Betternet is a fairly popular free VPN choice for millions of users today. Nonetheless, we believe that this is one of those privacy tools that may look all secure and reliable on the surface, but beneath, you can find some worrisome issues. So, is Betternet for torrenting a good idea? Let’s see.
When it comes to torrenting, we always emphasize that a VPN has to have the highest possible level of privacy with no logs recorded and retained. Torrenting may not even be legal in your country or you may be a user who tends to download or upload pirated files. In these cases, you need proper anonymity; or else, you could end up with a notice or a fine sooner or later.
However, torrenting and P2P file-sharing is not only about sharing copyrighted materials – which we do not encourage or promote in any way. If your main use of BitTorrent, uTorrent, or Vuze is about sharing large legal files, you may not need maximum privacy after all. So, it depends on how you use any of these file-sharing platforms.
Is Betternet VPN good for torrenting? This also depends on your needs. But, before you tag along to discover whether we have found this VPN service reliable enough, let’s see some VPN torrenting basics.
Why you need a VPN for torrenting
Not all countries like or appreciate the idea of VPN apps, which can be used to unblock censored and geo-restricted websites to access content restricted for a good reason. In some countries like Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, and North Korea, the use of VPN services is fully banned.
In other regions of the world, it could be restricted to only government-approved VPNs (e.g., in China, Russia, and Iran) or to certain individuals (in the United Arab Emirates). Yet in other countries, torrenting or certain torrent sites could be blocked.
So, even if your BitTorrent, Vuze, or uTorrent use is all about legal file-sharing, you could get in trouble using torrents in such countries. The only anonymous way for you to go on using torrents is to encrypt or obfuscate your whole internet traffic with a VPN solution. Without such protection, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and other unwanted parties like governments and cybercriminals can easily intercept your internet communications, and use them against you.
But the question remains: Is it safe to use Betternet for torrenting? Before we could answer this vital question, let us share with you our strict VPN criteria for torrenting.
Basic criteria for secure VPN torrenting
To decide whether a VPN is good and secure for torrenting, you need a set of strict criteria as a filter. Since P2P file-sharing is a grey area when it comes to legalities, we believe that the highest possible privacy level is a must.
Even if you only use your torrent client to exchange large and totally legal files, you may want to do that being completely anonymous.
For the best VPN torrenting experience, you need to consider these points:
- Real no logs policy: the VPN provider records no connection and no usage logs either. There’s no history of (personally identifiable) logs shared with the authorities.
- Optimized P2P servers: help bypass ISP restrictions, dedicated to large file-sharing to make P2P traffic as fast as possible.
- Decent security features: AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN, IPsec, or even obfuscation (a slower but more secure option).
- Kill switch: to avoid IP/DNS leaks if a connection may drop.
- IP/DNS leak protection: not to leak sensitive information to avoid being located and linked to your internet traffic.
- Good connection speeds: for the fastest possible downloads and uploads.
- No or rare connection drops: to ensure the seamless streaming of files.
In our view, you should never use a VPN that lacks any of these crucial points unless your online security and privacy are not the main reasons why you need such a service in the first place.
Please note that even if you choose to install Betternet for torrenting on your device, it does not mean that your BitTorrent, uTorrent, or Vuze client will use the encrypted VPN channel for its communications. Remember to configure your torrenting software to make sure you are indeed protected.
Finally, let’s see what Betternet has to offer and how it complies with our criteria.
Should I use Betternet for torrenting?
A VPN is as good as the privacy it provides for its users. That being said, we also need to add right away that this may also depend on your needs. However, since we are focusing on whether Betternet is good and safe for torrenting or not, this VPN has to match our criteria to be a recommendable service.
First off, Betternet is based in Canada, a Five Eyes country. This means that Betternet can be forced by the government and other authorities to monitor users and share the logged data. So, the question is: how much information does Betternet log and can it be used to identify you?
So, let’s say this VPN doesn’t log anything (which is a bit far-fetched), the bad news is that there is no kill switch and no DNS leak protection either. Now, that is rather worrisome because without such security features you can be easily located after leaking vital sensitive information.
Of course, it’s scary enough to learn that prying eyes can find out about your physical location through leaks, but the real issue is that your internet traffic can be linked to you as well. You can easily do the math yourself regarding what this means in the case of torrenting, right?
Let’s talk some more about privacy and Betternet.
Did you know that when you use this VPN, third parties may install cookies onto your devices and track your online activities, including your clicks and preferences?
Now, that doesn’t sound great either.
When you have these cards on the table, unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter if Betternet offers OpenVPN and other privacy protocols or not. You and your internet communications might get compromised; that’s all that counts if anonymity is your main concern.
But, we can also go into technical details mentioning the very few servers this VPN has (17 locations) and how many free users overload these out of the 38 million or so. These facts would also make it questionable to use Betternet for torrenting.
“How about Betternet speeds?” – you may still wonder. Well, even if you may get okay speeds at times to watch HD videos, there could be annoying connection drops. Of course, you may get luckier with the premium version. But, would you really want to risk it?
All in all, we don’t believe that Betternet is the best choice for a VPN for torrenting; and, this was an understatement. Simply put, you cannot have the level of security and privacy that is required to safely download and upload torrents. With that said, you can still risk using the free version since there’s nothing to lose (you may think) – well, maybe a few thousand dollars following a copyright notice or a lawsuit if you were to tread on thin ice.
Read our full Betternet Review
Alternative VPN for torrenting
You may be devastated by the news we brought to you about Betternet for torrenting being a bad idea. But this should not steer you away from the right direction; you do realize you need a VPN for torrenting. So, let us uncover the best ones for you if still interested. Click the link below to learn about our best picks.