Download files anonymously and securely with a VPN
If you want to download torrents and other files, using a VPN is a really convenient and effective solution for preserving your privacy and online safety. Thanks to the VPN, your data traffic will be fully encrypted.
This means that third parties (malicious) will no longer be able to spy on and monitor your every download. Furthermore, a VPN hides your real IP address, as your data traffic passes through an external server before reaching the requested page.
One VPN we highly recommend for anonymously downloading files is ExpressVPN. It is a very secure and privacy-conscious VPN provider that offers fast download speeds!
Read the rest of the article below for more information on how to download files anonymously and securely. Among other things, it is important that you consider whether a file is legal before you download it. We will also talk about this in the article.
Concerns can arise with file downloads, as well as with any other online activity. First, you will probably want to download files as anonymously and securely as possible. Torrent networks are very useful, but for example, they can be infested with malicious people interested in your personal data. Secondly, when you download torrents, you will ask yourself: is it legal? Will I be fined? They are doubts that we will address in this article.
As for the main focus of this article – namely security and anonymity when downloading – we will talk about VPNs. A VPN is a very useful tool for improving your level of privacy and security while downloading files. So, here we will show you how to use this handy tool to download torrents more securely and anonymously.
Anonymous download with a VPN
The principle behind P2P networks and torrents is the exchange of online data between users, from one computer to another. Commonly in this sense we speak of “download” and “upload”. When you download a file from a torrent site, the torrenting program sends you the file from other users. These users have the file on their computer. They are the uploader (called “seeder”), while you are the downloader (called “leecher”).
It’s a useful process, but consider one thing: based on your IP address, others on the torrent network can identify you. The privacy and protection of your personal data are very important. For this reason, it is recommended that you always connect to a VPN when going online from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
A VPN connection encrypts your data traffic and redirects it through an external server. This encryption service provides extra protection against hackers and spyware, often found on torrent networks. In addition, a VPN protects your personal data and guarantees you a certain degree of anonymity. When you browse the internet with a VPN, you do so from the IP address of an external server.
Therefore, others, such as hackers and websites, will not be able to see your real IP address. This way, your online activities will not be traceable to you. The uses of a VPN are varied, and there are many VPN providers as well.
Important: Remember that downloading illegal files remains prohibited and punishable even when using a VPN. Therefore, just download legal content. We will provide you with more information on this later in this article.
Get started with a VPN
Getting started with a VPN is easy. Follow the six simple steps below and you will be protected by a VPN:
- Choose a good and reliable VPN provider and create an account on the VPN website. We recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download the VPN software from the official website of your chosen provider.
- Install the VPN software.
- Log in to the VPN software.
- Select the desired VPN server.
- Activate the VPN and your data traffic will be encrypted. At this point, you can download files anonymously and securely.
You probably won’t even notice you’re connected to a VPN. It’s a program that you activate and run in the background on your computer, laptop, tablet or phone. When the VPN connection is active, you can browse the internet as you always have, but in a much more anonymous and secure way.
Tip: As we said, you won’t experience any major inconvenience using a VPN. However, redirecting to an external server and encryption can make your connection slower. However, you can usually solve the problem by relying on a good VPN with fast connections, such as ExpressVPN.
Hide your IP address while downloading
Some people who torrent illegally, or stream movies and series with services like Popcorn Time or Kodi, use a VPN to hide their IP address. Copyright organizations fail to keep track of their online activities.
Of course, a VPN shouldn’t be used for illegally uploading and downloading music, movies and TV series. However, downloading files from a torrent site isn’t necessarily illegal. A lot of legal and usable content can also be found through P2P networks.
When is anonymous downloading via torrent and P2P illegal?
Online downloading from torrent sites and P2P networks is not in itself illegal. But when you download files, be sure to comply with copyright laws. If certain content is copyrighted, and you upload or download it, you are acting illegally. In short, illegality depends on the content in question.
Torrenting websites are where you find trackers that allow you to download files. This is not a complicated system. But it is important that you know one thing: these sites are being targeted by anti-piracy campaigns.
Some torrent sites, being used to trade illegal materials, have created a bad reputation with organizations defending copyright. The best known examples are KickAss Torrents and The Pirate Bay. On The Pirate Bay, users often share and download copyrighted materials such as movies, TV series and music. The same happens on many sites that offer an alternative to The Pirate Bay.
Governments are constantly trying to shut down these torrent sites, which often change the location of their servers as a result. Furthermore, you may not find your favourite torrent site active. The efforts of internet providers to block or close torrent sites are many. But there are still active and safe torrent sites.
In an increasing number of countries, copyright organizations are gathering information about who is active on torrent sites and streaming services. They monitor the IP addresses of those who illegally upload and download movies, TV series, books and music, or who use illegal streaming services.
Thanks to the tracking of these IPs, they have even started to fine users in some countries. That’s why some downloaders have started using VPNs to hide their IP address.
However, remember that before downloading any file you should always inform yourself about the copyright laws in your country, taking action to respect them.
Some actions generally considered illegal are:
- Share or download software, such as games, on torrent sites.
- Download or share copyrighted movies and series.
- Share or download music without paying royalties.
Legality of torrent and P2P programs
Yes, downloading from platforms like BitTorrent and Utorrent is legal. You can download a software patch, a game demo, or a movie trailer. In these cases the download is not illegal, because there is no copyright infringement. As we said, downloading becomes illegal when the downloaded content is copyrighted.
It may not be easy to tell whether a file is copyrighted or not. As a general rule, if you can buy it on any site, it is also protected by copyright.
The best VPNs for torrents, P2P and downloads
For a secure and anonymous internet connection while downloading files or other online activities, it is wise to use a VPN. Unfortunately, not all VPN services are compatible with P2P downloading. That’s why we list three VPN providers below that allow you to download (torrent) anonymously and provide secure, stable, and fast connections.
So let’s break down the best VPNs for torrenting!
1. ExpressVPN to download files anonymously
ExpressVPN is an ideal VPN for downloading torrents. The provider has no legal obligation to share information about its users with third parties. The owners made the strategic decision to register the company in the British Virgin Islands – a true privacy paradise. Here, companies are not required to keep logs with their users’ online activity. ExpressVPN claims that it does not store any type of user log.
The provider tops our overall ranking of the best VPNs. We must point out that the service is high-end, both for the quality and for the price. It’s not cheap, but it offers premium, secure, high quality, ultra-fast connections that seem made for anonymous downloading. These are all essential features for downloading large files.
The customer support service (24/7) is reliable, and the applications are easy to use. Another factor not to be underestimated is the 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to try the service risk-free.
2. NordVPN for anonymous download
NordVPN is based in Panama. This means that the VPN is not legally obliged to keep user logs. Therefore, it will not log your online activities.
It offers a secure connection, which will guarantee you an excellent level of anonymity online. NordVPN allows you to browse online with six other people for just one subscription.
More importantly, it is compatible with P2P downloading. Offers special torrent download servers. These servers are very fast and allow you to download files in no time.
3. Surfshark to download files anonymously
Surfshark is a great option for downloaders who want to have more privacy and security without breaking the bank. In fact, it’s truly one of the cheapest paid VPNs on the market.
Contrary to what the low price might suggest, Surfshark makes no compromises on security and privacy. In fact, like ExpressVPN it is officially registered in the British Virgin Islands – which means it doesn’t store user logs under no obligation to do so.
In addition, its servers offer strong encryption, great protocols and a great balance between speed and security. Therefore, Surfshark allows you to securely and anonymously download large torrent files.
Finally, Surfshark includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to try the service before binding yourself.
Why not use a free VPN for torrenting?
In addition to paid VPNs, there are also some free VPNs. They are attractive in that they do not require an immediate financial outlay. However, we do not recommend them for a variety of reasons.
First, most free VPNs keep logs of enabling and disabling the secure connection. This is a very damaging factor for your online anonymity. Also, free VPNs have a high level of traffic, which is why your bandwidth is limited. As a result, it will be really difficult to download files because your connection is reduced by the VPN you use.
Another reason to avoid downloading with free VPNs is that many of them don’t support torrenting.
Ultimately, paid VPNs, in addition to hiding your connection, also offer you additional protection on a general level. Most VPNs include additional security features like the kill switch, which cuts your internet connection if you lose your connection to the VPN.
So the best thing for you if you want to use torrents is to subscribe to a paid VPN service.
Alternative Download Methods
Would you rather use methods other than VPNs for anonymous download? Advanced users have alternative methods such as the Tor browser, BTguard or a seedbox (remote computer for rent) available. Tor is an anonymous internet browser that fragments and encodes your internet traffic, making it unreadable; therefore, it represents a valid alternative for anonymous download.
However, many people prefer VPNs because Tor is less easy to use and runs slower. When you download torrents through Tor, the whole network slows down. Tor’s capacity is limited, and when many people download torrents simultaneously, the network becomes overloaded.
Additionally, download speeds are often significantly lower. And finally, Tor does not guarantee 100% anonymity.
You can use a VPN to anonymously download files from torrent networks. Thanks to VPN encryption, it will be much more difficult for outsiders to control you while downloading. Even if you monitor the IP addresses of the downloaders, you will not be able to see your personal IP address.
Only the IP address assigned to you by the VPN will be visible. This way, your data and privacy will be much more protected from hackers, spyware and other potential “enemies”.
Not all VPN providers allow downloads on torrent sites or through P2P networks. One possible reason is to prevent users from downloading illegal material. Depending on the country where the VPN provider is registered, illegal downloading may or may not cause them problems with the authorities.
In some cases, a VPN provider may allow downloads to selected servers. It all depends on the location of the servers, and on the applicable legislation in the countries where they are located.
If a VPN service allows downloads and is of a good standard, it usually offers the ability to download files anonymously and securely. By choosing ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Surfshark, you will be able to download torrents safely and without stress!
Downloading Files Anonymously: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any doubts about the anonymous download? Check out the questions below. Click on a question to directly view the answer.
How can I download files anonymously?
With a VPN, you can download torrents anonymously and securely, without your IP address being visible. A VPN protects your IP address and encrypts your internet data traffic.
Which is the best VPN for anonymous download?
To download files anonymously, we recommend ExpressVPN. It is a very secure, fast and totally privacy focused VPN. With ExpressVPN, you can download files quickly.
Can I use a free VPN to download files?
We don’t recommend using free VPNs if you want to download files. They are often unreliable and keep logs with data. They also limit the bandwidth available to you due to heavy server traffic, making downloading difficult.
Is download files illegal?
It depends on the content you want to download. Downloading online via torrent sites and P2P networks is not in itself illegal. However, some files are copyright protected. It is illegal to download copyrighted content.