How to Safely Use NordVPN for Torrenting in 2021

  • 19/Jun/2021
  • 06:57 am

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Torrenting (peer-to-peer) is a file sharing protocol that allows users to connect and share content without having to rely on a single source for downloads. It involves downloading and uploading files through a BitTorrent network.

When it comes to torrenting however, even the most popular torrent clients such as utorrent, BitTorrent, QBitTorrent recommend using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Downloading torrents can be a risky business, and even more riskier when you go unprotected. This is owing to how vulnerable users can be when they land on these sites or download torrents.

Without the full protection of a VPN, your data is readily exposed to anyone who has the means or intent to snoop over your torrenting. In addition, private information from personal files on your device can easily be hacked when you share files or inadvertently download certain malware infected files.

So when next you see the warning messages such as “Do not torrent without using a VPN” from some of the best torrenting sites, note that these messages are not intended to scare you, but to protect you from trolls, hackers or cybercriminals and even the government.

However, when it comes to choosing a VPN, proper care must be taken. Not every VPN out there is suitable for torrenting - even when they lay claim to it. Some VPNs fall short on privacy, while others do not offer great speeds to support torrenting.

In this article, our VPN recommendation for safe torrenting is NordVPN. We extensively tested NordVPN and we confirmed that:

  • You enjoy lightning fast download speeds
  • Your privacy is ensured when torrenting
  • Your data is encrypted along safe channels with powerful security protocols
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Torrent safely with NordVPN in 4 simple steps

  • Choose one of NordVPN’s subscription plans or sign up and take advantage of a 30-day money back guarantee
  • Next proceed to activate and install NordVPN on your device
  • Connect to one of NordVPN’s optimized P2P servers
  • Go to your favorite torrent site and start downloading torrents safely

Do you really need a VPN for torrenting?

The answer is a gigantic YES! Most torrent networks are not safe and using these networks without a VPN is taking a huge risk. Here are some of the reason why you will need a VPN protection for torrenting:

  1. Malware exposure - Many torrent files are infected with malwares. And this has nothing to do with how credible or reliable the torrent site is. Even some of the best torrenting sites cannot keep track of the health of files uploaded by users of the site. When you proceed to download files from a torrent site, you may be downloading malware infected files or spyware or even ransomware that gives hackers easy access to your device.
  2. Privacy breach - Usually, when you are downloading a torrent file, your IP address becomes visible to anyone sharing that file. This makes it easy for your online activity to be monitored and you may even be implicated by anyone who steals your identity.
  3. Copyright issues - Even if you don’t intend downloading copyrighted materials, there’s a high chance that you will download one accidentally. In this case, you may be faced with severe legal charges, depending on the copyright issues in place in your location. But with a VPN, your IP address is hidden and your data and activity are not visible to anyone who tries to track you down.
  4. ISP throttling- Torrenting is usually associated with heavy files and when your ISP notices that you are torrenting, it begins to throttle your bandwidth and speed and you may not be able to share or download episodes of your favorite series or TV shows.

Ultimately, a VPN provides your device with adequate security, privacy and anonymity, making your activity undetectable. With your IP address inaccessible, data activity unexposed, no one can track your device when you are torrenting.

Why is NordVPN good for torrenting?

NordVPN combines tough privacy and security protocol with fast server speeds to keep users safe. The VPN provider offers compatibility across a range of devices including Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS; so the device you wish to torrent with shouldn’t cause you any worry. Manual setup is available for wireless routers, NAS (network-attached storage) and other platforms.

NordVPN routes user’s internet traffic through remote servers that are run by the company, thereby ensuring your real IP address stays hidden. When it comes to security, NordVPN uses OpenVPN and Internet Key Exchange v2/IPSec, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak amongst other proprietary protection technologies, making it really safe to use.

In addition, NordVPN provider maintains a strict zero logs policy, so you can rest assured that no data/activity of yours is collected or logged by the provider. And its built-in automatic kill switch even offers more protection by ensuring that your real identity is never exposed, even in the case of a connection drop.

With over 5000 servers in 81 locations across 59 countries, NordVPN network offers users brilliantly fast connection speeds. This is because having more servers means having less traffic and so you can download and upload large torrent files without your speed being slowed down due to overcrowded servers. Within NordVPNs enormous server network, it has dedicated P2P servers which makes torrenting even more seamless.

With NordVPN, you enjoy the luxury of unlimited data which means that you can download as much as you want without fear of being throttled by your ISP. NordVPN also eliminates pesky ads with its impressive ad blocker that prevents intrusive pop-up ads on torrent sites that try to get in your way every minute.

Should you require protection for more than one device, NordVPN has got you covered. One NordVPN subscription covers a maximum of six devices. So whether you wish to torrent on your laptop at home or on the go with your mobile device, the choice is yours. You can do that simultaneously without much hassle.

To set up your NordVPN P2P, follow the steps listed below:

  • Step 1 : Open your P2P file-sharing network application (uTorrent or BitTorrent or QBitTorrent).
  • Step 2: Navigate to Options. Click on it. Then, select Preferences.
  • Step 3: A new page will pop up. There, click on Connection.
  • Step 4: Navigate to the Proxy Server section and select HTTP or Socks5 as the ‘type.’ Here, the type is dependent on your P2P network.
  • Step 5: Fill in Proxy using a P2P-supported server that can be chosen from NordVPN’s server picker. Then select Show advanced options, click on Select server type, and select P2P. Afterward, navigate to Select security protocol and pick HTTP or Socks5 Depending on the selection you made in Step 4. Then you will see the recommended server.
  • Step 6: Fill in the Port using 80 for HTTP Proxy type and 1080 for Socks5.
  • Step 7: Tick all boxes under the Proxy server and Proxy privacy sections.
  • Step 8: Fill in your NordVPN Username and password in the authentication area.
  • Step 9: Click OK to confirm, and congratulations, you are connected to NordVPN

NOTE : NordVPN works with any good torrent client platform and all you need is to download, install and configure.

Are there alternative VPNs as good as NordVPN?

While NordVPN happens to be our top choice for torrenting, there are other VPNs that are equally as impressive - guaranteeing you security, anonymity and privacy on top of brilliant speeds. We put the following VPNs through their paces and found them an excellent alternative to NordVPN for torrenting.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is also a very great VPN provider that keeps torrenting safe and anonymous. It has a very easy to use interface and great for beginners . ExpressVPN maintains a very strict zero logs policy. It keeps neither connection nor activity logs and as a result, no user can be matched to a specific network activity. In clearer terms, nobody – and this includes the government, a third party snoop or a hacker – can monitor your online presence.

While torrenting, ExpressVPN makes your connection untouchable and keeps you protected from hackers through its powerful encryption. ExpressVPN uses a 4096-bit CA, AES-256-bit encryption, and TLSv1.2 to secure user traffic. Its available VPN protocols include Lightway ( which makes its connections faster, stable and more reliable) , OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. ExpressVPN also has an inbuilt DNS/IPv6 leak protection and Network Lock feature to protect your identity.

Furthermore on security, ExpressVPN’s kill switch feature keeps your IP address and traffic cloaked and secured even if the VPN connection is interrupted. This kill switch is known as Network Lock and is automatically enabled in the app. ExpressVPN is available to all Windows, Mac, Android, Linux devices. Unfortunately the kill switch feature is unavailable for iOS users.

ExpressVPN has unlimited bandwidth and data caps for totally unrestricted torrenting. It is safely accessible and automatically connects to more secure HTTPS versions of websites. It uses a number of proxy servers that are located in different parts of the world. Users can switch between proxies as many times as they desire. This can help to reduce interruptions and adapt for slower connection speeds.

Another stand out feature of ExpressVPN is its split tunneling. This feature lets you encrypt only a part of your traffic through certain browsers but it leaves everything else untouched. ExpressVPN easily breaks through geoblocks used by streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC, etc. It easily enables you to unlock content and stream Netflix in HD. It is also reliable for unblocking popular platforms like YouTube, Google, Facebook, Reddit, etc, in heavily censored countries like Russia and China.

ExpressVPN allows you to have five simultaneous connections. But if you install the app to your router, you’ll actually have unlimited simultaneous connections because the router is considered to be the device connected to the app. As a result, you can protect every WIFI-connected device in your home if you have the ExpressVPN.

To Torrent with ExpressVPN, you must follow the following steps :

  1. Install the Torrent Client.
  2. Sign up for ExpressVPN
  3. Choose a subscription plan that suits your budget or take advantage of their 30-day money back guarantee.
  4. Start ExpressVPN and engage the “kill switch”. These steps are very important steps to take before connecting to any torrenting sites or downloading any torrent. First off, start the ExpressVPN app. Before it connects, click on the hamburger menu in the top-left corner and select “options”. Go to the “protocol” tab and switch the setting from “automatic” to either “TCP” or “UDP”. Go back to the default tab “general” and look below the “network lock” section. You’ll find two checkboxes there, the first of which should be enabled by default. Before you exit “Settings”, go to the “advanced” tab. Make sure the boxes under “DNS” and “IPv6 leak protection” are enabled.
  5. Choose a server. The fastest connections are gotten from physically closer servers. The farther a server, the slower the connection. Click on the large “On” button and wait for the VPN to successfully connect.
  6. Verify and start downloading. It is important to crosscheck your IP address. You can head to any site that runs a DNS leak test to verify if you have a new IP address. Sites like ipleak.org or ipleak.net can help with that. Once you have verified your address, you can then safely torrent all you want.

2. CyberGhost

One fantastic thing about using cyber ghost VPN is how easy to use it is. It’s large network of 6000+ servers includes an impressive number of P2P-optimized servers that are created to speed up your downloads and protect your internet traffic from snoops.

Cyber ghost creates a safe environment for users to torrent with its tough military grade encryption, DNS, IPv6 leak protection feature and an automatic kill switch that stops your internet connection to protect user data exposure if there is an interruption on the VPN network.

Cyberghost also gets around many geoblocks on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and easily bypasses censored sites so no matter where you are in the world, you can access any torrent site you wish to.

Cyber ghost is very fast when used on local servers but it slows down pretty quick when used on an international server. Cyber ghost offers four types of optimized servers and they are :

  • NoSpy – these servers provide security in censored places like Russia or China.
  • Streaming-optimized – these servers are for when you are streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Disney, etc.
  • P2P-optimized – these servers are for when you’re torrenting on torrent sites.
  • Gaming-optimized – these servers can be used for when you’re playing online games or downloading games on torrent sites.
  • Dedicated IP servers – these servers are for when you require access to IP-restricted networks.

CyberGhost is compatible with most torrent client and since Utorrent is one of the most popular torrent clients, here’s a breakdown of CyberGhost Utorrent setup :

  1. Sign up to Cyberghost subscription plan or take advantage of their 45-day money back guarantee.
  2. Download and install the VPN client on your device
  3. Open the CyberGhost VPN client before you load Utorrent.
  4. On the front end of the CyberGhost interface, select the “Torrent Anonymously” option located in the bottom left-hand corner. Then a fast and torrent-friendly server for your P2P downloads will be automatically selected.
  5. The screen that follows will show a range of options to help optimize your torrents. Make sure that you select the “extra speed” and “block online tracking” options.
  6. Next, select the “Start Anonymous Torrenting” tab.
  7. In the next page, you will then see the Connection Dashboard that shows you your download speed, upload speed and the new IP address.
  8. Now you can start to download, protected by cyberghost

Can I use a free VPN for torrenting?

Yes you can. However, if this question was tweaked a bit to: Is a free VPN good for torrenting? The answer would be No! You might have come across VPN providers that offer free services and while they may look like an attractive option, you’ll likely find yourself quickly frustrated.

Most free VPNs usually have limited bandwidth, which means you will not enjoy as much download compared to when you use a premium service. When it comes to speed, free VPNs usually fall short with terribly slow download speeds. And of course, with a free VPN, your security and privacy may not be 100% guaranteed strong encryption may not be available and your data may be logged.

Why does my ISP throttle my bandwidth?

Ideally when ISPs detect heavy data usage, it often sets off the alarm of torrenting or P2P activity. And this is one activity ISPs tend to crack down on. When you are carrying out a data intensive task, you might notice your speed is somewhat impeded - this is your ISP at work.

Using a VPN is your best bet to avoid this. With a VPN, it is impossible for your ISP to tell what you get up to online as your IP address is not visible and your activity undetectable. This makes it difficult for your ISP to throttle your speeds