What is Torrent?
A torrent is a type of file used by the Bittorrent protocol. It points to a remote server and allows a connection to it to allow users to connect to many remote hosts, each of which has a portion of a file that needs to be uploaded or shared.
Is it legal to download with Torrent?
Yes and no. The torrent itself isn't really illegal, but what you download or share can be a legal problem.
For example, downloading open-source software with torrent is perfectly acceptable since the owner of the software made it free in the first place. However, torrenting copyrighted content like movies, video games, and music is often illegal because it violates copyright laws.
In addition, whether or not torrenting is legal also depends on the country you live in. Some countries have stricter copyright and torrent regulations than others.
For example, the United States is well known for its harsh stance on the torrent (so much so that it imposes huge fines and jail terms), while countries like Spain and Poland allow people download copyrighted content as long as it is for their personal use.
In addition, there are countries that have lax regulations regarding the torrenting of copyrighted content, such as Romania, Greece and Brazil.
How does your ISP know you are downloading torrent files?
Well, it's important to keep in mind that your ISP can see just about anything you do on the internet if they want to. Your traffic is not encrypted, so it can see the websites you access, the things you are looking for, and most importantly, the files you download.
Of course, this would imply that your ISP would employ 24/7 staff to monitor all Internet user activity. This is a highly unlikely scenario simply because your ISP would need a large team to handle such an exploit, which represents a huge expense.
Your ISP sees that you have torrent files by checking TCP ports 6881 through 6889. These are the ports that Bittorrent technology and torrents use for file transfer. If it notices any suspicious files and traffic passing through these ports, it can investigate and see if you have downloaded illegal content or not.
If your ISP sees you downloading illegal torrents, it will send you a warning if you are lucky, or report you to copyright agencies.
Can downloading Torrents files be dangerous?
Sometimes the risk exists. On the one hand, you should be very careful because not all torrent sites are safe. Some of them may choose to post torrents infected with malware while others may not always check the files they host, which means you risk downloading malicious files.
Additionally, if a user downloads a file from an infected computer, there is a good chance that the files you download are also infected with viruses.
If you download a torrent infected with malware, you could be exposed to all kinds of dangers, like:
And these are just a few examples. Ultimately, no matter what type of malware or virus you come across, you risk losing sensitive data and having it sold on the web or held hostage, as well as having your financial information stolen ( bank details, credit card number).
Additionally, another risk associated with torrenting is the fact that other users in the community (the total number of downloaders for a specific torrent) may see your IP address. Most of the time, this isn't necessarily worrying, but remember that bad guys can use your IP address to find out various things about you, such as:
Your country of residence.
Your city of residence.
Who is your Internet service provider.