Torrent trackers have minimal built-in security, so cybercriminals often exploit system vulnerabilities to install malware on users’ devices. Through dangerous pop-ups, fake links, and infected downloads, hackers can hijack your files and steal your sensitive information.
At thepiratebayproxylist you can find a current and working list of torrent sites. However, don’t forget that through a VPN the speed will be slower. Regardless of which torrent tracker you use, you risk infecting your device if you don’t protect your connection with a quality VPN, which also blocks malicious links.
Torrent tip: If a link sends you to a page you weren’t expecting to see, close it as soon as possible. You may be redirected to a malicious site designed to attack your device with viruses or malware.
How to Choose The Best Torrent Tracker
Security is extremely important when downloading torrents. Torrent sites can contain infected ad banners and links that install malware on your device. In addition, your ISP may report you to the authorities even if you do not do any illegal activities online. To keep your data safe, protect your connection with a quality VPN service like ExpressVPN.
Reliability is also key, as torrent trackers are often prosecuted by government agencies because of copyright laws. The year the site was founded shows whether the tracker is reliable enough to continue to exist despite resistance from the authorities. Verified torrent trackers also have proxy/mirrors of the site, which you can use if the main resource is blocked.
Download speeds determine how fast you can get content to your device. I tested the speeds by downloading the same file from all torrent trackers while connected to the ExpressVPN server in Norway (which is where most torrent trackers are located).
The size of the library and the variety of content are also key factors because they show how easily you can find the content you are interested in. A quality torrent tracker offers many torrents for popular content, and each torrent should have a sufficient number of viewers (users who share a file). Torrents with a large number of sitters tend to download much faster. Popularity is easily determined by the monthly traffic to the site. The more people who view a site, the more likely it is to have a variety of content with a high number of sitters.
Can It Be Done Without Intermediaries?
In some cases, you can. Some ISPs are crafty and instead of blocking the full-fledged site by breaking the connection, they just make it look like it. For example, they substitute their response from a banned site. But you can try to filter out such anticipatory responses from the ISP and unblock all of your traffic. To do this you will need to know what dnscrypt and iptables are, or ask a friend who knows about them to help you set up your computer or home router.
Downloading torrents also attracts the attention of your ISP, who may report your activity to the copyright owner or law enforcement. Because downloading copyrighted content is illegal in many countries, legal action can result in fines and even jail time. In the UK and most EU countries, it is a criminal offense and carries huge fines and jail time. In the U.S., you can be fined up to $150,000.
While the authorities mainly prosecute site owners and the most active seers, you don’t want to take unnecessary risks lest you be caught accidentally at the wrong time while downloading a file from a torrent tracker. As a listener (when you download a file), you automatically become a sider (you distribute the file to other users). It is the process of distributing material that is illegal in most jurisdictions and will result in criminal prosecution for users caught doing so.
The privacy risks associated with downloading torrents do not end with legal problems. Anyone with your IP address can hack into your device, determine your physical location and identity, steal your identity, harass you, or even “prank” you by swatting.
Swatting – falsely calling the emergency services to engage the SWAT squad, targeting an innocent person – is, unfortunately, a common practice in the gaming community that has resulted in repeated deaths in the United States. If you download torrents without using a VPN to mask your real identity, your real IP address is exposed, resulting in a serious breach of privacy and personal security.