BitTorrent for Beginners: Protecting Your Privacy – HowToGeek
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Anytime you’re making connections to anything outside of your network, security should be a concern, and this is doubly true for users of BitTorrent, who are getting data from all sorts of unknown sources. Here’s how to protect yourself.
Note: This is the third part in our series explaining BitTorrent—be sure and read the first part of the series, where we explained what BitTorrent is and how it works, and then the second part, where we explained how to create your own torrents.
It’s important to understand what types of threats are out there in order to effectively block them, so let’s take a look.
Viruses and other forms of malware are the most basic of threats. The files you download are foreign and you should treat them as such; scan them promptly after downloading them. Most major anti-virus programs have the ability to add folders for auto-scanning, which is probably the ideal solution if you either don’t have time or don’t want to waste effort doing things manually.
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On the more serious side, it shouldn’t be any surprise that your IP address is very easy to trace. While many people have never had problems, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about things. In addition to people just eavesdropping on your connections, your downloads can also suffer. There are increasing incidents of “bad traffic, ” peers who send corrupt data in response to BitTorrent calls, forcing users to have to re-download those sections of their files. Users who transfer copyright-infringing material also have to worry about getting caught via these same methods. We at How-To Geek don’t condone piracy, of course, but we do support security, and the best way to stay secure is to stay informed.
One way to help alleviate these problems is to enable encryption for your connections. This prevents the data sent between two peers from being understood by onlookers, although it doesn’t prevent them from seeing their IP addresses or certain details from the tracker, such as amount of data transferred.
This is not a perfect solution, however. Encryption has to be supported by your peers as well, and they may not have their clients set to use it. Some trackers don’t even allow encryption, but if yours does, it’s not a bad idea to enable preferring encrypted connections, but allowing unencrypted transfers if none are present.
Enable Encryption in uTorrent
Open uTorrent, go to Options > Preferences, and then click where it says BitTorrent on the left.
Under where it says “Protocol Encryption, ” choose Enabled and click on Allow incoming legacy connections. This will allow outbound encryption but still accept non-encrypted connections when there are no encrypted connections available.
Enable Encryption in Transmission
Open Transmission and click on Edit > Preferences (Linux) or Transmission > Preferences (Mac OS). Then click on the Privacy tab (Linux) or the Peers tab (Mac OS).
Under the “Encryption mode” dropdown box, select Prefer encryption. This will still accept unencrypted connections when there is a lack of encrypted connections available.
Another thing you can do is use an IP blocker. These programs run alongside an existing firewall (you DO have a firewall, don’t you? ) and your BitTorrent client and they filter out IP addresses based on blocklists. Blocklists compound ranges of IPs that contain known problems, such as monitoring and bad packet transfer. How well they work is up for debate, and there is no consensus on whether they do anything at all. Websites and trackers that are fine sometimes get blocked, and you have to manually allow them.
If you’re a cautious person, however, it’s not a bad idea to run an IP blocker just in case. The most well-known ones are PeerBlock for Windows and Moblock for Linux, and Transmission for both Mac and Linux has the ability to use a blocklist. PeerBlock, once installed, allows you to download and update blocklists and automatically starts to block IP addresses.
Install and Configure PeerBlock on Windows
Download PeerBlock from their website. The beta is pretty stable and provides the most useful features, and is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 (all versions).
Installation is a breeze, and once it’s finished and you open up PeerBlock, it will start the configuration wizard. Hit Next.
On this screen, you can choose which types of blocklists to subscribe to. You can see here that we chose P2P, and threw in Spyware for good measure as well. If you’re new to this sort of thing, it’s probably best to choose Always Allow HTTP as well, since it allows all traffic through that port. If you don’t choose this option, your browsing may be affected, and you’ll find yourself having to manually allow certain websites. Click Next when you’re done. 0
Next, you can choose to schedule what and how often to update. The default are perfectly fine here, so click Next.
You’ll see a pop-up and your selected blocklists will automatically update. Once they’ve finished, the Close button won’t be grayed out and you can click it.
You’ll be greeted with the main PeerBlock screen, where you can view the history of blocked attempts to access your computer, manage your lists, check for updates manually, and so on. You can exit via the icon in your system tray.
Blocking IPs on Linux and Mac OS
Moblock is a little more powerful and complicated, and although there is a GUI by the name of Mobloquer available, it’s not a walk in the park to set up. Furthermore, it only works on Linux, and there aren’t a wide variety of comparable tools available on Mac OS that work as well. Serendipitously for us, however, Transmission can download and utilize blocklists very easily!
Open Transmission and click on Edit > Preferences (Linux) or Transmission > Preferences (Mac OS). Then click on the Privacy tab (Linux) or Peers tab (Mac OS) once again.
Click the checkmarks next to the Enable blocklist and Enable automatic updates boxes, and then click the Update button. Transmission will automatically download and utilize the P2P blocklist and will display the total number of rules being followed. That’s it!
Staying safe is important because you don’t know who (or what) is out there. But, what if you had a reliable source? Private trackers serve as an ideal long-term solution because of a few key reasons:
A closed, trusted community: The tracker requires registration and there is a screening process. Breaking rules can lead to being banned, and in many cases, if people you invite into the community do something to get banned, you also get banned. While this may seem like a looming storm-cloud, as long as you’re careful you’ll be safe from most threats and so will everyone else.
Strict connection rules: Only approved clients and methods are allowed. This cuts down on users faking ratios, leeching, etc. and simultaneously dictates how connections should be made to maximize speed and safety.
Standards for torrents: Uploaded files have standards as to quality and format, as well as being virus and malware free. Most trackers require previews for disambiguation of similar torrents.
Ratios: Each user is required to maintain a certain ratio of uploads to downloads. This is often judged via total amount in MB, although add new torrents can give you a bonus, or there may be donation-based perks. This ensures that files have a high availability and helps with speed, although this admittedly varies based on the individual torrents themselves.
As you can see, this forms a pretty good long-term solution to a lot of issues you could potentially encounter while using BitTorrent. You get a lot of perks when you join a private tracker, and there are many out there. The main downside is that you have to wait for registration or else find someone who can send you an invite, which can take some time.
If you’re the cautious type, it wouldn’t hurt to combine these strategies to mitigate security and privacy threats. With cybercrime a very real danger, it’s a good idea to take control of your computer’s security through tools like these, without compromising your internet activity too much. The most important thing you can do, however, is make smart decisions, both in what you download and where you go, and stay informed of what’s out there. Doing your research is the best way to stay safe.
Edit: The tab under Preferences for Transmission on Mac OS was fixed. It now correctly refers to the Peers tab.
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Is uTorrent Safe? – Security Gladiators
Is uTorrent safe? In our experience, the answer to this question may not be as straightforward as you may think.
Let’s take a look at what constitutes safety and whether or not torrent clients like uTorrent can really protect your privacy and security.
‘Is uTorrent Safe’ Is Not the Right Question You Should Be AskingWhat Are the Disadvantages of Torrenting? Simple Ways to Make uTorrent Safe
‘Is uTorrent Safe’ Is Not the Right Question You Should Be Asking
The question should not be, “Is uTorrent safe? ” Instead, we should ask, “How safe can it be? ” In other words, whether or not uTorrent is safe depends entirely on how you use it.
You have to choose how safe you want uTorrent to be.
Ultimately, uTorrent is nothing but a torrent client that helps you download files of all types from the internet if you have the right. torrent file with you.
So how can you be proactive about staying safe while using uTorrent? You can start by encrypting your hard drive.
While downloading files, you should also try to remove all the torrent trackers in your list of trackers (accessible by right-clicking the file that’s being downloaded, then going to the tracker list and deleting all the items from the list with the backspace key).
This is important: We also always recommend using a VPN service to enhance your privacy while you’re downloading files on the internet. We’ll get more into that later.
In itself, uTorrent—as a P2P software program—is safe. You will not get any spyware or malware from installing uTorrent on your computer if you downloaded the program from the company’s official website. If there’s a threat to your computer or your data, then it does not come from uTorrent.
However, this doesn’t mean there’s no threat at all. uTorrent may not want to infect your computer with malware, but there are plenty of actors in the torrenting chain who do. Since uTorrent is a torrent client, it opens the door for ill-intentioned users who are bent on hacking others in the torrenting ecosystem.
Let’s discuss some of the risks that are always present when you’re downloading torrents.
DISCLAIMER: Security Gladiators in no way encourages or condones any kind of copyright violation or circumvention of restrictions. That includes torrenting or downloading illegal content. Torrenting is a great way to access and share all kinds of content on the internet and there are plenty of opportunities there to engage in legal and safe online torrenting. You need to do your own research to see if these services and torrents are legal in your own country. We suggest to always use a VPN while torrenting.
What Are the Disadvantages of Torrenting?
The first problem with using uTorrent is that you can accidentally download files that are infected with viruses.
Warning: Hackers have gained the experience to now know that the easiest way to get a virus to a given user’s computer is to inject it into a torrent file.
And since the user is willingly accepting to download the file themselves the virus gets installed on the system in question with ease. Hackers then proceed to gain access to your computer, get in control of your data, encrypt your hard drive and then demand a ransom payment before you can get your data back. This is the ransomware model.
The second problem regards the legality of torrenting. Many torrents are movies and TV shows that are protected under copyright laws.
Now, if you live in a country where regulatory agencies monitor internet users to see what they’re downloading on the internet, then that could get you in trouble.
In the U. S., you may receive a DMCA notice, in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
The third problem deals with internet service providers, which are just as likely to spy on you as any given hacker group. With that said, it is also true that different internet service providers take different positions on torrenting and torrent clients.
Some ban it, some are mildly strict with its use, while others allow it as much as the user wants. Some internet service providers will simply cancel your contract with them if they find out you’re using a torrent client to download copyrighted content on the internet.
Internet service providers are also known to collect data on their customers and then sell that data to third parties such as advertising firms.
Government agencies, copyright groups and internet marketing agencies all want to get their hands on your data, and internet service providers are the last entity that you should expect to stand up to them and protect it.
This is why you should always use a VPN (short for Virtual Private Network) while downloading torrent files to ensure that no government agency or internet service provider can see what you’re doing.
The key advantage of using a VPN service is that it encrypts the tunnel through which data enters and exits your internet connection.
So even if your internet service provider can decrypt the tunnel, it still would not be able to decrypt your data. Essentially, a VPN provides double security for your data. More on that below.
Simple Ways to Make uTorrent Safe
The simplest way to make uTorrent safe is to use software that protects your privacy and anonymity. The best tool to do this is a VPN service. Click here to learn more about the best VPN service providers for torrenting. We’ve also put together a ranking of top VPN services. We also have a list of VPNs best for µtorrent.
Secondly, make sure you only download files from sources that are trustworthy. You can go to Reddit and other forums to read about the most reliable torrent sites, then make a decision based on your research. Or click here to read our roundup of the best torrent sites.
Thirdly, use a good antivirus software application so that even if you mistakenly download a virus, you have a tool that can notify you about it.
And finally, have a firewall in place to block malware well before it reaches your data. Almost all operating systems have some sort of firewall. Check to make sure it’s enabled. You can also get personal firewall software for an extra layer of protection.
10 Best Torrent Clients That Work in 2021 (Safe and 100% Free)
Torrent clients all have different features and characteristics and some are safer options than others. It can become overwhelming to know which is the best option for you.
To help you choose the best one, I shortlisted the 10 best free torrent clients that are safe, fast, and reliable. Whether you’re after a basic interface or a full range of customization options, you’ll find the best client for you in this article. But torrenting can expose your data to cybercriminals, which is why it’s best to use a trusted VPN with your torrent client.
My favorite is ExpressVPN because it effectively hides your IP address, encrypts your data, and prevents bandwidth throttling on a torrent client. On top of that, it has world-class security features and fast speeds. The best part is you can test ExpressVPN out yourself completely risk-free because it’s backed by a money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with it, you have 30 days to claim a full refund.
Important! Torrenting itself is not illegal in most countries, but downloading torrent files that are protected under copyright is. My team and I don’t condone illegal torrenting, so be sure to check the rules and regulations in your country before you download anything that might be protected under copyright.
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Short on Time? Here Are the Best Torrent Clients in October 2021
uTorrent — Lightweight app, easy-to-use interface, and excellent features.
BitTorrent — Drag and drop feature and customizable interface, but shows ads
Deluge — Open source client and plenty of plug-ins for extra customization, but not the easiest to use
qBittorent — Doesn’t display ads and has customizable features, but no plug-in support
Vuze — Simple interface and powerful search engine, but slows your device
5 more great torrent clients | Best VPNs for safe torrenting
The Best Torrent Clients in 2021
1. uTorrent — Lightweight Torrent App That’s Easy to Download and Use
Year founded: 2005
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Price: Free or $19. 95/year (Pro plan)
Pros: Lightweight app, plenty of customizable features, simple interface
Cons: Contains ads and bundled software
uTorrent was developed by BitTorrent in 2005 and is the most widely-used torrent client. Its app is lightweight and uses a simple and organized interface, making it great for beginners and advanced users. When I downloaded and installed it on my MacBook, it only took me about 30 seconds, and I could download torrents straight away.
Just note that you’ll need to download uTorrent Web for Mac Catalina, as it isn’t compatible with uTorrent Classic. uTorrent Web runs entirely off your web browser, which means it won’t consume a lot of your resources. When I used uTorrent Web on my MacBook Pro, I noticed it was much faster than the uTorrnet client on my old Windows laptop.
But what I liked most about it is its wide range of customization options. I could schedule downloads to prioritize files, set bandwidth limits, verify seeds, manage the client remotely, and find torrents with its built-in search engine. Also, I was able to install third-party plug-ins and stream torrents while they were being downloaded, thanks to its media player.
Keep in mind, though, that uTorrent contains ads and comes with bundled software. But it’s possible to opt out of the bundled software when you download and install the app. In addition, you can block ads by using a VPN with an ad-blocker like CyberGhost.
2. BitTorrent — Drag and Drop Feature That’s Great for Torrent Beginners
Year founded: 2001
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, FreeBSD,
Pros: Small file size, plenty of customizable features, simple configuration
BitTorrent is a well-established torrent client that’s available in 70+ different languages. I could make my interface as simple or complex as I wanted to. I particularly liked its drag and drop functionality, which made it much easier to download torrents. Also, it consumes less than 20% CPU at all times, meaning it won’t slow your device down.
Its range of features is impressive. Most notably, it comes with a built-in bandwidth booster that lets you set limits on upload and download speeds. This means you can download torrents faster. Other features include being able to schedule torrents, stream torrents, support magnet links, and remotely manage paired devices.
For advanced users, BitTorrent allows IP filtering for added security. It lets you control the IP traffic that runs through your network so you can torrent safely. While this is great for security, it’s still best to pair BitTorrent with a VPN so your own IP remains anonymous to other users.
You can also search for torrents without going to a torrent site, thanks to its intuitive search bar. This reduces your chances of downloading malware or spyware from a dangerous site.
But like uTorrent, its free version contains ads and bundled software. Again, you can decline the bundled packages, upgrade to the Pro plan, or use an ad blocker to overcome these problems. Unfortunately, Mac Catalina users can only use its web client.
3. Deluge — Highly Customizable Torrent Client With Plenty of Plug-Ins
Year founded: 2006
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox
Pros: Supports lots of plug-ins, open-source software, no ads or bundled software
Cons: Takes time to learn how to use it properly
Deluge is an open-source client that’s lightweight and easy to use. It can be used as either a standalone app or through a client-server, which means you can run it in the background or control it remotely. It also works well on old devices since it only uses around 25% CPU. As soon as I added a torrent file, it began downloading right away.
What really impressed me with Deluge is its large number of first and third-party plug-ins. This means you can fully customize your client by adding unique features to boost speeds and security, such as alphabetical downloading, bandwidth adjustment, and IP blocking. Other features include robust encryption, torrent stats, and the ability to discover local peers for faster downloads.
Just keep in mind that using the torrent app’s encryption feature doesn’t protect your entire device. Using a VPN with military-grade encryption adds an extra layer of security that helps keeps your internet connection as a whole anonymous, even in the app.
But having lots of plug-ins means that it can take a fair bit of time to get used to it. On the other hand, it’s a free client and doesn’t come with ads or bundled software, which is a big plus.
4. qBittorrent — Open Source Torrent Client That’s Ad-Free
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Linux, freeBSD
Pros: Open-source software, no ads or bundled software, user-friendly interface
Cons: Limited to simple customizations
qBittorent is an open-source client that is free of ads and malware. This means that it’s transparent with its coding, so you can see exactly how it’s built. Its interface isn’t too simple or complex, so it can serve most needs without consuming many resources. There are also frequent updates, which prevent any bugs or glitches.
I found its customizable features to be handy, too. It enables RSS feed support, extensions, sequential downloading, torrent creation, media playback, IP filtering, bandwidth scheduling, a UI lock, and more. These features help you download torrents faster and manage them better. Another helpful feature is its search engine, which made it easier for me to access and search for files.
But even with all these features, your activity will still be visible to unwanted users. Since this can leave you open to online threats, I recommend using qBittorrent with a top-tier VPN (like ExpressVPN) to stay anonymous. It adds extra encryption to your connection, too.
Where qBittorent falls short is that it doesn’t support any plug-ins, so you’re customization is limited. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you only want to download torrents.
5. Vuze — Simple Interface and Advanced Search Features
Year founded: 2017
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Price: Free/ $9. 99 per month (Vuze Pro)
Pros: Clean interface, powerful search engine, customizable features
Cons: Contains ads and resource-heavy
Vuze is a new torrent client that descended from Azureus, which is now defunct. It’s mainly focused on providing a clear and easy-to-use interface. Additionally, its powerful search engine gives it an edge. By entering some simple tags and titles, I found the exact torrent files I wanted without having to search through hundreds of similar files. There’s also the option to change your user proficiency to either “intermediate” or “advanced”, should you want increased functionality.
You can also expand your Vuze client by installing plug-ins that add extra features. It also provides bandwidth scheduling, IP filtering, media playback, magnet link support, and the ability to manage your torrents from your mobile. To maximize your safety while using Vuze, it’s best to use it alongside a trustworthy VPN service.
Unfortunately, Vuze comes with ads and uses a lot of resources on your device. Therefore, you shouldn’t use it if you have an older computer because it’ll make it much slower. Also, it’s geared towards power users
6. Transmission — Simple Torrent Client for Mac Users
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Linux, browser
Pros: Optimized for Mac, easy to use, appealing user interface
Cons: Not very customizable
If you’re a Mac user, then consider using Transmission, which is an open-sourced client. As an optimized torrent client for Mac, its lightweight and minimalistic interface resembles the macOS operating system. I downloaded it on my MacBook in under a minute and liked its drag and drop feature. There weren’t any unnecessary toolbars or pop-up ads either, which made using it a pleasant experience.
Its other features include encryption, remote management, magnet link support, webseed support, and the ability to find more peers or block them. You can even set global and per torrent speed limits, too. Another plus is that it doesn’t take up many resources and runs smoothly in the background.
The only issue is that it doesn’t allow much customization, so it’s not suited for advanced users.
7. BitComet — Powerful Torrent Client With Intelligent Disk Sharing
Year founded: 2003
Compatible with: Windows, macOS
Pros: Regular updates, files previews, intelligent disk caching
Cons: Very basic and annoying user interface
BitComet is a simple torrent client with a long history. Despite being an old torrent client, it’s very powerful and makes downloading and creating torrents easy.
The main feature of BitComet is intelligent disk sharing. It increases your speed by reducing the need to read and write on your hard drive. BitComet also gives you DHT network support, HTTP support, magnet links, and the ability to preview files while downloading them. Your user experience will also be improved because it enables long-term seeding capabilities.
Even though its interface is simple, I found it to be too basic and annoying to use. It didn’t help that it looked really old either.
8. Tixati — Open Source Torrent Client That’s Ad-Free
Year founded: 2009
Compatible with: Windows, Linux
Pros: Simple UI, No spyware or adware, bandwidth management
Cons: Not compatible with macOS
Tixati is a full-featured torrent client with everything you need. These include torrent prioritization, magnet links, IP filtering, encrypted chat rooms, drag and drop capabilities, and event scheduling. It also has its own peer selection system, so I could select local peers to increase my download speeds. I found it straightforward to download, and it didn’t install anything extra when I downloaded it. Also, it’s free of ads and malware, making it a safe choice.
It differs in its ability to provide in-depth data on what you share with your peers and your bandwidth usage. Unfortunately, no versions of it are available on macOS.
9. BitLord — Adaptable Torrent Client With Search Engine
Year founded: 2004
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, and Chromecast
Pros: Built-in search engine, password protector, easy to share files
Cons: Outdated UI and lack of updates
BitLord is an old client that still has some neat features. Since it’s highly adaptable, it’s suitable for both beginners and experienced users. Both desktop and mobile versions are available, and it comes with a built-in search engine, download organizer, automatic subtitle feature, and password protector. You can even create torrents, too. I especially enjoyed playing content while my torrent was still downloading. Another plus is that it lists download speeds in the top and bottom menu bars, making it much easier to track.
But be careful when you install it as it sometimes contains unnecessary software. In addition, it took a long time to download and I found its user interface old and clunky.
10. WebTorrent — Good Torrent Client for Streaming Media
Year founded: 2013
Compatible with: Windows, Linux, macOS
Pros: Polished AI, watch media while downloading, open-source software
Cons: Too focused on streaming media
WebTorrent has a special focus on streaming, as you can enjoy media while you’re downloading the file. Not only could I play the file, but I could control the volume, adjust playback speeds, add subtitles, and more. I found its interface to be visually pleasing, too, and it’s very lightweight.
The desktop version can connect to other apps like uTorrent, BitTorrent, and Transmission. But its downside is that it’s more focused on streaming than torrenting.
Tips on Choosing the Best Torrent Clients
While all of the best torrent programs I selected are good options, you’re never fully safe when using them. You should always use a VPN with your torrent downloader to hide your real IP address so that no one can see your personal information and use it to target you. I use ExpressVPN to protect P2P connections since it’s super secure and has fast speeds for downloading big files.
When I tested the best torrent software, I mainly looked at usability and customization. Usability takes into account the app’s interface and considers its appearance and ease of use. Customization refers to the client’s features and the extent to which they can be modified, along with plug-in and extension capabilities.
I ranked the clients highly if I found them to be suitable for beginners and experienced users. The following is a breakdown of the criteria I used, so you can use it to help you choose the best torrent software for you:
Easy to use ー I made sure that none of the clients had a complex interface. A complex interface is okay if you’re a power user, but most people aren’t. Therefore, each client has an interface that’s either easy to use, visually pleasing or both.
Useful features ー I paid particular attention to the features of each client and how they enhanced the user experience. Most clients have a bandwidth adjuster, download scheduler, search bar, and allow files to be played while downloading.
Easy to customize ー Another plus was if the clients supported first or third-party extensions or plug-ins. The benefit is that it allows you to build a unique client that can do more than just downloading torrents.
Lightweight and powerful ー The best torrent downloaders are simple apps and can be easily downloaded and installed. They don’t use a lot of your system’s resources either, which means you can run them smoothly in the background without diminishing your device’s performance.
Compatible with most devices ー Most clients are compatible with both macOS and Windows or are specially optimized for one. Some of them give you the option of a desktop client or a web client, too, and there are even ones with Android and iOS versions.
Free to use ー Every client in my list has a free version suitable for the large majority of users. But some free clients make money through advertising, so I made sure that none of the clients contain any adware, either.
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Quick Comparison Table: Best Torrent Client Features
Free and Pro Plans
Warning! The Risks of Using a Torrent Client
Torrent clients can be a breeding ground for malware and spyware, which is why you need to use them with caution. Several torrent apps have infected whole devices with malware in the past, but luckily this isn’t common these days. You can be assured that all the torrent clients in this article are tried-and-tested and safe to use.
A similar risk is when you download a torrent file that’s infected with malware or viruses. Even the best torrent downloaders can’t protect you from this threat, so I recommend that you only download verified torrents from trusted and well-known torrent sites.
But a torrent app’s biggest risk is to do with privacy. Whenever you download or share a torrent, other people downloading or sharing the same file can see your IP address. This allows them to keep track of you, uncover your identity and location, and target you with malicious attacks. The best way to protect yourself is to use a reliable VPN to hide your real IP address while torrenting.
Best VPNs To Use With Your Torrent Client
VPN — Enjoy Ultra-Fast Speeds on Your Torrent Client
Lightning-fast speeds for downloading torrents quickly
Military-grade encryption, automatic kill-switch, and DNS leak protection keep you safe while connected to torrent software
Strict no-logs policy to keep you anonymous when torrenting
Split tunneling to conserve bandwidth
5 simultaneous device connections
30-day money-back guarantee
Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
ExpressVPN’s superfast speeds will be a great addition to your torrent software. By hiding your IP address from your ISP, your bandwidth can no longer be throttled, which stops your speeds from slowing down. During my speed tests, I downloaded the film Mabel’s Strange Predicament on uTorrent and recorded a download speed of 48. 7 Mbps.
ExpressVPN’s kill switch is great for torrenting
Thanks to its state-of-the-art security features, you can safely use your torrent client. ExpressVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption, which is impossible to penetrate. Meanwhile, its kill switch (called network lock) cuts you from the internet if your connection unexpectedly drops. Therefore, your personal data won’t be exposed through your torrent client.
Another benefit is that ExpressVPN won’t record your activity when torrenting. This is because of its no-logs policy, which ensures that you won’t leave a digital footprint. This means that other people downloading torrents can’t uncover your identity and target you with attacks.
Where ExpressVPN falls short is that it can’t block ads. But you can use it with several ad-blockers that are recommended on its website. And if you head over to its website, then you can get 49% off your subscription.
Since ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can test its features risk-free. If you’re not happy with it, you can claim a full refund within the guarantee period. I tested this policy by asking their 24/7 live chat to cancel my subscription after a few weeks. All I had to do was answer 2 questions for their records and I had my money back after 3 business days.
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2. IPVanish — Protect All Your Devices that Run Torrent Clients
Unlimited P2P connections mean no restrictions when torrenting
Military-grade encryption and advanced protocols keep you safe on torrent sites
Strict no-logs policy keeps you anonymous when torrenting
Split tunneling to choose which traffic to encrypt
Unlimited simultaneous device connections
You can simultaneously connect as many devices as you want under a single IPVanish subscription. I tested this out by connecting my MacBook Pro, smartphone, Android tablet, and Windows laptop while downloading several torrents with uTorrent and watching Netflix. There wasn’t any difference at all in speed and everything went smoothly.
To increase your safety on a torrent downloader, IPVanish uses military-grade encryption and advanced protocols. Some of these protocols include WireGuard, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec, which are industry standard protocols that keep you safe. OpenVPN is particularly good for torrenting as it balances speed and security. Its kill switch is handy, too, as it stops any exposure of your data.
IPVanish comes with some robust security features
IPVanish’s servers are all P2P optimized so that you can torrent efficiently without any restrictions. Many VPNs put limits on bandwidth, server connections, and the number of accessible servers, but not IPVanish. It lets you use your torrent app as much as you want without any slowdowns or bandwidth limits.
A minor inconvenience with IPVanish is that it doesn’t accept any cryptocurrency payments, which isn’t great for anonymity. But, you can pay by PayPal, credit card, or gift card, which is handy. It’s even having a sale right now where you can save 71% on your subscription.
You can also try IPVanish for free using its 30-day money-back guarantee. Getting my money back was easy — all I had to do was click the “I wish to cancel my subscription” button on my account’s dashboard and confirm. After 4 business days, I was fully refunded.
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3. CyberGhost — Effectively Blocks Ads on Torrent Clients and Sites
Ad blocker for Windows and Android that block ads on torrent sites and in your torrent client
7, 290 servers in 90 countries, including optimized servers for P2P sharing
AES 256-bit encryption and multiple security protocols to secure your connection
Split tunneling to conserve bandwidth when torrenting
7 simultaneous device connections
45-day money-back guarantee
Compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, gaming consoles, and more
CyberGhost’s ad blocker for Windows and Android easily blocks annoying ads in your torrent client. As soon as I tested it, I immediately noticed that a couple of ads on my uTorrent client had been removed. It also benefits your privacy too, as third parties can’t use your data to target you with specific ads.
CyberGhost has its own ad-blocker for Windows and Android
Its extensive server network of 7, 290+ servers worldwide includes optimized servers for torrenting. The benefit is that it won’t throttle your bandwidth or expose your identity to prying eyes so that you can torrent anonymously and quickly. I noticed a 20% increase in my speeds as I was using a couple of P2P servers with uTorrent.
You’ll also secure your data while you’re using a torrent client, thanks to its robust security features. CyberGhost uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is trusted by leading security agencies to protect sensitive data. Also, its IP leak protection prevents your IP address from being exposed accidentally.
Its only downside is that its short-term plans are expensive. But its longer-term plans are affordable, and you can get 83% off your subscription with its current sale.
You’ll also be able to test CyberGhost out for free, thanks to its 45-day money-back guarantee. I asked customer support to cancel my subscription over 24/7 live chat on the last day, and they only asked me 1 question before proceeding. After 5 business days, I got my money back.
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FAQs on the Best Torrent Clients
What is the best torrent client, and is it safe?
The best torrent client is uTorrent — it’s pretty safe to use and it’s free. However, it’s safer to use it with a powerful VPN. Whenever you use uTorrent or any other torrent client, your IP address is exposed, which means third parties can uncover your location and target you with malicious attacks. A VPN will hide your IP address so that you’re protected from such threats.
What makes uTorrent special is its polished interface and lightweight app, which means it can operate without consuming a lot of resources. Its compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, which covers almost any device. Its features are quite advanced, too, as you can schedule torrents, adjust bandwidth, and find torrents through its built-in search engine. And since it’s the most popular torrent downloader with a 68. 6% market share, you know it’s widely trusted and used.
Is it legal to download torrents?
The act of downloading torrents is legal in most places, but it’s what you download that could be illegal. In other words, it’s only illegal to download torrents that are protected by copyright. But even if you’re downloading legal files, you should always use a reliable VPN when torrenting to keep safe since other users can still see your personal info in the client itself. Please note that we don’t condone any illegal torrenting and that you should abide by the laws in your country.
What are the best torrent clients for iOS and Android?
The best torrent clients for iOS and Android are uTorrent, BitTorrent, and qBittorent. All of these clients are lightweight and come with stellar features that enhance the user experience. Just note that you can’t download and install torrent software on iOS, so you’ll need to use the web-based version for these clients.
What is the best torrent client for Mac Catalina?
The best torrent client for Mac Catalina is uTorrent. It comes with a beautiful interface and a wide range of customizable options so that you can make the most of your torrenting experience. It even allows extensions and plug-ins to be installed too. Just note that you’ll need to use uTorrent Web for Mac Catalina because it’s not compatible with uTorrent Classic.
Which torrent client is the fastest?
Many factors determine the speeds of your torrent client, so there isn’t one that’s the fastest. But if you want fast speeds while torrenting, then it’s best to use a VPN with your torrent client. It’ll prevent bandwidth throttling by hiding your IP address so that you can download torrents faster. This works because your ISP won’t be able to cap your speed since it won’t see that you’re performing high-bandwidth activities.
Other factors that make your torrent client faster are the speed of your internet connection and the number of seeders that are assigned to your torrent (the more seeders there are the faster your file will download).
Do I really need to optimize my torrent client’s settings?
Most torrent clients are already optimized by default, but it’s a good idea to set up a VPN before using your torrent software for full protection. You’ll need to optimize your torrent client if your ISP has restricted P2P traffic, even though your client will usually start to download the file when you open it. But if you learn how to customize your settings, you can connect to more peers, enjoy faster downloads, and enjoy a more enhanced experience.
How do I know if I’m protected by a VPN when using a torrent client?
The first thing to do is to connect your VPN to a P2P-optimized server that’s reliable. If you use a top-tier VPN like ExpressVPN, then every server will be optimized for P2P. When that’s done, then head over to and run an IP leak test. This should reveal the server and IP address you’re using, and if everything matches then you’ll be protected.
What are seeders and leechers?
Seeders and leechers are two kinds of sources of a torrent file. A seeder has a full copy of the torrent file and shares it with others. On the other hand, a leecher is someone who only has part of the file and needs the help of the seeder to obtain the rest of it. You can still download part of a file from leechers. But whether you’re a seeder or a leecher, you should always use a VPN when torrenting to stay protected from online surveillance, malware, and malicious attacks.
What is a P2P network?
A P2P (peer-to-peer) network is a group of 2 or more computers that are connected and share resources. This kind of network can be dangerous since all the people that are downloading and uploading the same file can see your personal information. That’s why you should protect your anonymity with a VPN. However, the main benefit of using a P2P network is that you can download large files faster because you don’t need to go through a separate computer that acts as a server.
Stay Safe on Your Torrent Client
Protect Yourself While Using Torrent Software Now
Even the safest torrent clients come with risks. And with so many to choose from, picking the right one can be difficult. After much testing, I found the safest torrent clients that can enhance your torrenting experience (and they’re all completely free). They are easy to use and have varying levels of customization options, making them ideal for all experience levels.
That being said, it’s still important that you use a reputable VPN with your torrent software for protection. It’ll encrypt your data and keep you anonymous when torrenting. My favorite is ExpressVPN because of its fast speeds and robust security features. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN and all its security and privacy features risk-free. If you’re not happy with it, claiming a full refund is really easy.
To summarize, the best VPNs to use with your torrent client are…
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we’ve tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it’s currently offering 49% off.
Frequently Asked Questions about secure utorrent
Is uTorrent safe now?
In itself, uTorrent—as a P2P software program—is safe. You will not get any spyware or malware from installing uTorrent on your computer if you downloaded the program from the company’s official website. If there’s a threat to your computer or your data, then it does not come from uTorrent.Oct 30, 2020
Is uTorrent Safe 2021?
The best torrent client is uTorrent — it’s pretty safe to use and it’s free. However, it’s safer to use it with a powerful VPN. Whenever you use uTorrent or any other torrent client, your IP address is exposed, which means third parties can uncover your location and target you with malicious attacks.Sep 23, 2021
Which uTorrent version is safe?
The majority of torrent users agree that uTorrent 2.2. 1 is the best version. Apparently, it’s the most lightweight version since it doesn’t come with bloatware and ads.May 19, 2021