Even if you do not use a torent, you could benefit from having a VPN because of the privacy it offers. It does not replace antivirus protection, but it does offer an added level of security from hackers and malware. The VPN does this by changing your IP address so it cannot be tracked to your computer.
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If they suspect you, they will send you a threatening letter telling you to stop downloading and threaten you with a fine. They often offer to settle out of court and many people do this. They can take you to court, which can take a lot of time and money to defend yourself. When you are sharing files in a peer-to-peer network, your Internet provider can monitor and track all your activity. If "Trolls" find you downloading a lot of material, they could target you whether or not you are engaged in illegal activity.
It also scrambles or encrypts your data, so it cannot be recognized. Currently having an IP address that has downloaded copyrighted material has been enough to make you guilty of piracy. This ruling appears to fly in the face of that practice, but this was just one court and the rest of the legal world is still working out the ramifications. Your internet provider can slow, or throttle, your service and even shut down your account in some cases.
"Trolls" is a slang term to define companies representing artists that sue people for downloading their material without paying. Sites that have been suspected of enabling illegal downloads have been shut down in the United States. The downside is, as some respectable ones are put out of business, worse ones show up to take their place. These can have a lot of pop-up ads, and worse, they can actually hack users’ computers. According toPC Mag website, the reputation of torents is "both unfair and well-deserved" at the same time.