Torrenting is the quickest way to download movies, games and TV shows onto your computer. However, torrenting sites and files are a magnet for hackers and cybercriminals – and as a result, are full to the brim with viruses and malware, just waiting to be clicked and installed. If you want to avoid downloading a virus, then the best way is to install rock-solid antivirus software which can defend your computer from attacks.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing is one of the oldest and simplest ways to share files and programs online. As the name suggests, P2P sharing involves two or more users connecting to a P2P software program and then sharing files across the network. With P2P sharing you can exchange:
- PDF files
P2P sharing can be anonymous, free and used to distribute copyrighted material. The problem that users face is that internet service providers (ISPs) tend to support greater download than upload speeds. This can make sharing large files painfully slow.
Torrenting files were developed to solve this problem. A torrenting network, such as BitTorrent, divides large files into ‘bitesize’ chunks, and users can then download individual chunks from many different hosts. The torrent file itself is a single file which contains metadata and other information about the content you want to download. The file then acts as a key, connecting you with many different peers. With torrent downloads, you can download a 1GB+ file at very fast speeds.
How To Download Torrents
It may sound complicated, but torrenting is actually very simple once you get started.
Step One: you need to download a torrent client. Some of the more reliable ones are:
Make sure you’re downloading the official version.
Step Two: Once it’s downloaded, open the file and install it on your computer.
Step Three: You need to find the torrent file – you can find these on a torrenting site. The most popular sites for torrent downloads are:
- The Pirate Bay
Step Four: Once the torrent downloads, you have to add it to the torrent clients. You can usually do this by double-clicking on the file and it should automatically open with your selected torrent client. Sometimes you might have to do it manually – this may sound tricky but the torrent sites and clients listed above have very clear on-screen instructions.
Then just sit back, relax and wait for your movie/TV show/game to download. Once it’s ready, just install it and enjoy!
As you can see, torrenting is super-fast, simple and convenient. This is why it’s so incredibly popular. Over 45 million people a day use BitTorrent alone, and 170 million people use the service every month. Game of Thrones Season 7 was famously viewed by 10 million people using torrent clients.
The Issues With Torrents
Like most internet tools, torrenting has plenty of problems and it’s vital to know how to download torrents safely. First of all, most torrented material is copyrighted and torrenters can face issues. Secondly, torrenting sites and files are riddled with viruses, and it’s important to take precautions to prevent your device from being infected.
One of the most common virus-related issues with torrenting is ‘malverts’ – virus-laden adverts. There was a time when you had to download and install a file before it could affect your device. Now, thanks to technological advancements, just opening a pop-up on your computer can destroy it.
You also have to watch out for viruses within the file itself. Many torrenting files contain hidden viruses which can wreak havoc on your device once installed. Some of these viruses are designed so that you won’t even know they’re there! They just sit in the background, quietly stealing all your information and sending it off to a remote server.
Hackers nowadays are so sneaky they even embed viruses in a PDF file. This means you can be reading an ebook or PDF article and installing a virus at the same time. In fact, you can even hide a virus – pretty much without detection – in an image or video file.
Torrenting sites are deregulated and often attract very shady people. If you are going to use them, you need to stay safe. Just last year, many torrenting files were found to contain cryptojacking malware. Recently, one popular torrenting site – Extratorrent – was resurrected, but users were quickly warned that the site was packed with malware.
How To Identify Sketchy Torrents
If you want to know how to download torrents safely then you must be able to identify sketchy torrents. Here are a few of the steps you must take when you download torrents:
- Only use ‘safe’ sites: There aren’t really any guaranteed safe torrenting sites, but some are far better than others. Use the sites listed above as they have a decent reputation for safety. Also, if possible, try to download torrents from a well-known uploader who’s known for their good quality, virus-free files.
- Check the comments: Most torrenting files have a comment section beneath the download button. If you see comments from people saying that the torrent is fine and works well then you should be ok. Otherwise, steer clear, especially if there are virus reports.
- Check the format: This step is a little more technical, but vital nonetheless. Proper torrents abide by uniform standards and formats. You should research the format for every torrenting site you use. If you see a file with a strange name or size, don’t download it.
- Only download popular torrents: You should be able to see how many times a torrent file has been downloaded. Stick with popular torrent files and you should be ok.
Be aware that none of these methods is foolproof and you can still end up downloading unsafe torrents. If you want maximum safety you should install antivirus software on your device.
How An Antivirus Can Help You Download Torrents Safely
Antivirus software is an absolute must, even if you aren’t torrenting. Cyber attacks can come when you least expect them so you must make sure your device is protected. Antivirus software can help you with torrenting specifically, as you can use it to scan every file before opening it. The software can detect if the file is infected and discard it if it is.
Antivirus software also prevents harmful ads from opening, so you needn’t worry about malverts either. We recommend installing TotalAV which offers real-time antivirus protection that stops viruses at the source. It also conducts regular scans of your device, to find and remove any harmful files. TotalAV also enhances your computer’s overall performance by decluttering the hard drive and fixing errors. The software is available for all devices and with it you can torrent in peace, knowing you are safe from any potential threat.
Torrenting is great, it’s simple and it’s fast. But, it’s very important to know how to download torrents safely, or else your device will be infested with malware. Be sure to follow all the above steps before torrenting, and make sure to install an antivirus program.