How to Torrent Safely on a PC, iPhone, or Android Device

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Old-school internet users may very well be familiar with torrenting. Torrenting is the act of downloading files shared in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Many people torrent movies illegally, as it’s a free alternative to paid streaming subscriptions.

How to Torrent Safely on a PC, iPhone, or Android Device

Legalities aside, torrenting can be dangerous since computer viruses can hide in these files. It’s important to know how to safely torrent files; especially legal ones. This way, you can be safe from viruses and stay on the right side of the law.

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How to Torrent Safely and Securely

One of the defenses you need for safe torrenting is a VPN. In this article, we’ll be using ExpressVPN as our example. In our experience, we find it to be the most reliable option with a strict no-log policy.

With a VPN at your side, even untrained users can be safe from hackers and other cybercriminals. It’s very easy to install and reliable.

How Activate a VPN Before Torrenting on a Windows PC

Here’s how you’ll use ExpressVPN on your Windows PC. Make sure you’re using Windows 7 and above.

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  1. Download ExpressVPN for Windows.
  2. Get your unique activation code.
  3. Install ExpressVPN.
  4. Sign in and enter your activation code.
  5. Launch ExpressVPN.
  6. Click the large ‘’On’’ button in the middle.
  7. Below the button, you can select the particular servers and locations to connect to.
  8. Now you can surf the web with a VPN protecting you.

ExpressVPN works the moment you turn it on, and you don’t need to do anything to your web browser. As long as it stays on, your location will be masked. You can be in the United States in real life, but others think you’re in Finland, for example.

How Activate a VPN Before Torrenting on a Mac

Assuming you’re using Mac OS X 10.10 and above, you can install ExpressVPN easily. After installation, you can torrent your files safely.

  1. Download ExpressVPN for Mac.
  2. Get your activation code.
  3. Install ExpressVPN.
  4. Sign in and enter your activation code.
  5. If prompted to allow ExpressVPN IKEv2, select “Allow.”
  6. Launch ExpressVPN.
  7. Click the ‘’On’’ button in the middle.
  8. Below the button, you can select the particular servers and locations to connect to.
  9. You can now torrent files safely.

Mac isn’t as vulnerable to viruses as Windows, but malware can still slip in from time to time. These viruses can leak your personal information and location to cybercriminals worldwide. With a VPN, you can prevent your true location from being discovered.

Apple has lots of security features for Mac OS X, but even so, you should get an antivirus program. This will increase your security against viruses and malware.

How Activate a VPN Before Torrenting on an iPhone

ExpressVPN is also available for iOS. By keeping all your devices anonymous, you can ensure your location is hidden.

  1. Launch the App Store on your iPhone.
  2. Search for and download the ExpressVPN app.
  3. Launch the app.
  4. Sign in with your credentials.
  5. Agree to the privacy terms.
  6. Grant ExpressVPN permissions to set up VPN connections by entering your password or with TouchID.
  7. Choose whether or not you want to receive notifications from ExpressVPN.
  8. Launch ExpressVPN
  9. Click the ‘’On’’ button.
  10. Below the button, you can select the particular servers and locations to connect to.
  11. Now you can torrent files on your iPhone with increased protection.

How Activate a VPN Before Torrenting on an Android Device

There are two ways to install ExpressVPN on your Android device. We’ll take a look at the first one, as it’s the most convenient. This method requires you to access the Google Play Store.

  1. Launch Google Play Store.
  2. Find and download ExpressVPN.
  3. Sign in with your information.
  4. Choose whether or not to send data to the company.
  5. Grant ExpressVPN permissions by selecting “OK.”
  6. Launch ExpressVPN.
  7. Click the ‘’On’’ button.
  8. Below the button, you can select the particular servers and locations to connect to.
  9. You’re now protected!

Here’s how you install the APK files manually on Android. You should be using Android 4.1 and above.

On non-Samsung devices, follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Settings.”
  2. Select “Security & Privacy.”
  3. Next, go to “More Settings.”
  4. Finally, select “Install Apps from External Sources.”

On Samsung devices, you use these steps instead:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Biometrics and Security
  3. Install Unknown Apps
  4. Select Google Chrome or another browser
  5. Toggle “Allow App Installs” on.

If your Android version is below 8.0, the options are labeled differently. Here’s what the steps will look like:

  1. Go to “Settings.”
  2. Select “Security.”
  3. Find “Device Administration.”
  4. Toggle “Unknown Sources” on.

Installing Antivirus to Protect Yourself From Downloads

Antivirus software should be a requirement before you start torrenting. It’s important to mask your location, but what if you get a virus? That’s why an antivirus program is crucial to weed out the hidden threats.

Depending on what software you use, the protection can vary. Some antiviruses can detect threats early on. Others might take a little longer.

Ultimately, you should shop around to get the best antivirus software on the market.

How to Install an Antivirus on a Windows PC

There are two main ways you install antiviruses on a Windows PC. You can either download the installer or buy a physical CD. Let’s take a look at the first method.

  1. Purchase and download the installer for your antivirus program.
  2. If needed, you need to unzip the installer from a .zip file.
  3. Run the installer.
  4. Follow the necessary steps for the installer.
  5. After the process is complete, you might have to set up the antivirus for the first time.
  6. You should be protected from then on.

If you bought a CD, the steps should go like this:

  1. Insert the CD into your computer’s disk drive.
  2. If it doesn’t autorun, run the CD from ‘’This PC.’’
  3. Follow the necessary steps for the installer.
  4. After the process is complete, you might have to set up the antivirus for the first time.
  5. You should be protected from then on.

Windows PCs have historically been vulnerable to viruses. Torrenting is also tricky, as some malicious users spread viruses deliberately. Other users share files without knowing viruses are infesting their files.

How to Install an Antivirus on a Mac

The process of installing an antivirus on a Mac is similar to that of Windows. You download an installer and follow the steps. You can refer to the steps above for your Mac antivirus.

Is It Possible to Safely Torrent Without a VPN and Antivirus

It it is possible to safely torrent without a VPN or antivirus(but not recommended). The BitTorrent protocol is inherently neutral-not unsafe or illegal. It’s what some users do that can affect your safety.

You can torrent files from secure websites and not encounter malware. However, if you want to ensure your safety, you should get both a VPN and antivirus. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Legal Torrenting Only

Illegal torrenting can result in legal action from your internet service provider (ISP) or the owner of the files. When you pirate movies or software, it can result in lawsuits.

If you torrent files illegally, you can even be hunted down by copyright trolls. They will threaten you with expensive lawsuits but offer a “cheap” settlement out of court. Some people buckle down and settle out of court.

If you only torrent legal files, you’ll avoid these problems. No one can prosecute you for torrenting freeware files.

Sites like ThePirateBay, KickassTorrents, and Demonoid contain plenty of legal files, but piracy is also rampant on these sites. Torrent files from these sites at your own risk.

There are websites dedicated to legal torrenting. Most of the content is meant to be open to the public under Creative Commons licenses. Others can be modified with credit to the creator. You can find open-source software available too.

To find out if the files are legal, you can see if they’re labeled as open-source or have a Creative Commons license. These allow you to download and share them freely.

Using These Won’t Help

Some VPNs aren’t very good for torrenting. Not all torrent clients are created equal either.

Tor can be useful for torrenting, but it’s slow and governments tend to track its users. Unfortunately, a lot of piracy takes place through Tor. Opt for a better VPN instead.

The Most Trustworthy Torrenting Software

Some torrenting software is free, while others require you to pay a fee. Here’s a list of the most trustworthy torrenting software out there:

  • qBittorrent
  • Deluge
  • uTorrent
  • Vuze
  • BitTorrent
  • Tixati
  • BiglyBT

What Does Reddit Say on the Subject?

Some Reddit users like torrenting, but don’t support illegal torrenting. They believe that it can be done safely. Reddit also has guides to torrent without breaking the law.

Other subreddits don’t stop you from pirating movies, however. They post tips on what to avoid and what to do when you are caught.

In conclusion, Reddit is rather divided on the issue of torrenting.

Additional FAQs

How can torrents be dangerous?

Torrents can contain malware, spyware, and viruses. They can steal your information, allowing hackers to use it for nefarious acts. Torrents can even leak your location.

Can Torrenting Get You in Trouble With the Law?

Yes, it can. If you torrent pirated files such as movies and software, you might face legal action. It can either be from your ISP or the owner of the content.

Can my ISP see what I torrent?

If you don’t use a VPN, your ISP can see your torrent files. Because of this, you should turn on a VPN before you torrent files.

Make Sure Your Files Are Legal

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Now that you know how to safely torrent files, you can avoid getting viruses. Legal torrenting is completely fine, and you can’t be sued for downloading freeware. When you pirate intellectually owned property, trouble happens.

Which torrent software is your favorite? Do you think torrenting is safe overall? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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