There are three main questions about Bit Torrenting:
1. Is torrenting it legal
2. Is torrenting safe,
3. What happens if I get caught ?
Here we attempt to answer those questions and offer some tips on how to stay safe and anonymous.
Torrenting itself isn’t illegal, its basically sharing your files with others, but sharing copyrighted material is.
It’s not always easy to know which content is legal to torrent and which isn’t. Some content falls into fall a grey area, so you may find yourself unwittingly breaching somebody else’s copyright.
Your internet service provider (ISP) a can take action if they catch you illegally torrenting. You will first get a warning ’Cease and Desist” letter, and your ISP might slow (throttle) your connection speed if you persist.
To maintain your privacy a VPN, or virtual private network, will keep your internet activity hidden from your ISP.
Some countries, such as the Netherlands, take a more relaxed view of torrenting. So connecting to a VPN in Holland will also keep you on the right side of the authorities.
Our VPN servers in the Netherlands :
a) doesn’t keep a log of your activity
b) Is based in a country where torrenting is legal
c) Is fast enough that it won’t slow downloads.
It is relatively simple to bit torrent safely and keep your online activity private.
Here’s how to torrent safely:
Download and install a VPN matching the criteria mentioned above i.e www.my-expat-network.com
Enable your VPN’s kill switch, This cuts off your internet connection completely if your VPN drops
Connect to a VPN server, preferably in a P2P friendly country i.e Holland
Once the VPN connection is established, open your bit torrent client and start downloading as usual
Your online activity is now encrypted by your VPN.
Torrenting without a VPN means your internet service provider (ISP), can see your online activity including the sites
you visit and the content you view.
The BitTorrent protocol is completely legal. It’s just a means to share any type of file,
Individual torrent users who breach copyright are rarely prosecuted. However, back in the late 2000s there was a boom in copyright Pirates deliberately exploiting copyright holders material for personal gain, but they were were sued for huge amounts of money, and their activities were curtailed.
Having said that it is true to say that somebody somewhere is trying to watch your online activity, so caution is advised when sharing any P2P files
ISP penalties if you breach copyright
Your ISP may take actions against you on its own behalf. That could mean slowing down (throttling) your internet connection or threatening to hand over personal details to a copyright holder. Why does your ISP even care ? Because they can also be prosecuted for facilitating copyright infringement.
To completely avoid any legal comebacks, it’s best not to torrent at all. However, if you do want to torrent…use a VPN
A VPN does two things: first, it re-directs all your internet traffic through a VPN server in a location of your choice, i.e Holland, which changes your IP address to one used by many thousands of other people at the same time.
This adds a significant layer of anonymity and makes it much more difficult for anyone to see your activity. Secondly, a VPN encrypts all your data before it leaves your computer. That means your ISP cannot monitor your activity, and nor can anyone else. Because all of your traffic heads to the VPN server first, your ISP can’t even tell where it’s going.
Using a quality VPN is key; don’t settle for a “free” service or VPNs that log your activity, or cap your bandwidth and data.
Choose one that provides DNS leak protection, a kill switch, AES 256 encryption, and has servers in torrent friendly countries.
And don’t forget that not all VPN providers tolerate torrenting.
Sign up for our Torrent friendly servers in Holland here :