Torrenting is a popular way of sharing any type of content online. It allows people to share music, movies, software, and other large files in bits for potentially fast download speeds. However, technology has been receiving a lot of attention from governments, ISP, and copyright agencies over the last few years.
Although P2P is legal, millions of people around the world use it to share copyrighted content. This has led to legal cases, intense monitoring, and blocking of torrent sites by ISPs in many countries.
In a bid to access blocked sites, hide online activities, and torrent anonymously, torrent fans have turned to VPNs. However, VPNs are not made equal. Some of them are either limited or don’t support torrent traffic, and so you need to choose one carefully. To help you with this, we have drafted a guide of the best VPN for torrenting.
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How to Choose VPN for Torrenting
Before we delve deeper into this, you may be wondering – what is a VPN?
A VPN (short for Virtual Private Network) is an online tool that encrypts user traffic and securely tunnels it to a server of choice. This new server then spoofs a user’s real IP address with a new IP address relative to the location of the server.
Through the encryption, all user activities are hidden from the IP, and the new IP address provides a new virtual location of the user and anonymizes them. This way, a user becomes secure, private, and anonymous, and all ISP blocking is circumvented.
However, not all VPNs are suitable for torrenting, and so there are a few things you need to consider:
- Torrent Support: Some VPNs do not allow P2P and torrent traffic on their network, and thus avoid such VPNs.
- VPN speeds: VPNs generally tend to lower speeds slightly, but a good VPN should only have insignificant effects. Choose a fast VPN and use a server near you for the best speeds.
- No IPv6 or DNS Leaks: To preserve your privacy, the VPN should not leak any details that can expose your activities to the ISP or your real IP address to peers and copyright trolls.
- Unlimited bandwidth: Torrents are data-intensive, and so your VPN shouldn’t limit your bandwidth. This automatically rules out free VPNs.
- Solid security: One of the major reasons for using a VPN is the security offered. The industry standard is AES 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN protocol. It’s also crucial for the VPN apps to have a kill switch so as to prevent exposure in case the VPN disconnects unexpectedly.
List of Best VPN for Torrenting
ExpressVPN is known for its superb performance and excellent speeds, and it’s currently the best VPN for torrenting. It is based in the British Virgin Islands, a location that helps the VPN keep true to its promise of zero connection and activity logs.
The VPN has a huge server network that consists of 3,000+ VPN servers spread across 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries. This large number of server ensures that you can always get fast and reliable connections, while the excellent distribution ensures that you can always get a server near you.
When it comes to security, ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption. This is complemented with features such as IPv6 & DNS leak protection, automatic kill switch, multiple protocols, and split tunneling.
The VPN can be installed on all VPN-capable devices, and you can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously.
- Zero logs & solid security
- All servers support torrenting
- Excellent client apps
- Works with all streaming services
- 24/7 Live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Relatively costly
NordVPN is known for its huge number of servers, advanced security features, and superb functionality. The VPN is based in Panama, a country that doesn’t have any repressive privacy laws.
NordVPN has a total of 5500+ servers spread across 59 countries. They have a category of “Specialty servers,” and among those are torrenting servers based in 45 different countries. You can choose one according to your preference, and you can also let the app choose the best depending on your location.
The VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is very secure, and they also have lots of other security features. These include an automatic kill switch, double VPN, Onion over VPN, CyberSec, Anti-DDoS, and DNS & IP Leak protection. Their apps let you choose a protocol of your choice between OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and SSTP. OpenVPN is, however, the recommended protocol for torrenting due to its excellent balance of speed and security.
NordVPN has easy to use apps for popular platforms, and there are also extensions for Chrome and Firefox. One account can be used in up to 6 simultaneous connections.
- Based in Panama
- Keeps Zero usage and connection logs
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Huge server network
- 24/7 Customer Care
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- High cost for month-to-month users
CyberGhost has carried out numerous improvements over the last 2 years, and it now boasts the biggest number of servers in the industry. The VPN has a fast-growing server network that consists of 5900+ servers spread across 90+ countries.
The VPN client has a special category of servers called “For Torrenting,” which consists of thousands of torrenting servers. These are listed with details of the location, distance, and load. It’s therefore easy to select a fast server near you.
The VPN’s privacy and security are solid to ensure that you do not get exposed, and your traffic will be secure. Being based in Romania gives it a good head start in privacy, and the VPN doesn’t log any of your connections or activities. Traffic is also securely encrypted using the standard AES 256-bit protocol.
Available features include an automatic kill switch, ad & malware blocker, split tunneling, multiple protocols, and DNS & IPv6 leak protection. The VPN can be installed on most of the popular devices and browsers, and it supports up to 7 simultaneous connections.
- 1-day free premium trial
- Based in Romania and keeps zero logs
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Dedicated torrenting mode
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Live chat not available 24/7
Why you should always use a VPN for Torrenting
Due to the intense monitoring from ISPs, governments, and copyright agencies, VPNs have become a must-have for torrenting fans. Below are a few reasons why you need to use one before visiting any torrent site.
Unblock Torrent Sites
More than 30 countries have blocked access to torrent sites together with their mirrors. This is implemented through Internet Services Providers (ISPs), and it makes it impossible to get access.
Well, unless you have a VPN.
A VPN encrypts your traffic and redirects it to a different server, and it is through this server that you access the internet. This means that it helps bypass your ISP blocks, and you can freely access any blocked website. All you need to do is connect to a server in a country where torrents are not blocked.
Hide your Online Activities
ISPs can always see the content you are accessing and the services that you are visiting. This means that the government and other authorized organizations can get access to this data. Due to the legal issues associated with copyright infringement, always use a VPN for torrenting (we do not advocate for copyright infringement, but you can’t always differentiate between legal and illegal content),
This will encrypt your activities, and your ISP won’t be able to tell what you are accessing when connected – all they can see is some garbled mess.
When sharing content through P2P, your peers can always see your public IP address, and so can copyright trolls. Your real IP address carries a lot of information, such as your exact location, and it can always be traced back to your real identity.
It’s therefore important to anonymize your identity by using a shared IP address from a VPN that doesn’t keep any connection or activity logs. This way, no one can know who you are.
Circumvent ISP Throttling
ISPs are not the biggest fans of torrent technology, and therefore they tend to slow down your speed when they notice that you’ve used a lot of bandwidth with torrent or P2P traffic. This is called throttling, and it leads to slow speeds when you are downloading or streaming torrent content.
Fortunately, this can be overcome easily by connecting to a VPN server. The encryption provided will mean that your ISP will not know the type of content that you are accessing, and so their systems will not be able to slow you down.
Using a VPN for torrenting is highly recommend as it gives you a layer of privacy and security and removes any obstacles that you may find along the way. Choosing the right VPN is however important to ensure that you can torrent with as few restrictions as possible. The above-listed VPNs are meant to ease up the selection process for you, so choose one that best fits your preferences.