We’ve all been tempted to download a torrent file at some point in our lives. Even though torrenting seems like a pretty straight forward task, it can have serious repercussions unless you’re using a VPN for torrenting.
Keeping this in mind, I have reviewed over 160+ VPNs and shortlisted the 5 best VPN for torrenting which can obscure your identity from law enforcement agencies, ISPs, and copyright owners.
If I had to recommend one VPN that I would personally use for torrenting, then it has to be NordVPN. It’s probably the best VPN for torrents because of its fast speeds, impressive privacy, and security features for torrenting / P2P sharing. It’s one of the best for torrenting with a VPN.
Why are VPNs Necessary for Torrenting?
When you download torrents without any protection, anyone in the same swarm as you can see your IP address. With just your IP address, anyone can see your actual geo-location. This makes you vulnerable to hackers that can potentially even steal your identity.
Also, when your IP address gest exposed to the outside world, your internet service provider (ISP) can block you from downloading torrents. In worst-case scenarios, you can get fined if you’re caught downloading copyright content.
Because torrenting is a risky business, using a VPN should be your absolute priority. A VPN masks your original IP address and assigns you a different IP address that’s shared by many users. This makes it impossible for anyone to uniquely identify your online activities.
Best VPN Services For Torrenting 2020
Now that you know why you should use a VPN for torrenting, here are some of the best torrenting VPNs you should use in 2020.
1. NordVPN – Best Torrenting VPN
NordVPN is fast, secure, and rich with amazing features for a streamlined and safe torrenting experience. The provider has many dedicated servers reserved for P2P networking in its network for 5500+ servers in 59+ countries.
Is NordVPN safe for Torrenting?
NordVPN is perfectly safe for torrenting. It’s easy to see why. The provider is based in Panama, a country that does not impose any mandatory data retention requirements on ISPs and VPN providers. The laws in Panama protect user privacy from surveillance and other intrusive activities.
Furthermore, NordVPN has a privacy-affirming logging policy as it stores no personally identifiable information of its users:
The combination of a safe jurisdiction and the commitment of NordVPN to protecting user privacy with no logs is what makes this service a great choice for so many torrenters.
P2P Performance & Speed
NordVPN is free from any IP/DNS leaks and has excellent controls in place to ensure that user identity remains completely hidden:
If we talk about the NordVPN speed test, it managed to reach 28.45 Mbps on a 30 Mbps connection.
Best VPN for Torrenting Anonymously
NordVPN offers a lot of valuable features. Some of these extra features include Double VPN, which is basically the name given to the technique of VPN chaining – the process of moving user traffic through 2 distinct VPN servers – for added privacy and encryption.
Other than that, it has a built-in ad blocker (CyberSec) and Onion over VPN to layer your traffic through a maze of nodes and networks for greatly enhanced web anonymity and privacy. It also has some servers primed for obfuscation that enable access to heavily restricted websites or services.
When you sum all these benefits together, it is hard to find a better deal for users seeking a strong privacy solution for their torrenting needs. You can try it yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you want to know more about this VPN, you can check out our NordVPN review.
2. PureVPN – Optimized P2P Servers
If we shortlist the top VPN for torrents, the list wouldn’t be complete without PureVPN. In fact, PureVPN has made enough improvements over the years to make it into this list of best torrenting VPNs. It now offers 24/7 customer support and unlimited bandwidth.
Is PureVPN Safe For Torrenting?
PureVPN is also free from VPN leaks, making it a perfect VPN to download torrents anonymously.
P2P Performance & Speed
Moving on to performance, PureVPN is an absolute pleasure to use. For instance, the Windows app has a built-in Internet Kill Switch to prevent your IP address from leaking.
Taking a look at speeds, PureVPN managed to deliver exceptional download speeds with slightly compromised upload speeds.
Best Optimized Servers For P2P Sharing!
PureVPN made it to our top 5 VPNs list because of its stable P2P compatible servers. Moreover, it doesn’t leave much to complain about, especially on Windows platforms which include features like a kill switch and built-in ad-blocker that helps you keep your torrent client ad-free whether you’re using Windows or Mac. It also provides a port forwarding feature in addition to the enhanced security features.
Moreover, it gives users the ability to make 10 simultaneous connections with one single account. It also comes with a 31-day money-back guarantee so you can freely test it out risk-free.
If we talk about pricing, you can get for only $3.33/mo . Its affordable price makes it one of the best cheap VPN providers among its alternatives. For more well-rounded details of this VPN, check out our PureVPN review.
3. ExpressVPN – Best for Anonymous Torrenting
ExpressVPN is one of the most secure VPN for torrenting right now. It covers all the bases that you should expect from a top-rated VPN and it supports torrenting on all of its 3,000+ servers.
To keep it short and simple, ExpressVPN is completely P2P compatible and works with uTorrent, BitTorrent, and other clients.
Is ExpressVPN Safe for Torrenting?
Yes, ExpressVPN is totally safe for torrenting. In terms of jurisdiction, ExpressVPN has headquartered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which is a state favored by privacy advocates for its lack of mandatory data retention laws.
Not only that, ExpressVPN’s zero-knowledge DNS feature, strong encryption, and ultimate leak protection is unlike any other VPN service in the industry and perfectly hides your torrenting activities from snoopers.
For added security, ExpressVPN also uses perfect forward secrecy, which wipes your session data right after it ends. With perfect forward secrecy, you’re assigned a new dynamic encryption key every 60 minutes (session end) so no one can identify your previous session activities even if your device gets compromised.
P2P Performance & Speed
As far as raw performance is concerned, ExpressVPN is equipped with powerful features to deliver blazing fast speeds and security every time.
Their robust server park managed to deliver consistent 25 Mbps speeds on my 30 Mbps connection. These speeds are on an international server of ExpressVPN far away from my home. The excellent combination of a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, great logging policy, IP leak protection, advanced security, and fast speeds establishes this VPN as the best there is for the purpose of torrenting.
Best VPN Provider for Torrenting!
ExpressVPN is my ultimate recommendation to torrent with because of its sophisticated online privacy tool and blazing fast speed.
Not only that, powerful features like a built-in kill switch is perfect for dealing with legal risks associated with P2P file sharing. For a complete feature list including pros and cons, check out our all-inclusive ExpressVPN review.
4. Surfshark – Affordable VPN for Torrenting
Surfshark is an excellent choice for secure and private torrenting on a budget. If you’re the kind of person who’s looking for an ultra-affordable and strongly encrypted best VPN to torrent with, Surfshark has you covered.
Is Surfshark Safe for Torrenting?
Yes! Since most Surfshark VPN servers support P2P sharing/torrenting, you have nothing to worry about.
Not only that, since Surfshark is headquartered in the BVI, It’s free from any law mandating them to keep user data logs. Similar to ExpressVPN, Surfshark does not collect logs of any data that can be used to compromise your privacy.
In addition, Surfshark’s leak protection feature is quite capable and can easily prevent your IP from leaking accidentally.
P2P Performance & Speed
The Windows, Mac, and iOS apps of Surfshark have a kill switch feature that can prevent your data from falling through the digital cracks.
In terms of speeds, in my testing, Surfshark managed to deliver decent download speeds. Surfshark is the fastest VPN service that has all the important security, privacy, and speed factors that any reliable torrent VPN should have because it offers the best download speeds and has 3200+ fastest VPN servers.
Fastest VPN For Torrenting!
Surfshark is by the far the fastest VPN for torrenting that I’ve personally tested. It is also super secure. Ad-blocker (CleanWeb), split-tunneling (WhiteLister), and VPN chaining (MultiHop), powerful encryption, kill switch, and tons of other features are all available in Surfshark by default.
What’s more, it is currently available at an affordable price of $2.49/mo . Considering affordability, Surfshark is probably the best VPN service for torrenting out there.
Find out what makes this VPN service for torrenting so good in our detailed Surfshark review.
5. CyberGhost – Dedicated P2P VPN Servers
CyberGhost has been around for almost a decade and is among the very few reputed services out there to perform P2P activities. It offers 6800+ servers in total, out of which plenty are optimized for P2P.
Is CyberGhost Safe For Torrenting?
As I said, CyberGhost is among the very few safe torrenting VPNs out there. In fact, calling it the best VPN for torrents wouldn’t be an overstatement. If you torrent a lot, go and grab yourself a subscription plan of CyberGhost today.
Not only is CyberGhost fully BitTorrent compatible, but it also offers a dedicated P2P server. Even more impressively, CyberGhost has an entire mode selection feature to help you torrent anonymously ensuring maximum security. It also has a kill-switch feature which adds to the already advanced security features it holds. With its torrent anonymously feature, it can bypass blockages in most countries.
Moving on to jurisdiction and CyberGhost is located in Romanian which is a country free from the clutches of data retention law. If you still have any doubts about CyberGhost, or wondering if CyberGhost is safe for torrenting, you can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to their zero logs policy.
Aside from that, CyberGhost boasts strong IPv4, IPv6, and DNS leak protection built into its apps which is always nice to have.
P2P Performance & Speed
The speeds usually delivered by CyberGhost are noticeably slower than its competitors, but it’s still not too bad. In fact, the speeds are sufficient for performing tasks like streaming and torrent activities.
P2P Friendly VPN With A 45-day Refund Policy!
CyberGhost is a capable VPN service that has earned a slot in the top 5 VPNs for torrenting courtesy of its ideal jurisdiction, no logs policy, protective features, and robust 45-day money-back guarantee. Read our in-depth CyberGhost review for more details.
6. PIA VPN – Powerful Torrent VPN
Lastly, we have the PIA VPN. Private Internet Access offers highly optimized VPN servers (22719+ servers) that use 256-bit strong encryption with fast uploading speed.
Is PIA VPN Safe for Torrenting?
Yes! PIA VPN is perfectly safe for torrenting. It does not store any kind of user logs, i.e. no usage logs or connection logs. This way, you will have no privacy issues when downloading torrents from anywhere in the world.
P2P Performance and Speed
PIA VPN’s speeds are exceptional when it comes to torrenting. On my 30 Mbps internet connection, I found their servers to be fast with 26.76 Mbps speed.
Its kill switch feature is amazing too. It automatically prevents your IP from leaking in case PIA VPN stops working. When I performed the leak test, I did not notice my IP or DNS leaking which is always reassuring.
Offers the most number of servers!
PIA VPN offers the most number of servers in the entire industry. In addition to that, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 10 multi logins as well.
Overall Best Performer When Downloading Torrents
As I said earlier, NordVPN is my top choice because it brings fast speed, P2P optimized servers, industry-standard encryption, Kill Switch, and other important features into the table for maximum online security which makes it the top torrent VPN & one of the best VPN for P2P.
Most importantly, it has the super-affordable price that not many VPN providers in the industry is currently offering. The 30-day money-back guarantee means that you can virtually use it for free for the initial 30 days. This makes it the best free VPN for torrenting as well. It also provides 10 simultaneous connections to users with one single account.
Video Review of The Best VPN for Torrenting
If you don’t want to go through the whole blog, here’s a video review of the best VPNs for torrenting safely and anonymously.
How to choose a good Torrenting VPN?
Below is a list of my 5 step testing criteria for choosing a torrenting VPN:
- Torrenting policy – Whether torrenting is allowed by a VPN provider on their servers?
- Jurisdiction – Is the VPN provider located in safe and data retention free jurisdiction?
- Logging Policy – What types of data are logged by the VPN?
- IP leaks – Does it leak a user’s real IP address?
- Speed – Is the VPN fast?
Note: The above-mentioned VPNs for torrenting are tested much more rigorously on a wider range of parameters in our dedicated guide on the best VPN for 2020.
VPNs that are NOT recommended for torrenting
While there are plenty of VPNs online, not all of them are safe for torrenting. Either some VPNs don’t support P2P file sharing at all or keep intrusive logs which makes them not ideal for torrenting. Here are some VPNs that you should avoid:
- Hola VPN – Doesn’t support torrenting and blocks BitTorrent traffic.
- TunnelBear – Based in Canada which is part of the 5 eyes alliance.
- Turbo VPN – Compatible only with mobile devices and doesn’t support torrenting.
- Hoxx VPN – Logs information about your browser, pages viewed, IP address, and more.
Do You Need A VPN For Torrenting?
Yes, you definitely need a VPN for your torrenting activities. Getting caught downloading torrents red-handed can have repercussions far worse than simply receiving legal notices. Some individuals have been penalized with hefty fines in the USA as well as other countries for downloading torrents without the use of a torrent VPN. Thus, it’s very dangerous to torrent without a VPN.
Opting for the best VPN software for torrenting routes all your traffic to a remote server and hides your torrenting traffic from third-parties looking to hack or track your activities and helps you secure your activities.
Here are a few powerful features that torrenting VPNs offer:
DNS, IPv6 & WebRTC leak protection
Even though VPNs are supposed to mask your IP address, some VPNs are known to suffer from leaks. If your DNS, IP address, or WebRTC gets leaked, your identity will be exposed to your ISP. This is why premium VPNs offer built-in leak protection that prevents such eventualities.
Port forwarding is a powerful feature that is used for bypassing firewalls. This feature is also helpful in improving the count of peers on a P2P network. With more peers, it basically means that your downloads will be faster and more efficient.
Note: We strictly discourage any activity involving copyright infringement and urge readers to ONLY download legal torrents.
How does a VPN protect you when torrenting?
When torrenting, a VPN protects you in one of two ways. Firstly, if you use a VPN, it’ll prevent your ISP and anyone else from knowing what you do online. Everything you search, download, or upload will get encrypted. This way, you’ll be able to freely download anything and no one in the same swarm as you will know your identity.
Secondly, a reputable VPN keeps no logs of your online activities. This way, if law enforcement agencies or copyright holders were to ask your VPN provider to disclose any information, they’ll get nothing. With powerful encryption and IP masking, you’ll never have to deal with any DMCA notices ever again.
Legal issues with torrenting around the world?
Now I know what you’re thinking, can you go to jail for torrenting? Well, no! Considering that downloading torrents cannot be counted as a criminal offense, you can’t be jailed for it.
That said, there are legal penalties for copyright infringement. These penalties vary from country to country. For instance, countries like Switzerland is considered one of the best VPN location for torrenting, whereas the US is not.
Let’s see some recent legal cases relating to torrenting and the laws that apply to some of the countries that are the worst places to be download torrents without a torrent VPN.
Is torrenting illegal in the US?
Well in the United States, copyright infringement is penalized by law. Anyone found guilty of downloading copyrighted material without the permission of the authors can be jailed for up to five years and/or fined a maximum sum of $150,000 per file [Source].
The United Kingdom enacted the Digital Economy Act which increased the maximum prison sentence for copyright infringement from two years to 10 years.
According to the Copyright Modernization Act in Canada (aka “Bill C-11”), copyright infringement for non-commercial purposes (which is the case for most people downloading torrents), a copyright owner can press for charges between $100 to $5,000s.
Online piracy is prohibited in Germany, with first-time offenders legally required to pay $200 in fines, with the maximum penalty being $1,300 for an individual, non-commercially motivated pirates.
Which VPNs Support Torrenting?
Aside from the VPN Providers discussed above, I have listed a few other VPN services with p2p support.
To make it easier for you, I have compiled a simple chart below to help you decide for yourself if the VPN you’re using deserves to be labeled as the best torrent VPN:
For a much more detailed view of these services, you can see this detailed VPN comparison table for 2020.
Best VPN server locations for Torrenting
As a general rule of thumb, servers from Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, and Mexico are considered the best locations for torrenting. Because as I said earlier, not every country allows torrenting. In fact, the US, UK, and Canada are among the few countries that penalize torrenting to prevent digital piracy.
That said, as long as you’re using the best torrent VPN that uses powerful encryption and security protocols to mask your identity, you shouldn’t have to worry about which VPN servers you use.
Popcorn time and Torrenting
Popcorn time might be one of the most popular free media streaming platforms, it is quite sketchy in terms of content legalities. Since popcorn time sources its contents through torrent, most of the content you’re going to stream will violate copyright laws.
Even though you’re not downloading copyrighted content directly from sources like the pirate bay, you’re still streaming the same content through Popcorn time. This is why most Popcorn time users opt for torrent VPNs. In fact, even the official Popcorn time website recommends torrenting through a VPN.
Check out some of the best VPNs for popcorn time here.
Do VPNs Slow Down Torrenting Speeds?
To be honest, yes! Since VPNs use overhead encryption, your torrenting speeds are going to suffer.
Even though VPN and BitTorrent go hand in hand, these technologies can sometimes impact each other in negative ways. Slow speeds while torrenting can occur because of many different factors.
However, before delving down into the reasons, it is important that you first check your promised bandwidth to make sure you are getting what you paid for.
Online tools like speedtest.net should help you conduct a thorough evaluation.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, it is time to discuss the reasons.
Limitations Of A Wi-Fi Connection
Plugin LAN connections are always going to be faster than Wi-Fi connections even though they might be using the same network connection. This is because direct connections do not require any sort of routing, which can substantially enhance the performance of your internet connection.
Another reason why your internet speeds suffer over the Wi-Fi connection is due to many physical obstructions for example distance from the router will also cause speeds to fluctuate drastically. Besides that, physical hindrances like walls and other furniture can also impose a negative impact not to mention interference from radio waves emitted by so many electronic devices in your vicinity.
Poor Seed Ratio
Torrent speeds heavily rely on the number of seeds, the higher the number of seeds a torrent file has, the faster it is going to download. Since seeding refers to the number of people sharing the file for other torrenters. If a torrent file has a low ratio of seeders then your downloading speed is definitely going to suffer regardless of how fast your internet connection is.
Have you ever encountered bandwidth fluctuations of more than half of your allocated speeds? Surprise surprise welcomes to the world of bandwidth throttling. ISPs around the world have ridden their hands in this nasty business all in the name of providing good service.
Bandwidth throttling occurs when ISPs detect you consuming too much of your allocated bandwidth. Torrenting, streaming, or downloading large files can set off red flags for ISPs.
Whether you like it or not bandwidth, throttling is a reality, and torrenting has to suffer because of it.
Fortunately, opting for a good VPN for torrenting can be a major lifesaver, as it encrypts your entire network connection making it impossible for ISPs to throttle your bandwidth.
Unadjusted Upload Speeds
Downloading torrents involve peers since it is different from traditional file downloading. Whenever you are downloading a torrent file through the BitTorrent protocol you are also uploading (seeding) the same amount for other peers.
When you leave your upload speed unadjusted, you are essentially negatively affecting your downloading speeds. This issue can be easily negated by first identifying your allocated upload speed and then adjusting the upload speed of your torrent client. Generally, you should limit your upload speed to about 80% of your actual bandwidth.
Finally, it also helps to understand how a VPN basically works because the very action of VPN tunneling and encryption leads to an unavoidable loss in speed.
But a good VPN will usually be fast enough to work comfortably for your torrenting needs.
Best VPNs For Torrenting Reddit
As I said earlier, torrenting without a VPN can be seriously risky. In fact, here’s one torrent user who has received a “cease and desist or else letter” for downloading torrents:
Even though I’ve suggested NordVPN as the number one VPN for torrenting, Surprisingly enough, most Reddit users have suggested ExpressVPN as the top torrenting VPN without compromising security.
If we talk about the best free VPN for torrenting on Reddit, most torrent users have suggested not to gamble with free VPNs, and only purchasing premium P2P compatible VPNs to ensure maximum security for online activities.
It is commonly known that free VPN providers are incapable of delivering unlimited bandwidth. Not only that, if you choose the free P2P VPNs, you can’t expect uninterrupted speeds or anonymous connections.
Therefore, I highly suggest you choose one of the best VPN for torrenting suggested earlier in this blog post.
Torrent VPN Alternatives
- ExpressVPN for Torrents
- NordVPN for Torrents
- PIA for Torrents
- PureVPN for Torrents
- Ivacy VPN for Torrents
- Tunnelbear for Torrents
Is Kill Switch important for a Torrent VPN?
Yes, a kill switch is a very important feature to have for a torrent VPN. It’s necessary for a VPN to have a kill switch feature so in-case of disconnection your identity stays hidden.
Is Torrenting With a VPN Safe?
Torrenting is totally safe with a VPN as long as you mask your IP address with a high-quality VPN. You see, to protect the ownership right of content creators, the US enacted the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) in 1998.
Under this law, if you’re the owner of an IP that is being distributed on the web through torrents or any other filesharing method, then you can send a DMCA notice to the concerned parties and ask for a cessation of the activity and removal of the content.
But if you use a VPN to mask your IP, you can potentially avoid DMCA notices and enjoy safe torrenting. Again, I don’t encourage pirating copyrighted material.
Can my ISP see what I download if I use a VPN?
The simple answer is, no. As long as you’re using a reliable torrent VPN, your IP will be masked and all of your network traffic will be encrypted. This will prevent your ISP and even law enforcement agencies from knowing what you download.
What is the best VPN for torrenting on Android?
The best VPN for torrenting on Android is NordVPN. That being said, you can try all of the other VPNs that I’ve recommended as well. All of them offer apps for Android and come with built-in kill switch features.
What is the best VPN for torrenting for beginners?
For beginners, I would recommend Surfshark. Its apps are super easy to use on all platforms. It also offers a live chat support feature and a 30-day money-back guarantee. But don’t just limit yourself to Surfshark. Feel free to test out other VPN providers covered in this blog as well.
Is torrenting harmful for the film industry?
Although it is widely believed that piracy is harming the movie industry, a study proved that low budget movies or less renowned movie titles actually benefitted from torrenting. After Megaupload was taken down, many small scale movies failed to gain any hype because they didn’t get enough publicity. Usually, when a movie gets pirated and a lot of people watch it, it gets shared around even if the movie isn’t all that good. So to sum up, torrenting is only harmful to chart-topping blockbuster films and not for small scale movies.
The penalties and enforcement against online piracy have gradually gotten stricter over the past two decades.
Although, every copyright owner has the right to sue an individual who accesses their material for free without their permission, the aggressiveness of certain countries towards anyone who downloads torrents can often spill over to those cases where the downloaded file may actually NOT be illegal.
With the best VPN for torrenting, you enable yourself to keep such eventualities at bay and download legal torrents with the assurance that you are beyond the vigilant eyes of authorities.
I hope you found this blog informative. Do let me know if I should add more best VPN for torrent downloads to my list.
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