Torrent websites are full of stuff that everyday users want and need. Whether it is movies, songs, TV shows, software, games…you name it, and you can find it on a torrent website. All you have to do is download a torrent client and download the torrent file. The file then downloads to your system.
But the crying need in today’s world is for privacy and anonymity. Privacy and anonymity for torrenting? You bet! Without any protection, anyone can see what you are downloading through the torrent client. This includes your ISP and legal authorities. This is why you need a VPN for torrenting.
Best VPN For Torrent Tested By Our Team
What Is BitTorrent Protocol?
While everyone knows that BitTorrent is a torrent client that helps you download torrent files, not many know what the BitTorrent protocol is. It is a peer-to-peer system (P2P) that allows you to download the file not from a central server but from others users downloading the same file.
Ordinarily, you would go to a server that hosts a file, and you download it from there. But due to high traffic or network issues, the file might stop downloading in the middle. You know how infuriating it is to see a download fail at 99%! But not with BitTorrent.
BitTorrent protocol breaks any file into hundreds or thousands of small pieces. When you download a torrent file, you are downloading the mapping of these files. You then connect to these nodes, which are other users downloading the same file. So each user downloads the file in bits from other users while sharing some pieces from his system. This allows you to download the file quickly, and there is no single bottleneck for failure.
What Is A Torrent VPN
VPN stands for virtual private network. It’s basically a server that sits between your system and the internet.
But there are a few special traits of these VPN servers.
These servers mask your IP address with that of theirs. Since your IP address contains sensitive information like your location, the service provider you are using, your operating system, etc., hiding it with another IP can give you anonymity. You can also use the location masking functionality to your benefit by connecting to a VPN server of your choice to unblock geo-restricted services.
These servers encrypt all traffic going through them. This means that nobody can see what websites you are visiting and what you are doing on them. Your online activity is your business alone. This is important when sharing sensitive information like bank account details, social security number, etc.
VPNs help you access the internet freely, securely, and anonymously. But in our case, we are only interested in VPNs for torrenting that help you in securing the torrent activity.
When you are downloading a torrent file, you are connected to other users downloading that particular file. When you go to the peer’s section in your torrent client, you will notice that you can see the IP address of all the users downloading that file. This also means that anyone can see your IP address while torrenting.
If you think this doesn’t matter, try looking at things from this angle.
You know how copyright infringement is a big issue globally these days? While torrenting is not an illegal thing, downloading copyrighted content without permission is in this case.
Because when you download a torrent, you are essentially sharing that file with others as well. You don’t do it on purpose, but that’s how the BitTorrent protocol works. However, that means you are sharing copyrighted content, which means you are indulging in digital piracy.
So in a nutshell, here’s why you need a VPN for torrenting:
Why You Need A VPN For Torrent
Hide Your Torrent Activity
When you use torrent VPN, your IP address is masked by the IP of the VPN server. This means that although others can see the IP address, it cannot be traced to you. It allows you to download torrents anonymously.
You never have to worry about receiving a DMCA notice, an Abmahnung letter, etc. depending on which part of the world you are in. Legal authorities and your ISP cannot know what torrent file you are downloading, or even the fact that you are downloading torrents.
Overcome ISP Throttling
When it comes to torrenting, ISPs don’t just give you a notice about your activity. They even throttle your network bandwidth so that your download speed takes a hit. This is done to discourage torrenting as well as to balance the network load that ISPs face.
It is something that shouldn’t be done, but if you are downloading torrents openly, you leave yourself open to this as well. When you use a torrent VPN, there is no throttling, since your ISP doesn’t know you are downloading a torrent
How To Use A Torrent VPN?
This is pretty simple.
- Go to the website of a VPN provider and download the client for your OS
- Subscribe to the VPN and login to the client
- Connect to the VPN for torrent
- Download the torrent file from your browser
- Open your torrent client (BitTorrent, uTorrent, Vuze, etc.) and start the download
Best VPNs For Torrenting
There are many VPNs that give you privacy, online freedom, and anonymity. But not all of these VPNs give you torrent protection and not all support P2P and BitTorrent download.
Among the VPNs that support P2P, you should opt for VPNs that:
- Offer high-speed connections
- Use secure protocols for encrypting your traffic
- Have many servers for torrenting spread all over the world
- Do not keep usage logs
- Offer an auto kill-switch
- Allow port forwarding in case they use a NAT firewall
Based on these requirements, we have compiled a list of the best torrent VPNs.
The Best Torrent VPN Tested & Selected By Our Team
CyberGhost is one of the top VPN services in the market and is arguably the best when it comes to torrenting. This is a result of CyberGhost’s partnering with BitTorrent and uTorrent. Thanks to this agreement (not openly advertised!) CyberGhost will automatically connect you to the nearest, fastest and secure server optimized for torrenting.
For this reason, when it comes to torrenting CyberGhost is the VPN offering the best performances in term of speed and security.
With this VPN you have the promise of military-grade encryption to secure your connections. You never have to worry about your online activity being spied on. Nobody will be able to see your torrent activity, not even CyberGhost because they have a strict no-logs policy. The only information they record is when you sign into the client, but that’s pretty harmless.
With more than 1500 servers across 59 countries, CyberGhost has a vast network. The clients might not be as beautifully designed as some of the competitors, but they are feature rich. While there is a kill switch, you can also use the Anonymous torrent option.
A 30-day money back guarantee allows you to ask for a refund if you are not satisfied.
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ExpressVPN is the frontrunner in the VPN industry. It is an all-in-one VPN that caters to every need of internet users. Torrenting falls under ExpressVPN’s wingspan as well.
Based out of the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is subject to no data retention laws.
Although some connection logs are kept, it never shares them with others and cannot be compelled to disclose them. Even if it was, they are connection logs, and cannot be used to identify you.
ExpressVPN has torrent servers in 148 locations across the world. All these are high-speed servers, and they are well spread over the globe. This means there is always an ExpressVPN torrent server near you. With OpenVPN AES 256-bit encryption, you never have to worry about someone snooping in on your torrent activity.
The generous 30-day money back guarantee the multi-device support and kill switch make sure your torrent experience is safe and smooth. You can use the Network Lock feature from ExpressVPN to make sure that your torrent downloads stop as soon as you get disconnected from the server.
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HMA is one of the most widely used VPNs. It has a user base that beats most of the other VPNs quite easily. Although HMA has come under scrutiny in recent years because of sharing user info and the fact that it records some connection logs, you don’t have to worry. These logs are kept strictly for maintenance purposes, and they cannot be used to identify you.
HMA has more than 1500 servers in over 150 countries of the world. Their server count is among the highest in the VPN industry. Many of these servers are torrent servers.
The HMA client is super user-friendly and intuitive. Many devices and operating systems are supported like Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, etc. Connection speeds are usually good. The customer support is one area this VPN is lacking in a bit, but it’s not that bad.
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You may not have heard a lot about Hidester VPN but you surely will in the future. This new VPN provider is a rising star in the Internet security world and it sets itself as an untiring advocate of freedom and privacy on the web.
It is not a secret that Hidester VPN is P2P and torrent friendly. As openly advertised on the official website, Hidester VPN supports P2P and torrenting in both directions (downloads and uploads.) To make torrenting and P2P file sharing faster even more secure and they developed a proprietary protocol called CamoVPN that guarantees high-security performances.
Hidester VPN may not have as many VPN servers as its competitors but you can find them in the most important location around the globe and new one are added every month. Moreover, many of these VPN servers are optimized for torrenting and during our tests, we experienced an excellent level of security and speed.
Hidester VPN is compatible with all the most important OS and the client is very easy to use even for novices. The company offers a 7-day money back guarantee, so you can try torrenting with Hidester VPN risk-free.
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IPVanish has been a constant in the top-ranked VPNs for a few years now. It is known for providing some of the fastest and safest connections among all VPNs. It does not record any activity or usage logs, so your torrent activity is absolutely private. With the strong encryption it provides, your torrent activity is hidden from everyone.
IPVanish uses shared IPs and has more than 1000 server in over 60 countries. Shared IPs ensure that the IP address can never be traced back to you since many users use that same IP. The VPN client is neat and easy to use with a simplistic yet attractive UI.
You can choose a Torrent server from within the client. There are hundreds of torrent servers, so that server congestion is never a problem. The auto-kill switch protects your real IP from being revealed at all times.
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PureVPN is one of the best value-for-money VPNs you can use. The features and service it offers for the meager money it charges you is unbelievable. While its recent case of disclosure of user info to the FBI has marred its name a bit, PureVPN continues to be one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
For starters, it is second only to HMA in terms of server count. All these servers are not available for torrenting, as with any other VPN, since some areas are not so P2P friendly. But you will find that PureVPN offers a lot of torrent servers which you can use. The encryption is strong, and connection speeds are decent for torrenting.
The PureVPN Wi-Fi security feature offers to connect you to the VPN whenever it notices that you are connected to a public and unsafe network. This allows for anonymous and secure torrenting on any network. While PureVPN does keep connection logs, it does not record usage logs. People might take this with a pinch of salt given the recent FBI case, but overall, there’s little reason not to use PureVPN for torrenting.
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Based out of Panama, NordVPN has risen through the ranks and is a top player in the VPN industry now. NordVPN made its name as the most secure VPN with its double-encryption and Tor over VPN features. These add an extra layer of security to hide your activity from everyone.
With a no-logs policy, this gives you absolute privacy and anonymity. However, this adds an extra encryption overhead that reduces network speed a bit. Despite NordVPN’s best efforts, it still lags behind its competitors to a small degree when it comes to connection speeds.
NordVPN allows P2P, and you never have to worry about your torrent activity getting leaked. However, the lesser connection speed can give you some problems. Mind you; the difference is not that high. But when you see that other VPNs can help you download torrents faster, NordVPN’s excellent customer support service, easy to use VPN clients, and strong encryption and servers fall short.
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Why You Need Port Forwarding And Kill Switch For Torrenting?
We mentioned that you should look for VPNs that offer kill-switch and port forwarding when looking for a torrent VPN. As to the reason for that, here it is.
Killswitch is a feature that disconnects you from the internet the moment your VPN connection drops. This helps you stay protected at all times. Kill switch is especially handy when you are downloading torrents because you might start a large file’s download and go away from your system.
If you don’t have a kill switch and your VPN connection drops mid-way through the download, you are exposed until you reconnect to your VPN. During that time, anyone can see your torrent activity, which undoes everything you work for when using a VPN.
Therefore, a kill switch is a must when downloading torrents through a VPN.
Port forwarding helps you download torrents if you have a firewall or the VPN has a NAT firewall. NAT firewalls block incoming traffic altogether, meaning your torrent connections are blocked as well. This can slow down or block your torrent activity completely, and also cause problems for others.
With port forwarding, you can open up certain ports within the network through which the firewall allows traffic to enter. You can setup port forwarding in BitTorrent and other torrent clients as well pretty easily, and enjoy VPN protection at all times
Things To Keep In Mind While Using A Torrent VPN
You should always take care of a few things when using a VPN for torrenting.
- Make sure that your kill switch is enabled. All VPN clients mentioned in this article provide the kill switch feature. Just turn it on from within the client, and you can download torrents without worrying about a connection drop leaving you exposed.
- Use a secure protocol. All VPNs offer different protocols. PPTP is the fastest, but also the weakest, so you should never use it. L2TP/IPSec is the protocol that is best suited for high-speed connections and decent protection. Unless a government spying organization is on your tail, this is enough protection. But if you want the best protection, opt for OpenVPN. It is the most tested and secure VPN protocol as of now and can keep you safe from everyone. There is a speed trade-off with OpenVPN, but safety comes first.
- Make sure you continue seeding for a while after your download finishes. Seeding is allowing others users to download the file from your system. This helps you give something back to the community. Maintaining a 1:1 download and upload ratio is a general good practice that you should adopt.
Legality Of BitTorrent
This is a question that comes up time and again. People are quick to frown upon torrent users. These people are usually lawmakers and copyright owners. They see torrenting as a way of promoting digital piracy. But that’s not the case.
The BitTorrent protocol is perfectly legal. What’s not legal is downloading copyrighted content. It’s not that everything you download is copyrighted. But when it is, it can be viewed as copyright infringement.
Although downloading copyrighted content for personal use is legal all over the world, sharing it is not. Due to the working of the BitTorrent protocol, you are always sharing the file you are downloading, so that’s a problem.
But after all, is said and done, torrenting is legal all over the world. This is why there are so many torrent clients and websites. The peer-to-peer system is a major upgrade on the traditional server-based download system.
Some parts of the world are stricter as compared to others when it comes to torrenting. For example, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are absolutely anti-torrenting. It is quite simple to get into trouble for downloading torrents in these countries.
We understand you don’t download content to share it, but try explaining that to the authorities! You’re better off using a torrenting VPN. While countries like Switzerland and Netherlands are very relaxed when it comes to torrenting, you should use a torrent VPN there as well. It never hurts to be safe.
This is something only for TV shows and movies since this is the content that is downloaded the most via torrent websites. While torrents allow you to download content to your system and view it as and when you want, you can also use VOD services to stream the content.
These are services that charge you a subscription fee but offer you a movie and TV show library that is rich and vast. You get your favorite movies and TV shows in the best picture quality, and you can watch them whenever you want. You don’t have them on your device, but you can watch them through your subscription as often as you wish.
There are services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer that are the best when it comes to movies and TV shows. BBC iPlayer is only for UK nationals (unless you unblock BBC iPlayer with a VPN), but Netflix is available all over the world. However, the content available in different versions of Netflix varies, meaning you don’t always get the content you want.
Netflix USA is the most coveted of these versions, but unless you are in the US, you can’t access it. That is if you don’t use a VPN. Using a VPN, you can connect to a US server for Netflix, and UK server for BBC iPlayer, and access the respective streaming services.
Although these services are cracking down on VPN users pretty hard, many of the best VPNs are able to circumvent their checks and allow users to access them.
In addition to these VOD services, you can also use Popcorn Time and Kodi boxes for this purpose. Popcorn Time is absolutely free to use. Although it is not available everywhere, you would be surprised how handy a good Popcorn Time VPN can come in!
Torrent VPNs are a must wherever you are these days. They help you download torrents anonymously and securely.
While free VPNs and SOCKS5 proxies might help you at times, they are never a permanent solution.
Free VPNs might not charge you money, but they are unreliable, and might even share your personal data with third-parties, making the situation worse for you. So make sure you use a VPN for torrent for safe and carefree torrenting anywhere in the world.
Best Torrent VPN Tested By Our Team