Torrenting and VPNs have a difficult relationship. It can be tough to find a Virtual Private Network with servers that could deliver speedy torrenting, security, and sound privacy policies.
This means torrenters have to think hard when selecting a VPN. Choose poorly, and you’ll experience sluggish speeds, dropped connections, and IP leaks. But choose well, and you can blend security and speed.
This post will look at the torrenting credentials of one of the leading VPNs in the world: ExpressVPN. We’ll try to assess whether ExpressVPN torrenting is a viable option and whether this product measures up to competitors.
Just because a VPN has a stellar reputation in general, that doesn’t mean it will shine where torrenting is concerned – something many torrenters have had to learn the hard way. So how does the ExpressVPN torrent performance compare? Let’s dig down into the details and find out.
Why it’s important to choose a VPN for torrenting carefully
Before we weigh up the pros and cons of ExpressVPN for torrenting, we should explain a little bit more about why users should take extra care when picking a VPN for their torrenting activity. What is it about torrents and torrent clients that causes problems for many VPNs, and why do only a few select providers deliver reliable service for torrenting fans?
Part of the problem is legality. Torrenting isn’t generally illegal in the US. You can download clients like uTorrent and happily share or download files – as long as that doesn’t breach copyright laws. But here’s the issue: most torrenters share music, films and other content without paying for it, which has in some countries led to a crackdown.
This has also affected many VPNs with a connection to countries where torrenting is frowned upon. These VPNs have often made torrenting very difficult or have prohibited it on their servers entirely.
But that’s not the only reason for them to stifle torrents and deliver poor speeds. Torrenting can make up a major share of VPN traffic on some servers, potentially causing congestion and compromising performance. Thus some VPNs choose to penalize torrenters to appease other users.
So where does ExpressVPN stand on all of this?
Introducing the ExpressVPN torrenting policy
Fortunately, ExpressVPN is not one of those VPNs that block torrent traffic.
Express has absolutely no download limits, which is great for torrenting. And, being based in the British Virgin Islands, it doesn’t have to bow to American (or other) authorities where copyright protection is concerned.
The VPN comes with a raft of features that are tailored to torrenters. For instance, the client features a kill switch that kicks in and cuts all traffic when your VPN connection drops. They also operate what’s called a “zero-knowledge” DNS policy. This is basically an iron-clad commitment to keeping zero DNS logs. In short, they won’t record the sites you visit or the torrents you download.
However, it’s interesting to note that ExpressVPN doesn’t make a point of stressing their pro-torrent credentials on their website, which is a little strange.
Another thing to point out is that while the zero-knowledge DNS policy is great, ExpressVPN isn’t otherwise committed to zero-logging. That’s an important difference which torrenters may want to think about. For example, their website states that ExpressVPN collects information about the “Total amount (in MB) of data transferred per day” and “Choice of VPN server location.”
While that information isn’t very – well – informative, we still prefer zero logs.
ExpressVPN torrenting: reasons to choose this VPN
All-in-all, ExpressVPN seems to offer a very useful privacy tool for torrenters. Alongside the features we’ve discussed above, it’s also extremely fast. In fact, ExpressVPN is famous for boasting about being the “fastest VPN in the world.”
And it’s also relatively easy to find the fastest ExpressVPN servers via their Speed Test function. As speed matters so much for torrenting, this is all very welcome and makes ExpressVPN superior to much of the competition.
Ease of use is another big plus point with ExpressVPN. You should be able to set up the VPN in as little as five minutes. So don’t worry: there’s no need for technical knowledge if you want to go for the perfect ExpressVPN torrent configuration.
Finally, and it’s a big positive, ExpressVPN isn’t one of those VPNs that claim to be torrent-friendly, but restricts torrenters to a couple of servers out of hundreds. Torrenting is possible on every ExpressVPN server, which is one reason why it’s such a fast service to use.
Why you should think twice about choosing ExpressVPN
The one “problem” with this VPN service is the cost. ExpressVPN counts as a premium VPN, and they are happy to cash in on their excellent reputation. The cheapest plans work out to $6.67 per month, which is pretty high, and the most expensive can be $12.95 per month.
However, while ExpressVPN is expensive, it would be unfair not to mention ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. If you take out a package and find that the ExpressVPN torrenting performance is sub-standard, you can easily claim your money back and try somewhere else.
How to set up ExpressVPN with uTorrent or other torrent clients
Here’s how it’s done:
- Head over to the ExpressVPN website and choose your package. If you know that you’ll be torrenting regularly in the future, it makes sense to opt for the cheapest per month package, as you can cancel within 30 days and claim your money back. By then, you should have a clear idea of whether you found the VPN good for you.
- Install the ExpressVPN client on your system and fire it up. Now choose a server with the fastest possible speed. ExpressVPN offers 160 server locations in 90 countries, so finding a fast option shouldn’t be tough.
- It’s important that you load up the VPN client before running uTorrent. When the VPN is up and running, open your torrenting client.
- Before downloading anything, it’s a good idea to use an IP location tool. That way, you can be extra sure that you aren’t suffering from IP leakage.
- It’s also a good idea to head to ExpressVPN’s “General” settings panel. The important thing to check here is whether the “Enable Network Lock” option is selected. If it is, the kill switch for torrents is in place, and you’re good to go.
ExpressVPN: A solid, dependable, but expensive torrenting VPN
Overall, ExpressVPN delivers the kind of torrenting experience you would expect from one of the most respected VPNs in the world. It offers a wide range of torrent-friendly servers, excellent speeds, and safeguards that should keep your IP address secure.
The only downside is the price. But if you value torrenting, you may well be happy to pay it. And if it doesn’t work out, there’s always the 30-day money-back guarantee.