uTorrent has added significant efficiency to the Bittorrent landscape since its launch in 2005. The convenient downloads users got to enjoy at negligible costs is something millions utilize globally. However, there is an important legitimacy question that always comes up with regard to this software; is it legal and safe to download using uTorrent?
The question of legality can be broken into two bits; whether the software illegal by default or whether the actual downloaded content is.
To put it in a simple sentence, the answer to the former is no while the latter is most likely yes. How is this? The uTorrent application itself is completely legal. This is because a user can utilize it to download content not protected by copyright. An example is downloading a free distribution of Linux using your torrent client.
That said, the overwhelming majority of content downloaded via this torrent website is illegal.
You have probably heard of the words intellectual property. This is the creative property of a writer, director, scholar, musician and any other person who engages in and produces scientific, artistic or entertaining content. Most countries have protections for intellectual property in their laws.
As a result, most creative or other such content has what is called copyright protection. This is the prerogative of the producer of such content. Hence, downloading content on uTorrent is mostly illegal since it is a violation of copyright.
For instance, a Beyoncé album is available on legal online stores like iTunes for a certain price. However, you can download it on a torrent site like Pirate bay for free. This virtually free availability is what has made a site like uTorrent quite popular.
Don’t make the mistake of torrenting without a VPN
As we have established, most of the people who occasionally use uTorrent commit illegalities. This brings us to the next important issue; your safety when using the site. It is important to understand that peer-to-peer networks are fundamentally risky for two reasons.
First is that the illegal file sharing on a large scale definitely draws the attention of authorities. The other reason is that the decentralized nature of sites like uTorrent makes them vulnerable to hacking.
So, having established the vulnerabilities, it is fair to point out at this point that the focus of this article is not the kind of illegalities you commit on a day to day basis on these sites. The anonymity or lack thereof is a more productive endeavor.
It is important to have an understanding of the functional mechanism of torrent protocol. It would be natural to assume that when using them, you have some degree of privacy. This is because the data you download is not located in a central server like conventional online stores.
Unlike sites like Microsoft, the torrent system functions by allowing you to download directions to a file. The torrent file is therefore different in that it is a list of trackers and some hash codes. What you do is in that regard managed by the decentralized server. The totality of a download comes from pieces of the file obtained from a bunch of people.
Government agents and other incendiary elements (not that the two are equivalent) tend to survey these torrent networks and sited hosting torrent files. Additionally, they look for IP addresses found under peers, who are content downloaders, and seeders (uploaders) lists. This means that the notion of privacy is an illusion.
(Virtual Private Networks) VPN services
Perhaps, it may be comforting never to have been caught. Indeed government agencies mostly have better priorities and will mostly let this form of piracy pass, at least on the end user level. There is always the option of leaving torrent sites all together. Understandably, many simply can’t part with this convenient luxury. For those keen on true anonymity, the solution lies in Virtual private networks.
This is a virtual IP address that hides your actual address and connects your PC to the peers through that address. This creates anonymity since operators and websites collect the IP addresses of visitors through cookies files. Governments and internet service providers could always take these online logs from telecom companies.
This address is equivalent to a new identity. As a matter of fact, you can choose which country’s IP address you want to access the internet using. In this specific context of mostly illegal downloads, it is ideal to use a virtual address of a country with lax privacy related laws for greater guarantee.
There is a great variety of VPN services online but none beats NordVPN. As a matter of fact, this service is a five star rated accessory that consumers value. The service has the following important features:
- NordVPN has more than 4,866 servers globally. This is great decentralization and furthers its anonymity goals
- Six simultaneous connections.
- p2p functionality
- Strong customer privacy stance. It is vital for any VPN service to have this priority. NordVPN places it first and all policies are centered on these principles.
- The company operates under Panama jurisdiction which has no data retention laws.
Additionally, customer satisfaction is boosted by browser apps and blocking of web threats. On matters VPN, NordVPN is clearly a standout performer. The combination of a superlative user experience coupled with robust service is what gives NordVPN its edge.
There are three pricing levels, $11.95 for the monthly package, $83.88 for full year deal and $54.00 for the bi-annual package. These charges may be slightly higher than your average VPN service but the premium service offered is incomparable. Talk of value for money, this is as clear an example as you get.
All in all, the importance of VPN services to a torrent user cannot be overstated. It is always better to take all necessary pre-caution rather than operate at the mercy of enforcement agencies. NordVPN is vital for improving and optimizing your uTorrent experience.