Best VPN for torrenting
Are you familiar with torrenting? It’s a great way to share and download files. There are lots of different torrent clients on the web, most of which are free to use. If you have a stable internet connection then you can obtain all sorts of files for your entertainment, from the latest movies to hard-to-find albums. Unfortunately, many of them are inaccessible to a growing number of users due to ongoing stipulations that force providers to block them to the public.
But there’s an easy workaround with VPNs. A VPN is a virtual private network that will hide your traffic over public servers, allowing users to reach sites that are restricted by changing the IP address to a remote server. Below are ten such apps that will do this, with each of them having little to no regulations regarding the sharing of files online. See which one you think is best for you, then start a trial or purchase when you’re ready to buy.
What Torrenting VPNs have in Common
VPNs that allow torrenting will have few regulations are stipulations in place with peer-to-peer networking online. Since torrents rely on a large number of people to have an internet connection when the client is running, a good speed is necessary to complete downloads in a quick manner. Some VPNs won’t allow their subscribers to use such services, but others will. It’s easy to find out who; just go to the company’s web page and check their policy regarding torrenting. It will usually be located on their main page since file sharing is one of the most common reasons that people acquire VPNs in the first place. If you don’t see the app mention anything about sharing files, then it’s likely that a policy exists with the company. Still, it’s suggested for you to also read up on their terms and conditions, which will lay out the entire user agreement for you.
What is a Torrent?
Torrents are files that are downloaded over a torrent client. A client is an application that allows the user to place them on their computer. This can also be done at the beginning of the process with magnet links, which will send the user directly to where the file is stored. There’s usually not a single source for a torrent file, but several. For example, if you were to download a music album, there could be anywhere from a few users sharing the file, to thousands (and in some cases, even more). Those who upload files are called seeders. Seeding can take place immediately when portions of the file’s data is received, allowing everyone in the client to get through downloads much quicker. However, much of this would be impossible to do with a strict ISP. And some might even discontinue your service if they find out that you’re using a p2p network.
If you wish to use a VPN for torrenting, you should be sure that the service you subscribe to is trusted and won’t throttle your connection when you’re on the client. Again, this information will often be shown on the VPN’s website, but you might have to do some research into some providers. And because of the risks associated with downloading torrents, be sure that you have a good antivirus on your system. It’s very easy to download files that have hidden malware inside of them, and the last thing you want is the damage your computer. Identity theft may also occur in such a situation. One advantage of using a VPN is that most offer protocols that use military-grade encryption on their servers.
The common type is 256-AES. Another good feature found on VPNs that is important for torrent users is the ability to shut down the internet if the signal is spotty. This will prevent programs from leaking your IP, along with DNS information. If your IP were to leak, you would eventually know it through your ISP contacting you about the files you attempted to download. Not everyone will have this problem, and depending on where you reside, your connection might not be restricted to torrents. But make no mistake, your file sharing activities can still be traced and located if you participate in p2p networks without one. Because of this, it’s strongly recommended that you get a VPN before you attempt to download something from a client.
Looking at the Stats
- ExpressVPN: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 70 Mbps; Number of Servers: 160
- NordVPN: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 70 Mbps; Number of Servers: 6000
- TorGuard: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 66 Mbps; Number of Servers: 3000
- PureVPN: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 61 Mbps; Number of Servers: 2000
- Private Internet Access (PIA): Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 68 Mbps; Number of Servers: 3300
- Ivacy: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 61 Mbps; Number of Servers: 250
- Windscribe: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 59 Mbps; Number of Servers: 610
- Perfect Privacy: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 62 Mbps; Number of Servers: 55
- SurfShark: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 54 Mbps; Number of Servers: 800
- CyberGhost: Unblocked Torrenting: Yes; Speed: 66 Mbps; Number of Servers: 3550
Top 10 VPNs for Torrenting Reviewed
ExpressVPN not only works with torrrent applications but has a link on their website that’ll take you directly to one of the most popular clients, uTorrent. This says a lot about their commitment to their users having the freedom to use the web as they please. And this might be due to their location, which is in the British Virgin Islands. All of their servers are built to work with a VPN, but you could also use Smart Location feature and have the app pick the best place for you. This is based on your location. If you choose not to go that route, all of them should still work without incident. Going through the menus is painless, and minimized to make the VPN easy to use by virtually anyone.
- Nearly every server provided by the VPN will unblock most torrent clients
- Solid protection against malware and brute force attempts
- The application is simple to navigate and set up for file sharing
- Download speed may fluctuate on servers that aren’t strong in connectivity
NordVPN is another VPN that allows full access to your favorite torrent apps. In fact, their site has a user manual that will show you how to set up the VPN to use client efficiently. It uses the SOCKS5 Proxy to connect, and the steps in the tutorial are easy enough for beginners to follow along. When you’re done, you’ll be familiar with the way protocols work on the VPN. Setup is short, so downloading and installation should finish without a long wait period. And best of all, you’ll be able to use your account on multiple devices, whereby a cap of six are allowed. Worried about leaks? Don’t be with NordVPN. Your ISP will be completely in the dark when you share files online with the software.
- Minimal setup is required to share files once the app is installed
- Supports nearly all protocols that are crucial to staying safe over file-sharing networks
- Leaking during the sending and downloading of data will never happen
- Routers may slow down user speeds when too many are on a single device (the router)
TorGuard uses SOCKS5 proxy as well for peer-to-peer sharing, but getting it ready is very easy to do. When you start up the client, the first thing you’ll probably see is how fast your torrent file’s metadata loads. This is a problem with some VPNs, which some users may wait several minutes just for the information to be retrieved to begin downloading. With the service, you will also have a handy kill switch that will keep your provider and other apps at bay from knowing your whereabouts or upload/download data. This also prevents the sites you visit from seeing your real IP address if the VPN service unexpectedly disconnects for any reason. Sometimes, you might experience slowdown from servers as you download, so be sure that you pick one that’s recommended by the application in the server menu.
- The kill switch has been proven to work well when tested by third parties
- Suggested for users in countries that wish to skip using a VPN to purchase a paid service
- Easy to get in contact with customer service for a quick troubleshooting solution
- While torrenting does work, server speeds are sometimes very slow
PureVPN has a truckload of fast servers, and most of them will work when you download from your favorite clients. It’s also very fast for music sharing sites like Sharest or Soulseek. And best of all, your connection will remain completely secured with the latest encryption technology. In some cases, you might need to use a VPN just to get on a website that’s dedicated to torrents. PureVPN will help you with this and work like a charm once the downloading is started. Another good attribute is the price. The lowest cost plan is $2.88 for two years, and the highest is monthly at $10.95. This is a lot cheaper than some of the VPN shown already, and a good place to start if you want something that works and doesn’t slow your entire connection as you download files.
- Can handle the most restrictive ISPs when torrent clients need to be accessed
- Suitable for slower PCs, won’t take up too much memory (RAM)
- Prices are affordable and are likely not to increase significantly for a long time
- The company has been shown to go close to the edge regarding generic and actual logging
5. Private Internet Access (PIA)
Private Internet Access has good servers for torrenting and ordinary web use. Speeds stay consistent, although there might be some lag when you’re actively in the process of p2p sharing. It’s nothing that would prevent you from using the service, but things can get pretty slow. Before you begin, try to boost your ISP connection speed if you can. Users with a greater speed won’t have to deal with this too much. PIA doesn’t throttle, however. And even if one server isn’t working as well as you think it should, you can always check for more. And there’s plenty to choose from. The VPN has over 3000 servers active and ready for you to connect to, so there’s bound to be one with a good rate of speed for your torrent files.
- Connection speeds aren’t different from downloading over no VPN connection at all
- Hosts a huge amount of servers to which most will allow torrenting
- As an alternative, works outstanding for music sharing programs
- Purchase with cryptocurrency is recommended for users that wish to stay anonymous (The VPN is located in the United States)
Nearly all of Ivacy’s servers will allow you to gain entry into torrent clients. The popular choice from the list in the app is guaranteed to work on the first try. And while you download, the company will never log any of your activities. They are a good record on being true to their word, so you can be sure that no personal info will become known by anyone you don’t want. When signing up with an account, you can use Bitcoin as payment, which would go even further to conceal your identity if you stay in a country that has strict laws regarding file sharing. Because of this, Ivacy is recommended for people living in the Middle East, which is where some nations have very stringent web laws. Surprisingly, video streaming might not work as well as torrenting. You can do it but skipping when play high resolution video has been known to occur.
- The VPN will never collect information about the websites visited, including torrent clients
- Has a speedy installation time
- Both Bitcoin and Paypal are payment options
- While great for torrenting, video streaming is hit or miss
Windscribe has a firewall within its application that must be turned on when you’re torrenting. This will prevent your computer from sending out information in the form of leaks, preventing web servers from getting your real location by covert means. The same goes for your ISP. As for payment, you can start off with either a free or paid version. They both work well but you’ll be in greater hands and security with the latter. There isn’t a limit to how much you can use either, so countless files can be sent to your device very fast. Upload speed is also nice. If you like to use torrent clients to send ordinary files to family and friends, doing it will be fast.
- The free and paid versions of the VPN will work over torrent programs and websites
- Completely shielded against leaks of all kinds, including DNS
- Doesn’t limit downloads for paid subscribers
- Difficult to speak to an actual agent with customer support
- Has the occasional slow down when sharing lots of files all at once
8. Perfect Privacy
Have you ever heard of Perfect Privacy? If not, you’re in luck. The VPN might not be the first company name that comes up when searching for VPNs, but it should be. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a single server that doesn’t work over the majority of torrent clients. And if you have had some setbacks when downloading files, getting in touch with a representative is very easy to do. Also, invite your whole family to the network with just a single account. But no matter if you’re using the service through a router or as a direct server connection, speeds will move as f you always have plenty of people in seed on the client.
- All video streaming sites and torrenting programs will work over their primary servers
- Great user experience and quick response time when contacted
- No restrictions on the number of people that are able to access one account
- A high-speed internet connection is recommended with this VPN, otherwise slow upload and download speeds are probable
SurfShark’s servers are built for high speed and moderate speed connections. Whichever is a description of your service, you’ll be able to open up your torrent client as there were no restrictions at all (like the good old days). Are you planning on using it with a router? It worked exceptionally well if you choose to place it over one. It also has strong encryption available with most protocols, including SOCKS5 proxy. Every once in a while, you might get the occasional reduction of speed, yet it won’t happen enough to make you regret getting it. Like all the others, there’s a kill switch and DNS protections built into the app, so place it on all your devices that allow torrenting.
- Stay fast no matter how many people are connected, even over a router
- No limits on devices connected (when hooked through router support)
- Fully protected against common hacking techniques
- Pings and increase and decrease when there are many people on a single server
CyberGhost is the final product, but not the worst. It’s actually one of the best, especially if you need a VPN with a fast rate of speed that cheaper than most other popular alternatives. Anonymity is important to the company, and they take pride in allowing their users to access peer-to-peer networks of all types, including torrents. After you’re done file sharing, hook it up to your SmartTV. Most times, it won’t matter which server you choose; most of them perform at an acceptable speed for downloading and streaming music/video content. And while the service is friendly in price, you might not want to go with the shortest duration. But consider CyberGhost for server speed and their honest no logging policy.
- All users stay anonymous, even after payment is processed (doesn’t keep track of identifying information)
- Will work on some SmartTVs
- While most US and EU servers are very fast, their alternative servers and other regions remain equally quick for file sharing
- Their month-to-month plan is quite high; savings possible only with a longer plan duration
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I keep my Computer Safe when using Torrent Clients?
The best way for your computer to remain safe when torrenting is to be sure that the files you’re downloading are legitimate. Sometimes, you won’t be able to tell by looking at the file alone. Even some torrent websites can have trouble with adware. Some may even contain harmful malware. Due to the potential for you to put something unexpectedly on your computer without your consent, always run an antivirus when you torrent. And when you’re done downloading the file, scan it just to be sure that nothing is inside the file itself. This is especially recommended for .rar and .zip files that may contain backdoors and other dangerous exploits. Remember, a VPN’s primary duty is to keep your connection over a public server private, not to shield your computer from malicious programs. Update your antivirus prior to using the torrent client, as new threats are always being discovered.
Do VPN Policies change often regarding Their Stipulations on Torrenting?
Sometimes they do. The best way to find out is through the VPN’s website. They will have all the up-to-date information that you’ll need if such a change does occur. However, it’s unlikely to happen with those shown here, and even more unlikely for VPNs that operate outside of the EU, and US. But when changes do take place, they could happen at times when you don’t expect such actions to occur. A VPN will typically change their user agreement regarding torrenting due to copyright laws, such as those outlined in the DMCA. Other providers may allow VPNs but won’t necessarily endorse their use either. Those are the services that you most likely to update existing policies that center on torrenting.
Will My ISP know that I’m Torrenting if I use a VPN?
In most cases, no. Good VPN providers will block your ISP from seeing what websites and applications you open up when logged into a server, preventing them from knowing what you’re downloading in the process. And if the connection were to give out, they will usually feature a kill switch of some sort that serves to shut down all incoming and outgoing connections. Since you won’t be able to get online when this happens, there’s no way for your service provider to know what you were doing on the torrent client. The kill switch feature has many different names depending on which VPN you’re using, so if you see a description of one that calls it something else, remember that it’s just the brand marketing itself to sound unique.
Why Is SOCKS5 Proxy to heavily Relied Upon with Torrenting VPNs?
SOCKS5 works well over clients by sending data to them through a proxy server, which conceals your real ISP. This is what allows you to access the torrent content without getting blocked. And while there is no encryption embedded into SOCKS5, you won’t need it for torrenting as such a feature would only slow the downloading process down. This is why they’re used. You get a faster connection speed, one that’s closer to what your ordinary web traffic would be under no VPN at all. Your IP address is the only component that remains hidden with SOCKS5, and you’ll find your file sharing much more pleasant (and less time consuming) because of it.
Will a VPN protect me from Downloading a Virus through a Torrent Client?
Your VPN’s primary goal is to mask your IP address. It won’t help you if you get a virus from downloading a file on a torrent client. Some VPNs might offer an antivirus included with a package subscription, but this isn’t often featured with most. You’ll have to install the appropriate software to protect your computer from getting viruses and spyware, much of which can potentially open you up to all sorts of issues. Identity theft through keylogging is one of them. You should have some defense against malware before you start torrenting anything or using any p2p networks. If not, find one and keep it on as the files are downloading.
How do Free VPNs Perform when Torrenting?
Free VPNs aren’t very reliable when torrenting files. You can use them but you won’t get all the fancy attributes that you would with a paid service, such as SOCKS5. If you’re in a jurisdiction that has lots of laws regarding file sharing, then you should be wary of using free VPNs at all for this purpose. Additionally, doing so won’t shield your computer with a kill switch, download speeds will be severely limited. Always go with the paid services if you can. Fortunately, most have free trials that you can sign up for before finalizing a purchase, although you might have to provide payment details with some to begin a subscription.
Where you an internet user during the 1990s and early 2000s? There was a time when downloading torrents wasn’t so heavily restricted, and people on the net could do it without needing a VPN. But those times are surely gone and won’t likely be for a while. In the meantime, look into VPNs if you’re interested in file sharing. You would be doing a lot to protect yourself from exposure to dealing with your ISP from blocking you based on their copyright stipulations.
But even if you don’t plan to download anything of the sort, having a VPN around is still a good choice to keep the content you visit from determining your location with an authentic IP address. Each of the ten has awesome features on top of torrenting. If you’ve never used one before, you’ll be surprised at just how well they can open you up to having control over the content you want to view online. Get the VPN you like the most, and allow the service to break the chains of restrictions to applications (and clients) that you love to use.