How to Torrent Safely & Anonymously in 2021
Torrent, a program originally invented as a means of file transporting and downloading based on a peep to peer system, but due to misuse, it turned into a means of piracy by individuals trying to save cash on digital products. It is no secret that many governments all over the world actively try to stop torrenting by implementing fines and banning torrent sites. While not all torrenting is bad, however, the legal issues regarding torrent can be a hassle, so we at several.com will teach you how to torrent safely, so you won't have any worries.
We do not endorse piracy. Not all acts of torrenting are piracy, and torrenting websites can be used to download public domain material without copyright issues. For more info on the legality of torrenting, read our article on Torrent legality explained.
When visiting torrent websites, it is recommended to use a premium VPN service to avoid governmental blocking and ISP logging.
Before getting into how to torrent, let's take a look at what torrenting is. Torrent is a protocol used for file sharing. It was developed by computer science student Bram Cohen. He created the first peer-to-peer torrenting protocol and the first program to share torrents (BitTorrent).
Direct download of a file involves using one robust server where many users download the file from the same source. In comparison, The idea behind torrenting involves fragmenting a large file into small pieces (packets). The files' small chunks are then downloaded simultaneously from multiple users (peers) with multiple ordinary devices with regular servers who already have the file on their device.
1. Breaking through the restriction
2. Downloading a torrent client
3. Entering a torrent website
Due to the number of restrictions one might face when attempting to torrent, the process can get complicated. We will try to break it down into smaller steps.
The first step in this "how to torrent guide" is breaking the governmental restriction on torrent-related websites. An issue encountering many users is that the local government blocks the torrent websites and the torrent client websites from use. So how does one break through this restriction and torrent properly? The answer lies with VPNs!
VPNs are an extremely effective tool for downloading torrents as they mask your IP, setting a different IP that can be in a country without laws against torrenting and can encrypt your data, thereby preventing your local internet service provider from viewing and recording your online activities.
You can pick one of our recommended VPNs and grab a significant discount with our promo code link.
In the event you are unable to connect to a VPN website because it's blocked in your country, we recommend you download a free browser extension first. A good example for Google Chrome users would be ZenMate; this would allow you to download your VPN of choice.
VPN browser extensions are a terrible alternative to VPN applications for torrenting, as they don't encrypt all of your outgoing data but rather only a small part relating to internet browsing. Using a VPN application covers all your traffic, including the incoming and outgoing torrent traffic, to avoid any legal issues.
You can also download Tor, go through the dark web, and open the VPN website through the .onion domain. However, the dark web can be very dangerous without a robust antivirus like Norton 360 or Bitdefender protecting you from hackers and a good VPN to encrypt your data. Hence, this method is riskier and less recommended, but it's a good last line for countries such as China, where VPN websites are blocked.
The next step in this "how to torrent guide" is to download a torrent client to locate the torrent file and reassemble the small bits of files scattered between users. In turn, different clients have different specifications relating to speed and security.
When a large file is broken down into multiple bits and carried over to multiple other devices, a risk of infection or corrupted files spreading arises.
Our top recommendations for torrent clients include:
- qBittorrent: Fastest and safest torrent client with built-in virus and corrupted files monitoring.
- uTorrent: Provides high speed and relative security, which can be upgraded with a paid plan for better antivirus protection.
- BitTorrent: Similar to uTorrent in protection and plan, with slightly less speed when compared.
Now you are at the end of the "how to torrent guide", let's talk about torrent websites. Different torrent websites will have different conditions, as some websites might ask you to create an account to use the website, while others won't. We found that the best websites regarding torrenting include:
- The Pirate Bay
When all is said and done, we reach the finale with recommendations regarding how to torrent safely. You might want to ask why choose one VPN over the other? We can list a few that can make a difference when it comes to useability and security, these include:
- Encryption: Does the VPN encrypt your data so your ISP doesn't collect it?
- Based-country location: Is the VPN located inside or outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. (Read more on the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance).
- Kill switch: A failsafe mechanism to disconnect your internet connection if your VPN connection fails.
- Logs policy: Does the company keep records of your online activities?
- RAM-based servers: These are servers that store information on RAMs instead of SSDs that delete all content on every reboot.
- Speed: All VPNs will reduce your original connection speed; the best VPNs only reduce it slightly, hence giving you a better experience.
Based on the characteristics described above, our top VPN recommendations include:
ExpressVPN is our top recommendation in this "how to torrent guide"; it provides it all. It is based in the British Virgin Islands (not a 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance member) with a strict no-logs policy. It has over 3000 servers spread over 160 locations in 94 countries.
ExpressVPN has a high encryption level (AES 256-bit military-grade encryption) and has a kill switch. Furthermore, some countries like China use a firewall (The Great Firewall of China) to prevent locals from using a VPN. ExpressVPN is one of the few that can bypass this geo-censorship. ExpressVPN provides RAM-based servers.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest, if not the fastest, VPN out there. This makes it very suitable for torrenting and even streaming. However, its price is on the higher end of the VPN price spectrum.
NordVPN is a favorite for so many people. It is based in Panama (Not a 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance) with a strict no-logs policy. It has over 5400 servers spread over 59 countries worldwide. It provides dedicated P2P servers to better facilitate torrenting download safely with high speed, making it very usable for torrenting. In addition, NordVPN provides RAM-based servers.
NordVPN provides a high-end encryption level (AES 256-bit military-grade encryption) and has “obfuscated” servers for geo-censorship countries like China to bypass The Great Firewall of China. Pricewise NordVPN is relatively lower than ExpressVPN, giving it an edge in this section.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands (not a 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance member) with a no-logs policy. Has over 3200 servers spread over 65+ countries. It provides 256-bit encryption. A kill switch and many of its servers are optimized for fast torrenting. Surfshark also has RAM-based servers. However, Relative to the two above, it is relatively slower. Price-wise it is cost-efficient.
It’s compatible with P2P clients like BitTorrent and uTorrent as well as streaming players.
To summarize, these are the best VPN Services in 2021…
- Great for streaming
- Stable server speeds
- 45-day money-back guarantee
Private Internet Access
- 10 Simultaneous connections
- Large server network
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Responsive customer support
- Reliable encryption
- Military-grade AES-256-bit encryption
- Built-in WireGuard protocol
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Military-grade AES-256-bit encryption
- No-log policy
- P2P optimized servers