Downloading torrents (torrenting) is highly frowned upon in a significant number of countries around the world.
Such is the concern of this contention that many ISP's have been asked to block an ever-growing number of websites in various countries which are renowned for enabling users to partake in the act of piracy.
Here we will look at all aspects of torrenting, how it works, how it can affect you and is all of it illegal as it is made out to be.
We will also find out which is the best VPN to use in New Zealand for all torrents because when you are tarred as downloading torrents, you will always be tarred as downloading torrents.
What is Torrenting?
Torrenting is the act of downloading files using a P2P protocol. This in itself is only a means of file transfer and in no way illegal.
Because of the efficient delivery method, some large companies have also looked at using this type of protocol for software delivery.
When you download torrents, you need to use specialized software that searches for the requested file from many different sources. It then takes parts from other users who have this file to make the download process quicker.
Because of the way torrenting works, there are many torrent search engines that users can visit and find these links to the desired file they wish to download.
The types of files that can be downloaded in this manner include movie torrents, eBooks, TV shows and games software, among many other file formats.
Is Torrenting Illegal in New Zealand?
With the above information so far, huge numbers of users who continually ask are torrenting illegal in New Zealand.
As we have just seen, the act of torrenting, or the torrent client software used to accomplish this, isn’t illegal in any form. Still, as soon as you download copyright-protected content, this is classed as piracy, and then it becomes a criminal activity.
Adding to this, there is privacy for users on the internet, and as you will see, using a VPN service for most of your online activity is advisable.
VPN’s do enable you to access blocked content, download torrents that do step on copyright toes and bypass censorship. Luckily, New Zealand at present is pretty much restriction free.
However, there is a voluntary filtering system in place (Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System), which the Department of Internal Affairs runs.
If an ISP wishes to join, this service uses the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 to justify prohibiting content that is deemed objectionable.
Without going into too many details, this act is geared toward any material that supports sexual abuse, child exploitation, torture or the infliction of cruelty and violence. Aside from this act, there is not much that New Zealand blocks.
Surveillance, though, is a different issue, and back when Edward Snowden revealed many countries that were performing mass surveillance. New Zealand was included.
This surveillance showed the GCSB could track everything users did online, every call made, and every message sent.
With this, it is all the more reason to use a VPN to protect yourself while online, no matter what you are doing. (Learn How to Watch BBC iPlayer Online)
When users are torrenting, ISP’s can tell you are doing this because there is a digital footprint with every downloaded or uploaded file.
This differs from streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or the BBC iPlayer, leaving no trace. In the case of torrenting, they can see your torrenting activity, but they don't know what you are downloading.
Best Torrent Sites for 2019
With all of the above scaremongering out of the way, we will take a look at some of the more popular torrent sites you can find around the internet.
With a good VPN service, you can access these torrent sites safely and securely, so here are the top torrent sites you can still use in no particular order.
|Torrent Site||Site Overview|
|The Pirate Bay||This site has been around forever, and the interface still looks like it was the original one. It has had and is still having problems, but it has one of the most extensive lists of torrents available.|
|KAT (KickAss Torrents)||This was another site that has had more than its fair share of problems. It is one of the best and can be found at https://katcr.co/ Just beware of mirror sites that use the same name.|
|YTS.AM/ YTS.AG||This doesn’t have the most significant number of torrent links available, but every one they post is excellent quality.|
|RARBG||This site is for P2P enthusiasts and also has high-quality download links. They put quality over quantity, and there is a depth of content though not the largest|
|1337X||This can be ideal for the more obscure or older torrents. It again doesn’t offer a massive number, but it is a handy place to search every now and again|
|Popcorn Time||This isn’t a torrent site in the same sense as downloading the files. It uses the protocol to stream content to your PC, so if you are okay with watching a movie on your laptop, then it can be a quick way of watching without waiting.|
|LimeTorrents||This has grown over time and now hosts a large number of torrent links. It did use to have a few fake files listed, but that seems to have changed.|
|Torrentz2||Sky Torrents With a clean interface and a massive This is like a directory, and its torrent indexer looks to other torrent sites when you search. This could be a solution to find something without too much searching.|
|Sky Torrents||With a clean interface and a massive database of over 1 million, there should be something for everyone.|
|Zoogle||Last but not least, and another that hosts a vast number of legitimate torrent links.|
With all of the torrent sites offered, it is easy to see why so many users use torrenting daily.
It also shows why there is such a struggle to stamp it out by the studios and ISP’s that are influenced to do their part.
With everything you see above, it is time to take a look at VPN’s for torrenting. Stopping any data retention or leaving yourself open for receiving a copyright infringement notice is something every NZ user should be concerned about.
Top VPN’s for Torrenting in NZ
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access VPN||TunnelBear||ExpressVPN|
|Download speeds to NZ||Above Average – some unreliable servers||Above Average||Slow||Very Fast – torrent optimized servers|
|Based in 5-eyes jurisdiction||No – But linked to a US company||Yes – US-based||Yes - Canada||No – Located in BVI|
|Zero logging policy||Yes||Yes||No – Logs OS, App version, monthly data||Yes|
|Money back guarantee||30-day but can take 30 days for a refund||7-day only||No Money back guarantee||30-day no quibble|
|Customer support||Quick via email – Live chat not shown with ad blocker enabled||No live chat||Quick via ticket system||Instant – 24/7 live chat|
|Ease of use||Easy to use||Bare interface does nothing for ease of use||Easy to use||Very easy – sets the standard|
All of the above VPN services are paid for options, and a good number of users think free VPN’s are enough to get around masking their IP address while torrenting.
A free VPN should never be used because they don’t offer the same level of protection or service, and there is generally a monthly data cap.
Even if the free service is being provided from one of the major companies, it is a short free period, just a trial, or a cut-back version of their premium offering. One way they restrict their service is to limit the number of VPN servers users can access; this will make connections slower because the optimum server might be out of use.
Free versions also make users pay in other ways, this is, more often than not, ad-supported or user data is collected and sold on to third-party marketing companies.
Final Thoughts for the Best Torrenting VPN in New Zealand
It is a fact, most people who are involved in torrenting are involved in downloading copyrighted content.
With all of the focus on trying to combat piracy, it will be end-users who face the ultimate consequences if the governing agencies cannot close down all of the torrent sites listed and the many more on the internet.
NZ users must take every precaution they can when choosing the best torrent VPN.
There will, unfortunately, be a cost, but when online privacy is a concern, it is a small price to pay especially if there are other family members involved.
The table above clearly shows the best VPN service for security, torrenting and one which NZ users should definitely consider using before firing up their chosen BitTorrent client to download something.