I frequently get asked the question; “is BitTorrent safe to use?” This is a rather difficult question to answer because on one hand, using a high quality and known to be safe BitTorrent client such as Vuze to download legitimate files and software is perfectly fine. On the other hand however, if you plan on using BitTorrent to download software, music, or movies that are copyrighted, then you run the risk of downloading a virus or even being sued by the copyright holder. I am going to show you how to configure Vuze in order to help you remain safe while using BitTorrent.
First of all, I do not condone software piracy or the illegal downloading of copyrighted material. If you choose to use BitTorrent for this kind of activity then you do so at your own risk! Secondly, I am writing this guide for use with Vuze as it is an excellent BitTorrent client that is compatible with both the Mac and the PC. And now, on to the guide…
Step 1. Download and install Vuze
The Vuze BitTorrent client can be downloaded here. Install Vuze accepting all of the defaults after the download has completed.
Step 2. Enable the Vuze IP filter BEFORE downloading any Torrent files
The Vuze IP filter blocks the IP addresses of companies and agencies that are known to cause problems for BitTorrent users. It is VERY important that this gets configured before you start to download Torrent files. To configure IP filter in Vuze simply click on Vuze\Preferences\IP Filters on the Mac or Tools\Options\IP Filters on the PC. On the IP Filters configuration screen you will need to do the following;
- Paste the following web address into the IP Filter file to autoload field – http://www.bluetack.co.uk/config/level1.gz
- Click on Load Now, and then click on Apply on the bottom of the screen.
The Vuze IP filter is now properly configured.
Although I will not show you how to download Torrents in this guide, I will leave you with some final advice. Be sure to read the comments that other users leave on tracker sites such as The Pirate Bay before you download a Torrent file. Users will tend to report issues with Torrents such as incompatibilities and most importantly whether or not a Torrent contains viruses or spyware.