qBitTorrent is one of the oldest and most widely used torrent clients that functions on all major operating systems. It is a fast, free, and open-source torrent client that is lightweight and offers a minimalist user interface. Moreover, it is feature-packed, which makes it the best torrent client. Encrypted connections, anonymous mode, proxy support, and IP filtering are impressive features.
But again, the question is does these features guarantee maximum protection during torrenting. And is qBitTorrent safe to use? So, yes, it is safe to use, and to some extent, these features provide some security. qBitTorrent is free from intrusive ads and malware, making it the most competent torrent client. But downloading torrents isn’t safe; you need to take some serious privacy measures to secure your torrenting otherwise, there would be dangerous circumstances.
Like our previous article about the safety of uTorrent, this article will give you a deep insight into the security of qBitTorrent. uTorrent is closed-source software, fewer security features and displaying ads in the free version make it less secure to use.
Is qBittorrent Safe to Download?
Yes, the BitTorrent client is safe to download as long as you download it from its official website. Downloading the qBitTorrent from any third-party source or shady website can have a tampered file. It can be infected with malware or other potential vulnerabilities. This can also make qBitTorrent an unsecured torrent client.
Hence, always download the software from a reliable and authentic source. Also, run antivirus software for enhanced protection.
Is qBittorrent Legal to Use?
Generally, qBitTorrent is legal to use. The legality of qBitTorrent depends on the type of content you choose to download. Downloading legal torrents that the owner of the torrent file uploads won’t cause you any issue.
Illegal torrent downloading is downloading the content without seeking the owner’s permission. Examples of copyright content include:
- TV shows
These are the paid contents, and you can access them in exchange for money. If you download pirated content from qBitTorrent, it is illegal, and the copyright owner can take legal action against you.
So, be careful about the type of content you download using qBitTorrent software.
How Is qBitTorrent Safe to Use?
Unlike uTorrent software, qBitTorrent is way better than it and is a better and safer option to use. All credit goes to its unique features that allow the users to use qBitTorrent safely.
Below are those features which make qBitTorrent a safe option to use.
– Open-Source Software:
qBitTorrent is open-source software that is more secure than other closed-source software. Since its source code is freely available to download, it can fix vulnerabilities and issue security patches faster.
Being open-source also means that qBitTorrent is not owned by any software vendor. Volunteers worldwide have access to the code and can inspect and change it to meet specific requirements. Developers can quickly fix if there’s a bug or vulnerability in the code. Moreover, it is less resistant to hacking because of its extremely high quality and regular updates, making it a safer option to use.
The pop-up ads that appear when you use torrent software can harm your sensitive data or device. Most of the time, hackers insert malware within these ads, and clicking them can infect your device with malware. But when you use qBitTorrent, ads won’t distract you.
Despite being a free torrent client, qBitTorrent is free from intrusive pop-up ads that guarantee a safe user experience. The torrent client is open-source and non-profitable, meaning it is designed for the public or social benefit. Voluntaries run the software by accepting donations and don’t allow any third-party code or ad trackers to enter the software. In this way, there is less opportunity for security issues and vulnerabilities.
– Support Proxy Servers
qBitTorrent client allows users to set up proxy servers that ensure anonymity during torrenting. The proxy servers prevent ISPs, trackers, or any third party from knowing that you are downloading torrent files by hiding your IP address. This way protects you against DMCA notices and secures your torrenting experience.
However, using a proxy on qBitTorrent won’t guarantee privacy, and you might get caught. A proxy doesn’t encrypt your data and works only on the app or website. Since your entire internet isn’t protected, your ISP can track your activities and learn about torrenting. Thus, for enhanced protection, you need to first connect to a VPN and then set a proxy connection on qBitTorrent.
Another reason that assures that qBitTorrent is safe to use is its encryption capability. The torrent client comes with built-in RC4 encryption. It is famous for safeguarding your torrent traffic from all snooping eyes, resulting in slower internet speed.
– Anonymous Mode
Anonymous mode is yet another impressive feature that qBitTorrent offers to users. By hiding the metadata from trackers and peers, it promises that you download torrent files safely. But, for better effective results, you need to use it along with privacy tools such as a VPN or proxy.
– IP Filtering
qBitTorrent has a built-in IP filtering feature. With this feature, you can block peers and trackers based on their IP addresses. You can either add your list manually or import third-party blocklists to block the IP address. In this way, qBitTorrent guarantees a safe and secure torrenting experience where no malicious actors can track your P2P downloads.
While reviewing the qBitTorrent software, I also checked multiple threads on Quora and Reddit about safe torrent clients. Redditors do recommend qBitTorrent as a secure torrent client to use.
Vulnerabilities Associated With qBitTorrent
There are no significant vulnerabilities found in the qBitTorrent client except for a minor bug discovered in 2017. Developers noted that users who use qBitTorrent version 3.3.12 are susceptible to CSRF attacks. The bug can allow hackers to change users’ tasks, including adding uploads and downloads to their task list.
Such vulnerabilities can come again. Hence it is vital to practice some protection tips while using the torrent client software.
Tips to Use qBitTorrent Safely
qBitTorrent is free from any significant flaw or vulnerability. But, vulnerabilities can develop anytime so, you need to practice data protection tips to strengthen your torrenting experience on qBitTorrent. After doing much research in this regard, I’ve found three ways to ensure a safe qBitTorrent user experience. So, let’s discuss them one by one.
1. Use a VPN
Using a reliable torrenting VPN is best to increase your privacy and anonymity on the qBitTorrent software. A VPN that supports P2P activities encrypts your torrent traffic, hides your actual IP address, and replaces it with the VPN server’s one. Using a VPN is an essential privacy boosting tool while you download torrents because:
- It uses AES-256 bit encryption and robust encryption protocols to stop ISPs from knowing online what you’re doing.
- The automatic kill switch protects your torrent IP from getting leaked when the VPN connection drops.
- The service provider uses a split tunneling feature that distinguishes your VPN traffic from the regular traffic.
- A VPN hides your IP address so, the copyright holders or ISP can’t detect your IP address, and thus, you can be safe from receiving DMCA notices.
- It protects you against DDOS attacks because hackers can’t track you back because of strong data encryption.
- VPNs provide an ad/malware blocker feature that prevents your access to any fake or malicious torrent file.
- A P2P VPN supports the SOCKS5 proxy that manages BitTorrent peer communication. It obscures your IP address in the peer swarm and helps in downloading torrents at a fast speed.
- The built-in qBitTorrent encryption comes with slow speed issues. A P2P VPN by connecting to the fastest and nearest servers ensures a fast-blazing connection speed and bypass ISP throttling.
A VPN with all these features assures maximum privacy and protection while downloading torrents from qBitTorrent software.
2. Use Active Antivirus Software
One significant drawback of using a torrent client is the unintentional downloading malicious files that can harm your device. Hackers often upload infected files and trick you into downloading them. If you download them accidentally, these files can spread malware or spyware on your device, leading to slow speed, hardware crashes, or data theft. Thus, device protection is also vital when using a torrent client.
Using the best antivirus software is another best way to use qBitTorrent safely. It automatically scans and removes malware or viruses on the downloaded malware files.
3. Configure qBitTorrent Settings
qBitTorrent is safe to use, but you can ensure better security by tweaking specific settings. It is one of the simplest things you can ever do to secure your torrenting experience. Here is the list of settings you should configure while you use the qBitTorrent software:
- Enable Anonymous mode to maintain greater anonymity. You can find this setting under Tools > Options > BitTorrent > Privacy.
- To avoid missing any newly released software update to the client. For enabling Check for Program Updates, navigate to Tools > Options > Behaviour > Check the box next that says Enable Anonymous mode.
- If you are using a proxy, make sure to change the encryption mode to Allow or Require encryption. As the name suggests, Allow encryption allows encrypted and unencrypted connections while Require encryption only allows encrypted connections. To access this setting go to Tools > Options > qBitTorrent > Privacy > Encryption Mode.
- Since qBitTorrent supports integrated proxy, make sure you use SOCKS5 proxy instead of HTTP. They don’t provide privacy and might leak your actual IP address to your peers. Many VPNs now use login credentials for the proxy service. You have to log into your account panel from your web browser and generate unique login credentials. Configure the Proxy settings once you have your Proxy address, port number, username, and password. For this go to Tools > Options > Connections > Fill out the required boxes.
- Network interface filtering is a security boosting feature that works like a VPN’s kill switch. It restricts your torrent traffic to your VPN adapter and blocks the torrent downloading when the VPN connection cuts off. To enable it, Navigate to Tools >Options > Advanced > Network Interface > Click on Network adapter associated with your VPN.
Final Verdict: Is qBitTorrent Safe to Use?
qBitTorrent is the oldest yet actively developed torrent software still in use. It is legal and safe to use and download if you download it from its official site and use it for legal download content. The torrent client offers several features and customizable settings that ensure that users can benefit from it.
Most of the qBitTorrent features are security-focused; thus, yes, it is safe to use. The torrent client didn’t face any significant vulnerability in the past except for a minor bug found in its WebUI function. But since it is open-source software, one can trust its credibility. The vulnerabilities soon get fixed in less time by the volunteers who run the software anywhere.
Other impressive features of qBitTorrent include an anonymous mode, IP filtering, and built-in encryption. Moreover, it is free from intrusive and sneaky ads that disturb the entire user experience. But it is always a great idea to practice security boosting tips that further enhance your digital privacy on the torrent client. By using a VPN, antivirus program, or configuring your torrent client setting, you can also assure that you are using qBitTorrent safely.