Is uTorrent safe? In our experience, the answer to this question may not be as straightforward as you may think.
Let’s take a look at what constitutes safety and whether or not torrent clients like uTorrent can really protect your privacy and security.
‘Is uTorrent Safe’ Is Not the Right Question You Should Be Asking
The question should not be, “Is uTorrent safe?” Instead, we should ask, “How safe can it be?” In other words, whether or not uTorrent is safe depends entirely on how you use it.
You have to choose how safe you want uTorrent to be.
Ultimately, uTorrent is nothing but a torrent client that helps you download files of all types from the internet if you have the right .torrent file with you.
So how can you be proactive about staying safe while using uTorrent? You can start by encrypting your hard drive.
While downloading files, you should also try to remove all the torrent trackers in your list of trackers (accessible by right-clicking the file that’s being downloaded, then going to the tracker list and deleting all the items from the list with the backspace key).
This is important:We also always recommend using a VPN service to enhance your privacy while you’re downloading files on the internet. We’ll get more into that later.
In itself, uTorrent—as a P2P software program—is safe. You will not get any spyware or malware from installing uTorrent on your computer if you downloaded the program from the company’s official website. If there’s a threat to your computer or your data, then it does not come from uTorrent.
However, this doesn’t mean there’s no threat at all. uTorrent may not want to infect your computer with malware, but there are plenty of actors in the torrenting chain who do. Since uTorrent is a torrent client, it opens the door for ill-intentioned users who are bent on hacking others in the torrenting ecosystem.
Let’s discuss some of the risks that are always present when you’re downloading torrents.
DISCLAIMER:Security Gladiators in no way encourages or condones any kind of copyright violation or circumvention of restrictions. That includes torrenting or downloading illegal content. Torrenting is a great way to access and share all kinds of content on the internet and there are plenty of opportunities there to engage in legal and safe online torrenting. You need to do your own research to see if these services and torrents are legal in your own country. We suggest to always use a VPN while torrenting.
What Are the Disadvantages of Torrenting?
The first problem with using uTorrent is that you can accidentally download files that are infected with viruses.
Warning:Hackers have gained the experience to now know that the easiest way to get a virus to a given user’s computer is to inject it into a torrent file.
And since the user is willingly accepting to download the file themselves the virus gets installed on the system in question with ease. Hackers then proceed to gain access to your computer, get in control of your data, encrypt your hard drive and then demand a ransom payment before you can get your data back. This is the ransomware model.
The second problem regards the legality of torrenting. Many torrents are movies and TV shows that are protected under copyright laws.
Now, if you live in a country where regulatory agencies monitor internet users to see what they’re downloading on the internet, then that could get you in trouble.
In the U.S., you may receive a DMCA notice, in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
The third problem deals with internet service providers, which are just as likely to spy on you as any given hacker group. With that said, it is also true that different internet service providers take different positions on torrenting and torrent clients.
Some ban it, some are mildly strict with its use, while others allow it as much as the user wants. Some internet service providers will simply cancel your contract with them if they find out you’re using a torrent client to download copyrighted content on the internet.
Internet service providers are also known to collect data on their customers and then sell that data to third parties such as advertising firms.
Government agencies, copyright groups and internet marketing agencies all want to get their hands on your data, and internet service providers are the last entity that you should expect to stand up to them and protect it.
This is why you should always use a VPN (short for Virtual Private Network) while downloading torrent files to ensure that no government agency or internet service provider can see what you’re doing.
So even if your internet service provider can decrypt the tunnel, it still would not be able to decrypt your data. Essentially, a VPN provides double security for your data. More on that below.
Simple Ways to Make uTorrent Safe
The simplest way to make uTorrent safe is to use software that protects your privacy and anonymity. The best tool to do this is a VPN service. Click here to learn more about the best VPN service providers for torrenting. We’ve also put together a ranking of top VPN services.
Note:VPN services will protect your data and hide your identity and location by changing your IP address.
Secondly, make sure you only download files from sources that are trustworthy. You can go to Reddit and other forums to read about the most reliable torrent sites, then make a decision based on your research. Or click here to read our roundup of the best torrent sites.
Thirdly, use a good antivirus software application so that even if you mistakenly download a virus, you have a tool that can notify you about it.
And finally, have a firewall in place to block malware well before it reaches your data. Almost all operating systems have some sort of firewall. Check to make sure it’s enabled. You can also get personal firewall software for an extra layer of protection.