Since Singapore is a highly developed country in South Asia boasting latest-generation internet infrastructure, which is arguably one of the best in the world, today’s article is aimed at torrenting aficionados living there. Let’s begin with the basics.
Is torrenting illegal in Singapore?
However, there’s a caveat to that: it all depends on what you’re downloading.
Since Peer to Peer aka P2P technology is essentially an online platform for sharing files, the only thing that might get you in trouble in Singapore is the nature of the content. If the source of material is kosher and the person who uploads the respective online content has permission from the copyright owner to do so, it’s all unicorns and rainbows.
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Torrenting in Singapore
Since we’ve already answered the question “is torrenting illegal in Singapore,” let’s take a quick look at the history of torrenting in the country. Since Singapore is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, with the vast majority of households connected to the internet via a broadband connection, torrenting and file-sharing generally speaking is very popular. According to official data, at least half of the population (one in two people interviewed) doesn’t have a “moral issue” with downloading copyrighted content via torrenting.
However, it’s funny to learn that 80 percent or 4 in 5 Singaporeans claim that respecting intellectual property is important, as per Intellectual Property Office of Singapore’s latest survey. Torrenting is a big thing in Singapore due to two main facts: blazing fast internet speeds and a huge number of free/open (hence anonymous) Wireless LAN internet access points, available in internet cafes and public libraries.
Another reason for which torrenting is widespread in Singapore is that there’s a shortage of legal means for downloading/streaming digital content. Needless to say, torrenting is the most popular among the younger Singaporeans, the 18-24 years of age demographic respectively, of which almost 40 percent say that they are regularly downloading movies and TV shows via torrenting.
Legal documents defining the use of torrent sites/files
The relevant legislation regarding using torrent sites and engaging in torrenting is The Copyright Act (Singapore) 2014.
Legal consequences for the torrenting of copyrighted material in Singapore
According to Singapore criminal law, if convicted of willful and significant copyright infringement to obtain a commercial advantage of sorts, you may be fined by up to $20,000, and you may also serve up to 6 months in jail. Repeated offenders may be fined by up to $50,000 and may serve up to 3 years of jail time.
The statute of limitations for copyright infringement in Singapore is 6 years. It’s worth mentioning that copyright law in Singapore is based on Australian legislation.
Torrenting-related lawsuit statistics in Singapore
Speaking of lawsuit statistics, back in 2006, the Recording Industry Association of Singapore (RIAS) filed the first lawsuits related to torrenting activities, illegal music file-sharing respectively, under the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. One year later, in 2007, an anime distributor (Odex) started tracking down and even sending legal threats against torrent-users. Singapore’s courts ordered internet service providers to reveal subscribers’ personal info.
Cease and desist letters were sent by Odex to users as young as nine years old, and these actions led to out of court settlements for at least $2,000 per individual. More recently, internet service providers in Singapore blocked a number of torrent sites following orders from the country’s High Court, including The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents.
How to torrent safely in Singapore
Now comes the fun part, as we’ll teach you how to torrent safely and anonymously in Singapore. Provided you already have a BitTorrent client (uTorrent/BitTorrent/whatever) installed on your machine, here’s a short step-by-step tutorial:
Step 1: Choose a VPN service provider and download/install the software on your computer by following the instructions.
Step 2: Choose a P2P server (keep in mind that the best VPN providers offer dedicated servers for torrenting) and connect to it.
Step 3: Check to see if your real IP address is hidden before starting torrenting. Click here to see your real IP address, then check it again with the VPN service started and see if it changes.
Step 4: When the VPN connection is established and your real IP address is changed, you can safely start torrenting.
Best VPN for torrenting in Singapore
NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting in Singapore. The truth is that in regard to torrenting, NordVPN is almost too good to be true, making for the ideal choice if you’re looking for the best VPN service provider to browse the web securely and completely anonymously.
Read our full NordVPN review
To begin with, NordVPN is excellent for both torrenting & P2P and video streaming, as it boasts more than 5,7000 servers spread all over the world, and uses the best VPN protocols in the industry, the default being OpenVPN, along with military-grade encryption for all of your data (AES 256-bit encryption respectively).
The main features that make NordVPN an excellent choice for torrenting include a strict zero-logs policy, the fact that it offers a free SOCKS5 proxy, as well as the fact that the company is based in Panama – a country that doesn’t have data retention laws.
Even though not all of their servers permit torrenting, the ones that do are actually optimized for P2P file sharing, i.e., optimized for torrents, which means you’ll benefit from blazing fast download speeds.