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The Torrent protocol is one of the most popular and effective ways to share large amounts of data. Many people use them to illegally obtain movies, games, and applications, but there are dozens of legitimate uses too.
Since it is a peer-to-peer network, it is important to learn how to use your BitTorrent client safely and anonymously to avoid leaking your personal credentials to other people on the network. In this guide, we will show you how to safely and anonymously use a Torrent client on your Mac. We go through the overview of what torrenting is, how to set a client, what a VPN is, and some tips on how to stay safe and secure.
Table of Contents
What Is Torrent?
Torrent is a P2P (peer-to-peer) protocol that allows for a user in the network to simultaneously upload (referred to as seeding) and download (referred to as leeching) chunks of data for a specific file. This differs from a regular direct download where all users connect to a single web server to download the same file.
Torrenting has the benefit of distributed connectivity. This means downloaders are not dependent on a single server, but rather the group of other peers they are connected to.
If you want to learn how to torrent on your Mac, read on!
Secure Yourself With a VPN
The downside of torrent is that you are connecting directly to another person's computer and they are connecting directly to yours. This means that torrent users should take extra precautions when using torrent clients to both download and upload files. It is extremely important to protect your privacy and anonymity while using torrents. In our experience, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are excellent options. You may also wish to try PureVPN.
We highly recommend that you check out this guide where we explain the best practices and services you can use to stay secure and anonymous while torrenting on your Mac.
Getting a Torrent Client
Downloading torrents is generally comprised of two parts: a client and a torrent file. A client is simply a program that you use to manage your file downloads, connection, and other settings.
During the course of conducting research for this guide, BitTorrent and uTorrent worked fantastic for us.
BitTorrent is our first torrent client of choice. Its simple to use, even simpler to set-up. Once you have it running on your Mac, you will never have to go back to checking it again. Its functions seamlessly, and the best thing about it is - it is free!
uTorrent makes it second on the list. While the interface is similar to BitTorrent's, in our experience, we learned it has some bugs which reduce its efficiency. However, if BitTorrent is not for you, you can comfortably choose uTorrent as your primary torrent client, it does the job well.
Finding the Right Torrent File
A torrent file (sometimes referred to as a magnet file) is a very small file containing information of which users (peers) you can connect to. These peers will have all or some parts of the file you are requesting. Your client will then ask the peers for parts of the file which they can provide to you.
I hope that you use this guide for information purposes and not to engage in any illegal activity, piracy or content theft. If you have any questions or any requests for guides related to torrenting, leave a comment down below and I will hopefully be able to answer it.
Nice to see qBittorrent on OS X. It’s one of the best around and I used it quite a bit on Windows. Transmission is my overall favorite, though. It’s very clean and easy to use, it seems like torrents download faster with it too, but maybe that’s just me. I’ll test a few others out.
I’ve been torrenting for many years now and it’s a lot faster and more reliable than it used to be. I wouldn’t have recommended using a VPN for torrenting in the past but given how fast VPN’s can be these days, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to speeds and also keeps you safe. Nord is great pick, by the way.
I’m just now learning about torrents, a website provided me a torrent download and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Seeing that you recommend a VPN for this, am I right to assume that torrents can be unsafe? How can I be sure I’m not downloading something malicious? I think I trust the website offering the download.
I've been using Nord vpn for torrenting/streaming since 2019 and I could usually get about 260mbps download speed with VPN and around 390mbps without it, but ± a week ago I saw that they added NordLynx protocol, so I tried it and got 380mbps download speed, so it worth testing it for sure... https://macinfo.us/nord-torrent/