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TL;DR: ExpressVPN is our #1 best VPN for torrenting in 2019.
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:
1. ExpressVPN – the hands-down best VPN for torrenting
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
Read our full ExpressVPN Review
2. NordVPN– fast and anonymous torrenting on the cheap
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 5,700+ servers in 60 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. 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.
As is the case with ExpressVPN, NordVPN reliably works in China and is an all-around great choice. This VPN is also amazingly cheap for all the features you get.
In the end, whether you consider ExpressVPN or NordVPN, the best VPN for anonymous torrenting is largely a matter of preference.
- 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
Read our full NordVPN Review
3. CyberGhost– a torrenting powerhouse for P2P users
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 tools on this list in terms of customization options.
This VPN has 5,700+ 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’s also a custom router app, so you can easily protect yourself at the router level.
- 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
Read our full CyberGhost Review
4. Hotspot Shield – superb speeds and security for torrenting & P2P
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
Read our full Hotspot Shield Review
5. TorGuard– outstanding P2P & torrenting performance
The “Tor” in TorGuard stands for “torrent”, and by that measure alone many are calling this provider the best VPN for torrents. Technically, TorGuard is every bit 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 TorGuard is a safe bet in terms of 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
Read our full TorGuard Review
6. PrivateVPN – small but great VPN for torrenting & P2P
PrivateVPN is very small – it only has 100+ servers scattered in 60 countries around the globe. Needless to say, speed is not PrivateVPN’s strongest aspect, but neither is it the weakest. This VPN has optimized their infrastructure for small-scale operation so the drop-off in speed should not be crippling for torrenting.
This little VPN makes a point of not discriminating against torrenting. Despite its sub-par location (they are registered in not-so-privacy-friendly Sweden), PrivateVPN keeps no logs. Or so they say – it’s probably not strictly true, but the reality seems not far off.
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. However, PrivateVPN does not have their own DNS, so you should make sure DNS leaks are not a problem.
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
Read our full PrivateVPN Review
7. Private Internet Access – solid security and dedicated torrenting servers
With some exceptions, PIA is a decent choice for torrent users, if not exactly the best VPN for torrenting.
For a tool as cheap as PIA, it’s very good at protecting your privacy. Strong encryption that you can customize for your needs, a functional kill switch, OpenVPN protocol – Private Internet Access offers all of this and more. There are some concerns about WebRTC leaks, but this is actually the case with the majority of VPNs.
The most concerning fact about PIA security-wise is that it is registered in the United States. American law enforcement has already tested PIA’s no-logs policy several times. Fortunately, each time the data they got was useless to build a case. This makes PIA’s jurisdiction a marginal concern.
Private Internet Access has 3,300+ servers in 30+ countries. That’s a lot but we should add an asterisk: most of those servers are based in Europe and North America.
This tool deserves to be on the best torrenting VPN list for its cost-effectiveness. You get lots of great features for a low price. Plus one subscription gets you 10 simultaneous connections.
- Strong, customizable encryption plus a kill switch
- Large number of servers
- Low-priced subscription – starts at $3.33/month
- Some DNS leaks
- Registered in USA
- Inconsistent speeds
Read our full PIA Review
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.