Many people ask me about torrents, how they work, and are they safe? Where can I find a safe torrent site? How do I avoid malware and viruses when downloading torrents? I spare these people the ethical opinions and legal disclaimers when it comes to torrents, for it is not up to me to tell you whether you should or should not download torrents. I’m certain if you are reading this article you’ve already made your own decision regarding the morals of downloading copyright materials and violating intellectual property rights (are you feeling guilty? Just messing with you!) 🙂 The bottom line in this case is that if you are going to be downloading torrents you want to be downloading a safe torrent, one that will not infect your computer with malware or cause other problems. This article offers a few simple pieces of advice that you can follow on torrent sites to ensure that you have a safe torrent experience.
So, how can I make sure my download is a safe torrent and not a virus?
Tip 1, surefire advice to make sure you download a safe torrent file.
Pay attention to the comments. If a torrent has no comments then it would be in your best interest to avoid it. Quality torrents will have been downloaded and tested by many regular users who leave feedback, you should be able to get a solid feel for a torrent based entirely on the comment thread that follows it. The user feedback will often share whether the torrent is as described, or even whether or not users have discovered malware within it. Comments are pretty reliable as generally only experienced users are spending time commenting. Make it a rule for yourself: no comments, no download.
Tip 2, pay attention.
Download torrents with high seeds. Now this is a good rule to have just to make sure you get the fastest download speeds. In addition torrents with high seeds are generally legitimate (but NOT always!) You can’t just trust seeders blindly, so remember everything you are downloading is at your own risk!
Tip 3, work in a sandbox.
What? A sandbox you say! Yes, and rather then go into detail explaining it here I’ll lead you to the next best thing a post on how you can have a sandbox on your own system that will protect your critical system files and operating system from malicious threats by quarantining them from the get go. Read this article “Sandbox technology, what is it?” to find out more. Or take a look at my recommended sandbox software at the VMware Storefront Homepage, VMware download.
Tip 4, stay away from certain torrents.
There are certain torrents that will be targeted for malware more than others. Yep, you guessed it porn is certainly one of them. But even more so are software programs and other torrents that require a file to be executed on your system. I’d be very wary about downloading software from a torrent site, the executable which you give permission to run could easily be bait for a virus. Another thing to be on your guard for is files that would not normally run as an executable that attempt to, such as movies or images. I have seen movies that run as an executable and tell you they need to download a codec in order to play on your system. Don’t fall for traps like this! Don’t ever let unknown programs start downloading or installing onto your system. This leads me to my next and final tip.
Tip 5, scan everything!
Whatever antivirus solution you are using, make sure you individually SCAN EVERYTHING before viewing, installing, listening or executing! You owe it to yourself and the safety of your system to take an extra moment and scan every file that comes into your system. I recommend AVG as a top notch antivirus solution – if you aren’t paying for quality protection, and you are downloading torrents regularly then I highly recommend you invest in a quality anti-malware solution. Info Carnivore can offer you a special discount on AVG, where you can save up to 20%. Follow this link for details:
Pay Attention and you can download a safe torrent everytime!
If you found this article helpful you may also be interested in the write up “Do the authorities plant torrents?”