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Is P2P Safe & Legal?

Is P2P Safe & Legal?
Written by Isso Jawad

Is P2P safe? Peer-to-peer protocol, better known as P2P, is technique mainly used by file sharing and torrent programs. It allows users to directly share files stored on their computers without the need for a centralized server. Each peer is an end-user’s computer. P2P needs an Internet connection. Otherwise, you will not be able to share those files. The problem with this technique is that your ISP can easily eavesdrop on what content you are sharing with others, especially when torrenting. So, how can you safely use P2P without getting caught?
 
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Is P2P Safe – A List of Peer-to-peer Programs

You might be using P2P without even knowing. If you use any of the programs below, you are in fact deploying Peer-to-peer protocol to send and receive files from and to other computer connected to the Internet. Note that some of the P2P applications I’ve listed below might not be functioning any longer.

  • Bittorrent
  • uTorrent
  • eMule
  • LimeWire
  • Shareza
  • Kaaza
  • Ares
  • Morpheus
  • Napster
  • iMesh
  • Frostwire
  • Vuze
  • Skype

Is P2P Safe and legal?

Well, there are no clear guidelines as to what files you can share and with whom. Legislation related to file sharing varies from one country to another. Even if you have legally purchased a movie, music album, or software, you might not be legally allowed to share that file with others. In other words, you are not free to do whatever you want with your possessions. The music industry went as far as filing lawsuits against college students who shared music files on their local campus networks.

Also, keep in mind that whenever you are using P2P, you are giving others direct access to files on your personal computer. While you can manually chose which files you want to share, some hackers might exploit unsuspecting victims via Peer-to-peer. Always close the P2P application when you are not using it.

Tips for Safe P2P File Sharing

  1. Turn your computer’s firewall on.
  2. Make sure that you are using reliable antivirus software. You can never be absolutely sure whether the file you are downloading contains malware, trojans, or viruses.
  3. Manually scan the files you have downloaded before installing or using them.
  4. Never install, or use, P2P applications at work, even if your office’s Internet speed is ultra-fast. You could potentially compromise sensitive files and break office rules/regulations in the process. Downloading the latest Hollywood blockbuster is simply not worth it.
  5. Only use reliable and trustworthy P2P clients.
  6. Do not share all your files. If you do, you can put a strain on your Internet connection as well as end up sharing private information with strangers. Designate a special folder on your computer and put the files you wish to share in it.
  7. Finally, and most importantly, use VPN. More on that below.

Use VPN for Safe P2P File Sharing

If you are downloading torrent files, you are probably not aware that anybody who is sharing the same file can see your public IP address. In other words, anyone can track which files you are torrenting. This includes your ISP and copyright protection groups. This is dangerous for two reasons. First, the idea of somebody actually eavesdropping on your online activities is downright intrusive. Additionally, your ISP or copyright trolls can use your IP address and send you copyright infringement claims. In some countries, P2P users have faced lengthy trials.

To hide your online identity, protect your privacy, and anonymously use P2P, you need VPN. A virtual private encrypts all of your traffic and sends it through a private tunnel away from prying eyes. Nobody will be able to trace which files you are sharing when you are connected to a VPN server.

Setting up VPN can be achieved by downloading a VPN app on your Windows PC, Mac, iOS, or Android. Launch the app and then connect to a VPN server for an extra layer of privacy.

Best VPN Providers For Safe P2P

You need a VPN service that neither keeps any logs of your browsing activities and neither has download caps. Free VPN providers, unfortunately, do not provide either of these features. If you are serious about your privacy, I suggest using ExpressVPN or any of the following top VPN providers for safe and secure P2P file sharing.

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Is P2P Safe? The Wrap Up

There is a certain element of risk involved whenever you are using P2P, whether you are legally sharing files or not. Using VPN will guarantee that nobody will be able to spy on what you are sharing via peer-to-peer.

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Isso Jawad

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