P2P file-sharing is getting more and more popular in many countries. The question is how available it is in particular states as the issue is rather controversial because of the copyrighted material shared within the torrent networking.
The article is devoted to one of the European countries which is Germany. You will know everything about torrenting there: legality, peculiarities and why it is necessary to stay anonymous while applying bittorent protocol.
Will I be fined for torrenting in Germany?
As far as P2P-sharing is concerned it seems to be absolutely legal there. Bittorent is simply a technology developed for sharing files over the network. There is nothing wrong about it.
However, it is not legal to download copyrighted torrents through this protocol. All in all, in case you deal with legal files, you won’t have undesired problems with German authorities or copyright holders. Still, if you intend to download, for example, theatrical movie releases, do not be surprised to get a warning letter. Why?
It is quite simple that everything that needs paying money can’t be safe and free on torrent websites. Having noticed that one of the latest newly released films are available on the Internet free of charge, one should think of torrenting it in a skeptical way.
In Germany it is also pretty prominent as those who download illegal torrents can be punished in accordance with the law: fines or even arrests.
Those users who download torrents via file-sharing clients, such as BitTorrent or uTorrent turn to be vulnerable enough. It is a not rare case when Germans receive warning letters saying about copyright infringement.
Such warnings or ‘‘Abmahnung’’ notices, as they are called in the German language, need special discussion. More and more torrent users have received such notices sent by German law firms. According to the letters, the targeted torrent users have violated the copyrights of the holders and are to pay a fine. The payment demand is usually up to hundreds of Euros.
There are certain troubles with ‘‘Abmahnung’’ letters:
- Not all the law agencies are even provided with the right to send such kinds of notices as they haven’t got the permission from actual holders of copyrights.
- Among those who receive such notices there are people who did not torrent the content.
Unfortunately, in order not to be further followed, the recipients choose to pay. As for German legislation, it seems that it is tolerant towards them.
As illegal sharing of torrent files is forbidden by law in Germany, it can cause negative outcomes for the owners of IP-addresses that were used for downloading those torrents. If someone is caught, such an individual will be obliged to pay fines or compensations for performing those actions.
Note: If you let your Wi-Fi be used by other netizens, you become susceptible to be accused of copyright infringement. Why? It is fairly obvious. They may torrent under your IP, and the warning letter would be sent to you as it is easy identified by the IP from which torrenting has been performed.
So, if you intend to visit one of the most popular torrent websites, such as The Pirate Bay or RarBG, for instance, you‘d better take some precautions before torrenting from there in Germany. Which ones? Don’t stop reading and you’ll know how to make it possible.
How to be defended from ‘‘threatening letters’’?
- Privacy protection
Your identity must be hidden from the lurking eyes on the networking space. It implies that you fake your real IP address and torrent via the pretended one.
- Torrenting of legal content
Never download illegal content as is targeted in the first place. One might be strictly punished for copyright infringement.
- Do not pay any strange demands
Do not follow your emotions and fears. Find out the possible source of the demand and try to find another way out of the situation.
Taking into account everything mentioned above, one should understand that it is crucial to stay anonymous while torrenting in Germany. Do you want to know how to perform this? Keep on reading and you’ll know the answer.
Before you know how to download P2P files privately, you should understand the way you can tracked by your ISP. There are two options to trace the targeted torrent user:
- via your IP address;
- through your web history.
Internet Service Providers are able to watch the IP addresses of their internet service users and easily identify those who are constantly torrenting. The next step would be throttling or blocking of the access to the torrent trackers for them. Besides, ISPs can monitor what websites are visited and what torrents are downloaded by their clients if the internet traffic is not encoded.
Thus, torrenting via Virtual Private Network would be safer for internet users in Germany. Want to know why?
First and foremost, you will be able to mask your own IP and pretend to be like someone else. Your Internet Service Provider won’t know it you torrent. Furthermore, the torrent traffic is ciphered with data encrypting protocols (they would be SSTP, SSTP, L2TP/IpSec or OpenVPN). The torrent files can’t be read by neither ISPs nor snoopers as they would need to decode the information, but it will take plenty of years.
Are VPNs for torrenting in Germany 100% safe?
Nobody can’t certify you that torrenting with this or that is 100% safe as nothing is perfect. Still, if you choose a sustainable and optimized VPN, you will be able to be hidden on the torrenting networks. Thus, the answer can be like this:
Yes, VPN is reasonably secure, but only if …
1) it’s on and not leaking your real IP;
2) the VPN provider does not log or does not provide logs of your activity;
3) the source is not in fact a honeypot set up by an undercover agent;
4) your machine is not compromised…
You can provide additional protection when you torrent in Germany by enabling optional features on you VPN tool (be sure they are provided for the VPN you will take advantage of). DNS Leak Protection and kill switch would be rather beneficial to be equipped with.
DNS Leak Protection: Why? How does it work?
The feature is aimed at enabling defence against leaking of DNS requests the ISP’s server while connecting through a VPN service for torrenting. You are also able to check whether your DNS request are leaking using a special automaton solution like dnsfix app, for example.
Kill switch: what is it for?
VPN kill switch stops your Internet if the service is unable to perform its functions properly. It prevents sensitive data leakage from your device.
How to download torrents safely with a VPN in Germany?
Multiple users of BitTorrent client have evaluated how to stay private with VPN services when torrenting. Having paid a certain amount of money, one can hide his or her identity inside of VPN tunnels.
Note: When choosing a VPN for BitTorrent or other torrent clients, one should pay attention to 3 simple things:
- check if the VPN provider allows P2P sharing;
- find the one which ensures with ultra-fast speeds, which is dead important for torrenting;
- reliable VPN services to torrent safely keep no-logging policy.
After you think of the abovementioned considerations, you need to perform the following steps:
- Visit the website of a VPN provider and subscribe for a plan you would choose 9you can magneto find a lot of them on the network).
- Then install a VPN app on your computer (they usually provide easy-to-read setup guides).
- Every time you perform internet connections with the purpose of visiting torrent websites, activate your VPN and alter your IP address into that offered by the VPN provider (Never forget about it when you torrent from any tracker on the web).
Nevertheless, you must take into consideration the following:
In spite of connecting via a VPN for torrenting, one should be accurate with the material uploaded and downloaded as he or she may encounter the copyrighted content torrenting of which can lead to undesired outcomes, like warning letters from the authorities that really have the legal right for this. It should be noted that we do not justify torrenting of copyrighted content.
We hope that you have taken a portion of useful information for you to torrent in Germany. Now you know why it is recommended to be anonymous when you share torrents. We do not claim that torrenting via VPN is the only possible solution. Of course, there are other options. Still, it seems to be one of the most reliable instruments to keep anonymity and security when torrenting in Germany.
Attention! We've prepared a guide on how to download torrents in the USA (in the event you're panning to visit it).
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