A VPN is a virtual private network that allows you to stay private on the internet and gives you extra security from malicious hackers and internet service providers (ISP), as well as Government agencies. This is accomplished through tunnelling your connection through the VPN server to the internet, which can also be used to hide your IP address and geographical location.
The tunnels between you and the server are encrypted with military grade coding which hides your traffic, making it unreadable to individuals who are trying to intercept you on public Wi-Fi and your ISP. In addition, VPN also has the bonus effect of concealing your IP address as well as geo-spoofing, which allows you to have access to restricted content and bypass content filters that may be applied by your national Government. To geo-spoof, simply connect to a server that is outside of your country. A VPN is not only used for bypassing content and general privacy/security, however, it is also used for torrenting files and P2P (peer-to-peer) activity.
What is Torrenting and What Are the Side Effects?
Torrenting, P2P and file sharing are all the same thing, and are essentially another word for ‘downloading’, and share the common similarity of using the BitTorrent protocol to gain data. BitTorrent is a great and effective way to download files from other people and the fact that the servers are not centralised mean that it is a very popular with individuals who are not worried about copyright laws.
With BitTorrent, individuals can easily come in and download any file they want that is on a seeder’s system almost instantaneously. Of course, the owners of such files are concerned and want to stop this type of sharing as quickly as possible, meaning that individuals who are torrenting are constantly subject to copyright trolls, DMCA and ISPs, occasionally facing large fines and infringement notices. This can be attributed to the BitTorrent protocol and its weaknesses.
When you download a file from someone else, you share little pieces of it with other people who are also downloading it and, as a result, these other individuals can see your IP address. This means that when a copyright holder is looking around and monitoring P2P downloads they can catch anyone and track anyone they see engaging in illegal activity. However, with a VPN your IP address is scrambled so authorities are unable to catch you in the act. Just make sure the VPN provider allows this kind of activity before purchasing!
Is VPN Good for Torrenting?
The answer is Yes, Let me tell you why, VPN protects you by encrypting your connection and making your traffic unreadable by ISP, therefore preventing them from finding out what you’ve been up too. In addition, as you have been using another server your IP address will be fake and therefore your real location and identity can’t be traced by copyright holders.
And If you’re really anxious to copyright issue, I do really suggest you use the VPN Servers which located in Turkish, Switzerland, Romania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia. Specifically Switzerland known as the land of freedom, which is legal for downloading the copyrighted content as non-commercial use.
You even have the ability to access torrenting sites that are banned from your country through a trick called geo-spoofing. It should be noted, however, that free VPN services do not offer torrenting and P2P protection, as it is too much hassle.back to menu ↑
Top 5 VPN Services for Torrenting
There are a lot of good VPN services available when it comes to torrenting. However, we have done the research and found you the top 5. Use these VPNs as a reference point and base your final decision on your own personal preferences.back to menu ↑
When we think or VPN and P2P, TorGuard is one of the first VPNs to come to find. They have a range of features that make them an excellent choice when it comes to torrenting. For starters, they actually allow torrenting otherwise they wouldn’t be on this list at all. Secondly, they offer really good speeds for when you’re downloading or uploading a file, which is always a must when you engaging in P2P. The last thing you want is a slow connection.
If you’re looking for a bit more geographical diversity you’ll be pleased to hear that TorGuard offers thousands of servers (1600+) that reside in 50+ countries. This reach is fantastic if you want to unblock content in other, restricted countries. As for the client, it is easy to use and offer a kill switch which will prevent your IP being leaked if the VPN fails. In addition, no IPv6 or DNS leaks were found, so you’re totally safe with this service. Furthermore, the company has a strict no log policy and is based in the West Indies. If you’re looking for the best VPN for torrenting, TorGuard’s your pick.
back to menu ↑
NordVPN is one of my personal favourites when it comes to VPN provides as it is super strong, reliable and safe. The service supports P2P and file sharing activity and has dedicated servers which its users can use for improved speeds. Using these servers, we managed to achieve download speeds of 37MBPS and upload speeds of 19MPS, which were fractionally faster than ExpressVPN. However, where NordVPN really excels is with its security. NordVPN has some tough security and has a strict no logs policy, so nobody will be knowing what you are up to when torrenting.
Nord has a 256-bit military encryption and various security protocols that allow you to customise your security and connection speed to how you like. In addition, Nord offers unlimited bandwidth and server switches and is even cheap to purchase. For an added bonus, they offer double encryption and VPN through Onion, which is currently one of the few ways to stay completely anonymous. In general, Nord has a great new client with plenty of options and has a wide range of servers in over 58 different countries.
back to menu ↑
Of course, this VPN was going to be up on this list, it is one of the best VPN services in the industry, and for a good reason. In terms of torrenting, ExpressVPN supports P2P activity and has unlimited bandwidth and server switches. The service also has some top-notch security, including a tough 256-bit encryption with various security protocols to choose from so you can experience the best security with the best speeds.
However, OpenVPN is always recommended as this is the safest option on the market. In addition, as the provider is based in the British Virgin Islands it does not have to keep usage logs and has no worries about any issues with the law. In terms of speeds, ExpressVPN was hitting a solid 36MBPS for downloads and 13 MBPS for uploads, which was very fast. These speeds aren’t matched with Nord’s but they are still worth noting. In general, ExpressVPN is one of the best with excellent 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money back guarantee. The software is also available on a range of other devices. The only issue with ExpressVPN is that it is quite pricey.
back to menu ↑
Buffered is an excellent VPN for torrenting and has servers in over 31 different countries, with a selection of servers being optimised for P2P activity and torrenting. With these dedicated servers, we achieved download speeds of 28MBPS and upload speeds of 10MBPS, which was pretty fast! In addition, Buffered also has the cool ability to discover ports that allow you to speed up P2P activity through NAT firewalls.
Buffered’s security was also solid with a 256-bit encryption and various security protocols including OpenVPN which is the safest in the industry. The service, in general, is very fast and they have a very strict no logs policy, which is perfect for torrenting as you will not get caught by ISP for illegally downloading copyright material. In addition, Buffered also offers unlimited bandwidth and server switching and has a 30-day money back guarantee! However, like ExpressVPN, Buffered is a little pricey.
back to menu ↑
IPVanish comes in 5th on this list despite being a very good VPN service in general. IPVanish is excellent for file sharing and P2P activity and allows for unlimited bandwidth and unlimited server switches. In addition, they have a no logs policy despite being US-based, and take advantage of the lack of data retention laws. IPVanish is also very fast and reliable and has servers in over 60 different countries. Their security is very tight, with 256-bit military encryption and various security protocols to choose from for security and speed customisation.
Furthermore, their client is very helpful and provides its users with plenty of options. The company also accepts Bitcoin as a payment, making paying as discreet as possible. However, their support is quite bad and they took a long time to reply to questions, and when they did the answers were very robotic and unfriendly.back to menu ↑
How Does a VPN Protect You When You’re Torrenting?
We already have a number of in-depth guides of how VPNs work to secure your network and keep you private. You can read about them here. However, for all those wondering how a VPN can protect you while you’re torrenting, I will go through a few basic features that make VPNs a necessity for P2P activity.
The main aspect of your connection that can get you in trouble is your IP address. If you are engaging in P2P activity on your home/residential IP address a copyright troll (the police of the torrenting world) could trace back your IP and found out more information about you, including where you live. With this information, they could get in contact with the company they work for and your internet provider. This, as a result, can lead to a throttled connection, complete internet shutdown or, even worse, a civil lawsuit.
If you are using a VPN while you are torrenting and sharing copyright files your IP address will be covered/masked by the IP of the VPN server. These servers are not linked to you in any way and are not even residential. Through using a VPN and covering up your tracks you can evade the trolls and torrent in peace.
Although the IP spoofing is enough to fool all the trolls that are present on the torrenting forums, it won’t fool your ISP. They can see all the traffic that is going in and out of your system so if they see any suspicious activity they can shut down your connection. With a VPN, however, they can’t see your data because it will be hidden behind code.
The network behind you and the VPN server is encrypted with military grade coding and an ISP will not be able to see past it. They will know you are using a VPN but will not be able to do anything about it. Without this feature, you would still be caught and limited via your provider.back to menu ↑
What Should You Consider When Choosing a VPN for Torrenting?
Of course, the above options are still very good when it comes to torrenting and you should make your decision based on the VPN services above. However, if you’re still a little confused about which one to choose or which one is best for you, here is a small guide to offer some advice.
Stay Away From Free VPNs
It may be tempting to go ahead and get yourself a free VPN. Who wouldn’t? Nobody likes to pay money for a service that they get for free. However, if you are planning on using the VPN for torrenting this will be a bad decision. Many of the free VPNs do not cover you for P2P and they may restrict safety features which you would get with their premium plans. This means that you could still be exposing yourself self to trolls, ISPs and Government agencies. There are a few free VPNs that can be trusted. One such service that I remember is Hide.Me. They have a good free VPN and one that offers similar protection than their premium plan in regards to torrenting.
Use a VPN in a Risk-Free Area
It is important that you use a VPN service based in an internet friendly country. By this, I mean use a company that is not based in the Five Eye nations which have the right to take the logs from a VPN and analyse the data for suspicious activity. This doesn’t just go for the company itself but also for the location of the server you’re using. Many countries are getting stricter with their copyright laws, with many slowly going towards criminal punishment, as opposed to civil. You’ll notice that some servers in VPNs are limited without the capability of P2P. This is usually because they’re in a hostile environment. Stay away from these kinds of servers when you’re looking to share some files.
Check Their Log Policy
Speed is Essential
If you’re torrenting you don’t want to get your connection limited or throttled by your VPN service. You will want a company that is fast in terms of their connection speeds. You will be downloading a lot of torrenting and shared files and the last thing you need is a slow connection. Many of our reviews have speed tests and we try our best to update them regularly. If you’re concerned about the speed of a VPN go and check an independent review on our site.
Look For Clients with a Kill Switch
This is very important when you are downloading your files or whatever you download when you’re torrenting. You will want to have a kill switch installed on the client you’re using so, in the case when your VPN connection cuts out, your entire internet connection will cut so your IP is not shown to any interested watchers.back to menu ↑
How to Check If Your VPN is Shielding You
What good is a VPN if it isn’t protecting you? When you buy and invest in your security as a torrenters you will want to make sure that you’re being protected during your activities. Unfortunately, the client is not going to tell you whether there are any leaks during your connection, it can only tell you when there is an established connection between you and the server. To find out whether your IP or DNS is being leaked you should use some online tools.
There is a real easy way to find out whether your IP address is being exposed on the internet while using a VPN. All you have to do is visit the website IPLeak.net and see if your real IP address is being shown. If the address is not yours, you’re in the green.
For the more paranoid of you, you can check whether your BitTorrent client is leaking anything. Go down the same page suggested above and add the magnet link to your client. Wait a minute and the page will begin to display some relevant results.back to menu ↑
Torrenting and file sharing is an important factor to consider when choosing a VPN service, and not all VPN providers support such activity. Torrenting is essentially downloading illegal or copyrighted material through torrenting sites and ISP and copyright trolls examine these sites and track people who steal. However, with a VPN your IP address is scrambled and you cannot be traced. Torguard and NordVPN are my top two favorites for torrenting, as Pure has lightning fast speeds whereas NordVPN has lock tight security.
ExpressVPN is also fast and secure but is a little expensive, and Buffered is equally good with the ability to port discover, but again, is a little pricey. All VPN providers will protect you from copyright infringement to some extent, but you should read their policy before purchasing. Hopefully, this article has given some insight into torrenting and the best VPN services to use to ensure your safety when downloading and uploading files.