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Do You Use Bittorrent or Peer-to-Peer? You Might Need a VPN

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Downloading music albums, TV shows, movies, games and applications over the internet is nothing new; people have been doing this ever since peer-to-peer technology became mainstream. These days downloading and sharing content over the internet has become a lot faster and easier thanks to omnipresent broadband internet and the discovery of bittorrenting technology. The most popular bittorrent tracking sites like The Pirate Bay, Isohunt, h33t, kat.ph have millions of torrents in their database and allow you to download almost anything from the internet.

Before you visit bittorrenting sites and start downloading content, you should be aware that your online activities are being monitored and logged by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Recently, the Center for Copyright Information mandated a Copyright Alert System (aka “Six Strikes” Program) that aims to punish frequent torrent users. That’s because internet service providers are bound by government laws to keep a record of their users’ activities for an indefinite period of time. This information can in turn be used against you if you download or share any copyrighted file and the owner tracks you down and decides to slap a copyright notice and a huge fine on you.

You might also be aware that the associations representing Hollywood and music industry have dedicated teams in place to snoop on what files are being shared and by whom. We have all heard horror stories about people forced to shell out millions of dollars simply because they downloaded and shared few songs or movies, that too years ago. Also the instances about people getting notices from their ISPs or being cut off from the internet are becoming more and more commonplace these days. There was also an incident in 2011 when Untied States tried to extradite a British citizen just because he ran a site that allowed people to watch and download latest TV shows.

Protecting Privacy While Downloading Content From BitTorrent Sites

Now that you are aware that protecting your privacy is vital before participating in peer-to-peer activities, let’s see how it can be achieved. Due to the seriousness of the issue, several bittorrenting applications have started using security measures such as encrypting peer IDs and blocking IP addresses of monitoring agencies but such measures are not enough to protect you. You can also use proxies to connect to the internet but you should be aware it is not a foolproof way to protect yourself.

The best way to secure your privacy for downloading and sharing content through torrenting is by using virtual private networks (VPN). VPNs use latest encryption technology to protect your privacy and guarantee total anonymity by creating a tunnel of security around your online activities. Most VPN providers have dedicated servers for P2P and torrenting that are often located outside United States which protects you from legal troubles. When you are using a VPN even your ISP won’t be able to monitor your online activities.

While selecting a VPN for downloading and sharing content, make sure that it allows P2P and torrenting activities. You must also choose a provider doesn’t keep a log of its users’ activities. There are several good VPN providers like HideMyAss, StrongVPN, PureVPN, etc. that allow P2P activities. These services are quite affordable and provide fast and secure connections that allow you to download as much content as you want.

When it comes to downloading and sharing content online, you must be careful to cover your tracks. By using a VPN, you can avoid leaving footprints and save yourself from legal troubles since no one can monitor your online activities.

January 18, 2013

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