Downloading Free Media Without Being a Pirate
One does not have to be a pirate to enjoy the endless free media on the Internet. Youtube, Vimeo and other streaming video sites offer more video than one could watch in many life times. Archive.org has millions of books, videos and a wide range of audio recordings for the downloading. Librivox offers free audio versions of books in the public domain.
If the plethora of free content is not enough for you then you can get nearly free mass content through Amazon, Netflix and other streaming media services. A low monthly subscription gets you access to vast amounts of new high quality media.
You can also download some legal media through Bittorrent file-sharing. Bittorrrent is a peer-to-peer file transfer protocol for sharing large amounts of data over the Internet, in which each part of a file downloaded by a user is transferred to other users. However, Bittorrent does not offer its users anonymity nor security. It is possible to obtain the IP addresses of all current and possibly previous file-sharers. There are sites that publish this information and many people monitoring just who is downloading what when.
To download a file through the the Bittorrent protocol you need a client program. The client software connects you to other peers and manages the downloading and uploading. One of the best and most secure clients is Transmission, available for Mac and Linux. A special version is available for Windows users, but if you are using Bittorrent you probably shouldn't be using Windows in the first place.
Transmission is an open source, volunteer-based project. Unlike some Bittorrent clients, Transmission doesn't play games with its users to make money.
The next step is to find a torrent file and this is where sites like Thepiratebay come in. Be aware that most such sites are heavily loaded with intrusive ads, almost to the point of being unusable by all but the most dedicated downloaders.
If you choose to download copyrighted content you should only do so through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that does not maintain logs. Keep in mind that many VPNS are either operated by law enforcement or intelligence agencies or do share information in real-time with them.
It is safest to assume that all of your online activity is monitored by someone somewhere. You should not engage in risky behaviour online or reveal personal details about yourself or your family members that could be used against you.