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I am new to the torrent world and want to experiment / learn with the lowest risk possible.

What do I need to know about torrent software, and related software and network configuration in order to send receive data in a secure or even anonymous manner?

I'm a PC/Mac user and am just getting started.

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closed as off topic by Rory Alsop Jul 17 '12 at 8:09

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You would require 3rd party WiFi configured with no password, located far away from your regular place of internet use. Vuze and uTorrent are OK. Just keep in mind the important note that once they gonna spot you in the car, you might have legal problems, especially if the WiFi belongs to some public services like police. – Andrew Smith Jul 12 '12 at 22:59
@AndrewSmith you are implying torrents are illegal; They aren't. Piracy would be illegal, but not torrents. – sfx Jul 13 '12 at 3:23
I think the question headline is not actually relevant to security as it stands - however I think there is a core there which is...something around risks of p2p, anonymity etc. If you can clean it up to focus on that I think we can reopen – Rory Alsop Jul 17 '12 at 8:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

First of all, there's nothing inherently dangerous or illegal (except perhaps in unusual jurisdictions) about using BitTorrent. There are plenty of free clients out there all that are well-respected and trustworthy.

BitTorrent is frequently used to distribute large open-source projects, such as ISO files for Linux distributions. It's also used by companies like Blizzard to distribute software updates.

BitTorrent cannot be used in a strictly anonymous manner any more than any other Internet protocol can. That is, your IP address is always available to anyone communicating with you. You can, of course, gain some amount of anonymity by co-opting someone else's IP address, as you would with TOR or by connecting from a public cafe. But that's slightly different from being truly anonymous.

BitTorrent was not designed for transferring data securely. Data is check-summed against hashes, which offers some security against tampering, but the files are inherently public.

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