Is uTorrent Really Safe? How To Use?

How Safe is uTorrent

uTorrent is among the most widely used torrent management software in the world. Developed and used since 2005, the owner of uTorrent is BitTorrent, Inc. uTorrent has more than 150 million active users globally outside of China, making it the most widely used torrenting client, behind China’s Xunlei. 

While many consider uTorrent a solid companion for downloading legal content from the internet, many use it for downloading copyright content illegally. So, many are concerned with a simple question: Is uTorrent safe? The answer is: Yes, but not exactly. 

Torrenting, BitTorrent Protocol and uTorrent 

Torrenting is a process of uploading and downloading files on the internet through the peer-to-peer BitTorrent network. In simple terms, torrenting allows you to download files from the internet directly from other user’s devices on the network (called seeding). Users can also upload files from their devices for others in the network to download (peering). 

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer communication protocol that allows users to share their files in a decentralized network. The BitTorrent Protocol facilitates the process of torrenting. 

uTorrent is a torrent management software or a torrenting client with which users can connect to the BitTorrent network and share their files. uTorrent helps users download torrent files quickly and easily without requiring any centralized server to store the files. 

uTorrent has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages  

  • uTorrent is free, and although it has a pro version, it does not cost much. 
  • It has a fast file upload and download speed. 
  • uTorrent is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. 

Disadvantages 

  • uTorrent has ads, 
  • Paid Version(Without Ads)
  • Sometimes files contain viruses.
  • The biggest disadvantage of uTorrent is that it is used to share copyright content illegally. 

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How do you use uTorrent?

  1. Download and install uTorrent
  2. Find a torrent source.
  3. Search for the Torrent file. 
  4. Download the torrent file.
  5. Open the downloaded torrent file and allow uTorrent to open up its contents. 
  6. Choose the contents of the torrent file and click on Ok. 
  7. uTorrent will download your file.  

Is uTorrent Safe?

is uTorrent safe

As a software program for P2P file-sharing, uTorrent is safe. If you download the software from a trusted source like the company’s website, you will not risk any virus infections on your device. However, there have been some digital safety issues regarding uTorrent over the years, which we will discuss later. 

More importantly, you should not be relieved if you use uTorrent as it is not completely safe. Although uTorrent itself does not have any major issues, the files downloaded from uTorrent can contain viruses and malware. 

As the files downloaded over the BitTorrent network using uTorrent do not have any supervision, hackers and other malign actors can easily attach a harmful program on the torrent file that you download to your computer. This makes using uTorrent not safe. 

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Some uTorrent safety issues over the years

Here are some of the major digital safety issues that uTorrent has had over the years. 

  1. In March 2015, uTorrent was accused of automatically installing an application called Epic Scale. The application mined cryptocurrency by using the power of your CPU and GPU hardware in the background. 
  2. In March 2016, an update of the Transmission torrent client, which is a feature of uTorrent, was infected with ransomware. This ransomware would hold the system of the user hostage by encrypting his hard disk and demanding bitcoin payments as a ransom in order to remove the virus. 

These are some of the cases of uTorrent playing with the digital safety of its users. However, such cases are quite rare, and if you use uTorrent from the official source, these kinds of problems rarely appear. However, the problems are pretty common if you are using an untrusted or unlicensed version of uTorrent. 

Will uTorrent give your computer a virus?

uTorrent itself will have little chance of giving your computer a virus. The real virus comes with the torrent files you download from a peer computer using uTorrent. As there is no company or a regulatory body that checks the torrent files for download, you will not know which files have malware in them and end up downloading the files anyway. 

One of the ways hackers can utilize torrent files is to spread viruses and malware through these files, gain access to your system, steal your data, compromise your privacy, ask for ransom, or sell it to others illegally.  

Will uTorrent harm your computer?

No, uTorrent will not harm your computer. However, you should be very careful of the files that you download using uTorrent. Some of them may be illegal, and others may be infected with malware. It is these files that actually harm your computer. 

Some malicious torrent files will instantly crash your computer, while some will quietly install background data, malware, and other processes that harm your device.  

uTorrent is perfectly legal to use. It is owned and operated by a legal US company. What is not legal is using uTorrent to download copyrighted content from the internet without the content owner’s consent. 

Uploading and downloading illegal copyrighted content will get you in trouble with the content owner, your ISP, or a law enforcement agency. In most cases, you will be fined; however, you might even go to jail in some severe cases, depending on the country you live in. 

How you can use uTorrent safely

Since downloading content with uTorrent is not completely safe, you need to use uTorrent more securely. To use uTorrent safely and securely, you need to follow these methods.

Hide IP Address on uTorrent

To hide your IP address while using uTorrent, follow these steps. 

  • Open uTorrent on your PC. 
  • Click “Options.
  • Scroll down and select “Preferences.
open preferences on uTorrent
  • Click on “Advanced.
go to advanced
  • Select the “ipfilter.enable” button, and under the value bar, click “True.
select the ipfilter enable to true
  • Finally, click on “Ok.

Use A VPN

A VPN (Virtual Proxy Network) is a software application that will hide your IP address and prevent other parties (site owners, ISPs, governments) from knowing your online browsing history. Furthermore, enabling a VPN while using uTorrent will also help you get rid of ads to a large extent.  

As your data is routed through an encrypted funnel, no one, not even your ISP, can see your IP address and track your location if you use a VPN. This helps in using uTorrent as some ISP and government regulations are severely strict when it comes to torrenting. 

So, to avoid issues such as getting your internet slowed down, your data being sent to agencies, or sold without your consent, use a VPN while torrenting using uTorrent. 

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Use an Antivirus Software

As downloading files from uTorrrent has a high risk of getting your system infected with a virus. So, it is natural to add a powerful antivirus software that scans, identifies and removes the threats of any malware infecting your system. It would be best to scan every file you download from uTorrent for any viruses with the antivirus software. 

Quite a few antivirus software are available that provide advanced level threat protection. After using the antivirus software, you do not need to be worried about getting any infections on your system. 

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uTorrent Alternatives

Here are some of the alternatives to uTorrent that you can use if you do not want uTorrent on your computer. 

qBittorrent

qBittorrent is also a torrent client similar to uTorrent. It has several advantages over uTorrent, which may prompt you to consider qBittorrent as a good alternative to uTorrent. 

  • qBittorrent is open source while uTorrent is proprietary. It means that in case of any issues, you can see where the problem on the code is on qBittorrent, which is not the same in uTorrent. 
  • qBittorrent is generally considered faster than uTorrent.  
  • This torrent client supports plugins as opposed to uTorrent. 
  • qBittorrent does not display ads, but uTorrent does. To remove ads on uTorrent, you have to upgrade to the pro version or use a VPN.

Deluge

Deluge is another alternative if you are tired of using uTorrent. Some of its features include: 

  • It is also an open-source torrent client, unlike uTorrent. 
  • Deluge does not display any annoying ads. 
  • Deluge is also somewhat faster than uTorrent. 

Vuze

Vuze is a torrenting client that can be a good alternative to uTorrent, especially if you want to download a large number of torrent files. Although it does not have many advantages over uTorrent and uses up more than 50% more memory than uTorrent, it can operate more than 3000 torrents at a time. 

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In A Nutshell

In a nutshell, uTorrent as software is safe. However, you need to use it very carefully and safely to download files from the internet. As you download files from uTorrent, you may end up downloading malware on your system. Another crucial thing while using uTorrent is to not let your ISP notice your torrenting activities. You can hide your IP from uTorrent, use a VPN, or a browser that protects anonymity like the Tor browser.

Moreover, you should also use antivirus software to regularly scan the torrent files and your system to prevent any malware in your system. If you perform all these actions, then uTorrent is absolutely safe for use. For any additional queries, suggestions, or comments, please address them in the comment section below. 

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