrent client. After paying for the VPN service, you need to configure the torrent client to connect to the VPN server.

Click “Program Settings” or “Options.” As a rule, this button is located in the “Tools” or “Settings” menu at the top of the torrent client window.

Click the “Connection” tab. Here you can configure the connection settings, that is, enter information about the connection to the VPN server.

In the “Proxy Server” section of the “Type” menu, select “VPN”. Most VPN networks operate using the SOCKS5 protocol. If you do not know the protocol, check it in the connection information to the VPN server.

Enter the address and port of the VPN server. This information can be found on the site of the VPN service. Many VPN services offer to connect to different servers in order to optimize the speed of the Internet connection. Check the box next to “Use proxy server for peer-to-peer networks”.

Start downloading torrent files. By connecting to the VPN server, you can safely download torrent files. Keep in mind that no VPN service guarantees absolute anonymity, but it still significantly reduces potential risks.

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