QR code memes are stupid

Ok wait what the fuck are you talking about?

There's this trend going around on — you guessed it — Twitter of people posting QR codes on images and telling people it's pirated software. But a lot of the times these images contain malware, IP loggers, zip bombs, or just deadlinks. Software piracy is a good thing, but this isn't the way to do it istg y'all are dumb asf and it shows.

How to safely scan QR Codes

If you're on Android, use BinaryEye. By far the best scanner on this list, as it will give you a full breakdown of the code before you can open it. For everyone else (iOS, desktop), I'd recommend WebQR.

Android and iOS users, PLEASE DON'T USE YOUR CAMERA APP'S SCANNER! Your camera apps won't give you a full breakdown of the code being scanned.

Please inspect any zip files before opening them. Preferably, have the md5/sha256sums on-hand to cross check them. (Scroll below for more details on how to do that.) However, you shouldn't be getting your pirated software from QR codes.

How to actually pirate

Simple: it's about trust.

Make sure to use a trusted torrenting source with a trusted torrenting client on a trusted VPN, inspecting the contents of the download before opening it.

Source

By far the most reliable all-around torrent source is 1337x. They have pretty much everything you'll ever need (movies, TV, anime, PC software, games, etc). However, I'd like to give an honorable mention to PCGamesTorrents for having very up-to-date PC game torrents.

Clients

For desktop (Linux, Windows, macOS), use qBittorrent or Deluge. For Android, use LibreTorrent. I personally hate iOS and refuse to use it. There seem to be some apps you can sideload, but I can't speak for any of them.

VPNs

VPNs are one of the most shilled and overhyped things ever. All you're doing is redirecting who can see the traffic of your internet from your ISP's servers to someone else's. Never use big-name VPNs like NordVPN! If it was in a sponsored YouTube video, chances are it's shit. Hell, ExpressVPN and Kape are owned by a company known for distributing malware. Same can be said for those Chrome extensions offering a “free lifetime VPN”. Self-hosting a VPN is always the best option, however, because you're here, chances are you can't do that. I'll cut to the chase — for clearnet users (aka you), Mullvad is the ONLY good choice. Their prices are reasonable, and it's completely anonymous. Furthermore, their servers are hosted in Sweden, which has great internet privacy laws.

Inspecting the content

Even with all of this, there's a chance what you download could be malicious. This practice applies to whatever you download from shitty QR codes as well.

Specifically pirating Windows

If you just want to pirate Windows (even though Linux is far superior), use WinActivate.

That's it. Thanks for reading my ramblings.