You’ll have the same expression as Fry from Futurama after you realize the importance of using a VPN for torrenting.
Most of us have heard about a virtual private network, otherwise known as a VPN, but many don’t quite understand how it works or why you need that software installed, especially when you engage in web activities, such as torrenting, that risks the exposure of your location and personal data.
What is a VPN?
In layman’s terms, a VPN is a type of service that allows you to access the web in a safe and private manner through a server connection that acts as an identity dummy. With this proxy connection, your online activities and data are encrypted by the software, keeping your virtual actions and identity anonymous as you browse through your favorite websites.
How does a VPN work?
When you use a VPN, the software encrypts your data before your internet service provider (ISP) or other wireless connection provider reaches your data. This means you can surf the web without worrying about your ISP snooping about your online activities and it also greatly reduces the likelihood of cybercriminals exploiting your data.
Trouble is, if you are not familiar with VPNs, picking the right VPN can be a daunting task. Because you are relying on third-party applications to safeguard your identity, it is crucial to choose a reliable VPN to make sure your identity stays private, especially when it comes to torrenting files.
There are several factors to consider when choosing the best VPN for torrenting:
- Does your VPN support torrenting? Look for a VPN that supports torrenting as some do not allow it. Many VPNs actually set up restrictions for users, with some banning torrenting activities.
- Does your VPN collect logs from your data? While it’s important to remain anonymous to websites you visit and during torrenting, you don’t want the very web shield you trust end up being the one who stores and manipulates your data.
- Is your VPN performance fast enough? The question explains itself. You want a VPN that allows speedy large file downloads and fast web surfing instead of making your life miserable with lags and torrent speeds that could go on for years.
- What is the VPN’s jurisdiction? It’s best to use a VPN that is set outside the United States, preferably not tied to laws and regulations under the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes alliances. There’s a small chance your personal data may end up in security databases if the VPN provider in question is forced to cooperate with the jurisdiction. Unless you are fine with such potential data collection, it is best to stick to unregulated VPNs.
Not sure where to start in finding the best VPN for torrenting? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will cover:
Table of Contents
Now that you know about VPN, let’s talk about torrenting.
What is Torrenting?
Torrenting is an action where you have many users sharing small pieces of an originally larger file with one another to help with fast downloading of the whole file. You can basically torrent anything — from movies to games to music and ebooks. Torrenting is not considered illegal but you are deemed breaking the law if you are working with copyrighted materials though.
How does torrenting work?
With normal downloads, you get your file after one click of a button but for torrenting, the concept is different. A torrent or tracker will break up the large file and split it into many little parts called packets. These packets or seeders are present on a server and also shared throughout a network of computers downloading the same big file as you are. Users or downloaders or peers (also known as leechers) each have slightly different sections of the same file.
Remember the torrent file that you downloaded? It keeps track of the different packets each user has and alternates the downloads among peers until each receives a complete original file. Throughout the whole process, all downloaders play the role of both peers and seeders, and the higher the number of seeders, the faster the download of the packets.
Why Use a VPN for Torrenting?
Torrenting sounds like a straightforward thing so why the need to use a VPN though? The thing is, while you are happily getting parts of your intended file from the network of peers, you are also putting your identity and personal data in danger out there for potential internet baddies to chance upon.
A VPN helps to hide your identity, location, and activity, making you more anonymous since your actual IP address will not be easily known by other downloaders. Not only that, but a VPN also filters out the possibility of downloading virus-infected files. Though this is not 100% foolproof — as long as you avoid torrenting files with no feedback from the torrent community, you should be safe coupled with your VPN’s presence.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Torrenting
With the many VPNs out in the market, you may be at a loss trying to decide on the best VPN for torrenting. Regardless of which VPN you choose, ensure your VPN fulfills the following criteria:
- Has a kill switch to prevent your true IP from being exposed
- Has great security with strong encryption
- Has fast download speeds and does not restrict the bandwidth
Most importantly, remember to choose a VPN that supports torrenting!
Paid vs Free VPN for Torrenting
Given a choice between a paid or a free VPN for torrenting, most of us will prefer to go for the free option hands down. However, like all free things in this world, there is a catch: Reliability and trustworthiness of the free programs are oftentimes questionable.
What are the major differences between a paid versus free VPN for torrenting? Here’s a quick comparison:
- Pricing — Paid VPNs come at a range of price depending on the package duration while free VPNs are literally free, with some offering partially-free subscriptions. While it is always nice to get and use free stuff, do bear in mind that there may be some cons and restrictions.
- Security — Security is usually something free VPNs lack…not that they are to be blamed since the software is free. A lot of free VPNs only offer Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), the less secure tunneling protocol compared to paid VPNs, which usually offer a mix of OpenVPN, Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol (L2TP) and IPsec protocols.
- Service Quality — Paid VPNs tend to have unlimited data service without suffering from restricted bandwidths coupled with technical support. Such is the opposite for free VPN services though, and some free programs allow only a certain amount of connections to servers before they start asking a fee from you.
We have listed the seven best VPNs for torrenting below:
Anyone who is a fan of torrenting will recognize this brand immediately: NordVPN is known to be the most anonymous and secure VPN for torrenting.
With over 5,200 servers across 60+ countries, you can expect good torrenting performance with hundreds of servers optimized for peer-to-peer (P2P) activities except not all their servers support P2P. Not that it’s a major issue.
And being the most anonymous and secure VPN for torrenting, it is not surprising that NordVPN enforces strict no-logging. This very easy-to-use VPN also has an automatic VPN kill switch in case the VPN malfunctions to avoid leaking your data during its downtime, and the VPN’s double data encryption also helps increase your online security.
NordVPN.com lets you torrent without limits as they do not believe in placing caps on bandwidth. Also, fans of Netflix will be happy to know this VPN unblocks Netflix USA.
A free three-day trial is available if you plan to test this VPN out. Otherwise, you can consider subscribing to NordVPN for under $3 a month for a three-year plan — totally affordable pricing if you ask us! Subscription plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee, with decent live chat support at your service 24/7.
While it has a much smaller network compared to NordVPN, with 800+ servers from 50 countries, Surfshark does not lose in terms of privacy and security. Abiding by a no-logging policy and offering secure tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2 with AES-256-GCM encryption, you can enjoy an optimized torrenting speed while having your identity kept safe and secure.
Surfshark is a very easy-to-use VPN with no bandwidth limit and no simultaneous connection limit, so say hello to using this VPN on different devices all at the same time! It allows torrenting on all its servers including countries where P2P activities are forbidden via rerouting the connection to torrent-friendly servers in the Netherlands or Canada, depending on your location. Smart move, Surfshark.
The best part? Surfshark by far is the cheapest VPN on the market, costing about $1.99 per month for a two-year plan with a 30-day refund policy. The VPN also provides features like a 30-day free trial version, 24/7 live chat support and even gives you lists of the best torrent sites and P2P services.
Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands out of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes surveillance jurisdiction, so you can be assured that your personal data remains safe away from government interference.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers from 93 countries, which is nicely spread out across the world. Apart from being Netflix-compatible, ExpressVPN is also The Orion Router (TOR) compatible. This translates to enhanced security since your traffic info is encrypted across many servers to the point where it is hard to track you down.
ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands and is one of the most secure VPNs for torrenting, especially since it has a strict no-logging policy. This VPN promises fast, secure, and private services and it stays true to its words — the download speed is good, there is a kill switch available, and OpenVPN protocols are backed by AES-256 encryption with no torrenting restrictions.
If you ever need more info on using uTorrent software with this VPN, ExpressVPN provides useful support articles and 24/7 live chat support to help you navigate around. ExpressVPN works on multiple devices but there’s a limit to this though: you can only connect up to three devices simultaneously.
The one downside is that ExpressVPN has a higher cost at about $6.67 per month but the security and reliability it offers are worth the money.
Mullvad makes it to this list simply because of its unique registration feature that requires no personal information from its users, not even email! Once you are done registering, you are provided a numbered account, something similar to Swiss bank-like secrecy. While Mullvad is established by a Swedish company known to be under the Fourteen Eyes surveillance alliance, this VPN will not surrender user information if it does not have any of it so your privacy is still maintained.
Mullvad employs a no-logging policy, has a kill switch, and uses strong tunneling protocols like OpenVPN and new crypto-based protocol called WireGuardVPN together with an equally strong AES-256 encryption for greater security. You can have five simultaneous connections running with Mullvad, which is better than ExpressVPN in this area. This VPN is best for BitTorrent users especially qBitTorrent and there is a walkthrough page on torrenting.
Pricing is slightly on the higher range costing about $5.69 per month but, with its sound security, this is one of the best VPNs to consider for torrenting.
With only 55+ servers spread across 24 countries, Perfect Privacy suffers in terms of performance causing not-so-good connection speeds compared to other VPNs. Torrenting is encouraged but restricted in the sense that only premium (read “paid”) dedicated servers are set aside for P2P.
Perfect Privacy comes with a built-in kill switch in three different modes: while the tunnel is active when the program is active, or a permanent kill switch when the software is off. It offers OpenVPN protocol, along with IPSec and SSH, plus SOCKS5 and PPTP proxies which are all industry standards of protocols and encryption. The most valuable feature to Perfect Privacy will be its unlimited simultaneous connections under one plan.
Despite some of the cons, Perfect Privacy is one of the best VPNs to go for if you value privacy and security as much as this VPN does.
Earning the best reputation in the VPN business, Private Internet Access or PIA is known to be one of the oldest and well-known VPN providers out there with excellent coverage in North America and Europe. With over 3,300 servers in 31 countries, good AES-128 and AES-256 encryptions with OpenVPN protocols, and pretty fast download speeds, no wonder PIA is quite a favorite among peers.
As one of the torrent-friendly VPNs, PIA does not limit you torrenting an event and provides you with P2P support throughout their server network. You can have up to ten simultaneous connections and you can use PIA’s services for less than $3 per month with a seven-day money back guarantee.
PIA has a no-logging policy but it does keep track of payment information and email. Located within the United States, personal data may be exposed in government databases but thankfully, the software is leak free. It has a kill switch, though performance is not that consistent according to some.
Interestingly, PIA accepts cryptocurrency as a payment method and even gift cards from popular retailers like Starbucks, Costco, Best Buy, and Target. Time to put your gift cards to use while staying protected under this VPN!
No, it’s not The Orion Router that you are thinking of — the “Tor” in TorGuard stands for torrenting. Optimized for torrenting, you can expect an average application speed with decent usability with TorGuard’s 3,000+ servers in 55 countries.
Like other VPNs in this list, TorGuard uses OpenVPN protocols and AES-256 encryption. This VPN provider practices no-logging though being part of the Five Eye surveillance alliance, there is a chance your privacy may be compromised but that’s a rare case. This leak-free VPN does not have torrenting restrictions, allows five simultaneous connections to run and has a built-in kill switch installed.
TorGuard has dedicated IP addresses for Netflix or other streaming services appealing to the streaming community but those addresses come at a high cost though ($9.99/month). Good 24/7 live customer support is also available for the clueless.
However, third-party apps are required on iOS and Android to use the VPN services which can be annoying and a hassle. Other than that, TorGuard serves as a great VPN for torrenting.
It is imperative to use a VPN to protect your anonymity and privacy plus provide security when torrenting. It is equally important to choose a VPN that has a no-logging policy, good speed, allows torrenting, and falls away from jurisdiction for enhanced privacy. You would also want a VPN that has affordable subscription plans, has as few restrictions as possible and comes with a reliable built-in kill switch.
To sum up:
- For strict no-logging, go for NordVPN, ExpressVPN, PIA, Perfect Privacy, Surfshark, TorGuard.
- For fast speed, go for NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
- For easy-to-use interface and most economical VPN, go for NordVPN and Surfshark.
- For Netflix-friendly VPNs, go for NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
Now that we have covered the best VPNs for torrenting, we hope you found this article useful and that it provided the insight you need to pick the right VPN for you.
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