How to Download Torrents Safely in India

Published 2016-09-20 By: Aazim Akhtar

Implications  of Using Torrents In India

The Indian government has taken a stern action (again) to stop online piracy and this time it’s the torrent users that have come under the cosh. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), along with multiple Internet Service Providers, have started blocking several torrent websites.

Websites blockages are not new in India but even more worrisome is the warning message being shown on these blocked torrent URLs. According to the message, anyone who views, downloads, exhibits or duplicates copyright content on these URLs can be ‘imprisoned for 3 years and also ‘fined ₹300,000 Indian Rupees’ under Copyright Act of 1957.

 

How to download torrent safely in india

 

While this caution against the use of torrents in India seems harsh, there is also a lot of ambiguity surrounding the mentioned clauses. For starters, how will the government or ISP identify torrent downloader’s from other normal downloader’s? If someone accesses a torrent website by mistake, will they also be deemed criminals? How will the torrent users prosecuted? Will the government handle the entire situation?

These are some of the questions that every torrent user residing in India would like to be answered. The situation is aggravate even more so as there are numerous other crimes committed in India that are gone unnoticed by the authorities. This fact has been put to light by many torrent users on twitter:

 

Update: High Court of Bombay Provides Clarification Over Torrent Block

Amass the conflicting block over torrents in India and its accompanying penalties, High Court of Bombay has provided clarification that viewing pirated content won’t get users into trouble. The High Court has ruled that viewing a torrent magnet link, visiting torrent website, or streaming content online will not result in fines or imprisonment.

The High Court of Bombay has also ordered all ISPs across India to change warning message. The initial message stated that viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating content could lead to penalty and jail time. However, the new (changed) message now reads that ‘infringing or abetting infringement of copyright-protected content’ is punishable under this law.         infringing or abetting infringement of copyright-protected content

How Are You Caught While Using Torrents?

There are numerous clarifications that the Department of Telecommunications and the Indian government have to provide in response to this warning message. However, one of the ways ISPs and copyright trolls are able to track users of torrents is through their IP address.
Whenever you download or upload a torrent using a torrent client (such as uTorrent), your IP address is visible to everyone downloading the same torrent file. It’s through this IP address that copyright holders are able trace copyright infringers and ISP’s are able identify torrent users.

how can you caught by using torrent india

How to Download Torrents Safely in India?

You can protect your identity and safeguard your online privacy while using torrents in India using a VPN. A torrent VPN has this ability to cloak your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic. This way when download a torrent, your original IP address won’t be visible; instead the IP address from the VPN server will be shown.

Similarly, a VPN encrypts your entire web traffic using military grade encryption and tunnels the data through secure protocols, not allowing anyone to see what websites you visit or the contents you download of the internet.

Another advantage of using a VPN is that you can easily bypass blockages placed on torrent websites. In India, different websites and URLs are blocked by ISPs through DNS filtering or at internet gateways. So, when a user tries to access the website, he or she is blocked from doing so. That said, with a VPN by your side, you can spoof your virtual location and access blocked websites from anywhere.

Extratorrent Blocked in India

Over the years, numerous websites have been blocked in India. These websites usually pertained to pornography but torrent websites have also had their share of blockages. In wake of recent events, the popular torrent website, Extratorrent.cc, has been blocked at ISP level in India.

5 Best Extratorrent Alternatives

This news is just weeks after two of the biggest torrent sites, Kickass Torrents and Torrentz, were shut down. But there is no need to fret; there are various Extratorrent alternatives that you can use. To help you out, here are the top 5 alternatives:

  1. The Pirate Bay
  2. LimeTorrents
  3. isoHunt
  4. RARBG
  5. PopCorn Time

Final Words

In a nutshell, the new blockade on torrents has got many internet users worried in India. Anyone found downloading and distributing copyright material can find themselves in prison for up to 3 three years and also fined 300,000 Indian Rupees in the process.

According to different sources, the warning message is being shown on multiple torrent websites such as torrentdownloads.me, torrentlinks.net, btstorrent.cc, and various others. While the message has created a frenzy among torrent users in India, Extratorrent has been blocked by ISPs.

But with a VPN service, you can become anonymous over the internet, conceal your internet activities from internet service providers, and use torrents safely in India.

 

A privacy advocate by day and a binge-watcher by night, Aazim Akhtar loves to write about online security, internet freedom, and all the latest technological trends. Finding ways to secure any sensitive data and protect against existing and emerging cyber threats is his passion. Follow him on Twitter to stay in touch with his work!
Latest posts by Aazim Akhtar (Posts)

72 Responses to How to Download Torrents Safely in India

  1. Rahul says:

    hi aazim ,i have a inbuilt vpn in my windows 10 ,can i use this vpn for downloading movies from torrent,please also reply by mail

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Rahul,
      In theory, it should work. Do check for IP leakages as inbuilt VPNs do tend to reveal your true location.

  2. manthan says:

    is it safe to dwnload movies with these safe methods can i dwnload movie

  3. Ghansham says:

    i have downloaded .torrent file from a blogspot site also i have some .torrent files which i have downloaded before torrent sites banned. So my question is can i use those .torrent files which are downloaded from some other than torrent sites?

  4. subhodeep says:

    hi Aazim i got a free vpn that changes my ip address
    so will it be now to use torrent ??

    • Anonymous says:

      Never use a free VPN Service for this.Your IP address may be masked,but it is used to mask someone else’s IP Address.So,whenever he/she commits a cyber-crime,you IP address will be shown,and you will be fired for it.

      Always use paid VPN. They will never use your IP address and never clog on to your data.So go for Paid VPN.

  5. Ashok says:

    Is it safe to download torrent using website like seedr.cc they have mentioned that they use HTTPS SSL connection so no one can detect what file I am downloading from them

  6. Nikhil says:

    Can downloading torrent through tor be an alternative ???
    plzz reply

  7. Dhiraj says:

    Hi Aazim,
    Just want to know that if I have some VPN available with me, do I need to manually start the VPN every time I start my PC. As in my PC, uTorrent get started as soon as my PC gets start and if it have some Partially downloaded torrent in uTorrent client it may expose my original IP till the period I manually start VPN. Please provide your suggestion or alternatives on this.

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Dhiraj,
      Many VPN services have the option to automatically start as soon as you start your PC. You can check in the ‘Settings’ to select this option or inquire the support service of your VPN service to help you out.
      As for the second part of your question, yes your original IP will be exposed until you start your VPN service. Therefore, it’s better to connect a VPN first and then launch your uTorrent client.

  8. Vijay says:

    Downloading torrent without using bittorrent client and directly from zbigz can be alternative or not (without vpn as some of the vpn limits the download speed)?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hello Vijay,
      Although zbigz protects all your data through HTTPS protocol, I don’t think it can hide your original IP address. However, breaking HTTPS means literally breaking the internet. That said, we are a bit short on information to determine if this is a safe alternative to using Bittorrent client. Do let us know how this method has been working for you, we would love to add this to our post.

  9. MIkku says:

    Hey there Aazim – thanks for all your replies!

    Got 2 questions –

    1. Have they actually started to arrest/ catch / fine people who are downloading? Have they got the systems in place to catch all the people who are downloading movie torrents etc.?

    2. If the ISP or website does not show any warning message, can we continue to download from that website?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi MIkku,
      1. So far no news has come through if anyone has been caught or fined while downloading torrents. As far as the system goes, this is another gray area that the government or the court has to clarify.

      2. Not all ISPs are showing the warning message but that doesn’t mean that the law is not in place. I would suggest that you take all necessary precautions to safeguard your privacy.

  10. pratik says:

    i’ve downloaded a torrent of a movie listen to me marlon 2015 from yifi torrent. coz it was not available at any other site for free… but after that i came to know abut the blocking of torrent sites and i am regreting it now and i am afraid of getting caught… i’ve not downloaded the whole file but only the torrent file which was about 18.9 kb. so can they have my ip address and can trace my home??? i am frightened by those thoughts….

    one more question; i have my neighbor’s wifi password, so can i use there wifi from my laptop and download my file without getting caught
    ???

    • Anonymous_hacker says:

      lol pratik your neighbour wifi password wont do any good, even if their ip is reflected but your pc mac address too is there along with it 😛

  11. Rahul says:

    Hello, if i download free vpn app from play store and use that for torrenting, will that work ??. And which torrent sites you suggest right now after so many websites getting blocked? Just mail me their links…And please tell me if there’s 1% risk also…..

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hello Rahul,
      This should work as the VPN will encrypt all internet traffic being sent or received on your device. Do note that free VPN services are prone to IP and DNS leaks. Check your IP when you connect to a VPN, if it shows your location as that of the VPN server then there are no IP leaks.

      As far as blocked torrent websites go, some ISPs have implemented the block while others have not. You can check out the alternatives mentioned in the post above.

  12. Shivam Gupta says:

    Hey Azim,
    I use torrent sites to download games and they do not contain copyright so is it safe to download and im a kid still i have got no warning

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hey Shivam,
      According to the new updated message, the punishment is applicable on anyone who infringes copyrights. But it is better to take precautions and protect your privacy and identity while using torrents.

  13. Akarsh says:

    Hi Azim,
    I have enabled extension – ultrasurf – for my chrome browser. I have kept ultrasurf enabled always. Now, I download the torrent file (of movie) from chrome browser and download the movie from utorrent. Is it the safe approach?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Akarsh,
      It is better to use a VPN while downloading the torrent file from Chrome and also while downloading from uTorrent. Ultrasurf will only encrypt and hide your browsing and download history. But, it will not make you anonymous when you’re downloading the torrent file on uTorrent. This is because your original IP address will be visible and that’s how copyright troll tracks your original location.

  14. Krishna says:

    Can i download a game via torrent after their release date in India

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Krishna,
      As per the latest updates, if the game is protected by copyrights then I am afraid it would be illegal to download the content.

  15. Javed says:

    Hi Aazim,

    Can I download Tutorials through Torrent for personal use or Education purpose ?
    Does it is liable for punishment ?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Javed,
      There is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the law that deems torrent users as punishable. What is legal and what is illegal to download via torrents has to be clarified by the government or DoT or the copyright holders. Sadly, we are in the dark about this aspect just like you.

  16. Jason says:

    Is there any alternative other than a paid vpn?? I checked that free vpn are not safe, and I cannot afford to buy a vpn monthly or yearly as I’m just a student now !

  17. MIkku says:

    Hi aazim –

    what do you make of the RIL jio network??

    My friends have jio, and they are like downloading 20/ 25 GB of torrents every night at amazing speeds every night! What about the ban and tracking there?

    There seems to be no warning there!

    Regards

  18. Shibalik says:

    I really don’t understand, if t is such an issue, then ISP should block all the torrent websites. As long it is available, no one should have any issue with downloading.

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Shibalik,
      You make an excellent point! Sadly, not all the ISPs are blocking torrents and those that have blocked torrent websites, are in a minority. We’ll just to wait and see how this develops.

  19. Ankit says:

    Hey man,
    I’ve downloaded a software/browser from torproject.com and the browser shows a different IP address than the actual one. But in chrome it shows my actual location. Am I still safe?
    Another question is if I use bitorrent for downloads using tor browser will I be still at risk? Because only the browser difference is showing my IP address.
    What should I do?

    Thanks in advance

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hey Ankit,
      Tor Browser is excellent to secure your privacy while surfing the internet. But, it will only secure your traffic that is sent over the Tor browser, not on other browsers. This is the reason why your real IP address is visible on Chrome but not on Tor Browser.

      As far as securing your downloads over BitTorrent goes, Tor Browser won’t hide your IP address. Tor itself doesn’t advise the use of torrent file sharing over its service. Here is an extract from their website stating the reason why you shouldn’t use Torrent over Tor:

      “Torrent file-sharing applications have been observed to ignore proxy settings and make direct connections even when they are told to use Tor. Even if your torrent application connects only through Tor, you will often send out your real IP address in the tracker GET request, because that’s how torrents work. Not only do you deanonymize your torrent traffic and your other simultaneous Tor web traffic this way, you also slow down the entire Tor network for everyone else.”

  20. Jiten says:

    Hi Aazim
    I am using avast VPN , how do I check weather is working fine i.e. doing the task of hiding my ip address .
    Regards,

  21. manali says:

    hey, can u suggest some torrent websites which are not banned/blocked in india?
    it is less work than to enable VPS and do the process.
    thank u

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi manali,
      The websites that are blocked vary from ISP to ISP. Some providers have not blocked any torrent website while some have blocked them.

  22. MIkku says:

    Hi

    Read in the times of india that the courts have said that merely viewing or downloading a pirated movie is not a crime, as long as it is not duplicated or sold or exhibited.

    Does this mean we could download for our own personal viewing?

    Also, who exactly would have a problem if we say download an english film? Is that producer or studio really going to waste time and energy trying to catch 1 person for 1 download?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi MIkku,
      All your questions are valid and like we said, there are many grey areas and ambiguity surrounding the penalties stated under the Copyright Law. These questions need to be clarified by the government or the DoT. However, we would still advise you take all the necessary precautions before downloading torrents, even for personal use.

      As far as downloading English movies go, yes studios don’t have the time or energy to penalize all infringers but that hasn’t stopped them from doing so before. If they wish, they can go to great lengths catch all the perpetrators.

  23. abhichandra says:

    if i use yts torrentz will i get arrested but it dint show any warning sign like that pls reply soon

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hey abhichandra,
      The warning message is being shown by some ISPs across India but not all. As far as being arrested goes, you should take the necessary steps to secure your privacy and identity while downloading torrents.

  24. bhasker says:

    Hi,

    If i use alternate DNS like googles, can I still download torrents safely in India ?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hello bhasker,
      Thanks for your comment. A DNS is good for accessing blocked websites or content as it helps to spoof your location. Using an alternate DNS does not hide your real identity (IP address) or encrypts your web traffic while you download torrents over a torrent client. A VPN is far better tool for securing your privacy becoming anonymous over the internet.

  25. roadking says:

    is VPN only used to visit the sites or it still needs to turned on while your downing a torrent from that site until the download process is complete ? i want to have a clarification on this can my ISP see that i am downloading something via torrent client ? if i dont use a VPN only when i download ?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hey roadking,
      You should have a VPN enabled when visiting a torrent website and while you are downloading a torrent through a torrent client. This way, your ISP won’t be able to trace your internet activities or see what you download off the internet.

    • ZZZzzzzz...... says:

      Hey pal, your ISP can see everything that you are doing. Whatever you are doing on the net using a VPN connection or in supreme incognito mode, the outer world (the internet world)can see the request coming from your ISP’s public IP address only. You and like you all the users of your ISP are just using a private IP address.

      • Aazim Akhtar says:

        Hello ZZZzzzzz……,
        It is true that your ISP can see everything, even if you are in incognito mode. But, if you have a VPN service enabled then your ISP cannot inspect your data packets and identify your internet activities. It does this in 3 simple ways:

        (1) It has anti-data packet inspection ability through which your ISP cannot look into your data packets.
        (2) It tunnels all your internet traffic.
        (3) The traffic is encrypted using different encryption levels, which encodes your data packets into alphanumeric characters.

        These are just some of the ways through which you can protect yourself from ISP monitoring. And, if you are able to break the VPN tunnel (somehow), you can’t read the material retrieved because everything will be encrypted. And, if you think that the encryption is breakable then think again, as you would need a supercomputer to break the encryption, which takes at least six months to complete the decryption process.

  26. Jeet Pal says:

    i heard that it is also possible to track any user uses VPN server.At any point weather it is possible to track if i use a VPN to download torrent??

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hello Jeet Pal,
      If your ISP is monitoring all your outgoing traffic, all it can see is that you connected to a different IP address (perhaps that of a VPN server). But, once you are connected, it cannot track your online activities as all your web traffic is tunneled and encrypted.

  27. Pankaj says:

    Can you suggest some VPN apps that can be installed and used easily?

  28. MIkku says:

    Hi

    This ban is for downloading from indian websites only I believe? So is it allowed to download from foreign websites like .co? So if any foreign website opens and does not have the warning message can we download from there?

    Also – have they started tracking who is downloading and who is not?

    Thanks!

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi MIkku,
      There are a lot of grey areas in the stipulations placed on the use of torrents in India. As far as we can judge, the use of torrents in India (regardless if it’s from an Indian website or foreign) can lead you into trouble.

      There are various torrent websites that are not showing the warning message as yet. This may also have to do with your ISP. As far as tracking torrent user’s go, we are in dark as well.

      That said, there are numerous questions have to be answered either by the government or by the DoT to further clarify the implications of using torrents in India.

  29. sudip dey says:

    hi azim,
    when i open rarbg.com it shows multiple torrents and they are open not blocked as kickass torrentz or torrentz.com by the governments. is it risky to download from rarbg.com or extratorrent.com?
    one more thing what is the best vpn? plz rply

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hey Sudip dey,
      Different ISPs have decided to block various torrent websites in India but not all. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons you are able to access RARBG or ExtraTorrents.

      But you should still take precautions and use a VPN to secure your privacy. For the best VPN, you can visit our Torent VPN page (http://www.vpnranks.com/torrent-vpn/) where a detailed analysis of different providers have been conducted with respect to torrents.

  30. Mikeyy says:

    How can they know my device address, suppose I have the wifi router and it is public for everyone to use or a very large group uses it…
    How will they ever track the real infringer?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hey Mikeyy,
      Well, there are a lot of ways through which the real infringer can be caught, even though he or she is connected to a public WiFi being used by numerous people. For starters, the MAC address of a particular computer can reveal the real infringer.

      And, if you somehow spoof your MAC address, then the download time stamp, the point of download, and size of the download (bandwidth being used) can also unveil the real infringer. Also, the unprotected traffic can be inspected to find out if someone was downloading files via torrent or not. These are just some of the ways through which the real perpetrator can be caught.

  31. sam says:

    Hi Aazim,
    If I download, only the torrent file from blocked site by enabling Torrent VPN or TunnelBear AND then disable the VPN after downloading only the .torrent link or Magnet link and then leech the torrent and download with idm, Then will it work?”sorry for copy paste i am lazy””

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Sam,
      You should have a VPN enabled throughout the process: from downloading the .torrent file or magnet link to completely downloading the torrent. This is because your IP address is visible to everyone while you download the file using torrent client (like BitTorrent or uTorrent). If you have a VPN enabled while downloading the file as well, your original IP wont appear and you would remain anonymous.

  32. Suraj says:

    HI Azim !
    i have avast secure line VPN , can i safely download torrents from using this avast secureline VPN ?
    please reply ..

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hey Suraj,
      Yes it should work as long it is a VPN service. We haven’t really tested Avast Secureline VPN yet, do let us know your feedback.

  33. Ria says:

    I have downloaded a few seasons of modern family without changing any vpn. Can I give arrested?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Ria,
      If you have a VPN connected while downloading the torrents, your original IP address will remain hidden and your web traffic encrypted, keeping you safe from any sort of penalties.

  34. Sanket says:

    Hi Aazin,
    As I can open Dx-torrent.com through which we can download torrent and its not banned in India. Will it be safe if I download torrent from a not-banned torrent site in India?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hello Sanket,

      Thanks for your comment. I would suggest that you use a VPN even if the torrent website is not banned. You never know who is monitoring the website or when will it be added to the ban list by your ISP. Its better to be safe at all times!

      • Suvrat says:

        Hi Azim
        If i connect to a Torrent and if it shiws the country flag of usa. Is it safe after that to download from a Torrent ?
        Also the vpn name is hotspot shield,is it any good?

        • Aazim Akhtar says:

          Hello Suvrat,
          If you are connected to a USA server offered by the VPN, do check your IP address (just to be sure) before downloading torrents. This should negate any chances of IP leakages.

          As far as Hotspot Shield goes, it is a free VPN service. However, I wouldn’t advise anyone to risk their privacy and anonymity in the hands of free VPN services. There is no such thing as FREE! Such services keep logs of your internet activities (even if they state that they don’t), sell your email address to third parties, provide low level of protection, and can be unreliable (your IP can be leaked).

          It far better to use an established industry VPN providers that has a proven track record and gaurantees your safety while using torrents.

  35. Sid says:

    hi Aazim,

    Not sure how far its true, but i’ve heard that enabling a VPN drastically slows down the upload/download process. Could you please let me know if this is true?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi Sid,

      There is a possibility that a VPN can compromise your internet speeds but it is not necessary. By tweaking your VPN settings, you can prevent your internet from slowing down. For instance, use PPTP protocol as it works best for downloading and streaming.

      At times, a VPN can also enhance the process of upload/download while using torrents. This is because your ISP might be throttling your bandwidth. So there is a chance that you get the fully allotted internet speeds while using a VPN.

      If your internet slows down drastically then it is better to contact your VPN service provider. Their technical support will able to resolve all your issue of loss of internet speeds.

  36. John says:

    Hi Aazim,
    If I download, only the torrent file from blocked site by enabling Torrent VPN or TunnelBear AND then disable the VPN after downloading only the .torrent link or Magnet link to the bittorrent client, Then will it work?

    • Aazim Akhtar says:

      Hi John,
      Thanks for reaching out. You should have your VPN enabled when you download the ‘.torrent’ file from the blocked website and while the torrent downloads on your BitTorrent client.

      Having a VPN enabled just to get the .torrent file won’t serve the purpose of being secure. Your ISP can track your IP address when the torrent file is added to BitTorrent client and its starts to upload & download. That’s why it is important that you have the VPN enabled during the entire process of torrenting: from getting the ‘.torrent’ file to completing the download of the torrent on your system.

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