Do I Need To Hide My IP When Torrenting (Or After Downloading)?

If you’re interested in torrenting, who can blame you? You can get access to all kinds of media, music files, ebooks, audiobooks, software, even movies. And all for free.

But there has to be a catch, doesn’t there? And there is.

While torrenting in and of itself is not actually illegal, the downloading of unsanctioned copyrighted material is illegal. And that means, if you’re going to torrent to download copyrighted material, you would be well advised to take precautions.

In this article, we’re going to start by talking about the potential consequences of getting caught torrenting. Then we’re going to go over the most common torrenting sites rules and how torrent clients oversee your torrenting, before going on to talk about how to torrent safely. Then we can wrap up with a brief conclusion. Feel free to scroll ahead if you wish.

Possible Consequences Of Torrenting Copyrighted Material

The truth is, you can get prosecuted for torrenting…

In the late 2000s, there was a sharp rise in the number of copyright holders suing torrenters for downloading copyrighted material.

However, this really didn’t go down well with the general public. These copyright holders were seen as petty multi-millionaires, coming down way too hard on the regular joe, who weren’t necessarily using the downloaded material for financial gain. The prosecutions were seen as scare tactics, and the copyright holders were seen as bullies.

So, since then there has been a significant drop in the number of prosecutions, and the chances of actually having to go to court if you get caught torrenting are slim.

However, the penalties for torrenting copyrighted material are still very high, and if you were sued for doing so, you can expect to pay a large settlement fee to keep from going to court.

If that has failed to put you off, please read on.

Torrent Site Rules And Torrent Clients

Torrent sites are often club-based sites that have certain rules that you have to ascribe to in order to remain a member of the club. Club members are generally able to download a large number of media files provided that they abide by the club rules.

Typically, these rules will state that for every media file that you download (or leach) via one of their torrents, you then have to seed that same file to other users on that P2P network for a certain amount of time.

This seeding allows other users of the P2P network to leach the media file from your PC.

This is all done via your torrent client, the software used to leach, download and seed your various torrents. And in order for a P2P network, and for the club to know if you’re following the club rules, your torrenting activity, that is your leaching, downloading and seeding has to be tracked.

However, the good news is that these P2P networks, torrenting clubs and torrenting clients are able to keep tabs on whether or not you’re following the club rules and seeding your downloaded torrents to other users without your torrent client ever revealing your IP address.

So, this means that hiding your IP address won’t adversely affect your club membership, and the club is still able to keep track of whether you’re following club rules.

Do I Need To Hide My IP When Torrenting (Or After Downloading)?

Therefore, then, we can conclude that not only should you hide your IP address when leaching torrents, to save being caught from downloading copyrighted material, but you should also keep your IP address hidden for the entire length of time that you keep the torrent active in your torrent client.

If the content is pirated movies, music or pirated software, the last thing you want is to share the file without hiding your IP address. If you were to get caught you could receive a warning letter from your internet service provider. And if you were then to ignore the letter, things could escalate, and you could potentially be prosecuted or brought to court.

The only times when it will be safe for you to show your IP address is either when the torrent has been removed completely from your torrent client, or when the torrent is paused or stopped.

How To Torrent Safely And Not Get Caught

The Use Of A VPN On A Web Browser

In order to avoid getting caught torrenting and downloading copyrighted media, you will have to take necessary precautions…

The simplest way to do this is by using a VPN on your web browser.

Don’t worry however, you don’t need to be some kind of tech wiz in order to use a VPN to hide your IP address. The VPN takes care of all the technical stuff for you.

The tricky part lies in finding the right VPN, which is why we’re going to lay out for you the three golden rules to choosing a VPN:

  1. Choose a VPN that doesn’t log your activity
  2. Look into where the VPN is based to ensure that it's not in a country where the legal system can demand to see customer records
  3. Choose a VPN that won’t slow down your downloads

There are some web browsers out there that have VPN capabilities already built in. Examples include the TOR browser, and Opera.

Wrap Up

More often than not, torrenting copyrighted material doesn’t really harm the copyright holder, but if you are caught torrenting such material, you could be prosecuted and the penalties can be very high indeed. You really shouldn’t take any chances. does not condone or encourage the downloading of unsanctioned copyrighted material.

But if you are going to use torrenting sites, please remember to hide your IP address, so that you don’t risk being caught doing anything illegal.

You can take advantage of the fact that these sites don’t need to see your IP address, and cover yourself by using a VPN on your web browser or a browser with a built-in VPN.


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