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Bittorrent: Protect yourself!

Article # 633 

First, and foremost, this article assumes you’re familiar with bit-torrent, and are familiar with bit-torrent clients. OK, I’ll cover a client in my article, which I use called Transmission. To read up on this software and learn more about its features, see the links below.

Choosing A Bit-torrent Client

If you are a Ubuntu or Mac user, I suggest using Transmission. It’s the best client I’ve come to know, and it’s easy to use, and it works really well. Nuff said. Download it, install it, and by default it will handle your torrent file when you click on it, asking you where you want to store your file(s), and what you want to do with the file once it’s yours. Slick as snot, and easy as pie.

If your a Windows user, (first, I feel sorry for you that you took the blue pill) simply Google “Bit-torrent Client for Windows”. Find a client, and read up on it’s features and reviews. I apologize for not giving you more information for Windows users, but I don’t use Windows, so my input would be mute.

Now I have a client, what do I use it for?

Transmission is the client that downloads the contents of a torrent, or seeds the contents to other clients looking to download from the sources. Anything from movies, music, software, images, documents, books and more can be shared through the bit-torrent client. You have virtually anything your need/want at your fingertips, if you know where to find it.

Before you wreck your ship…

Probably the greatest thing about using bit-torrent is the wide variety of files available on the internet. Probably the worst thing about using bit-torrent is the wide variety of viruses available on the internet as well.

As so much as it is open to currently download movies, music, software and all the other fun love out there, it’s also a breeding ground for hackers, worms, viruses, spammers, and ANTI-torrent companies hire vast teams of lawyers and investigators for the sole purpose of looking to find where and WHO are using bit-torrent to download copyrighted materials.
Here’s an entry from regarding bit-torrents and the dangers:

Them damned hackers…

First off, many ‘rogue’ torrent sites are hosting ads from less legitimate advertising networks which tend to be used by “shady” sites such as gambling and pornography websites.
These ads are highly likely to contain “malware”, which is software (including, but not limited to viruses and worms) designed to cause damage. Malware is written these days to make money by infecting computers, and so shady sites often do this as a cheap way to make money, and they apparently don’t care whether they cause harm!
So many torrent sites are capable of infecting a computer simply by you visiting it, especially if you’re not protecting yourself with good Internet security software and by avoiding using the Internet Explorer web browser.

Beyond the potential risk of simply visiting a torrent site, many of the files a person might try to download from those sites are themselves infected with dangerous malware.
It’s well known that Apple’s Mac computers as well as the wide variety of Linux computers, including but not limited to Ubuntu, Gentoo, Red Hat, et al; ┬átend to have far fewer threats than Windows computers do, but the biggest threats for Macs that I recall from the last few years have all come from downloading illegal copyrighted material from sites like these.
And it’s a far bigger problem for Microsoft Windows computers! One study I’ve heard of says that as much as 47% of all “zero-day malware” (one of the most dangerous kinds) is distributed through BitTorrent!

Lastly, beyond the potential threats to your computer posed by torrent sites and other file trading sites, there’s a very real risk to your wallet.

Them damned lawyers…

The recording industry, including the film and music industries have been very aggressively pursuing people who do illegal file sharing and are happy to sue you for a lot of money if they catch you. And believe me, they can afford better lawyers than you or I!

Internet Service Providers will often shut down your Internet connection if they detect you’ve been sharing files illegally, so there’s that risk too.

Go remotely young man…

If you choose to download using bittorrent, do it from a remote source, not your home or work. Like a cyber cafe or another free WiFi zone, or public WiFi access point that doesn’t have your name and address tied to it. Watchers can’t find you if you download remotely, it will only send information of the place you downloaded from, making it very tough for them to pinpoint your activities.

Protect thy ports, young man..deny them their bread!

Peer Guardian is perhaps the most popular IP blocking software tool on the web. Peer Guardian is primarily used by the Peer2Peer sharing community to block the RIAA, MPAA and other organizations from tracking a sharer’s IP address and online activity. In addition to blocking IP addresses, Peer Guardian also can block ad ware, spyware, government IP’s and educational IP’s. Peer Guardian is open source and originally developed by Phoenix Labs. The latest version is Peer Guardian 3, however since Peer Guardian 3 is only supported on MS Windows Vista, Peer Guardian 2 continues to be the most popular version.
Using PeerGuardian makes good sense. Damned good sense. Really, I’m not just promoting the software, I’m telling you it’s just the right thing to do. Like wearing a condom when having sex. No-brain er, right? Yet, the teen pregnancy rates are.. Oh, sorry that’s a tangent, and we’re not here for tangents, are we?

Anyhow, PeerGuardian is available for all OS’s, Mac, Linux, Windows… Just be sure to download the correct OS version for your machine.

Don’t take MY word for it, read on for yourself about the PeerGuardian Reviews
With that said, here’s some other great places to find those juicy movie torrents:

Transmission for Windows/Mac/Linux

Download Transmission

Torrents for Movies – Great collection of quality 1080p movies with a good peer base for nice, fast, juicy downloads.

Torrents for TV Shows

EZTV – TV Torrents Online EZTV – TV Torrents Online – Huge archive of TV shows, with current listings and older series. Good speeds, and great search capability.