Over the last decade, torrenting has become one of the most popular ways to download files for free. From TV shows and movies to software and apps, you can download almost any file you’re looking for quickly and easily with a torrent client like uTorrent.
Of course, downloading free shows or software you’d normally need to pay for infringes on copyrights, which goes against the law in most countries. If you get caught, you could be in a lot of trouble. Many of today’s internet providers even block access to torrent download sites altogether to prevent the practice.
Thankfully, there is a way to download through uTorrent without being detected: using a VPN. VPNs give you the ability to use the internet privately without your internet provider tracking which sites you visit and what you download. Rerouting your internet through a secondary server, they can also give you access to torrent sites your ISP has blocked. All-round, a VPN is essential if you plan on using uTorrent.
When it comes to choosing the right VPN for torrenting, there are 3 main features to look out for:
Many of today’s VPN providers do not allow P2P sharing or downloading, so it’s important to find one that’s compatible with uTorrent.
Great privacy and security
Some of the features to look out for include:
- a no logging policy (which means the VPN doesn’t track your IP or activity)
- a kill switch (which disconnects you from the web if your VPN connection drops)
- located outside the 5, 9 and 14 Eyes surveillance alliances (countries that agree to track internet use and share that information with each other)
No one wants to wait days for their downloads to finish, so make sure your VPN has fast server speeds for quick torrent leeching.
To make your decision easier, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 uTorrent VPNs below:
The first VPN on our list is one of the most popular providers available: ExpressVPN. With torrent compatibility and a strong commitment to privacy, ExpressVPN is a great choice for uTorrent.
ExpressVPN has over 2,000 servers across 148 server locations, and all these locations are compatible with P2P software like uTorrent. This is great if you plan on using your VPN for web browsing and bypassing geo-blocking restrictions as well as torrenting. On top of that, ExpressVPN has all the privacy features you could want. It’s located in the British Virgin Islands (which isn’t part of the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes), it promises not to log your sensitive information, and it has a kill switch. ExpressVPN even has military-grade 256-bit AES encryption to keep your activity completely hidden.
Another popular VPN in today’s market is NordVPN. NordVPN’s main selling point is its unique privacy features that many other VPNs don’t offer.
For example, unlike other VPNs which have one type of kill switch, NordVPN offers its users two: one you can use to shut down a specific app if your VPN connection drops, and one you can use to shut down all internet access. This is useful if you only need to use your VPN for torrenting, not browsing. NordVPN also has a double data protection option which reroutes your connection through an extra server for increased privacy. However, this is overkill for the majority of users and it does slow down your connection.
The main downside of NordVPN is that torrenting is not allowed on all of their 5,700+ speedy servers. On the other hand, 46 out of 60 countries have P2P-optimized servers, so you shouldn’t have much hassle using NordVPN with uTorrent.
Read our NordVPN review
Located in Romania, outside the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes, CyberGhost is another great uTorrent VPN. In particular, CyberGhost is ideal for newbies who are worried about getting to grips with their first VPN. The CyberGhost software is very easy to install and use. It can connect you to a P2P-compatible server automatically and even open uTorrent for you once you’re connected. On top of that, CyberGhost offers all the usual privacy features you’d need for torrenting (including a no logging policy and kill switch), and we didn’t find any IP or DNS leaks on their servers.
Unfortunately, there is one area where CyberGhost underperforms compared to competitors: speed. Server speeds with CyberGhost are average, which means you’d need to wait a lot longer for your torrents to download than you would if you used another VPN on this list. If quick downloading is your priority, you might be better off with a different choice.
One area where IPVanish VPN excels above the competition is simultaneous connections—this provider allows you to connect a whopping 10 devices to their servers at once with just one account. This makes it the most cost-effective option for families who want to use uTorrent (or browse privately and watch geo-blocked content) on multiple devices. IPVanish also has over 1,000 high-speed servers in 60 countries, all of which are compatible with torrenting. Better still, IPVanish has optimized its servers in countries where the government is tolerant about torrenting (such as the Netherlands), giving you better speeds if you connect to those locations.
On the downside, it may not be the best choice for VPN newbies. We found that their Windows software is prone to network issues, and their support is much slower than the 24/7/365 help advertised.
Read our IPVanish review
PrivateVPN is a smaller-scale VPN that’s been growing in popularity recently. They have a small network of 80 servers in 56 countries, but all of these servers support torrenting, so you won’t find yourself having to switch to different servers for different uses. In particular, the company recommends you use their Swedish servers. PrivateVPN also allows you to connect up to 6 devices at once with one account.
However, the list of downsides is a little longer than other VPNs. For one, PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, which is part of the 14 Eyes. Their speeds also aren’t as fast as other VPNs on this list, and we found them to be more inconsistent. Another concern is that PrivateVPN proclaims that they never log your data traffic, but the company doesn’t indicate whether they log other information like IP addresses. Overall, this VPN isn’t bad per se, but it’s also not the best on the list.
Downloading and uploading copyrighted files via uTorrent can be risky if you’re exposed, but a VPN will keep you completely hidden so you can download safely without being tracked. On top of that, a VPN will also keep your web browsing activity anonymous and even allow you to access websites that are geo-blocked in your country (such as foreign Netflix).
While all the VPNs on our list are good options depending on your needs and priorities, our top recommendation for best uTorrent VPN is ExpressVPN. It’s a great all-rounder, offering high performance as well as high privacy.