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How To Download Torrents without Being Tracked

Posted by Jamie on January 11, 2019

Despite what the government and big business wants you to believe, bit torrent is not illegal. It is just a transport mechanism for files. Those file are what could be illegal. There are many perfectly legal uses for bit torrent but that doesn’t stop ISPs and movie studios trying to track users. This tutorial is going to show you how to use bit torrent without being tracked and not get caught.

Bit torrent is a method of transporting large files across the internet without breaking it. It’s a protocol that shares files between devices without centralized servers. Often referred to as peer-to-peer (P2P), it is a very efficient way to transfer larger files.

There are many legal uses for bit torrent. Some games and game updates are provided using the protocol. Many Linux distributions are downloaded using it. Organizations use bit torrent to transfer files between networks. There are many legit uses for P2P networking despite what you might read in the media.

There are also some not-so legal uses for bit torrent, which is where the trouble starts. As it is a favored method of sharing illegal content, bit torrent does come under a lot of scrutiny. ISPs track it and often throttle it, government watches it, movie studio offers fake torrents called honeypots to catch illegal downloaders and anyone with a vested interest keeps a close eye on bit torrent traffic. That makes protecting yourself essential even if you’re not sharing illegal files.

TechJunkie does not condone piracy or downloading illegal content. We do not suggest it, recommend it or think you should do it. However we do believe in the freedom of information. So here it is.

Use bit torrent anonymously

There is an easy way to use bit torrent without being tracked. You will need a VPN, TorBrowser, a torrent client and optionally, a VirtualBox virtual machine (VM). The virtual machine is only optional but I highly recommend it. It is a sterile computer with no identifiable data on it that can be used to bit torrent and nothing else.

Should you download malware along with your bit torrent traffic, there is nothing to report as the virtual machine will contain no identifiable data. Plus, should you need to quickly cover your tracks, you can delete the VM instance in seconds and leave no trace whatsoever. This is much faster and more thorough than deleting multiple files on your main computer. Read ‘How To Set Up and Run a 64-Bit Guest in Virtualbox’ to get one working.

Otherwise, do this:

  1. Sign up to a no-logging VPN service. Check out ‘What is the Best VPN Service? – December 2018’ for ideas.
  2. Download and install TorBrowser onto your device. You will use this to browse torrents and download magnet links.
  3. Set up a Torrent file somewhere on your computer to store anything you download.
  4. Download and install a torrent client to enable you to download. Suggestions include uTorrent, Deluge, qBittorrent, Transmission, Bitcomet and others.

Once you have it all installed, set up your VPN so the VPN Kill Switch is enabled or configure your firewall to stop traffic to your bit torrent client if the VPN fails. That way, you can safely leave your computer downloading while unattended. Google ‘VPN Killswitch’ or ‘firewall killswitch if your VPN service doesn’t have one.

How to download safely:

  1. Open up TorBrowser and navigate to wherever the magnet link (torrent link necessary for downloading) is hosted. Download the magnet link and open with your torrent client.
  2. Select the Torrent file you set as the default download location and let the file download.
  3. Perform a virus and malware scan of the Torrent folder after every file you download. Do it before you inspect or open the downloaded file to verify it is safe.
  4. Seed the file for a while to play your part in the process. A good ratio is 1.5:1 where you share 1.5x the size of the file to keep the process going.

Even legitimate bit torrent downloads can be infected with malware so setting a separate Torrent file and scanning it after every completed download is mandatory. This is another place where a virtual machine comes in handy. Were a virus or piece of malware to make it through your scan, it is trapped within the VM and cannot make it to your main computer.

Again, bit torrent itself is not illegal. It’s just a transport protocol. The files you download are where legality comes into play. Whatever you choose to download, ISPs often throttle bit torrent traffic, so even if your file is totally legal, using a VPN means your speed won’t be purposely downgraded just because it’s bit torrent.

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