Torrenting: Legal or Illegal? Is It Safe? - Torrenting is the act of downloading something to your device. The process carries through a torrent file. This file acts as a bridge to download the content it links to. But the connection is different to a system and a single source. Rather, torrent downloads source files to other users who own the content. This is a Peer-to-peer connection between you and the host server. The major torrenting categories arebooks,movies,games,songs, etc.
But the common torrenting questions are Is it Illegal? And Is it Safe? Well, torrenting gets you original content from the internet for free. Furthermore, the P2P torrent connections have multiple host servers. This increases the risk of malware content over torrent files.
Torrenting is subject to Safety and Legality. They are both valid topics in relation to it. You would also want to know the consequences of getting caught in the act. Each topic is as important as the other. They all need understanding when working with torrents.
Torrenting is a process different to normal downloading. It involves terms that pertain to it only:
· Peers: Peers are the host servers you download the file from. Each peer shares the relevant file to the network. Your torrent system accesses the network to download the content.
· Seeders: Seeders have a simultaneous upload and download process. The content they download is available to them. By uploading the content, they behave as peers to other downloaders.
· Indexers: Indexers are the torrent providers. They behave as the bridge for a P2P connection. They provide the torrent file, and behave as torrent engines.
· Trackers: Trackers keep the peer connections intact. They are the download network between peers. Trackers also look up more peers for torrent downloads.
· Swarms: Swarms are peers working on the same file. They are in the process of uploading or downloading the same content.
· Leechers: Leechers only download files. They do not upload the content on the network. Leechers stop the network communication as soon as their download is complete.
There is no simple definition of legal or illegal torrents. Torrenting can be both legal and illegal. You need to consider certain points to gauge this concept:
· What is Legal: An action that complies with the law. Legality of an action is different for every region. This is the case with torrenting as well. All countries have laws for online content. This applies to downloading content as well. You must abide by the rules of your state for downloading.
· What is Illegal: Anything that goes against the law. A lot of countries ban content and programs. Every region has certain software or programs they do not allow. If you obtain and use such files, you are breaking the law. It is illegal to use banned content for personal gain.
· Copyright: Copyright is the right to own content. A piece of content belongs to its creator. He/she has the right to monetize it or publish it for free. You cannot attain copyrighted content without permission of the owner. Copyrights can be legal orders or a matter of understanding.
Torrents involve both Copyrighted and free content. New content has a copyright to its creator, by law. You have to buy it from the owner. Or you have to ask for direct permission to use it. Using copyrighted content for free is illegal. Torrenting a file that you have to buy otherwise, is illegal. You are breaking the law by doing so. It falls under Property Theft by the law.
If a copyright content becomes free, it is legal for torrenting. Furthermore, there is content on the internet that is not copyrighted. It is available to you for free. Free content pops up when its creator relinquishes their ownership. This free content is legal to torrent and use.
All copyrights have a specific period. Once that time passes, the copyright on it is no longer valid. It becomes free public content. The copyright duration is the owner’s lifetime plus some years. The type of content governs the length of the copyright after its owner’s death. It is also different for the country it originates to. All states have their own copyright laws.
There is content that falls in the gray area. You are unsure whether such content has a copyright or not. It is best to avoid torrenting such content. There is no clear justification to using it. it can land you in trouble with authorities.
In short, you can only torrent non-copyright, free content. Only torrent content that is not copyrighted!
Torrenting involves many risks. First, you connect to a Torrent Client. The client itself can cause your system harm. You need to choose a reliable client to connect to torrent servers.
Torrenting carries through many P2P connections. Peers are other systems similar to yours. They open a channel for you to download content from them. The torrent client makes a network of P2P connections. You download content from many peers at the same time through the client. The client joins all the download bits from different peers. This forms your final download.
The more peers you connect to, the higher the risk of malware. Connecting to systems opens many communication channels with them. These communication channels are Ports. A corrupt program may enter your system through one of these ports.
Other than that, you also sacrifice your Privacy. Your privacy is very important in the online world. Your system is at risk if it loses its privacy. Torrents have no guarantee to maintain your privacy.
All these matters have solutions. There are safe ways to download torrents. You can also remain private through the torrenting process.
Privacy is not a given while torrenting. The ideal scenario is to download content as an Anonymous IP. But torrent networks do not keep you anonymous. The client contains the IPs of all Peers and Seeders.
This is still better than normal downloads. In a normal download, you connect to a single server. The content transfers from the source to your system. During the process, your IP is visible to the server. Moreover, a lot of servers keep logs of IPs that download their content.
Torrenting involves connecting to a lot of “mini-servers.” Each peer you download from is a server to your system. The torrent file acts as the bridge between peers. Once the connection drops, the IP disappears. It is more difficult to keep track of IPs in comparison to single server downloads.
A way to remain anonymous to your ISP is through a VPN. Virtual Private Networks give you a temporary IP from another region. This helps mask your real IP for the time. Not every VPN is appropriate for torrenting. The key points for a good torrenting VPN are:
· The VPN does not keep a record of your system. Certain VPN connections keep a log of your personal data and IP. These are not ideal for torrenting. You want a VPN that keeps you anonymous at all times.
· The VPN does not have third-party affiliations. Certain VPNs have connections to other departments. These departments gather data from the VPN logs. Your IP may pop up as a torrent downloader. You need a VPN that keeps your IP safe and secure.
· The VPN does not limit download speeds. The important part of quick downloads is the download speed. Some VPNs put a limit to your downloading and browsing speeds. The download speeds need only depend on your internet connection. You do not want a VPN to lower download rates.
ExpressVPN is one that serves the purpose.
Torrenting can only land you in trouble if it is illegal. There are two major hindrances to illegal torrenting:
1. Copyright Trolls.
2. Government Agents.
Copyright Trolls work in allegiance with copyright holders. They offer means to illegal torrenting. Once a user uses their server for torrenting, they inform the copyright holders. The copyright holders hand letters to such users for their rightful money. Some copyright holders set up their copyright troll companies as well.
Government Agents browse through popular Torrent sites. They also monitor the Peer and Seeder IPs on Torrent Clients. They can test an illegal torrent for peer IPs. Afterwards, they send emails to these IPs as a dare to take legal action.
Most Copyright Owners start with Settlement Letters. They try to settle illegal torrent matters in a direct manner. But if it does not resolve the matter, they threaten to take legal action through court.
There are ways to avoid getting caught. You can follow these steps to remain free from letters and courts.
Torrenting is a way to download content through P2P Connections. Torrenting: Is It Legal or Illegal? Is It Safe? The questions are part and parcel to Torrenting.
Torrents are legal as long as you abide by your country’s Online Content Laws. It is legal to torrent free and non-copyright content. Torrenting is also safe through reliable sources. Nevertheless, it is advisable to take measures for safe torrenting. It helps you not get caught if you make any illegal downloads.