Home Tech Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

As a BitTorrent user, you probably already realize how downloading torrents is a legal gray area. The law is pretty clear on copyrights, but torrents can sometimes bend the laws a bit to suit users who won’t have to pay any compensation to access files that originally would cost a lot.

Now, this gets better with Magnet links. Torrent sites will no longer host sites; they will offer users magnet links.

Magnet Links: What Are They? 🤔

We will use the familiar torrent files to explain what magnet links are. When you download torrent files, you’re essentially downloading a tiny-sized file that contains information about a larger file you want to access.

What then happens is that the torrent file’s information informs your torrent client (uTorrent for example) about the file’s name, a tracker URL, and other tidbits of info for your clients to source and get the files you need.

What your client does is then calculate a “hash code.” This is basically like a unique serial number particular to that one torrent. It then uses that code to find others uploading the files the user needs to download.

Quite the work, even though it doesn’t take as much time as it took to write the process down. What magnet links now promise, though, is even faster and direct.

In the former process, before getting to the “hash code” quite a bit happened, but magnet links are like hyperlinks; they already contain the hash codes needed, which means torrent clients can immediately start searching for uploaders of the files you need.

Magnet links don’t require trackers because it uses “DHT” (). It also conveniently doesn’t require users to download a file before the actual download.

How To Use Magnet Links

Magnet links make torrents easier to download and are also quite straightforward to use. Go to your favorite torrent sites, and more often than not, magnet links will be the default download option.

Click on the magnet link, and your browser will usually automatically open your BitTorrent client and start downloading the requested files.

Some clients supporting magnet links are uTorrent, Deluge, Transmission, and other popular torrent clients.

What is Magnet Link

With the advent of magnet links, torrent downloading has gone a few clicks faster; torrent sites will get into less trouble with the law than usual because they (torrent sites) won’t be hosting the files that sometimes infringe on copyright laws, so it will be much harder to prove that the sites are at least deliberately aiding and abetting copyright infringements.

The law will probably catch up with this development, but we can still enjoy the faster experience derived from magnet links for now.

The weird part is the torrent clients weren’t so crazy about magnet links when it first came out but now it is the goto mode for torrent sites and most clients now support it.

Another main advantage of magnet links over the former normal torrents is that torrents contain trackers that can be blocked, which immediately renders the torrents useless.

So the big advantage that magnet links promise is that you might be able to download the files even if the tracker has been blocked or closed at both ends.

This will not spell the end of .torrent formats for BitTorrent, though there is still vital information crucial to start the downloading process and it has to be available in the swarm for the whole process to work.

The main method now, though, is magnet links, and here’s a guide below on how to open magnet links on browsers; we will be covering two major browsers (Chrome and Mozilla Firefox) and a generic way that should work on just about any browser.

How To Open Magnet Links In Chrome

Chrome has a particular setting that allows users to use magnet links; the first task you have to perform is to ensure that the setting is allowed or turned on.

Here’s how to do that.

Go to Settings, click on the menu icon at the top left corner of your screen, and click on “Privacy and Security.”

Magnet Link

Note: These clicks are sequential, click on one, and it’ll lead you to the next.

In Privacy and Security, click on site Settings.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

Next, Handlers and “Allow sites to become default handlers for protocols“.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

You’re pretty much set up for downloads now.

Magnet link Utorrent

After setting up your Chrome or any other browser for magnet links, as shown above, you have to visit your favorite torrent site and click on the magnet links (chances are the normal download icon is a magnet link), and a message will pop up.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

The pop-up will ask you to open the magnet link with a BitTorrent client (like uTorrent, Vuze, and Transmission).

Accept it, and your uTorrent client will open the magnet link. Note that you should have downloaded and installed Utorrent first.

Chrome also has a feature that makes this process easier the next you want to download using magnet links.

When Chrome asks if you want to use your BitTorrent client app to open the magnet link, it will also ask if you want to “always open these types of links with the associated app“.

Click this box, and you won’t be asked again another time to confirm your choice. It will just go straight to the BitTorrent client app and open the link.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

How To Open Magnet Links In Mozilla Firefox

For Mozilla Firefox, the method is pretty much the same. You must visit your favorite torrent site, click on the magnet links, and a message will pop up.

The pop-up will ask you to open the magnet link with a BitTorrent client (uTorrent, Vuze, Transmission). Accept it, and your uTorrent client will open the magnet link.

A question that might arise is this:

“What if I have already checked the “always open these types of links” box for a particular BitTorrent client, and I want to change to another BitTorrent client?

The answer is pretty simple. It is possible to do it, and here’s how it’s done. It is called “resetting the association.”

First, locate the Firefox address bar, enter “about:config” and then when a page shows, search for “network.protocol-handler.expose.magnet“.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

Right-click the preference (making a particular BitTorrent client your default app) you made earlier and clicked “Toggle” to ensure the value is set to “False“.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

Once the “value” is set to false, you can try the magnet link and use another torrent client.

Go back to the torrent and click on the magnet link, and that pop-up box asking which app you’d like to use as the default option for opening magnet links will show again, and now you can choose the new BitTorrent client you want to use.

How To Open Magnet Links In Other Browsers

For generic browsers, most browsers will automatically ask you if you want to use your BitTorrent client to open magnet links when you click on them. But sometimes, this might not happen, and you will have to create a file association manually.

The above issue was about resetting an association already made by browsers like Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Still, the browser hasn’t even made any association here, so the user has to create one manually.

Here’s a play-by-play on how it’s done.

Go to the Windows Registry Editor “Win + R and then enter regedit into the box.”

Find this location Computer -> HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> Magnet -> shell -> open -> command

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

Just by the right, in the registry pane under “Data“, you will find info about the directory of the BitTorrent client app you currently use and some other info.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

In this case, we are going with uTorrent as our client, so the default directory info will look a lot like this:

C: UsersUserAppDataRoaminguTorrentuTorrent.exe “%1” /SHELLASSOC

Another question that could pop up would be:

What if the information on the data pane doesn’t match my BitTorrent client’s directory? What should I do?

Here’s what you should do-

Assuming you’ve already taken the steps outlined above to get to “Data” in the registry pane.

Then right-click “Default” and click “Modify” when it pops up.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

An option to edit the directory will appear, and now you can enter the correct directory for the BitTorrent client you’re using.

It is important to follow it up by “%1” /SHELLASSOC

After that, most generic browsers will link your BitTorrent client app with magnet links when you try to use them.

Understanding The Basics of Magnet Links: The Pros and Cons

✅FAQ

Can magnet links be tracked?

Magnet links to download files may be traceable depending on the specifics and the techniques used to track the activity.

P2P file-sharing networks like BitTorrent typically don’t offer as much anonymity as other ways to obtain data, including by using a virtual private network (VPN) or the TOR network.

When you use a P2P file-sharing tool, other network users can see your IP address and other identifying information. You might be able to track your online behavior using this information.

On a P2P file-sharing network, tracking individual users’ behavior cannot be easy, and it may be necessary to utilize special tools and methods.

In many situations, tracking user behavior on a P2P file-sharing network may be more challenging than tracking user activity on the public internet.

Remember that utilizing magnet links to obtain copyrighted content is typically illegal and may result in legal repercussions.

Magnet links should only be used for legitimate reasons and with due regard for the intellectual property rights of others.

How do I download magnet links to my computer?

If you have the uTorrent app on your device, you will see the” Add Torrent +” sign; click on it. Paste the magnet link on the pop-up windows that show and click add torrent. Afterward, choose the file you would like to download.

Should I use a VPN when Torrenting?

When torrenting, using a virtual private network (VPN) may help obscure your activities from some prying eyes, but it is not a perfect solution.

When you connect to a VPN server to download torrents, your internet traffic is sent through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN provider’s server.

Doing this may make it more challenging for others to monitor your online activities and link them to your IP address.

However, it is important to remember that VPNs may leak data that could be used to identify you, such as your IP address. Additionally, certain VPNs might record user activities in logs that outside parties could view.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that utilizing a VPN does not render downloading copyrighted content without the owner’s consent legal.

It is typically illegal and may result in legal repercussions to download copyrighted content via a VPN or any other technique. Respecting others’ intellectual property rights is crucial; therefore, only use torrents for authorized reasons.

How do I use a magnet link?

There isn’t so much hassle when using a magnet link. Just copy and paste the magnet link into the address bar of BitTorrent.

Are magnet links Safe?

Magnet links can be secure, but there are some concerns when downloading them. Magnet links can be used to spread malware or harmful software, which is one of their main concerns.

Hackers and online criminals may deceive users into installing malicious software or infect their machines with malware using magnet links.

When using magnet links, it’s crucial to use a trustworthy antivirus application and exercise caution when clicking on them to protect yourself. Additionally, you must only download magnet links from reliable websites and dependable file-sharing services.

P2P file-sharing may expose your machine to security flaws, another danger to consider while using magnet links.

When you use a P2P file-sharing tool, you effectively allow other network users access to your computer.

This allows them to access your files or perform other computer operations. Use a firewall and ensure your operating system and antivirus software are up to date to reduce this risk.

Can you go to jail for Torrenting?

In simple words, the answer is Yes or No. Torrent is the Peer-to-Peer transfer method to transfer files from one location to another.

But if you are using torrents to download pirated movies, the software might be caught by legal authorities.

How can I download it without being tracked?

Every torrent client has a feature to enable encryption when downloading. To avoid tracking, we will recommend you use paid VPN service.

Is seeding illegal?

No, until you are not sharing illegal content like movies or software.

What does a magnet link do?

When using a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing protocol like BitTorrent, users can download files from the internet by clicking on a magnet link.

Using a magnet link allows users to get a file from another user who has previously downloaded it instead of downloading it straight from a server.

A BitTorrent client, like qBittorrent or uTorrent, must be installed on a user’s computer to use a magnet link.

The BitTorrent client opens when a user clicks on a magnet link and immediately begins downloading the file from other users who are also sharing it.

Because they do not necessitate consumers to download another file from a server, magnet links are a practical way to download data.

Additionally, they permit users to download files simultaneously from several sources, speeding up the download process.

Are magnet links legal?

In general, P2P file-sharing and magnet links are not always prohibited. However, how they are used and the content being shared determine whether employing magnet links is legal.

Certain categories of content, such as open-source software and works in the public domain, can be downloaded and shared using magnet links without violating laws in many nations.

However, using magnet links to download and distribute copyrighted content is typically prohibited without the owner’s consent. This applies to media with copyright protection, such as movies, music, and other types of content.

Using magnet links to download and distribute copyrighted content could occasionally be construed as copyright infringement, which could have legal repercussions.

The use of magnet links should only be done for legitimate purposes to respect other people’s intellectual property rights.

Are magnet links faster?

Because they let users simultaneously download the material from numerous sources, magnet links may make file downloads faster.

A file is normally downloaded from a single source when you use a conventional technique, such as a web browser.

In contrast, downloading material through a magnet link involves downloading it from various sources, which could speed up the download time.

However, in addition to the number of seeds (i.e., users who have already downloaded the file and are now uploading it to others), the speed of your internet connection, and the general health of the BitTorrent network, the speed of a download using a magnet link can also be affected by several additional factors.

The speed of a file download via a magnet link varies from time to time, depending on the circumstances.

It is important to remember that downloading copyrighted content utilizing magnet links is typically illegal and may result in legal repercussions.

Magnet links should only be used for legitimate reasons and with due regard for the intellectual property rights of others.

What happens if I get caught torrenting?

Depending on the laws in your country and the actions of the copyright holder, the repercussions of being found torrenting copyrighted material without authorization can change.

Your internet service provider (ISP) could issue you a notice or warning in specific circumstances, requesting that you cease the illegal behavior.

In some situations, the copyright owner may sue you for copyright infringement, which may result in fines and other legal repercussions.

It is important to note that getting caught downloading torrents does not guarantee that you will be sued or face legal repercussions. Nevertheless, it’s critical to be aware of potential hazards and carefully examine whether taking such risks is worthwhile given the potential outcomes.

Downloading copyrighted content without the owner’s consent is prohibited in several nations. If you are found torrenting copyrighted content, you can have to pay the copyright holder compensation for the unlawful use of their work in the form of damages. Legal fees and court charges could also be demanded of you in some circumstances.

Respecting others’ intellectual property rights and using torrents only for authorized reasons are crucial.

Before downloading material using a torrent if you have any doubts about its legality, you might want to think about getting legal counsel.

Can magnet links have viruses?

Magnet links have the same potential for virus or malicious software distribution as any other hyperlink.

Hackers and online criminals may deceive users into installing malicious software or infect their machines with malware using magnet links.

When using magnet links, it’s crucial to use a trustworthy antivirus application and exercise caution when clicking on them to protect yourself. Additionally, you must only download magnet links from reliable websites and dependable file-sharing services.

Additionally, you should run any files you download via a magnet link through an antivirus application before opening them. By doing this, you can guard against unintentionally downloading malware onto your computer.

It is important to remember that downloading copyrighted content utilizing magnet links is typically illegal and may result in legal repercussions.

Magnet links should only be used for legitimate reasons and with due regard for the intellectual property rights of others.

Why are magnet links better?

There are a few reasons why some individuals might choose to use magnet links over conventional techniques for obtaining files:-

Convenience:- Magnet links can simplify the download process by preventing users from having to obtain an additional file from a server.

Speed:– Magnet links allow users to download files from several sources at once, which could speed up the download time.

Anonymity:– Compared to other means of downloading files, magnet links may offer greater anonymity because they do not need users to download a file from a specific server.

It is important to note that magnet connections have associated risks. Magnet links may disseminate harmful software or malware like any other sort of hyperlink.

Additionally, using magnet links to obtain copyrighted content is typically illegal and may result in legal repercussions.

Magnet links should only be used for legitimate reasons and with due regard for the intellectual property rights of others.

How do I convert a magnet link to a URL?

Because they are not conventional web URLs, they cannot be instantly transformed into URLs.

A BitTorrent client, like qBittorrent or uTorrent, must be installed on your computer to use a magnet link.

The BitTorrent client will launch when you click on a magnet link, and you can then begin downloading the content from other users who are also sharing it.

Use a service that transforms magnet links to conventional URLs if you wish to download a file accessible through a magnet link using a conventional web browser.

This conversion can be done utilizing various web tools and services, but it’s crucial to use caution and only download files from reliable sources.

Can an ISP tell if you are torrenting?

ISPs typically have more trouble identifying the precise content being downloaded when P2P file-sharing technologies are used.

ISPs frequently aren’t able to identify the precise files their customers are downloading; instead, they may be able to detect that their customers are utilizing P2P file-sharing protocols.

It’s important to be aware that some ISPs may have regulations that forbid the use of P2P file-sharing protocols or that set a cap on the amount of bandwidth allocated for P2P file-sharing.

When this occurs, ISPs may take steps to enforce these rules, such as restricting users’ bandwidth who utilize P2P file-sharing protocols or notifying consumers via warning messages.

It’s critical to understand your ISP’s P2P file-sharing regulations and properly use P2P file-sharing protocols.

Conclusion

Magnet links are becoming the norm and are quite easy to use. The old way of torrents might not die down, but using magnet links is on the rise, and it is because magnet links are faster and safer for Torrent sites.

We would love to know about your experiences using them. Use the comment section to tell us what you feel about using magnet links.