What is Torrenting? How do Torrents work? It is Safe or illegal?

What’s torrenting? How do torrents even work? If you’re curious and want to know all about torrenting then this article is for you. Even if you’ve never used torrents before you will learn what most of the torrent users never know right here…

With the rise in streaming services people may think that torrenting is dead? But is it the truth? In a report, 22% of the internet upstream data went through the BitTorrent network. That’s seriously insane!

Torrenting is a piece of tech that isn’t going anywhere. It’s still the biggest distributor of movies, games and other stuff. While people may see it unethical to use torrents, it’s also possible to use them legally. You will learn a lot from this article. Let’s begin…

What is torrenting? Is it safe?

Don’t Ever Use Torrents Without A VPN

It’s common knowledge that your ISP (or Internet Service Provider) is always looking and tracking your browsing history. Most of the ISPs collect all your data and sell it to third-parties. It’s your personal data that companies sell at a high price.

No matter what you do someone’s always looking at you. Isn’t it kinda scary? Your ISP knows about all the sites you visit, everything you download, etc. It’s important to keep your data safe from ISPs and other sites that make money from your data. That’s where VPNs come into the picture.

While a VPN is important for anyone who wants to browse the internet anonymously, it’s much important if you are downloading and sharing torrent files. While torrenting VPNs are not just optional they’re essential i.e, you shouldn’t just start torrenting without using a good trusted VPN. It adds a layer of security and protects you.

Techixty strongly recommends NordVPN for encrypting your internet connection. It encrypts the data that leaves your computer. In simple words, it makes it impossible for anyone to see what you’re downloading. NordVPN is trusted by millions of people worldwide and is the top-rated VPN.

There are tons of reasons we suggest you use NordVPN for anything but the top reasons are –

  • It’s doesn’t keep any kind of logs.
  • They’re trusted and they don’t sell data to any third party.
  • The price isn’t that high. They run seasonal deals from time to time.
  • It’s the highest-rated VPN service provider by experts.

So, if you’re thinking of getting into torrenting then the first thing you will have to do is to get a VPN for better privacy. Make sure to sign up for NordVPN for a better safe internet.

What is Torrenting exactly?

So now, we are getting to the main point – what does torrenting even mean and what are torrents? If you are hearing these words for the first time then this might be confusing but don’t worry we will tell you everything you need to know…

In simple words, torrenting is a type of p2p file sharing technology where many users can share files, no matter the size without depending on a single website.

What makes torrenting different from downloading from a single website is that while torrenting users can share their files with other users. There are many sources available for downloading is single file you don’t have to be dependent on one. The peers works like a mini server which reduces the server load.

Using torrents is pretty easy there are many torrent sites by which you can search for anything be it video games, songs, movies, softwares, etc. Once you start using torrents there is no going back. You will never enjoy downloading files from websites again.

There are two very common terms people use when referring to torrenting – torrents and BitTorrent. It may seem that these two terms are alike but it’s not the case. They are very different.

Torrent file is a pretty small file (generally a few bits to kbs) it only has the metadata about the file. One must know that the torrent file doesn’t contain the actual file. Suppose you are downloading a Torrent file of a movie, the torrent file won’t include the actual file but it will have the information about where the file is located (or stored).

BitTorrent, on the other hand, is simply a file transfer protocol that powers the Torrents. This is simply a protocol that allows large files to be divided into smaller parts. After the parts are divided – it downloads and connect two smaller parts into your computer or local drive.

These were of the two things that make torrenting work precisely. There are many other things about which you will learn later in this article. Before we get into those, we must know about the history of torrenting as to how torrents were created and how they became so popular.

The History of Torrents…

The sharing between computer date 1970s, yes even in the beginning computer developers needed a way to share files between these devices. As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions such was the case here. It was by setting up protocols which allowed host client relationships which let the users download copies of files from the main server. This method popularity very fast and with the rise in technology like usenet and IRC it was only limited by video the server’s speed and bandwidth.

Over the period of time, the files showed a growth in thier sizes it was possible to create and store large amount of data easily. Because of that, new methods were created for easing load on servers and increasing the speed of downloads. P2P (peer – to – peer file sharing ) was the new method made in 1999 which changed everything. It’s rising popularity was no surprise. It was both effective and efficient.

It uses P2P networks to connect users. Instead of downloading files from a single source you download the countless small files from other users who host them. P2P file sharing makes it easy for others to host the file and share them.

Soon after, the BitTorrent protocol came. It is a new version of the old P2P model. While it’s the same as the former model it has some slight variations. We have covered this completely in the other article.

Why do People Use Torrents?

Torrents have a very bad reputation. Despite this, they are pretty useful and are also used for downloading legal files. Most of the times people use torrents for downloading games, movies and softwares. Torrenting is after all most popular for downloading copyrighted files which either costs money or isn’t available in the region.

Apart from this torrents serves many other purposes, here we will talk about a few things which makes it one of the popular technology used by tons by people.

1. File Syncing

One of the reasons prefer using torrents is for file syncing among their devices. Torrent clients are decentralized P2P clients. There are many cloud-based File syncing services like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc but none comes close to Torrents if you’re concerned about your privacy.

2. Sharing Music and Videos

Despite what DMCA says, not all music and video torrents are not illegal. If you’re a producer and want to distribute your music or video then torrenting is a great way. You will save a fortune in bandwidth fee by distributing it via torrents.

3. Distributing Large Files

Like we already said, if you want to distribute large files then there’s nothing better than torrents to do it. You can distribute any file and save a ton of money which could be put somewhere else. It will also have faster downloading speed than other methods.

4. Downloading Copyrighted Content

While it isn’t ethical and legal (in most countries), the most common thing people use torrents for is getting content which includes songs, movies, series, games, etc. If it wasn’t for getting these things easily then we doubt that torrenting would have the same popularity now. We all get to know about torrents this way. Don’t we?

How do Torrents work?

When you download a file from torrents you’re not downloading it from a single source. Instead you’re getting it from other torrent users. There are two types of servers – centralized & decentralized. Torrents work in decentralized manner i.e, P2P.

Let’s get down to the basics of torrenting. It will make it easier for all to understand how torrents work…

P2P File Sharing (Torrenting) Basics

These are some terms which will help you understand the workings of torrent networks.


Seeders refers to the devices which have already downloaded the complete file. They’re the ones who allow others to download files bit by bit from their computers. If you’re downloading a torrent file then it means you’re getting it from someone else who already has that file.


Leechers refer to people who are downloading the files. If you’re downloading a file you’re a leecher. If you uploading then you’re seeder it’s as simple as that.


Peers are the users who are active in either uploading or downloading the files. All the users who are a part of peer to peer network (or P2P) is a Peer.


Trackers are the connectors or bridges between peers. If there aren’t trackers then you can’t connect to anyone else. These are encrypted servers and URL which help the downloads and uploads.


Indexers refer to websites where you can find torrent files. All the torrent files are indexers. There are tons of them but only a handful are genuine and trustworthy.

Torrent Clients

The software which allow the downloads of torrent files are known as Torrent Clients. If you don’t have a torrent client then forget about downloading torrent files.

How to use Torrents?

Now that you’ve got the basics and other stuff it’s time you learn how to use torrents. After all, you’re here to know about all the stuff and downloading files via torrent is one of the most popular ways. So, let’s get started.

Here are the steps you will need to follow if you want to download files via torrent –

#1 Download a Torrent Client

The first thing that you need to do is to get a torrent client. You would be thinking what exactly are torrent clients? Torrent clients are softwares that allow you to download torrent files. It’s as simple as that. There are tons of torrent clients out there.

Torrent clients work and allow the download of the files by linking to peers and seeing the download and upload of files. The best experience we have had on a torrent client was on qbitTorrent. It’s free and open-source.

#2 Finding the Torrent File

The next step you have to take is to find the torrent file. You will find the torrent files on websites (also known as indexers). While downloading the file you need to consider 2 things – it should have good seeders and reviews. Also, only use genuine sites if you want to stay safe.

#3 Download The Torrent File

If you want to start the download of the file you wish to have you will need to download the torrent file. Now, there are two ways – either download the torrent file and open it or use the magnet link. Using the magnet link is better as it will start the download and you won’t have to download the torrent file.

However, you want to download with the torrent file it will be a bit lengthy. Wait for the .torrent file to download and once it’s done open it with the client. The download will start.

Is Torrenting Safe? Is it Legal?

Are torrents safe and legal to use? It’s a common question asked by many torrent users who want to know if there’s a harm in downloading content through torrents. If you’re the same then don’t worry we will answer all of the questions that are confusing you.

The truth is – almost everyone uses torrents for downloading movies, games or other stuff. Knowingly or unknowingly most of us ignore the copyright laws as we don’t care. But we should. There are some risks of torrenting which many don’t know. Let’s talk about them first…

Risks Of Torrenting

Most of think that getting caught by authorities is the worst that can happen if we use torrents irresponsibly. To an extent it’s the truth but there are also other bad things that can happen which hardly anyone pays attention to. Here are the risks you take while torrenting –

Hacking and Cyber Attacks

Whenever you use a torrent client for downloading anyone can see your ISP. It creates a grave issue that if you somehow connect to a hacker it won’t take him long to steal all your information including passwords, card details, etc. You won’t want that right?

Bandwidth Throttling

Most of the ISP put a limit once they get to know your bandwidth usage is related to torrenting. This reduces the speed greatly and it will take you ages to complete a download. Nothing hurts more than slow internet speed while downloading the thing you want to see.

Viruses & Malware

Getting viruses & malware via torrents isn’t rare. You can easily get them if you’re connected to a network where the file owner has virus in their system. Or, some people knowingly put malwares into programs for hacking your system.

Can you go to jail for Torrenting?

Chances are that you won’t unless you’re distributing or downloading mature content. If you are thinking of distributing adult content or something that’s mature then don’t. In those cases, you will get locked. It also goes for downloading the said content. It’s good to refrain from doing and sharing criminal activities.

If you’re doing nothing illegal then don’t worry. But if you’re downloading copyrighted content and it’s prohibited in your country then you might land in trouble. Some countries take copyright laws very seriously.

How to stay safe while using torrents?

Staying safe while torrenting is easy. You just need to follow a few things like – use a VPN, use an antivirus app, don’t be stupid, don’t download stuff from shady websites, etc.

Using torrents without a VPN is like running naked. Everyone will see you and you won’t like it. Be smart and use a good VPN service. The VPN that we suggest to our readers is NordVPN it has everything you need!

Best Torrenting Sites

There are thousands of torrenting sites out there but there’s an issue. Most of these sites contain viruses and malware which can be harmful to your computer. Your files and precious information will be at harm if you don’t follow the precautions. Thankfully there are some sites that are genuine which you can trust.

We have created a complete article about the best torrent sites (you should check it out).

Final Thoughts…

This marks the end of this article. We hope that you like it. It took a lot of time but we managed to cover a lot and we don’t think we’ve missed anything important (let us know if we have).

So, do you find this information regarding torrents useful? Have you ever used torrents? What are your opinions about torrenting? Let us know in the comments below…

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