It’s a well-known fact that a Virtual Private Network is needed if you’re to torrent securely. It encrypts your P2P traffic, keeps your IP address concealed, protects you from hackers, and ensures your speed isn’t throttled.
Getting the right VPN for torrenting isn’t that easy, though. After sifting through tens of VPNs, it’s become clear that VPN and torrenting isn’t as natural a combination as it sounds. Finding VPNs that support torrenting is a hassle, but an even bigger hassle is finding one that doesn’t risk your privacy.
To help you identify the best VPN for torrenting, we’ve tested a ton of VPNs and put together a list of the best VPNs for torrenting. These VPNs are compatible with torrent clients like Vuze, uTorrent, Bittorrent, and Deluge.
More than being compatible with torrent clients, our desired VPNs for torrenting and P2P are super-fast, duly protect your privacy (including
We’d take a deep dive into the 10 best VPNs for torrenting shortly. Until then, here’s a quick summary of our top 5.
To ensure your selected VPN for torrenting is the safest, best performing VPN out there, certain standards must be met. Overall, torrenters want VPNs that provide internet privacy and online security, deliver fast download speeds, and don’t cap data or bandwidth usage.
To that end, to identify the best VPNs for torrenting, we used the following criteria to rank each VPN:
Of course, we also watched out for certain factors like price and protocol options. Cheaper VPNs that delivered the same level of protection as more expensive ones were considered favorably. Likewise, it was expected that VPNs use protocols like the OpenVPN which delivered top speed and security in one package.
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If you’re new to torrenting, you might wonder: do I even need a VPN for torrenting? We’d say yes, but this doesn’t mean you can’t torrent without a VPN. Downloading or uploading torrent files is very possible without a VPN, but it’s a risk you shouldn’t take. Here’s why:
Without a VPN connection you’d be left exposed to hackers, other users, and copyright trolls who can view your IP address and identity. Internet service providers will also be able to monitor your traffic, and may work with authorities to bring copyright cases against you.
Notice: We do not condone copyright violations of any sort, and strongly urge all torrenters to vet the files they seed or download on torrent networks and ensure they’re legally able to do so.
It’s super easy to find yourself unwittingly downloading copyrighted material on torrent networks. Depending on your location, you could be facing a fine or even possible imprisonment over such violations.
Countries like US (with its Digital Millennium Copyright Act) can penalize copyright violators with up to $1,000,000 in fines. The UK’s Digital Economy Act proposes sentences of up to 10 years for copyright infringement. And, countries across Europe are ramping up the clamp down on copyright violators.
It’s also not uncommon to find media companies monitoring torrent traffic to identify IP addresses of individuals violating their copyright laws.Using your ISP, they then identify who you are and where you’re based so they can issue copyright violation notices or settlement requests to the user.
To stay safe and protect yourself from possible infringement, a VPN is an important accessory. By protecting your IP address, it ensures that you can’t be traced, and as such litigation can’t be served over your P2P activities.
Using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), ISPs are able to monitor and analyze your internet traffic. This enables them identify and record all of the sites you visit, including the files you be upload or download on torrent networks.
For the most part, this information is used for speed throttling, frustrating you with much slower connections. However, it can also be used to restrict or block your P2P traffic, in countries with anti-torrenting laws.Your ISP may also lead the charge against you, issuing a DMCA notice about downloaded copyrighted material, or sending this information to the authorities.
So, although a VPN may not be a requirement for torrenting, it’s an absolute necessity. A good VPN protects you from potential legal and privacy issues. Most of our best VPNs for torrenting also block out malicious ads in order to improve your personal (as well as device) safety. However, it’s your duty to ensure the files you download are from trusted sources, and are completely safe.
Torrenting with a VPN is very easy. Simply connect to a VPN server, open your torrent client, and locate the file you want to download. However, to actually torrent safely, you’d have to add a few more steps in between. The process should look like this:
Not every VPN is suitable for torrenting. In fact, some VPNs actively block P2P traffic. Others deliver shoddy privacy and security performances unsuitable for torrenting. As a rule of thumb, we’ve learned to avoid VPNs that:
While we can’t run commentary on every single VPN we tested, there are some popular VPNs out there you simply must avoid. This includes:
In most places, torrenting is totally legal. However, as torrenting has become increasingly synonymous with piracy, more and more countries are imposing laws that limit or ban torrenting activities. In most countries, you could face legal repercussions for accidentally downloading a copyrighted torrent file.
This makes a VPN critical if you’re to torrent safely without any potential legal issues. Even then, when selecting a VPN, it becomes extremely important to look out for their jurisdiction (the country in which they’re based).
Countries with aggressive copyright and anti-torrenting laws include:
This list is far from exhaustive. At least 31 members of the European Union (EU), including Germany, France, Portugal, and Italy. South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, China, Latvia, and Russia also block file sharing services and websites.
There’s no perfect location for torrenting. For the most part, with a highly secure VPN provider that follows a strict no-logs policy and provides a number of P2P-optimized servers, you should be fine regardless of your selected location.
However, for the extra cautious, we recommend staying away from locations known to be hostile to torrenting and torrenters. Although torrenting is legal in most countries, piracy isn’t. In recent times legislations against piracy have also developed into anti-torrenting legislations.
Countries affected by such laws include Malaysia, Italy, Portugal, China, US, Australia, Russia, South Africa, and the UK. On the other hand, countries like Switzerland, Poland, Romania, and the Netherlands, are P2P friendly. Then there are countries like Spain where hostilities are vaguely worded and enforced.
For many reasons, we strongly advice against using free VPNs for torrenting. Because of their limited budgets, these VPNs are often riddled with a cacophony of issues. This ranges from weak encryption systems, to poor data protection services, invasive logging policies, lack of P2P support slow speeds due to congestion, and data caps.
Some VPNs have even been caught purposely compromising the security of users by selling their data, or injecting malware and tracking libraries into devices. These shady practices make us wary of free VPNs, especially when you desire protection for the risky business that is torrenting.
In place of free VPNs for torrenting, we prefer purchasing premium VPNs like CyberGhost, and taking advantage of their lengthy money-back guarantees to form a sort of free VPN trial for torrenting. You can always request a refund before the time runs out, if you please.
For a totally free VPN for torrenting, we recommend Windscribe Free. The VPN delivers the level of security and privacy infrastructure we desire in a torrenting VPN, but also gives an impressive 10GB of free data monthly. Still, this is very much limited and could disappear before you download a couple of files.
It’s important to note that VPNs aren’t as expensive as they used to be. VPNs like PrivateVPN, Surfshark, and even CyberGhost have managed to lower their prices to around $2 a month, without compromising on security or privacy.
Port forwarding on a VPN enables you determine the specific port on your router through which your VPN connection will flow. This helps your VPN bypass the NAT firewall built into the VPN to block out unwanted (which may translate to P2P) traffic.
By establishing a direct connection between VPN and router, port forwarding makes for faster connections. It is also key to seeding torrents on your VPN, regardless of blockades on NAT firewalls. That said, port forwarding is an important feature for a VPN.
However, you can still download torrents whether your VPN app supports port forwarding or not. If you want to be an unselfish torrenter and make torrenting much easier for both yourself and others, you’d need to seed your torrents which would be impossible without port forwarding.
So, bottom line: port forwarding isn’t an absolute necessity for torrenting; it’s simply a great extra to have. VPNs that support port forwarding include:
A VPN is an important tool for any looking to torrent safely. It encrypts your traffic, hides you IP address, and does enough to keep your ISP and other third parties away from your online activities. However, some VPNs are simply not good enough for torrenting, or even discourage it.
After thorough research and testing, we’ve put together this list of the best VPNs for torrenting. While CyberGhost is clearly our top pick, other VPNs on the list provide worthy competition. And while we discourage the use of free VPNs for torrenting, our pick for best free VPN for torrenting remains Windscribe.