Depending on what you’re torrenting and where you’re doing it, engaging in such activities can land you in hot water. That’s why using a VPN is highly recommended – this tool hides your P2P proclivities. Most people don’t think twice and subscribe to premium services, but others choose to utilize free torrenting VPNs, which opens a whole ‘nother can of worms.
While we don’t condone torrenting copyrighted material, we prefer our readers to stay safe from harm’s way with the right free VPNs.
Maintaining a Virtual Private Network costs a lot of money. To offer it for free usually means the provider makes money out of advertising, selling your data, and so on. You have to be extra careful when picking such services – we created the list of the top 5 free VPNs for torrenting by closely checking each VPN’s transparency, policies, and limitations.
Best free VPN for torrenting: shortlist
- The best free VPN for torrenting9.6
- Free torrenting VPN with top-notch privacy9.4
- Good free VPN for torrenting with cheap plans9.1
How to set up a free VPN for torrenting
- Subscribe to a reliable free VPN torrenting. Our top choice is NordVPN, now 57% off!
- Install the software on your computer
- Connect to a server best suited for your needs
- Torrent safely & anonymously!
Why do you need a VPN for torrenting?
Sharing files via P2P comes with its own dangers that you’re better off avoiding. We urge frequent torrenters to at least use trustworthy free VPNs if they’re that unwilling to part with their money. Even the basic security features will help to:
- Stop ISP spying. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) sees everything you’re doing if your online traffic is not encrypted. And the things they can do with such knowledge range from throttling your bandwidth altogether to slapping you with a copyright infringement notice or getting you fined for downloading content illegally.
- Get more privacy. Besides your internet source, other third parties can also see your torrents – it’s easy to get your IP address if you’re in the same torrent swarm. Any malicious user with enough time can link your real identity with your IP address. And what awaits then depends on their whims: you could get harassed, scammed, or worse.
- Avoid copyright trolls. Some people go as far as to impersonate copyright holders to frighten unsuspecting torrenters for their personal amusement. You may even get extorted if the troll on the other side of the screen decides they want some monetary gain from their harmful shenanigans.
The best free VPN for torrenting: detailed list
- NordVPN – The best free VPN for torrenting.
- Surfshark VPN – Free torrenting VPN with top-notch privacy
- Atlas VPN – Good free VPN for torrenting with cheap plans
- Hide Me VPN – Malaysia-based free torrenting VPN
- Windscribe VPN – Free VPN for torrenting & streaming
Even the best free VPNs for torrenting have severe limitations like data caps, throttled speeds, fewer server options, etc. Premium services have none of that, so if you don’t want severe restrictions, consider them. Another crucial point is that not all costless providers have P2P enabled on all or some servers – our list includes those who allow it.
And since we’re trying to remain undetected, you can’t forget about the privacy aspect. The only providers we recommend are those who offer the essential tool package for keeping yourself anonymous, like a kill switch and proper encryption. Furthermore, they don’t collect any information about you, so your activities are no one else’s business but yours.
1. NordVPN – the best free VPN for torrenting
24/7 live chat, Email
- NordLynx-fuelled speeds
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Independently-audited and secure
- No router app
Undoubtedly, NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting. It’s not exactly free, but you can use it without paying anything for more than a month. Just combine the 7-day free trial with the 30-day money-back guarantee, and you’re good to go. After that, the plans start at $3.49/month, which is essentially pocket change.
You get boosted by high-grade encryption, IP and DNS leak protection, and a robust kill switch that disconnects your internet if the VPN connection drops. What’s more, this provider has an independently-audited no-logs policy and is based in Panama, a country that doesn’t require VPN companies to collect user data.
While the network of 5400+ servers in 60+ countries is impressive, the true gems of NordVPN are the dedicated P2P servers. All locations allow torrenting but picking one of these will maximize the performance of your torrent client. Of course, the proprietary NordLynx protocol also plays a significant role in ensuring the best speeds.
NordVPN offers two tools for P2P: split tunneling and the SOCKS5 proxies. These allow you to secure torrent traffic only and continue browsing the web as usual. The difference is that the proxy is faster, but it also doesn’t encrypt data.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – free torrenting VPN with top-notch privacy
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Infinite connections
- Fast connections with WireGuard
- Anonymous payments
- Some features cost extra
Another good free VPN for torrenting is Surfshark VPN. Again, you technically have to utilize the 7-day free trial and the 30-day money-back guarantee to use it for free for a limited time, but it’s more than worth it. Once the period ends, the cheapest subscription costs just $2.30/month.
The provider doesn’t dabble in user surveillance (verified), and it probably wouldn’t be possible if they wanted to. All servers are RAM-only, meaning no data can be collected or stored on the hardware. Furthermore, your online identity remains anonymous thanks to the essentials – advanced leak protection, a kill switch, and AES-256 encryption.
Surfshark VPN’s sizable network spans 3200+ servers across 100+ countries, and torrenting is enabled on all. Fetching files via P2P is fast and smooth due to the WireGuard protocol and the latest Software Defined Networking (SDN) upgrade. It routes all VPN traffic through a single massive network instead of separate servers, increasing stability & speeds.
This VPN comes with the full tool suite, including the CleanWeb feature for battling malware and the Camouflage and NoBorders modes for bypassing internet censorship. Surfshark also has its own version of split tunneling – the Bypasser tool. Pick the applications you want to utilize the VPN encryption on and enjoy the best of both worlds.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Atlas VPN – good free VPN for torrenting with cheap plans
Email, tickets, FAQ
- No device limit
- Generous data cap
- Use without creating an account
- Doesn’t unblock streaming
Atlas VPN is our top pick for the best truly free VPN for torrenting. Subscribers get the core features needed to maintain utmost privacy, including an internet kill switch and a generous 10 GB/month data cap. Furthermore, the provider doesn’t collect any data about you and allows using the app without an account.
Atlas VPN landed on this list because it doesn’t restrict P2P traffic on any servers, free or premium. Users get access to three server locations – Amsterdam, New York, and Los Angeles, covering the East & West coast of America and Europe. The WireGuard tunneling protocol also powers the network, so torrents won’t take too long to complete.
Naturally, download speeds are throttled a bit, so that premium subscribers get the best experience. But the reduction is by no means major, and it’s a small price to pay for top-notch security. Furthermore, you get to secure your browsing experience with SafeBrowse, which prevents you from entering shady websites – handy when looking for trusted torrenting sites.
Atlas VPN does have a split tunneling feature for Android devices, but it only comes with paid plans. Going premium is the right decision if you want that, plus unlimited bandwidth and more server choices, especially when it costs $2.05/month. You can always get a refund with the 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the results.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
4. Hide Me VPN – Malaysia-based free torrenting VPN
- Privacy-friendly jurisdiction
- Split tunneling
- Don’t need an account to use it
- No streaming
Next on our torrenting VPN list is Hide Me VPN, which operates from Malaysia, a country with no data retention laws. Coupled with the fact that it maintains a zero-logs policy and that no account is needed to use it, this VPN is a safe choice for privacy-conscious torrenters. Plus, you’re kept secure with military-grade encryption and a kill switch.
Now, for the limits. You can only connect one device, and your monthly data allowance is restricted to 10 GB. Moreover, users get to pick just from five server locations – US East & West, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. As for the tunneling protocols, free subscribers get IKEv2 and OpenVPN.
While you won’t get much in terms of streaming, P2P is supported on all available servers. Hide Me VPN even throws split tunneling and SOCKS5 proxies into the mix to add customizability and alternative security methods respectively. You can also use Stealth Guard to limit app or internet usage – that is, they won’t work unless you’re connected to the VPN.
If you need more bandwidth freedom, access to WireGuard, or extra connections, freely and seamlessly switch to premium. The base plan starts at $3.00/month, and you can always take back what you paid with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Hide Me VPN, read our Hide Me VPN review.
5. Windscribe VPN – free VPN for torrenting & streaming
- Unblocks Netflix
- SOCKS5 proxy
- No device limit
- Based in Canada
And last but definitely not least – Windscribe VPN. The free version comes with the same features as the premium: leak protection, a kill switch, an ad blocker, Stealth mode, secure hotspot, Double Hop, and even timezone spoofing. To top it all off, this torrenting VPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy.
Windscribe VPN offers a 10GB/month limit and 10+ server locations for free users. These include bigger countries, like the UK and the US, and smaller P2P-friendly regions like the Netherlands and Switzerland. Connection speeds won’t be terrible either when WireGuard is one of the available tunneling protocols.
Download/upload rates should be fine for all kinds of file sharing, and all locations allow torrenting. The tool roster list also includes a SOCKS5 proxy if you need a little downloading boost. Streaming enthusiasts will also be pleased to learn that this VPN’s free version is capable of unblocking Netflix.
Extra features like Static IPs, Ephemeral Port Forwarding, unlimited data, etc., are only available to the premium tier. It costs surprisingly low – just $1.00/month – so committing won’t put a dent in your wallet if you decide to upgrade. It’s nice that the 3-day money-back guarantee protects subscriptions if this free torrenting VPN is not for you.
For a deeper investigation of Windscribe VPN, read our Windscribe VPN review.
How we picked these free VPNs for torrenting
You can’t just pick a random free torrenting VPN and expect to dive into the world of P2P without any repercussions. Sooner or later, you’re bound to pay for it with your privacy and security. It’s more than worth it to dig around and find options that won’t put you in danger.
It’s just your luck we did most of the hard work by combing through dozens of free providers that have built a reputation for them. Unsurprisingly, only a few managed to meet our strict requirements:
- Torrenting is enabled. Free VPNs are notorious for being very limited when it comes to what users can do with them. It’s rare to find a provider that unblock geo-restricted streaming content or torrenting, or even both. It is the first hurdle most services couldn’t jump over.
- No data logging. The next thing we checked was their stance on collecting user information. If a strict zero-logs policy is enforced, congratulations, they pass, but if even minimal data logging is happening behind the scenes, it’s a hard no. VPNs with a no-logs policy always come out on top, and it’s better to subscribe to them as a rule of thumb.
- Lenient data caps. Besides limiting your activities, free torrenting VPNs also restrict your bandwidth, access to servers, etc. Those with generous data limits and a bigger server count were listed higher than those who offered the bare minimum, which might hinder the P2P experience.
- Robust protection tools. It’s why you’re getting a VPN in the first place, so having at least the essentials is mandatory. We’re talking about NASA-grade encryption, a reliable kill switch, and IP and DNS leak protection. The lack of one or another affects the provider’s placing on the list.
- Versatility. It’s understandable wanting to get the most out of a free VPN service. We also considered whether streaming is enabled, how good the provider is at bypassing geo-blocks, and more.
- Customer support. Free version users usually don’t have options to get access to professional help quickly, only being able to contact support via email at best. Services that have additional and faster methods earn brownie points.
How to torrent safely with a free VPN
- Download a trustworthy torrenting VPN. NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers.
- Set up the software on your PC, and make sure the kill switch is enabled as well as leak protection
- Connect to the best server for you and check for any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks
- Download a torrent client – some of the most popular and safest ones are uTorrent, qBittorrent, Deluge, etc.
- Get a torrent file from the website of your choice and open it through the appropriate client
- Once everything’s finished downloading, completely exit your torrent client – don’t leave it running in the background, and never open your downloads through it
- Safely disconnect from the VPN server
Free VPN not working with uTorrent
Some people have issues trying to download files while connected to a free VPN. If you’re unable to torrent, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem. Let’s start by going over things that might be hindering your efforts that are not related to VPNs:
- Flush the DNS. The torrent client might be affected by the data buildup in your cache. Clearing it might help with the issue – launch ‘cmd’ through the main menu if you’re running on Windows and type in a series of commands: ipconfig /flushdns, then ipconfig /registerdns, then ipconfig /release, then ipconfig /renew, and lastly, netsh winsock reset.
- Disable IPv6. IPv6 leaks might still occur even if you’re using a VPN, and this might be stopping you from torrenting what you want. You can disable it from the ‘Network & Sharing Center’ in your PC’s settings – we suggest switching to IPv4 instead.
- Disable the firewall. That or at least whitelist your torrenting program since the firewall can block traffic it deems harmful. It often includes peer connections coming from the client.
- Try another file. Some torrents just don’t have seeders to support downloading, hence zero action and the infinity symbol under ETA. It’s essentially dead, and you’re better off finding another version uploaded by some other user.
- Change the port. Incorrect ports can also severely impede downloads, so trying out other ones isn’t out of the question either. You can change them in uTorrent’s settings or preference menu.
- Reinstall the torrent client. Check whether you have the latest version of uTorrent and get it if you don’t. If this doesn’t solve anything, there’s always a chance the software itself might be corrupted – get rid of it and install it anew.
The above steps basically did nothing? Then the most likely culprit is the VPN you’ve been using. Some of the things you can try doing are:
- Switch to another server. Free VPNs have a minimal server pool, and the one you just connected to might be overcrowded. It also never hurts to check whether the server supports P2P traffic or not.
- Update the VPN client. Outdated software doesn’t have the latest bug fixes, tool enhancements, etc. Make sure you’re running the newest version.
- Contact support. Professionals might be able to help you if the VPN client is glitched out or they’re having technical issues. Don’t hesitate to hit them up for some qualified advice.
Worst case scenario – the provider you’ve subscribed to doesn’t allow P2P. And if that’s the case, you don’t have much choice but to switch to a free torrenting VPN service that does. The ones we’ve mentioned above will get the job done and protect you in the process.
Are free VPNs safe to use?
As we’ve mentioned several times before, not all VPNs are created equal, especially the free kind. The big fat pirate-themed elephant in the room is that most of these providers don’t support P2P in the first place. You shouldn’t even touch some free services with a ten-foot pole because of their nasty practices:
- Extensive data logging – at least you’d expect them to be subtle about it. And they collect everything about you from the moment you pick a server: the IP address, connection timestamps, device identifying info, browsing habits, the things you download, and more.
- Selling user information – bidding off all that data to anyone wanting to buy it is the next obvious step. These potential customers range from ad companies to shady groups with malicious intentions.
- Malware-riddled clients – another open secret is that free torrenting VPN software puts overall user security at risk. Besides classic malware, it can also be infected with adware, spyware, keyloggers, worms, and God knows what else.
- Advertisement galore – you’ll find yourself in an ad minefield once you open the client. Accidentally clicking on one can infect your system with a virus, and the tracker installed in the software will log this action for future reference. That is, tailoring other ads accordingly.
This is why you have to be extra careful with free services. Besides the options we’ve listed above, you can also try reliable VPNs with free trial versions. True, they will only work for a certain duration, but at least you won’t be hindered by data caps, very few servers, limited features, and so on.
Avoid these free VPNs for torrenting
Free torrenting VPNs can do more harm than good, depending on the provider. We downright ask you to avoid the following ones at all costs if your online security and privacy are of any importance to you.
- VPNGate. It’s volunteer-based and doesn’t vet what kind of users sign up to be a part of the infrastructure. Extensively logs everything you do and discloses this information to government institutions when asked. Doesn’t include any leak protection tools or a kill switch, and connections are unreliable and tend to drop at the worst moments. Plus, VPNGate discourages subscribers from P2P file sharing.
- Hola VPN. Works as a proxy rather than a proper VPN and doesn’t even use encryption or have a kill switch or leak protection. Free users are exploited as exit nodes, and their idle bandwidth is given away to other subscribers. It extensively monitors all user activity, which is alarming as Hola VPN is based in Israel, a country that collaborates with the Fourteen Eyes alliance. The provider also shares personal info with authorities if they deem it necessary and blocks BitTorrent traffic to boot.
- Betternet VPN. Injects its client with malware and user trackers, putting overall security at risk. Lacks basic features as a kill switch, and the tools that are included are weak & unreliable. Betternet VPN logs everything they can about you, which does not bode well since it is based in Canada, a Five Eyes country. Lastly, it doesn’t support P2P.
You can never go overboard with your online privacy & security, especially when it comes to such a risky activity as torrenting. While it’s possible to protect yourself with VPNs that cost nothing, you have to exercise extreme caution when choosing the provider.
Thankfully, we’ve done the leg work and found the best free VPN services for torrenting that can actually be trusted. The providers behind them make a point not to collect any user data and include the tools necessary to avoid surveillance. And they are one of the few that allow P2P traffic on their servers.
Are there any other noteworthy free VPNs for torrenting we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Is torrenting legal?
Torrenting is illegal if you’re downloading copyrighted material or reside in a country where P2P traffic is banned. If you’re unsure whether it’s legal where you live, we have a handy list that gets updated whenever any changes happen around the world.
Is there a free VPN for torrenting?
Very few free VPNs support torrenting, and even fewer ensure you stay hidden while downloading files via P2P. We’ve made a handy list of good free VPNs for torrenting that won’t put you in jeopardy.
Which is the best free VPN for torrenting?
The best free VPN for torrenting is Atlas VPN. It has three server locations to choose from, a 10GB/month data limit, a reliable kill switch, and fast connections. Plus, the premium plan is pretty affordable if you ever feel that the free version is too restricted.
Is NordVPN good for torrenting?
Yes, NordVPN is an excellent VPN for torrenting. It has the fastest speeds in the industry, plenty of dedicated P2P servers, and robust tools to protect your online identity while dabbling in torrenting.
Does torrenting work with VPN?
Yes, torrenting works with VPNs, and we recommend using this software whenever you engage in P2P file sharing. Your ISP sees what you’re torrenting and may throttle your speeds, issue a copyright infringement notice, or even report you to copyright holders.
Does VPN increase torrenting speed?
Only if your Internet Service Provider is throttling you. Otherwise, your speeds will remain the same or slightly slower since the traffic gets additionally routed through encrypted tunnels. That’s why it’s recommended to connect to servers closest to you to ensure the most minor reduction in speeds.