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Torrenters should always use a VPN when sharing or downloading files online. But when it comes to picking the best VPN for torrenting, the following aspects are the most important:
- Torrenting policy – the VPN should allow P2P file sharing on their servers.
- Logging and privacy policies – the provider should not keep any logs or collect any identifiable data from users.
- Security – the VPN should have robust security features and solid IP/DNS leak protection.
- Performance – when connected to the VPN, your download speeds should remain high enough for torrenting.
Not every VPN provider out there meets all of the above criteria. Some lack the security features needed to keep your torrenting traffic anonymous, many are simply too slow for downloading large torrent files, while others discourage or prohibit torrenting entirely.
With that in mind, we’ve made a list of the best VPNs that will reliably protect your privacy and anonymity whenever you fire up your torrent client.
7 best VPN services for torrenting in 2019
Here are the seven best VPN providers for sharing files anonymously via BitTorrent:
NordVPN has the strongest security credentials on the market that put it on top in most ‘best of’ VPN lists. As far as torrenting is concerned, NordVPN features potent encryption, a dependable kill switch, newly introduced WireGuard support, and no leaking issues.
The parent company is based in Panama, where there are no data retention laws or serious risks from intelligence agencies. NordVPN’s privacy-friendly jurisdiction is a huge plus, especially where torrenting is concerned.
NordVPN offers 5,000+ servers in 59 countries, so torrenting speeds are naturally very good. Not all of these servers allow P2P traffic, but NordVPN has special servers that are optimized for maximum torrenting performance. Additionally, the service offers a free SOCKS5 proxy, so you can set it up directly on your torrenting app.
Just like all the other VPNs on this list, NordVPN doesn’t limit your bandwidth and allows you to download torrents without worrying about data caps.
NordVPN reliably works in China and is an all-around great choice.
- Impenetrable encryption, strong kill switch, no leaking issues
- Great extras (Tor over VPN, Double VPN, etc.)
- Largest number of servers
- Registered in privacy-friendly Panama
- Specialized servers optimized for P2P
- One of the cheapest VPNs – starts at $3.49/month
- No router app
Less tech-savvy torrenting users will like CyberGhost’s usage profiles feature because of the awesome Torrent Anonymously profile. For a top torrenting VPN, CyberGhost is famously easy to use. If you need a VPN that is pretty much unnoticeable, this is your best bet. Also, Romania is a good place to build a torrenting-friendly VPN – it has a pro-privacy stance and no data retention laws.
CyberGhost has solid security in terms of encryption and features, and the CyberGhost support site also has guides that will help you minimize your risks while torrenting. With that said, it falls a little behind the top VPN on this list in terms of customization options.
This VPN has 5,600+ servers in 90+ countries and the torrenting speeds are very good regardless of where you are. CyberGhost’s price includes the ability to use up to 7 devices simultaneously. There are also instructions for configuring it on routers, so you can easily protect all of your devices.
- Great encryption and security features
- Registered in privacy-friendly Romania
- A wide fleet of speedy servers
- Very affordable – starts at $2.75/month
- Not ideal for China
ExpressVPN does not restrict torrenting to specific P2P servers. With 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, ExpressVPN is one of the best-performing VPNs on the market. Performance is particularly important if you have a mediocre connection and still want to torrent safely.
ExpressVPN offers powerful encryption, safe tunneling protocols, a durable kill switch, and has no DNS or IPv6 leaks. On the technical side, this VPN is pretty much impenetrable. Both your ISP and any government agency that would try to sniff out your online traffic will come back empty-handed.
The service is based is in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a British overseas territory with no data retention laws. So, in terms of jurisdiction, you’re in safe hands.
There’s only one real drawback to ExpressVPN – the price. However, ExpressVPN has a router app, which will help you cover all your wifi traffic, no matter how many devices will be online at one time.
- Powerful encryption and kill switch
- No DNS or IPv6 leaks
- Registered in privacy-friendly BVI
- Industry-leading speeds and proven no-logging practice
- Allows P2P traffic on all servers
- Quite expensive – starts at $8.32/month
Surfshark is a good choice for torrent users, and for some, it might even be the best.
For a tool as cheap as Surfshark, it’s very good at protecting your privacy. Strong encryption, a functional kill switch, no leaks, and modern protocols – this service offers all of this and more. Thanks to Camouflage and NoBorders modes, Surfshark is even good enough for China and other countries where internet access is restricted.
Surfshark VPN has 1,100+ servers in 60+ countries and all of them are P2P-friendly. The speeds are good, but that’s unsurprising given that this service ranks among the fastest VPNs.
In addition to torrenting capabilities, Surfshark is also great for Netflix and other streaming platforms. We can also recommend it to Kodi fans.
This VPN deserves to be on the best torrenting VPN list for its cost-effectiveness. You get lots of great features for such a low price. Plus one subscription gets you an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
- Fast speeds
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Very cheap – starts at $1.99/month
- Weak self-help section
The combination of awesome speed and solid security features make Hotspot Shield one of the best VPNs for torrenting. This tool has several features that make it stand out of the field for torrent fans.
For one thing, Hotspot Shield offers the unique Catapult Hydra tunneling protocol. This adds a lot to performance in comparison to the more standard OpenVPN and IPsec. Speeds are less impacted even on unstable connections or when connecting through far-away servers.
Secondly, it has a huge network that spans over 70 countries across the world and contains 3,200+ servers. Few VPN services can match these numbers, which spell a good P2P and torrenting experience regardless of location.
Hotspot Shield also uses AES-256 encryption and has a kill switch to ensure you don’t broadcast your IP address to the copyright police.
- Military-grade encryption, kill switch, no leaks
- Huge network with servers in 70+ countries
- Intuitive apps for all major platforms
- Amazing speeds
- No router setup
- USA location
PrivateVPN is very small – it only has 100+ servers scattered in 60+ countries around the globe. Despite the small server list, PrivateVPN has very good speeds. This VPN has optimized its infrastructure for small-scale operation so the drop-off in speed is insignificant enough for comfortable torrents and P2P.
This little VPN makes a point of not discriminating against torrenting traffic. Despite its sub-par location (they are registered in not-so-privacy-friendly Sweden), PrivateVPN keeps the absolute minimum of logs.
As for keeping your torrenting private – it’s all there. You get strong encryption and privacy features (including a kill switch), and no leaking issues.
One more reason we decided to include PrivateVPN as a top torrenting VPN is the low price. PrivateVPN’s cost includes the ability to protect your torrenting traffic simultaneously on 6 devices. There’s also a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Strong encryption, privacy and zero logs
- Great speeds for P2P traffic
- Good price – starts at $3.82/month
- Low number of servers
- Registered in Sweden
The “Tor” in TorGuard stands for “torrent”, and by that measure alone many are calling this provider the best VPN for torrents. Technologically, TorGuard is almost as powerful as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
TorGuard delivers when it comes to privacy and security. You get strong AES-256 encryption, no leaks (either DNS or WebRTC), a good kill switch, stealth protocols, and more. This means that the VPN is a safe bet for protecting yourself online from garden variety intrusions.
People should only be concerned with TorGuard when it comes to where they are. The company is registered in the United States, which isn’t the best place for online privacy. When all is said and done, however, most people probably shouldn’t worry about that – especially if it’s just torrenting you’re interested in.
TorGuard is one of the largest VPNs in terms of server count – they have 3,000+ servers in 50+ countries. Also, in this case, the numbers convert to speed. TorGuard is one of the fastest tools and has apps for most important devices (including a router app).
- Strong encryption, good kill switch and no leaks
- Large server fleet with great, consistent speeds
- Apps for most platforms, including routers
- Good price – starts at $4.99/month
- Registered in USA
VPN torrenting FAQ
Is torrenting legal?
Peer-to-peer file-sharing technology is legal and is actually pretty awesome. There are dozens of legal torrent websites like Legit Torrents that enjoy growing popularity among users.
And then there are illegal torrent trackers like Putlocker and The Pirate Bay. If you regularly download torrents from these websites, there’s a possibility that your ISP or a local copyright protection agency will take legal action against you. In Western Europe, people get slapped with copyright violation fines or even prison sentences quite frequently. In America and Australia, it’s even worse.
Do I really need a VPN for torrenting?
Yes, you absolutely need a VPN for anonymous torrenting. Whether you download legal torrents or otherwise.
Whenever you engage in P2P file sharing, your download activity can be tracked by your ISP and even torrent seeders back to your IP address. This can be used to pinpoint your actual location. Attackers can use that information to mount cyberattacks against you, while government agencies can decide to send you a legal notice for a copyright violation, real or imagined. Using a VPN to encrypt and anonymize your connection is your best bet for avoiding situations like that.
Is torrenting safe with a VPN?
The main point of using a VPN for torrenting is to conceal your online traffic from third parties. These can potentially include ISPs, government agencies, or hackers. VPNs encrypt and route your traffic via secure servers in other countries and protect your data as it travels between you and your torrent peers.
This means that whatever you download from torrent trackers can’t be intercepted or traced back to you or your device, making torrenting with a VPN a lot safer than torrenting without protection.
Should I avoid free VPNs for torrenting?
In most cases, using a free VPN for torrenting is actually counterproductive.
- First of all, most free VPNs impose strict data caps on their users or outright prohibit torrenting altogether.
- Secondly, many free VPNs log your data and sell it off to third parties.
- And then there are performance issues – free VPNs are generally very slow because millions of people use their limited numbers of servers at the same time.
All of these issues combined pretty much defeat the purpose of using a free VPN for P2P file sharing. That said, reputable free VPN providers do exist. Still, using free VPNs for torrenting is generally not recommended.
Best VPN for torrenting – the bottom line
Torrent wisely. Whether you choose one of the VPNs above or some other tool, the most important thing is to be aware of what you’re getting.
The VPNs we picked will definitely provide you with the best torrenting experience based on our strict requirements. They will allow you to torrent safely and efficiently, so you won’t have to wait around for your download – or your probation hearing.