Avast VPN or Avast SecureLine VPN is yet another cybersecurity product coming from the world-renowned Czech software developer, Avast. This company has proven the virtual world its capabilities with other security programs like Avast Internet Security and Avast Antivirus. Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that history repeats itself and that using Avast VPN for Torrenting is a good idea.
So, is there any use trying Avast VPN for torrenting at all? Before we answer this question, let us explain some crucial things about VPN torrenting.
Why you need a VPN for torrenting
First off, we need to clear up why you need a VPN for torrenting at all, right? Since copyright infringement is sort of “frowned upon” in most countries, or worse, hunted by making torrenting copyrighted material illegal (e.g., Australia), you’d better have a well-based excuse to use BitTorrent or other clients.
As you may know, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) logs all your connections and usage data. So, when you download a torrent file, your ISP will know exactly what you are doing, from where and what you’re downloading as well as seeding at the same time. Now, this kind of exposure is rather “unhealthy” when it comes to downloading or uploading copyrighted files (e.g., movies, TV shows, and cracked software).
This is, of course, not to say that we promote pirating or illegal P2P file-sharing in any form. Yet, we are here to provide valuable information on VPN security and how you can remain as anonymous as possible while surfing the web.
So, basically, you need a secure and trustworthy VPN to encrypt or even obfuscate your traffic so that neither your ISP nor the snooping authorities can figure out what on earth you are doing online. This is the only way today to escape from the prying eyes and keep your privacy intact even if your online activity seems totally legal in your eyes.
But is it smart to use Avast VPN for torrenting? We will see shortly.
Basic criteria for secure VPN torrenting
If you are into BitTorrent and uTorrent file-sharing (Peer-to-Peer), you probably understand that anonymity is of utmost importance for you to make sure your ISP won’t block your internet access, you won’t get fined, or sentenced to jail in the worst case scenario.
Of course, P2P file-sharing is not necessarily and only about sharing copyrighted and pirated material over the net. Still, more and more computer users realize how exposed and vulnerable they are without a VPN solution like Avast VPN. However, choosing the wrong service could be more dangerous than being without it.
Let’s see what the basic criteria are for secure VPN torrenting:
- True no logs policy: no connection and no usage logs either, no previous history of “non-existent” logs being shared with the authorities
- Dedicated P2P servers: to bypass ISP restrictions, optimized for large file-sharing
- Good security features: AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN, and IPsec
- Kill switch: to stop possible IP/DNS leaks when a connection drops or an application decides to connect via your ISP
- IP/DNS leak protection: not to get located and identified
- Good connection speeds: not to spend a lifetime to download or upload large files
- Obfuscation (bonus): to cloak your internet traffic so that snoopers (ISP, cybercriminals, and authorities) see VPN torrent file sharing as general traffic
If a VPN has all these above features, it’s quite likely worth a try.
However, there is one vital point we need to mention here. A lot of users make this classic mistake and end up being exposed or worse, with ISP copyright infringement notices.
Just because you install VPN software on your device, it doesn’t mean that your BitTorrent, uTorrent, or Vuze client will automatically use your secure and encrypted VPN tunnel for its communications with the torrent servers. In fact, it will still use its default communication channel, your ISP. No wonder why users load VPN security-related forums with their complaints.
The solution is relatively simple: You need to manually configure your BitTorrent, uTorrent, or Vuze application to exclusively use the VPN software as a gateway. You can find information about how to set up your VPN for torrenting on your client if you visit the official website or run a quick Google search.
But, make sure your IP address is spoofed, i.e., you’re using proper VPN security to run such a search. Call us paranoid, but, again, better safe than sorry. In other words, don’t leave any digital trace behind if possible.
Last but not least, don’t forget that a VPN cannot protect you from downloading and opening an infected torrent file. Therefore if you’ve planned to watch Game of Thrones S8E1 by downloading it via BitTorrent, make sure you check what the comments say about the files. If there’s any suspicion, better scan them with an anti-virus first to avoid infecting your device or even losing personal data.
So, the sole question remains: Can using Avast VPN for torrenting cut it?
Is it smart to use Avast VPN for torrenting?
Avast VPN is one of the few providers that doesn’t build its business around the no logs hype. As a matter of fact, you can’t even find any of the usual expressions like “no logs policy” or “zero logs” on its webpage. The only reference to their logging practices can be found in a short sentence: “Doesn’t log websites visited or app usage.”
Furthermore, Avast VPN also keeps connection logs as well as personally identifiable information, such as your full name, Zip code, and email address. Since this provider may also regard your internet traffic as “unethical,” chances are they would willingly share all they have about you with the authorities if such a request should arise.
All in all, we can’t consider SecureLine as a no logs VPN. No wonder why they didn’t wallpaper their webpage with zero logs claims.
Avast has a rather poor VPN protocol variety, only offering IPsec and OpenVPN on UDP. On the other hand, this might just be enough for you for torrenting. Your internet traffic is encrypted with military-grade encryption (AES-256), which is a standard now in this market.
Although Avast VPN has DNS leak protection, it still can’t resolve the WebRTC leak issue. In all fairness, you can find useful information on their website regarding how to solve this problem manually, which is indeed browser-related and not directly a failure of the VPN software.
A few reviews may claim that SecureLine has a kill switch; however, this is simply not true. The lack of a kill switch practically makes a VPN service redundant right away, to be frank. Without such a security feature, Avast VPN may leak vital sensitive information like your true IP address or DNS information. So, even if this service offers DNS leak protection, it is not worth too much without the kill switch.
Avast SecureLine VPN has only 50+ servers in 34 countries. Though it does support P2P file-sharing on a limited number of servers, this small fleet doesn’t really make it ideal for torrenting despite the relatively good speeds.
In summary, we believe that this VPN software doesn’t pass our criteria to be a good candidate for torrenting. Simply put, the Avast VPN solution is not cut out for privacy and torrenting. Of course, with time, it may improve to be one of the top picks; after all, it comes from a world-renowned family of cybersecurity tools. However, as for now, we don’t advise you to use Avast VPN for torrenting mainly due to its questionable privacy.
Read our full Avast SecureLine VPN Review
Alternative VPN for torrenting
Even though Avast VPN is not really safe or good for torrenting, not yet, you can’t be left unprotected, right? Fortunately, we have created a list of the best VPN services for torrenting. Please click the link below to find out our alternative VPN for torrenting picks.