If you are a regular internet user, you may or may not have heard about, or even used, torrents. For those who haven’t heard of torrents or maybe don’t know a lot about them, this post is for you. Keep reading to learn everything you should know about torrents.
What is a Torrent File?
If you’ve never used a torrent file, you may have no idea what it even is. Essentially, a torrent file acts like an index that allows computers to find information through a file distribution system called BitTorrent. This file serves as a reference for the download that will take place.
Unlike downloading an image or video file, if you visit a website that distributes a torrent file, the distributor is not giving you the file directly through the site. Alternatively, the distributor finds other users who have already downloaded the file and are willing to let you download it from them. Then, it moves the file on your computer after it’s all set.
Are They Legal?
Yes, torrents are legal in the United States. Although they have a questionable reputation, in the United States, it’s legal to find and download torrents. Since torrents can contain any kind of data, the content you’re downloading doesn’t have to be copyrighted.
That said, there are some instances where torrents are illegal. First, it’s illegal to upload copyrighted content, making you a “seeder”. Second, it’s illegal to then share this copyrighted file with others. It’s crucial that you know and properly follow the laws regarding torrents to avoid repercussions.
Who Can See if I’m Using a Torrent?
You may be wondering—can my internet service provider see if I’m using a torrent? Well, if you’re using it without a VPN or another similar tool, then it’s likely that your ISP will know that you’re downloading a torrent. In some countries, including the United States, it’s legal for ISPs to keep track of your data and your browsing history.
You can prevent your ISP from seeing your history by using a virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN connects you with the content you’re accessing online through a secure connection. When you use a VPN, not even your ISP can see what you are doing, which means you can download a torrent without them knowing.
Is a Torrent Safe to Download?
When it comes to the safety of downloading torrents, it depends on what content you are downloading. If the file comes from a trusted source, it’s completely safe to download a torrent file. However, if it doesn’t come from a trusted source, it’s likely not safe. It’s important to do your own research to stay safe online.
Scams are plentiful on the internet, and websites with torrent links are no different. Unfortunately, if you don’t know the warning signs associated with scams, you may be caught in an unfavorable situation. When it comes to internet safety, the more information you learn, the better.
While torrents may have a questionable reputation, there is nothing illegal or wrong with downloading them. Torrents are a functional way for people to share files, including those that are non-copyrighted, content across the internet. If you are looking to download torrents or just simply learn more about them, this knowledge can help you along the way.