Is it Worth Torrenting These Days? (Updated 2022)
A lot of people are not entirely sure whether they should indulge in torrenting or not. Even though the internet is bigger than ever before, people have mostly stopped fighting for free internet. Issues like geo-restrictions and cybercrime have made things difficult for internet users, especially for those that are not all that tech-savvy. But even the savviest of internet users are unable to keep up with what goes online, so much so they become victims of cybercriminals and third parties. This, in turn, has a big hand to play in discouraging internet users from torrenting.
Now the real question you need to ask yourself is whether or not torrenting is even acceptable in this day and age. If you are not sure or do not know about torrenting in general, then read on to learn more.
Is Torrenting Illegal?
You will come across numerous articles and blogs online discouraging users from torrenting, claiming it is illegal. On the contrary, torrenting isn’t illegal at all. The real problem lies when torrenteers download copyrighted content. Also, some content may not exactly be crystal clear about how it can be used and shared, which could land you in a lot of trouble.
ISPs and copyright trolls online are just looking for an excuse to get torrenteers in trouble and can send you a warning letter or slow down your internet connection – albeit the latter happens rarely.
People do not realise that torrenting is much more than they could imagine. It is a means by which people can share content with each other. If it were not for torrenting, it is highly likely that people in other countries, or the US itself, would not have known about some of the finest musical and movie talent out there. This does not apply to movies and music alone but also applies to books and their authors too. In a way, torrenting serves as a means of indirect marketing, without which the likes of Christopher Nolan or Ridley Scott would not have a massive fan following across the globe in the first place.
Agreed, torrenting encourages piracy to some extent, but what you need to realize is that people that intend to exploit copyright laws will do so whether they have access to torrenting or not.
Streaming vs Torrenting
People nowadays have moved away from downloading large data files on their devices. These days it is all about the cloud, which also serves as another reason why people do not torrent as much as they did before.
With options like Kodi, torrenting seems to be too much of a hassle. But then again, streaming copyrighted content online is still illegal, it can vary though depending on where you are located. For instance, it is outright illegal to stream content from a pirate source, but in India, it isn’t. In the US, torrenting is still up for debate, since nobody has been convicted for streaming copyrighted content from a pirate source.
When it comes to security and anonymity, there is no real way for internet users streaming from illegal sources to get caught, but it does have its risks. For starters, the website could be logging IP addresses, which can be handed over to law enforcement agencies. Additionally, ISPs could be monitoring the sites you visit, and if caught watching pirated content, you could end up having to deal with a lawsuit. Of course, torrenting has its own risks. When downloading a torrent, you will be able to see the IP addresses of all those users uploading and downloading data.
It is safe to say neither streaming nor torrenting is entirely safe, as you will have to deal with phishing threats, malware and intrusive ads. Kodi may seem like a safer option, but it has its own problems i.e. threats from add-ons and MITM (man-in-the-middle) attacks.
uTorrent or BitTorrent?
Now that you have finally decided to take advantage of torrenting, you need to decide whether you want to use uTorrent or BitTorrent.
Besides the difference in appearance, the two torrent clients differ in the service features offered. But what is most important when making an informed decision regarding the best torrent client out there depends on performance. After testing uTorrent and BitTorrent by downloading the same file, it was revealed that BitTorrent is considerably faster. The reason is that uTorrent has a lot of third-party ads, giving its competitor, BitTorrent, an edge.
Legal Uses of BitTorrent for the Uninitiated
Once you get BitTorrent up and running, you will be pleased to know it has its legal uses as well, they are as follows:
- Since Blizzard Entertainment incorporates the BitTorrent client, you can use it to download games like World of Warcraft, Diablo III and Starcraft. Basically, when you buy either of these games, you are actually downloading them via BitTorrent. When an update is available, the BitTorrent client automatically downloads it for you. This way Blizzard saves on a ton of money by saving on bandwidth and still manages to deliver the fastest possible download speeds.
- Believe it or not, Twitter and Facebook use BitTorrent internally to transfer files. The reason? It is because BitTorrent can distribute large files to different computers with ease.
- The Internet Archive is dedicated to collecting and preserving content on the internet. Said data can then be downloaded, serving as a Wayback Machine that stores older websites, thus allowing you to revisit the past whenever you desire. To download the content available, The Internet Archive recommends internet users to use BitTorrent since it is fast and allows the non-profit organization to save money.
- The UK government in 2010 released data about how public money was spent. The information was made available via BitTorrent. If that was not enough, NASA released a 2.2GB picture of Planet Earth through BitTorrent too.
- If you have a lot of videos and music of your own, something that you have been working on for quite some time now, and want to reach a large audience quickly, then BitTorrent is the way to go. Apart from saving on bandwidth costs, you will get publicity for sharing your files on BitTorrent.
What Can You Download Using Torrent?
The following files can be downloaded via a torrent:
- An image featuring the torrent file concept
- TV shows
Legally, the safest files are those for whom the creators allow the sharing and downloading of the material. For example, many independent filmmakers and film producers have learned that releasing personal works via torrent is an effective approach to reaching a larger audience. This is especially typical when standard distribution methods prove impossible.
Are People Really Returning to Torrenting?
After a decade, there has been a rise in traffic for BitTorrent, which has been attributed to the increasing number of streaming platforms available. Rather than subscribing to streaming services like HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others, a lot of people are turning to torrenting to get their movies and TV shows fix.
This rise in torrenting should not come as a surprise as internet users will not pay for each streaming platform where their content of choice is available. With BitTorrent, internet users have universal access to any and all content online.
While Apple Music and Spotify have managed to save themselves, TV and movie companies are still struggling to provide a vast library of content, especially since each streaming platform is trying to differentiate itself by producing exclusive content.
Also Read: 10 Best Torrent Sites in 2021
How to use BitTorrent Optimally and Securely
Before you go about using BitTorrent, you need to understand that the internet is not secure. It is plagued with cyber threats, so it is up to you to take matters into your own hands if you do not want to lose your data or become a victim of identity theft. One way of making this possible is by using a VPN. But don’t just use any VPN, use a reliable one like Ivacy VPN.
What is great about Ivacy VPN is that it works in conjunction with BitTorrent. Not only do you get the best possible upload and download speeds, but you remain safe, secure and anonymous online without having to worry about cybercriminals, hackers, monitoring agencies and third parties.
Is Torrenting Illegal? – Conclusion
As a result, the act of torrenting is entirely lawful. All you do is transport data in a different way than a conventional HTTP protocol. Torrent applications may be used to download and exchange files with other people.
However, the moment you begin sharing copyrighted data, you are in violation of the law. Fines for this can be quite hefty and possibly include jail time depending on where you live.
This merely goes to illustrate how cautious you must be while downloading torrents.
Some nations have no laws against piracy, but knowing what sort of stuff you’re dealing with is usually a smart idea.
We strongly advise you to set up a VPN or proxy server just in case.