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I am annoyed when I see people turning to torrents and pirate sites as their source for a copy of Windows. I have no issue with the matter of piracy in this case but rather this is more of a security issue. Obtaining the .ISO image for your operating system from untrusted sources is a HUGE security risk as you have absolutely no way of determining (beyond a valid checksum, which could also potentially be forged…) that the operating system you are using is already backdoored/rootkitted-out or has other potentially dangerous modifications performed on it.

 

I have walked into offices where they are using “customized” Windows builds from torrent sites and I have been instructed in workplaces during my career to “just use a pirated copy from torrents” to save time and money. I can also attest that I have witnessed the US Government using pirated copies as well as large universities, medical clinics and businesses of all shapes and sizes (financial services!). Again, I am not judging them in any way for “piracy” here, just that the people who are doing this to save time are probably wasting more and are leaving themselves open to very large and unworthy security risks.

 

Windows is already a very insecure operating system and there is no need to take on greater risk for “convenience”. There is a legitimate way of obtaining Windows 10 .ISO files safely that is even easier than any other “unofficial” source can provide you with.

 

  • Visit the Windows 10 Disk Image (ISO) page on a non-Windows computer (You can also changed your browser’s user agent to fool Microsoft.com into serving you the correct page) and you can select your own copy of Windows 10 .ISO. It is from the official www.microsoft.com domain, protected with their certificate, encrypted in HTTPS, does not require any specialized software and will likely be faster than any swarm along with providing you options for many languages. You may now use this for Virtual Machines, burning it to a USB or DVD for installation and also for archival purposes so you do not need to run around looking for one again in the future when Windows inevitably needs to be reinstalled.
    • I personally use the “Windows 10 English International 64 Bit” version here in Canada. I will setup the system with the “US Keyboard” configuration though. This provides me with a proper English dictionary (colour, not color) but without the Canadian French keyboard keys (é, ç, etc)