What Are the Risks of Downloading Torrents on Your Device?

Downloading files with torrent clients may get you what you need quickly, reliably and free, but they come with risks.

The biggest benefit of using torrenting clients to download torrents is that you can pause and resume on command, unlike Google Chrome or any other web browser or non-torrenting downloading clients.

No matter how many times you disconnect or shut down your machine, your download will remain safe on your hard drive. And once you resume, you will resume from the same spot and not lose any download progress.

Red Torrent text on black cubes background

There is a lot more to torrents and torrenting, but we won’t talk about that here. What we will talk about are all the real risks you are taking when you download torrents on your device.

Malware Problems

Whether you are torrenting via a torrent client at the office or home, the risks of downloading malware are real and relatively high. If you are using an office machine, then you are putting the whole company at risk. For home users, they are risking the virus crippling their devices.

Every year businesses suffer losses that go into the millions just because they cannot take mitigating measures against malware threats.

And while it is true that the risk of malware is there no matter what type of file you are downloading from whatever source, the risk is higher with torrents. Usually, online users who would never open an attachment or click on a link from a stranger end up downloading huge files via torrents from a stranger.

A torrent uploader is pretty much as big a threat as any email spammer. Therefore you should always run your downloaded torrent file through an antivirus program before opening it.

Lack of Data Security

Downloading progress bar on screen

Whenever you try to download something from the internet via P2P file-sharing technology, you are open your machine to other machines on the network. This means that a hacker with enough skill can access your device and compromise your data. Though it is true that if you keep your torrent data and personal data on different drives, you can drastically reduce the chances of that happening, but the risk is still there.

Remember, because of the nature of how the P2P network works, anything that you download from the network you have to share back. And that can always lead to problems.

With that said, though, we should mention that by itself, the P2P network is not a threat to your data or your machine. It is what people do on the network, which is the main problem.

P2P networks have inadvertently helped many hackers to launch cyberattacks which they otherwise would not have launched. Whenever you download something off from a P2P network, you are free to look at the IP address of each member of the network. No one can stop hackers from accessing that information, turning ON Remote Assistance on your machine and disabling your firewall to launch a malicious attack.

Legal Problems

There is no hiding the fact that the vast majority of the content uploaded or downloaded via torrent is copyrighted. In other words, illegal. More and more copyright groups have now started to go after pirates and other uploaders who make available copyrighted stuff on the internet for free to anyone with a computer and an internet connection.

The entertainment industry now has the means to trace the IP addresses of users who have uploaded stuff on various popular torrenting sites. If they find that the uploader has made available copyright material without their permission, they can hit the uploader with penalties that can include jail time and fines.


We recommend that if you are going to use torrent clients to download stuff, then only download freeware or material in the public domain. You can also use a VPN to hide your traffic and protect your online privacy.


Torrenting inherently brings with it several problems that users should be aware of. Only by taking the appropriate measures can the user make sure that his/her machine is safe from torrenting risks.

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