How To Download With uTorrent Anonymously and Safely

uTorrent is a well-known torrenting program, but can you safely and privately use it?
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Torrenting is as convenient as it is dangerous. You’re always just one malicious file away from malware infection, data leaks, and other exploits.

But you can at least trust your uTorrent client, right? Not exactly.

uTorrent software comes with its share of risks and pitfalls. We recommend pairing it with one of the best VPNs out there. Masking your IP address and encrypting your P2P traffic will keep you safe in the long run.

Keep reading to learn how to use uTorrent safely.

In this article
What are the dangers of torrenting
Is uTorrent safe?
How to secure your downloads with uTorrent
How to download with uTorrent anonymously and safely FAQ
Bottom line

What are the dangers of torrenting

If you fail to adopt essential security habits, downloading torrent files can be extremely dangerous. Here are some of the most common risks:

  • Malware: At first glance, all torrents appear legitimate. Scammers are good at masking their malicious intent. Many torrents are riddled with malware that can infect your computer.
  • Data leaks: Other downloaders and uploaders in your P2P network are called peers. While you’re downloading files, all peers can see your IP address. In other words, your private data is up for grabs in these networks.
  • Legal problems: Most torrents contain copyrighted content. When you download files, you’re actually committing a crime. Granted, the likelihood of persecution is low, but not zero.
  • ISP throttling: Your ISP (internet service provider) can see what you’re doing online. If they catch torrenting traffic, they can throttle your internet connection to conserve bandwidth.

Torrenting can jeopardize your online privacy and security, cause legal issues, and potentially drop your connection speed if your ISP bothers to catch you.

Is uTorrent safe?

uTorrent is the most popular torrent client out there. It’s fast, reliable, and offers a lot of customization options. However, it can hurt you if you use it without any protection. Let’s examine some of the risks associated with uTorrent software.

uTorrent privacy risks

uTorrent’s current owner is a US company called Rainberry, Inc. (formerly known as BitTorrent, Inc.). A quick look at its privacy policy shows extensive (and worrying) data logging.

Here’s the private data they collect when you use their product:

  • IP address
  • MAC address
  • Cookie identifiers
  • ISP
  • Pages you visit
  • Links you click
  • Types of content

While uTorrent uses some of this data to function, it also sells it to third-party advertisers. Since uTorrent moved to an ad-based model, it has used third parties to run user ads.

More importantly, malicious actors can use this info to attack you. They can use your IP to determine your location and identify you as an individual. Logging the sites you visit and your interaction with them is also extremely dangerous for you. Just imagine what a hacker can do with your full browsing history.

uTorrent security risks

uTorrent doesn't exactly have a flawless security record. Here’s what you should know:

  • uTorrent includes bloatware and bundleware. In other words, it tries to sneak some other programs past you during installation. That’s not a huge problem unless we’re talking about malicious programs.
  • In 2015, uTorrent installation came with a cryptocurrency miner called EpicScale. Many users didn’t even notice it and were unaware that their computers were mining crypto.
  • Occasionally, a new version of uTorrent releases with a vulnerability. Hackers can exploit these and attack you.
  • uTorrent comes with adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUP), which could slow down your device. That’s why antivirus software usually flags it as a malicious program.
  • uTorrent also has a ton of malicious copycats. So, make sure to download it from the official website.

In 2023, Rainberry, Inc. was sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for selling cryptocurrencies as unregistered securities. Although the lawsuit is unrelated to the uTorrent program, it raises concerns about the company's business operations.

You can’t trust uTorrent or its owners. It has a shady reputation when it comes to security and privacy. If you want to use it, we recommend taking proper precautions.

How to secure your downloads with uTorrent

Protecting your data and device is a top priority when torrenting. Using the right security tools can help mitigate some of the risks we mentioned. Here are a few tips to secure your torrenting.

Install a good VPN for torrenting

Solid VPN services will mask your real IP. Since most VPNs use shared IP addresses, you’ll be lost in a sea of users with the same IP. Theoretically, this makes you less visible and more difficult to flag.

VPNs will also encrypt your traffic so your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. Some VPNs also have super-fast servers optimized for P2P. We advise against using a free VPN since they generally finance their service by stealing your data or processing power.

Here are some of the best VPNs for torrenting:

  • NordVPN: NordVPN is ideal for general users. It’s feature rich and offers 6,000+ servers in 60+ countries. It also offers the best security setup on the market and a fast proprietary protocol called NordLynx.

    Get NordVPN | Read NordVPN Review

  • Surfshark: Surfshark supports unlimited simultaneous connections and can secure all the devices in your household. It also provides excellent connection speeds and servers in 100 countries. Finally, you can bundle it with a proprietary antivirus program.

    Get Surfshark | Read Surfshark Review

  • ExpressVPN: With servers in 105 countries and support for up to eight connected devices, ExpressVPN leverages its proprietary Lightway protocol to deliver some of the fastest VPN speeds on the market. If you want to secure all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi, ExpressVPN also has a proprietary VPN router.

    Get ExpressVPN | Read ExpressVPN Review

Use a reliable antivirus program

Using one of the best antivirus programs is crucial for securing your device and protecting your data. They can deal with malicious torrent files, bundleware, adware, etc.

Make sure your pick offers real-time protection. It’s always easier to flag malicious software before it reaches your device.

Avoid suspicious torrents

Users can upload files that contain malware, no matter how “reputable” the site. It’s up to you to screen all the available files and find legitimate uploads.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stick with trusted uploaders: Popular torrent sites have a way of differentiating trusted uploaders. For example, The Pirate Bay uses color-coded skulls next to their nicknames.
  • Read the comments: Check what people are saying about specific uploads. Some of these might be fake, but popular files always have a ton of legitimate comments.
  • Double-check what you download: Always check the contents of your torrent file. For example, if you’re downloading an audiobook and see executable files in the folder, this is a huge red flag. Also, steer clear of content that hasn’t been released yet. This usually applies to movies and TV shows, and it’s almost always a scam.

Don’t download copyrighted content

We recommend using uTorrent to download content in the public domain. Since these files are less popular, scammers will rarely pack them with malware. You’ll also avoid potential legal problems.

How to download with uTorrent anonymously and safely FAQ


Is uTorrent a virus?

uTorrent itself isn't a virus, but it does have security issues. It comes with adware and other bloatware that makes it undesirable for users. Consider using antivirus software to scan new downloads like uTorrent to ensure they’re safe for your device.


How risky is uTorrent?

uTorrent has adware and sometimes installs programs without the user's explicit permission. While it has its problems, uTorrent technically doesn't have malware. It isn't a huge security risk, especially if you use security tools like a VPN or antivirus software to protect yourself.


Does uTorrent expose your IP?

uTorrent does expose your IP. All the peers in your network can see it. If you want to hide your IP, you can use a good VPN to mask it and ensure privacy.


Is uTorrent legal?

Yes, uTorrent itself is legal. However, you can use it to download copyrighted content, which is a crime. You'll be perfectly safe as long as you don’t infringe on any copyrights.


Do VPNs make torrenting safer?

Torrenting with a VPN is a must in modern P2P networks. A VPN hides your real IP address and displays a different one to ISPs and other peers. It protects your privacy and hides your P2P traffic from prying eyes.


How do ISPs know you’re torrenting?

Your ISP can see everything you do online. They can monitor your IP address and see if you frequent torrent sites. They can also flag your P2P traffic unless you’re using a VPN.

Bottom line

Downloading torrents has never been 100% safe. uTorrent won’t infect you with malware, but it also doesn’t keep you safe. Moreover, its owner logs and sells a lot of info that scammers can use against you. The company and uTorrent have had many security blunders in the past. So, we don’t recommend torrenting without proper cybersecurity tools. This includes reliable VPNs and antivirus programs.

If you want to download carefree, check out our list of the best VPNs for this year.

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Author Details
Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity. She aims to help people protect their data while enjoying technology. She has written about online privacy and tech for over 5 years for several organizations. When she's not writing about the latest cybersecurity trends, you can find her on LinkedIn.