Risks of using torrents

I have NordVPN which I use with qbittorrent - it has worked well. however, in the midst of using them recently I was notified by Nord that a new version was available to install. I updated the VPNs but the qbittorrent remained active (presumably without an active VPN during the install). About an hour later I got an email from Xfinity (my internet provider)
" This is an alert under our DMCA repeat infringer policy
This alert is to let you know we’ve received a notification of alleged copyright infringement associated with your Xfinity Internet account. That means your Internet service may have been used to copy or share a movie, show, song, game, or other copyrighted content without any required permission…"
It directed me to https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/comcast-dmca-compliance-policy

which is a monthly escalating policy, possibly resulting in termination of my Xfinity service.
That threat is real since there are no other internet providers in my area.

Did the Xfinity email resulted from the temporary lapse in the VPN, or might prior unnotified tracking have occurred? In other words, if I am more careful, is it safe to resume (next month) using qbittorrent + a VPN
thanks

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I use a different vpn service but also use qbittorrent. I haven’t noticed such a problem with mine. When my vpn provider has an update, the update itself closes the vpn and reinstalls a fresh new install. I never checked to see if I had qbitorrrent open when doing this update, as it would certainly open an avenue for connecting directly through my ip host. So thank you for the post, as it alerted me to this situation where I’m exposed…

Yes, installing updates can result in stopping the VPN connection - but do check the settings, some VPN has a ‘Kill Switch’ function - which will will cut off your internet connection, if the VPN is NOT on.

Great post @pfranks1 I also strongly suggest using a VPN that supports Socks5 as you can set that up in Qbittorent itself and it is just another layer of protection. So even if your VPN does go down, you are still protected by that. I go through all of this in my video here - 18 Best Torrent Sites in September 2021 (New Sites Added Daily) There are some who only use Socks5 for masking IP and don’t use VPN due to speed problems. I wouldn’t suggest that though as your traffic isn’t encrypted when you go that route.

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thanks all for the helpful replies.
Is it safe to assume that Xfinity monitors my use of torrents etc and only sees that when my VPN stops— and that’s what triggers their warning email. I ask this because their warning email talked about repeat DRM infringement and I have never received such an email before.

So it’s just a matter of being more careful, using a kill switch etc

Deluge is a great torrent Downloader as well, along with VPN this also encrypts your torrent data the pool it’s getting it from and the seeds.

I’d recommend and the one mentioned above.

I was on the cutting edge of torrents when they started over 30 yrs ago. At that time we always added code that encrypted the header for the security of those in the swarm. A shame that the torrent makers aren’t doing that anymore, or so it seems, or your IP wouldn’t know what you were downloading.